Celebrating Chocolate Week – no dairy, no problem 5

I just found out it is National Chocolate Week.  I’d never heard of this before but I think it is something I should participate in! I don’t know about you but when it is dark and wet outside I’m way more likely to cave into a chocolate craving than any other time of year. Unlike my intolerant child, I don’t have to eat dairy free chocolate but I do prefer it now – and so we will be celebrating this special occasion along with all the other chocoholics out there, and so can you.

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Lunchtime with my intolerant child 1

A while back I promised to work my way through recipes and ideas for feeding an intolerant child (or grown up). I promised to keep it simple – with minimal steps and ingredients. I worked through breakfasts, have a fair share of ‘dinners’ but still ‘owe you lunch’. So here goes. Time to look at ‘what’s for lunch’.

My two children have packed lunches at school and pre-school. Zac is due to start school in September and the option of school dinners will be there. He may decide he wants to try them, as Sophia did when she first started. The menu provided by school looks excellent and it is very highly rated by all parents, staff and the children, so I was more than happy to let Sophia switch – but I will need to have a chat to the caterers before I consider letting Zac give it a try.

Our school is a ‘healthy eating’ school and the menu certainly is nutritionally very balanced, with many naturally gluten free and dairy free foods – BUT – as many of you know and may have experienced, it is cross contamination that is the biggest issue for those with allergies, so I will need to get a better understanding of how this is managed.

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43 weeks to go – need to get started on the new plan Reply

Yesterday I received a ‘like’ from one of my blog followers – 400daystil40 – a blog written by someone trying to figure out life by their 40th birthday. It is a great read and the post that really inspired me is this one

Since starting my blog, I have been wondering where it might go. The writing and the cooking are both very therapeutic for me. On stressful days it really helps me and there have been rather too many of those of late. The interaction with my new found friends and followers has also given me a terrific boost and it has been lovely hearing from people who have found my blog interesting and helpful.

As I don’t have a job, and have little hope of getting one any time soon – extortionate childcare costs plus lack of school holiday care options equals no chance! Also, I used to work in marketing and it is a well-known fact (within the industry) that you are finished when you have kids unless you are willing to get a live in nanny, never see your family and work 10-12 hours a day 5 (or more) days a week. Also the salaries are relatively poor if you calculate your hourly rate, so it is hardly worth the effort.

So knowing that is ‘over’ I have often wondered if I can find a way to generate some income from my writing or establish a business associated with helping others dealing with allergy and intolerance and the challenges that come with it. I set up the blog about nine months ago and in that time have come into contact with many people who have done just that and seeing their great work has made me wonder what else I can do.

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The Reluctant Baker meets The Intolerant Gourmet 1

Just in case you hadn’t heard(haha) – it is snowing! I picked the children up from school early as I didn’t fancy a treacherous drive home later down some very icy, snowy country lanes. So here we are waiting for the snow to stop and trying to find things to do. As usual, my thoughts turned to food. I actually planned to get a delicious cassoulet ‘on’. But Sophia wanted to make biscuits. So we did that first.

Anyone who has been following this blog for a while will know I am a very reluctant baker. I love cooking ‘dinners’ but I am a bit rubbish at baking cakes. I don’t like eating them that much and can be a bit slapdash and messy. But when you have one child with allergies and another looking for jobs on a snowy day, you have little choice but to put away your fears and get out the aprons.

Since Zac’s problems began I have been muddling through experimenting with my own recipes for various meals etc, but not being a confident baker I felt the need for some tried and tested recipes from an expert. So I ordered myself a copy of the Intolerant Gourmet by Pippa Kendrick. I had first seen it in Waitrose for £20 and chose not to buy it, but when I saw it for sale on Lovelactosefreelife.co.uk for £12.99 I decided it was a bargain not to be missed.

It really is gourmet stuff and the recipes and photography are really beautiful. It also has lots of useful information about the replacement ingredients and lots of useful tips. Some of the recipes do have a lot of ingredients, and that often puts me off. I am a simple cook. Definitely not gourmet or greatly skilled. Mine is more simple home cooking, lots of flavour, minimal steps and little skill. But I needed a biscuit recipe and this book has one. It looks so simple so I decided to give it a go. I have tried it and blogged on it before, but this time I struggled with it even more than the first.

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