Monday, March 26, 2012

Good Cook Pancake Creator

Have you seen this?!

I was at my local grocery store, yesterday, going down the kitchen gadgets/paper plates/tupperware aisle and I saw this new gadget called the Pancake Creator, by Good Cook.  It was only $4.95!

You can use it to prepare your pancake mix right inside the container and then draw out designs on the griddle, with the detail tip, then fill it in with the larger tip.  When you flip over the pancake, your designs appear. :)

Any way to make my daughter's limited diet more exciting really appeals to me!  At first, I tried whipping up my  Vanilla Pancake recipe, in a separate bowl and scooping it into the Pancake Creator, but that was a bit messy and the mix was too thick, so I reformulated the recipe, for use with this new gadget:

(Cow's) Milk-Free, 
Pancake Creator Mix
  • 1/2 c. Gluten-Free Bisquick (May contain soy)
  • 1/2 c. Rice Milk (vanilla)
  • 1 T. Canola oil, or other safe oil
  • 1/4 c. Unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  1. Pour all ingredients in the bottom compartment and screw the top part in place.  Plug the top hole closed, with a clean finger and shake vigorously for 30 seconds to a minute, until the ingredients are mixed.  Be careful when you remove your finger, as it will make a little "pop" from the baking soda reaction, inside. ;)
  2. Follow the product instructions for making your designs on the griddle/pan.
  3. Use a non-stick/silicone spatula, preferably a wide one, for flipping your designs.  
  4. Enjoy!
Update: My daughter totally balked at the new recipe, this morning, even though she ate one last night without a complaint.  She misses the soy yogurt in the original recipe and even mentioned that, so this morning I made another batch with my original recipe and just added in more vanilla rice milk to thin out the recipe.  I put all the ingredients in the bottom part, closed it, shook it up and it worked just fine.  :)

It works best if you start with the soy yogurt, then the oil, applesauce, then the Bisquick GF powder, and add the rice milk on top, last.  If you put the powder in first, it will end up stuck at the bottom of the tube.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

10,000 Pageviews Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the 
Amazing & Atopic 10,000 Pageviews Giveaway 



Entry actions are numbered and Rafflecopter picks the winner using  
Her winning entry was from a tweet about the giveaway.  

Many thanks to all who entered!   

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

10,000 Pageviews Giveaway!

UPDATE: OK! The contest has ended!  Please bear with me as I figure out the details of wrapping it up.  I will post the winner and details very soon.  THANK YOU!

I am thrilled to have reached 10,000 pageviews for my blog, so I want to do a giveaway!  I recently signed up with Rafflecopter and I've been wanting to try it out, so let's see how this goes.

I want to bring more eyeballs to this page for an upcoming altruistic purpose, and of course, as always, to raise awareness and share information on food allergies, asthma and eczema.

So, what am I giving away?  Well, I have a "Recommendations" widget from, and I have picked some items to put in a prize pack valued at around 10,000 pennies, in honor of reaching 10,000 pageviews. :)  The prize list includes:

The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook by Cybele Pascal
...This book has a great list of things to keep in your pantry and was very helpful when I began learning how to bake allergy-free...

Food Allergies for Dummies by Dr. Robert A. Wood
...I think this should be handed out at the doctor's office when you get your child's food allergy diagnosis...

Living Harvest Tempt Hemp Milk, Vanilla - Case of 12
...I think you know how I feel about hemp milk and if you don't, well, check out these pages...

Nostalgia Electrics Cake Pop and Donut Hole Maker
...This is my "go to" machine for prepping treats to take for my daughter when we go to celebrations...Even if I skip frosting them, she still loves them!

Life with food allergies, asthma, and/or eczema can be very expensive, so I'd like to be able to provide a few things to help make someone's life just a little bit easier.
Spread the word - get friends to enter for you, or enter for a friend!  Sharing is caring! ;)
(In fairness to all entrants, I will try and verify entries as best I can, so some may be removed, if they are not actually completed.  You do not have to complete every option, though.  Each entry option is independent of the other, except perhaps "liking" the Facebook page, which would be necessary for tagging it when sharing the giveaway on Facebook, for example.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Modern Medicine - Sometimes You Need the Strong Stuff!

The more I learn about additives, dyes, preservatives, GMOs, etc., the more I try and be careful about what I give my daughter.  I try and buy more organic products and I've always steered clear of dyes when possible in her medications, which is annoyingly difficult.  In dealing with my own medical issues, I have learned that dietary changes, alone, can have a dramatic impact on your health, to the point that you can often reduce and/or eliminate your need for certain medications.  I remember when I first took my daughter to the dermatologist, though, he immediately set her up with prescriptions for a host of steroid creams and ointments.  I came across this comic to which some of us can relate:
As I discussed in It's a team effort, but you're the captain, each specialist is going to attribute the symptoms to something in their area of expertise.  I used those steroid ointments for quite a while before finding out about her food allergies, but hopefully there won't be any lasting ill-effects.  I only used them on the worst spots and they have been shown to be safe with sporadic, targeted use.  My daughter seems to get the "rare" side effects more often than not, so we try not to add on too many unnecessary medications (like Singulair), if we can avoid it.  Now, with that being said, there are times when it is just plain necessary.  There is no time for dietary adjustments, lifestyle/environmental changes, homeopathic remedies, etc.  

Sometimes, you need the strong stuff.  When my daughter starts breaking out in a rash and starts getting that "itchy" look about her, I give her a little Benadryl.  When she starts wheezing or coughing excessively, I give her a Xopenex treatment.  (We greatly reduced the need for Xopenex/albuterol, by starting on Qvar.) It's not a daily occurrence, thankfully, and it helps her breathe properly, which is one of things you want for your child.  I do my best to monitor her diet, give her probiotics, keep her skin nourished, and do what I can to keep her healthy in between, but when she is exposed to an irritant/allergen, and medication becomes necessary, then I am going to give it to her.  When breathing becomes an issue, or her systems start to react, time is not always on our side.  We don't always have the luxury of going the gentle route.  Sometimes, you need the strong stuff.  I keep repeating that, because I think there are many people who feel hesitant and feel bad when they have to give their child medicine.  

I recall many moons ago when my daughter's eczema became infected with "staph".  It was scary and spread in a way it had never spread.  She had a couple of other localized staph infections that we cleared with antibiotics and topical treatments, but nothing like this breakout.  (Staphylococcus aureus is everywhere and children with eczema have several cracks in their skin, therefore various entry points, so no matter how clean you keep their skin, there is a risk of the occasional staph infection.)  She was only 17 months old and we took her to the dermatologist and he told us that we'd have to give her a course of oral steroids.  When you hear "steroids" you might think of body builders and sports athletes and drug abusers and you get a little uneasy.  You might not know that these are corticosteroids, which are not be confused with anabolic steroids.  When used at a low dose, for a short period, they can produce amazing results.  When given in a proper, tapered dosing schedule, there is little risk of complications and they can save your little one from various harmful situations.  She had to have them two other times for breathing issues and they worked miracles for improving her breathing, but for this staph infection, the results were visibly dramatic.  To demonstrate the power, I have a series of 3 images.  The first two are only 6 hours apart!  The third image is 4 days later, when everything had mostly cleared up.  I have pictures of her feet, which were actually a little worse, but I decided to spare you.  To spare those who wish not to see this, or want to make sure their children or squeamish bystanders are not around, I have a gray "warning" thumbnail.  If you want to see the image collage, you can click on the thumbnail and the larger image will reveal them.  Now, for anyone who has dealt with severe eczema, these images will not be too shocking.  (I hope this works, so please forgive me if it does not.)  

My apologies for the "ouchie" of an image, but my purpose is to show, first of all, how serious complications from eczema can become and, second, how sometimes you need to bring out the heavy artillery to fight it.  We can certainly do our best, on a daily basis, using natural remedies and products, such as those that can be found at The Eczema Company, but don't beat yourself up if you ever have to give your child a potent "modern medicine" like a corticosteroid, or Benadryl, Allegra, Zyrtec, or any of the other medications that our atopic children (or any children with medical conditions, for that matter) may need over the course of their treatment.