Friday, July 5, 2013

Independence from Food Restrictions...and Fear

I recently joined a new online community at  It's a place for people with food allergies, intolerances, special diets, etc., to come together and learn/share/explore with other like-minded people.  Here is a great post by Making it Milk Free (right-click and Open link in new tab, so you can read it next!) that really expresses how I feel about the silver lining of having a child with food allergies and also offers a great description of Freedible.

For the 4th of July festivities, Freedible has started a campaign: Declare Your Independence from Food Restrictions.  We're encouraged to share about how we're not letting food restrictions hold us back.  This is something that I have to work on, constantly.

A good friend invited us over to a gathering for the 4th of July and I was excited, while simultaneously having a pit in my stomach, because it was a potluck BBQ, which can be a source of anxiety for those with children with food allergies.  In the days leading up to the party, the negative thoughts stacked up..."There will be food EVERYWHERE!  There will be mosquitoes!  The nearest hospital is 15 miles away!"  I had to shush those thoughts and focus on what I was going to do to manage all the things I needed to manage, so that we could go to this event, instead of letting my brain make a runaway list of reasons why we couldn't go.  

All my worrying and fretting was for naught, though, because this party was filled with friends who know about my daughter's allergies and were looking out for her.  My friend, the host of the party, was compassionately concerned about my daughter's comfort and well-being and I was really touched and ever so grateful.  This was her party, and on top of all the stresses that go along with having a big event at your house, she was thinking of my little girl's safety, and the safety and comfort of all of her guests.  There was a potluck dish that contained pistachios and she asked if I thought it would be OK to serve.  I was a bit hesitant, thinking of nutty hands walking about and she just put it away in the fridge and saved it for later.  That was so sweet of her to put my mind at ease, like that.  

My other friends were helpful, too, helping me out at different points during the party and I was, again, reminded of how lucky I am to be surrounded by such thoughtful people.  I don't take their kindnesses and thoughtfulness for granted!
A group of thoughtful, caring, crazy, funny, sweet ladies!
 As for the mosquitoes, they had citronella torches all around and I don't think I saw a single one!  My daughter had a blast playing on the water slide, and the trampoline, as well.  She was even the topper for a human pyramid that was made as part of a photographic scavenger hunt!  I'd say she had a really good time! :)
See, my friends are LITERALLY very supportive!! ;)

I made two things to bring to the potluck - gluten-free corn muffins and U.S. flag-themed cake balls.
Gluten-Free Cornbread Muffins (HEB brand mix)
Just added applesauce, canola oil and rice milk...
Trying to come up with something "red, white & blue" is not so easy when you don't use artificial food coloring.  I had trialed raspberries and blueberries and she doesn't appear to be allergic to them, but she just really didn't enjoy them, much, either.  "Too tart," she said.  However, since they were declared "safe", I could use them for my red and blue colors.  I remembered that I had a cupcake carrier that had these little circles for holding the cupcakes still.  It has a 12-slot side and a 24-slot side.  I decided I would make cake pops and glaze them with raspberry icing, vanilla icing, and then add blueberries for the "flag" corner, since grinding up blueberries apparently doesn't make blue, as I found out.  Ha!  (I am NOT a master chef or baker, by any means!  I just do a lot of trial and error and hope for the best!)

So, for the cake pops, I used my cake pop machine and recipe, which can be found in this post.  For the raspberry glaze, I used a recipe I found here.  (I mashed the raspberries through a strainer, as the page suggested, which took a little time, but it was worth it, because there are so many seeds!)  For the vanilla icing, I just mixed Domino powdered sugar, with vanilla rice milk and vanilla powder.  I "eyeballed" it, so I don't have exact measurements.  For the blueberry ones, I placed one blueberry on top, then cut the other blueberries in half, but not all the way, and placed them around the center to form a pattern.  I made sure the choose small blueberries, because if they were too big, they'd start sliding down the cake ball.  I also dried them with a paper towel, for the same reason.  Another thing I had to do was glaze them on a separate place and transfer them to the carrying tray.  Otherwise, the icing would run all over the tray.

SWEET Land of Liberty
This big party was a big success and I am so thankful to my friends for making it a fun and most importantly, SAFE, gathering, that my daughter thoroughly enjoyed.  Letting go of so much of that fear is a special kind of freedom!


  1. Thanks for visiting Chockababy :) Your cake balls are adorable! And I'm checking out freedible now. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks! I'm glad I found your blog - thanks for visiting mine. :)

  2. Those cake pops turned out great - wonderful job! And quite creative too ;) Thanks for the heads up on Freedible - I just signed up too.

    1. Thank you! The Freedible community has just gained a valuable resource! :)

  3. Gee - looks like we're late to our own party here! Just starting to breath again after all the independence excitement - and so, so touched that we were in any way part of your 4th of July victory. We loved the cakepops pic on Instagram but we love the story behind them even more. 3 cheers and a whole human pyramid of "hats off" to you, and THANK YOU for being part of our community!

    1. Thank you for stopping by to comment and thank you for creating a community in which we can share!