My Halloween Candy Giving Rules (Revisited)

So far, it’s promising to be a rain-free Halloween, which means there should be a good turnout. Now the question is, will we have enough candy to give out to the masses?

Right now, I’m on the fence about getting more candy. Worst case scenario, we can always borrow from the Princess’s goody stash, especially anything nut- or dairy-based that she can’t have because of her food allergies.

Things we can easily redistribute—Muskateers, Milky Ways, Butterfingers, Whoppers, Tootsie Rolls, Milk Duds, fruit-flavored chocolates, plain M&Ms, white chocolate—basically anything dairy- and/or nut-based that HB and I don’t like. We’ll be sure to hang onto the Hershey bars and Snickers, which HB likes, and the KitKats and Reeses Peanut Butter cups, which I like. 🙂

My Halloween Candy Giving Rules
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Meanie Mommy’s Summer Learning Plans for the Princess

Yesterday I had the end-of-year IEP review at the Princess’s school. Although I’m encouraged and pleased to hear about the Princess’s progress and growth over the year, all I kept thinking about was how much more work that still lies ahead.

I don’t know if it’s common for children with severe food allergies to have some form of learning or development delay, but I recently read about about another child with the same food allergies and development/learning issues as the Princess. Continue reading

January Update: Some Cooking Tips and Cookbook Raves

It seems like January just came and went in a flash. I’ve been remiss with my posts here at Soul Kitchen, but I have been trying to “fill my creative well” by studying American and Korean cookbooks that I’ve found at my library and local bookstores, as well as watching two complete Korean drama series, When Night Comes and Bad Couple (both very entertaining). This is on top of doing my regular mom-duties and freelance design, and of course, exercise, which I’m proud to say that I managed to work out 3-4 times each week this month.

Anyway, here are some tips/findings: Continue reading

Cooking Notes: Baking with Dairy-Free/Vegan Margarine

We had quite a bit of snow this year, so I’ve been pretty much homebound with little choice but to be domestic (i.e., doing a lot of cooking and cleaning) while trying to keep the peace. The Princess has been clamoring for cookies, so I made some Belgian chocolate cut-out cookies one day and chocolate chip cookies the next. I’ve learned a few things along the way. Continue reading

My Love and Hate Relationship With Dairy

As a mother of a child with dairy and nut allergies, nothing strikes greater fear than to be at a social setting where there is ignorance about the seriousness of food allergies. Some well-intentioned people say, “It’s ok. You just need to build up her tolerance. Give her a little to help her grow out of it.” I feel like smacking them and saying, “Why not just shoot her in the head? I don’t think suffocation is a fun way to die.”

These folks haven’t see her lips turn blue, her skin turn grey, and her eyes rolling up into her head, while she’s scratching violently at her throat and lymph nodes, coughing and desperately sucking in air, while weakly moaning for help. Twice we’ve been to the emergency room, and both times I found myself bargaining with God and promising to be a better mom, to go to church, to be kinder to others. Anything to spare my little girl.

We’ve been lucky that she has been able to rebound without any complications, but I know that we can never be lax when in comes to checking ingredients, even going as far as clarifying what dairy is to people who are taking our order and emphasizing the importance of watching out for cross-contamination. (There have been a number of instances we’ve had near-misses with a server who had not realized that butter and cheese are dairy.)

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Thank Heavens for Cherrybrook Kitchen!

Today’s one of those blah, gray days where you just want to sit and do nothing. Be one with the couch. Contemplate your navel. Watch the world go by. But with a rambunctious, trouble-seeking, five-year-old in the house, sometimes you just have to break open a box of chocolate chip cookie mix and bribe her to be good at least for an hour or two.

Although I try to cook and bake from scratch as much as possible, I have many moments where I’m pressed for time and brain power and have to resort to drastic measures—pre-packaged mixes. I am happy to say that there is one company that I absolutely love—Cherrybrook Kitchen! They have the best cake, cookie, brownie, pancake, and frosting mixes that are peanut free, dairy free, egg free, and nut free—and they even offer gluten free mixes as well.

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