Gingerbread House – Dairy-free, Egg-free, Wheat-free, Gluten-free, Nut-free

We love traditions in our family. Traditions can be of all shapes and forms. In relation to food celebration traditions, due to Oliver’s severe food allergies, we have had to be creative and start a few of our own traditions… which we love all the same… traditions are about starting something special together and repeating these special activities or meals again and again and passing them on… But this year we have been able to recreate and tweak a lot of the traditional Christmas food traditions… and the European Gingerbread House is just one of them… The kids have loved making this. We always thought that it may not hold or be strong enough due to the lack of gluten in the flour but where there is a will there is a way… and after many trials and errors 🙂  as Oliver himself put it… Success!! We loved making our first Gingerbread House. We thought that it would be difficult making one that was dairy-free, wheat-free, egg-free, nut-free and gluten-free and that would stay standing  but we tried anyway and never gave up and that’s how we ended up with this masterpiece of work!

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Gingerbread Christmas Tree – dairy-free, wheat-free, egg-free

Christmas is such a special time of the year… a time of the year where we come together with family and friends and celebrate the joys of Christmas and enjoy sharing and giving together… Since Oliver had his first anaphylactic reaction Christmas has been a time that has been changing and evolving for us… we had to redefine how we celebrate Christmas. All the festivities seemed to revolve totally around food… food that Oliver is severely allergic to. This not only made these festivities extremely stressful for all of us but we also felt sad for Oliver at these times who would be put in danger and we felt he was missing out… In the beginning, as we were living overseas, we would celebrate this time of the year by ourselves and not revolve it all around food. But as the years passed and we got better with recreating a festive menu and since we have been in Australia, Oliver’s Nonna and Nonno have been very supportive throughout our journey and together we have recreated Christmas to be safe and fun for not only Oliver but for us all. Either we host Christmas or Oliver’s grandparents host Christmas and we have been able to replicate almost all of our Christmas favourites to be fully Oliver allergy friendly… (except the good old pavlova which we have happily learnt to live without 😉 ). And this way, not only do we feel that it is a perfectly safe environment for Oliver but, we can all enjoy sharing and giving and celebrating this special day together…. One of our favourite new Christmas traditions that we created is the Gingerbread Christmas Tree that we love to make and decorate together and then… share, demolish and eat together…

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Christmas Cake – dairy-free, wheat-free, egg-free, nut-free

Christmas is coming… we feel it in the air with the kids school Christmas concert next week and with the end of the school year looming… today the house is filled with the beautiful smell of mixed spices and dried fruit in the air as we bake our Christmas cake… we have been baking this cake since 2010 and have been tweaking it each year just that little bit more… I think last year we created the perfect formula… and now we are excited to share it with you all…

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Coconut Apricot Slice

It’s a glorious Summer like day here today… just beautiful! The air is clear, the sky is that blue, blue, blue… a day where you just want to spring out of bed to start the day and make the most out of life! And to make it even more spectacular it’s Saturday and the waves are up! It doesn’t get much better than this. The boys head out to catch some waves while I sit on the beach and watch and soak in the splendour of the natural beauty that surrounds me… Summer reminds me of so many things… Coconut is just one of them and Coconut Apricot Slice is another… Oliver’s Nonna makes the best coconut apricot slice and I have fond memories of eating it in the Summer months as a child… so we decided to make an ‘Oliver friendly’ version that we can enjoy all together…

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Yummy Vanilla Yo Yo Biscuits – Diary-free, Wheat-free, Egg-free

Yo Yo biscuits have a long history here in Australia. It is something that almost anyone I know would have as a childhood memory. It’s a biscuit that I was going to make sure was also enjoyed by my children even if I had to tweak the recipe to ensure that it was dairy-free, wheat-free, and egg-free. Here it goes… we hope that your children enjoy this little piece of Australian history also… and the kids love to help make these…

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The 7 Day Thermomix Challenge! Day 1…

As an allergy mum you spend a lot of your time in the kitchen especially when you have a ‘free of’ family like ours… and a child that is allergic to dairy, wheat, egg, rye, peanuts and tree nuts. Initially, I wasn’t aware of how to cook to the extent that I know now. I had to learn… and learn fast… and I am always looking for short cuts that everyone else has… My shortcuts consist of having things in the freezer, ready to go, for when I am too busy to spend hours in the kitchen.

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Chocolate Caramel Slice

So as a mother… all I want to do for my children is give them a childhood as good as I had… if not better… I have thumbled through this journey as new challenges arise and things occur that were not expected… but throughout all of these challenges and experiences I continue to nurture and love, support and guide, give them a wonderful education and try and give them as many different experiences as possible. One experience I have not been able to give Oliver, as I had as a child, is the food experience… I often try and remind myself that he doesn’t know any different… and it has taken me many years to get my head around this… Still at birthday celebrations, Easter and Christmas I have tried over the years to recreate the things that were traditional in my childhood for Oliver (and our whole family) to enjoy. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t feel like he is missing out as I always try and reinvent whatever I loved as a child.

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Pizza!!

Pizza is one of my favourite, favourite meals. It’s yummy! My favourite toppings are our homemade tomato (napoli) sauce with herbs, topped with proscuitto and Notzorella (a dairy-free, lactose-free, gluten-free cheese)! Another favourite topping is mum’s Tex-Mex bean mix, spread on top of the pizza base. The way we make our pizza base dough is in a bread maker but you can make it by hand also… it just takes a little more muscle power.

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