Monday, September 21, 2009

A few good links!!

I have a few new favorite websites I wanted to share....

My SIL was showing my something on this one and I kept looking around the site. They have TONS of really nice, cheap and useful stuff on there.

LTD Commodities

I'm eyeing some socks they have right now. Yes I like to wear skirts in the winter, and yes I freeze sometimes. As a kids we wore those sweater tights, anyone remember them? Can't tell you how many skinned knees i got in them, and scabs grew thru the tights OUCH lol.. Anyhow, these days I'm not much for the whole tights thing, so finding some long warm socks is awesome.. They are cheaper than even Walmart. $7 for a set of 4, not just solid colors either. Check them out here. I'm thinking about getting a set for both Amberlin and myself...

They have a set of rugs I'm eyeing too, maybe when I pull up this carpet I'll get them. It would match our style and a set of 3 would cost about $100 incl. shipping. Not to bad I think.

There's another site pretty much the same, sometimes the stuff is a bit cheaper, not always.

If you are into sewing, here's one you might like. I do alterations, and this site is going to be invaluable. When i worked at the Tailor shop they ordered from a place like this, and oh how I've missed being able to get just zipper sliders, you can't find them in a decent selection at Jo-Anns. So this place is cheaper, better selection and larger quantities. Most items you can buy single...

If your more into the artsy craftys kinda stuff and/or dressmaking, this site may be more useful for you. My Mom has purchased their lace and items like that, she was very happy.

So that's it for now. Tomorrow David turns 4 EEK, can you believe it?? And the dentist called for him to come in tomorrow. He has a molar that needs filled. We are on their cancellation list since we loose insurance at the end of this month. I'll let you know how it goes.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Easy Chicken, Mushroom Gravy

I will first say, this is NOT a soy free gravy. It can be made soy free if real broth is used.

chicken bouillon (the label tells you how much to add)
1 can of mushrooms with juice

I chop the garlic, onion and mushrooms up and add it in with the water and the rest. Than I let it all simmer. Once it's boiled for a bit, I add some water and flour mixture to thicken it up.

I than have a kinda homemade chicken, mushroom gravy to go on mashed potatoes.

If I have homemade broth I use that, but sometimes I don't. You could use canned broth as well. Just add enough liquid till you have enough gravy.. You could do the same with beef, venison or pork broth as well. YUM!! It's going on our mashed potatoes i'm making with Amish fried chicken for supper..


Friday, September 18, 2009

Crown, root canal or just pull it!!

Have I mentioned before that I'm not fond of doctors?? Well I'm not, unfortunately it's a necessary place to visit.

I had healthy teeth growing up. Never had a cavity till I was 18 yrs old. We went every 6 months, my dad was very consistent with our dental care. I remember going to the dentist, and this was before they had those nice suction things and wore masks (bad memories). We had a little sink beside the dental chair to rinse and spit in. The dentist ran the place with his son, they were both good, but the dad, well he had BAD breath. They didn't wear masks and he always made me gag from the smell. UGH.. I was to embarrassed to tell him, "your breath stinks, that's why I gag" he was obviously a little annoyed at my constant gagging. So we don't go to him anymore. I do love our dentist now, he's great with the kids and hubby has been going to him since he was a kid. Very family friendly. Still not fond of going and having my teeth pulled apart tho..

So we have insurance at the moment and went in for a cleaning, this was Davids first cleaning. He did GREAT!! He was in Amber's room and watched her get done. Her nurse was very patient and let him smell and feel the tools and such. So he climbed up in his chair when it was his turn. He already knew what tooth paste he wanted, which sunglasses and which tooth brush. He was VERY specific lol. I was in the next room and could hear it all. I heard him tell his nurse several times, "the other lady had...." so they were very comforting and he did fine even with no one in there. Mark and Amber's teeth look great. David has a little cavity in a molar.

So on to me, well back around the first of the year (while we had no insurance) I broke my molar in the top right. It was sharp and annoying to chew on but didn't hurt and I wasn't going to rack up a bill for it. I did go in sometime in Mar to have my front tooth fixed. I had a cavity and it was getting to the point it was showing black on the front. So we decided we could handle $80 to fix it. They also checked out my molar, sanded the sharp point off and said GET IT FIXED ASAP!! Well ASAP was Wed.. We found we had insurance and it ends the end of the month. Oh the joys of Union's... So i got on their on call list, if someone called in. Tuesday I got a cleaning with the rest of the family (after 2 yrs EEK) and they called me on the way home and said I could come in at 3 on Wed to hopefully get a crown. They did an X-ray and it showed the decay stopping close to the root, so maybe we could crown it, maybe we would have to do a root canal. Let's try and hope for a Crown..

They decay was to far down, a crown would fix it for now, but not last long, and root canal was the best option OR just pull it.. Oh a tough decision.. i was already numb so get it done now, or come back and do a root canal later. ugh...

Well we decided lets just pull it.. My appt was at 3pm, I got out of there at 8pm, YES 5 hours later. Ends up I have really hard teeth and it was infected, poked thru into my sinus AND I inherited my grandfathers hooked roots. YIPPEE but it's all over and I don't have to go back. My mouth is really small so that didn't leave much room either.. My tooth came out in about 20 pieces, they had to drill it apart. Pulling only helped a little, the nerves kept coming un-numb (mostly likely leaked into my sinus) and it was so close to my jaw it could only move in 2 directions with out hurting...

So I'm on an antibiotic for the infection and Ibuprofen, being here with 4 kids all day, there's not much else I can take. It seems to be working, 400mg every 4 hrs. I feel much better than I expected to. So that was Wed, this is Friday only a few more days and I should be good and new right???? and maybe I won't get as many sinus infections too..

So that was my week, how was yours?? LOL

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Items you don't expect to contain soy, dairy, egg or oats

Yes there are some products you want to assume are fine and are surprised are not. So here's a list of some of the items I was surprised to find soy, dairy, egg or oats in. Some seem SOO obvious now..

Vegetable shortening and oil: It's all made from soybean oil. I've yet to find a solid shortening I can use that does NOT contain soy in one form or the other. Coconut oil, Canola oil and Olive oil are the only alternatives I've found. Unless you go to Goat butter..

Chicken bouillon and broth: They all seem to contain some form of soy as a preservative.

Cream of ... soups: Cream of Mushroom, chicken, broccoli any canned cream of soup contains dairy.

Meijer Organics Rice Milk: contains soy, try Rice Dream or Westsoy instead.

Country Time Lemonade mix: Pink and regular both contain soy.

Most Cake mixes, pancake mixes and cookie mixes: all seem to contain eggs and/or dairy in the mix. See my post of items you CAN use for alternatives.

Premixed spices. I have a few that are my favorites, but have now found that, they contain soy as a preservative. So watch your mixes, or just make your own.

Sherbert ice cream: I always thought it was an alternative, but no, actually it's not. it does contain dairy. Schwans carries a strawberry Sorbet that is dairy free and Popsicles are a great alternative too.

An update

So as you've probably noticed, we've been having to re work out whole kitchen philosophy. Our youngest daughter was recently, well about 2 months ago now, diagnosed with several food allergies. I noticed she was wheezing alot. It didn't seem to stop after we made it thru winter and thru a few colds and teething. I had to admit that, yes maybe she was allergic to something. First we tried dairy. All the milk went away from her diet. She stopped wheezing, it was wonderful. Than as we started down the road of dairy free, adding soy and rice milk and other replacements, she started getting diarrhea, ALOT.. So I decided to take her to the allergist and get a test done. I have several allergies, none to foods, but all environmental allergies. My son seems to have inherited them. We also have food allergies in the family (my sisters, niece and such), so it was worth checking out. They did a test right than, the kind where the pick your back will several different things. YES it hurts for a minute, but she was fine after a few minutes. So the results were taken and to my surprise She was just as allergic to SOY as she was to MILK (casein). Also to Egg yolk, dairy and shell fish (we'll just lump that with seafood). Of course she has all the environmental allergies as well. So we are off and on our journey to making her healthy.

I've talked to several people with food allergies and have very much appreciated all the advice. I am now a label reader lol. I stand and read EVERYTHING, every time I buy it almost. I was shocked to find that Meijer Organic Rice milk contains Soy. I'd bought it, when they were out of the normal brand I was buying (Rice Dream). I was using Peanut Butter in some cookies instead of Marg and found that not all peanut butters are alike. The nice big jar from Gordons, has Soybean oil in it, I can use Save-a-lot brand tho. Go figure, the cheaper brand is better for her.. Our beloved Ragu spaghetti sauce is no longer our most used. I have found a few less popular brands that have a few flavors that don't contain some form of cheese. Pizza sauce is another one we have to substitute. And BREAD, there is NO bread i have found that doesn't contain either Milk or soy, so I have to make my own bread for her. I have found that I don't use it much anymore. If we have burgers, I just give it to her with ketchup, if we have sloppy Joe's, it's (homemade mix) and just on the plate for her. There is a few brands of tortilla shells I can use for her. They are kinda hard for her to chew, she's not even 2 yet..

Going out to eat is pretty much out of the question, unless it's a buffet with a salad bar. There are a few fast food options, but we try to avoid them. So we have a few fruit cups in her bag and always keep some snacks on hand for her, in case we get stuck out on a long day. Something else I have in the truck is a Ziploc bag with some plastic silverware and napkins and plastic cups. If all else fails we can go to a grocery store and find some ready to eat fresh fruits and vegis..

So I'll try to collect all the tips and bad ideas we've tried on here. If you have any, I'd love to hear them.

Food products that are Dairy free, egg free, soy free, Oat free

I'm going to collect the names of the brands and mixes, broths, and well everything I find that I've found I can use in cooking and baking..

Since Abigail is allergic to Milk, Soy, Egg and Oats and fish, they will all be free of these items.

I do use rice milk instead of milk, bananas, apple sauce or PB instead of Marg and Canola oil instead of Veg oil and melted marg. I'll list any other substitutions I use as well. I will just keep adding to this list as I find more.

Baking Mixes:

Meijer Naturals, Vanilla all natural cake mix: I use 1 -2 mashed bananas instead of melted butter. Made them into cupcakes for a breakfast muffin for her.

Bisquick HEART SMART Pancake and Baking Mix: (WATCH the labels, the regular one contains soy? I believe)

Canned products:

Spartan ready to serve Beef broth: (NOT the chicken, it does contain soy)

Panner (Save-A-Lot brand) Peanut butter: NOTE: Jiff, Peter Pan, Wal-Mart brand and every other one i've looked at contains soybean oil)

Snack foods:

Enjoy Life brand cookies and snacks (Meijer carries a small selection, our local health food store carries a larger variety, or you can find Enjoylifefoods online).

Better Made Special Potato Chips: it's a off brand I find at Wal-Mart and a few other stores. I know the plain flavor are fine, not sure if there are flavors or not.

Gummy candies, so far all the brands I've seen are fine. BUT watch the labels, some may use some form of soybean oil.

Marshmallows, store brand and name brands seem to be fine

Hershey's Syrup (ONLY Hershey brand, the store brands all seem to have dairy in it)

Meijer Sourdough nuggets pretzels (NOT all of their kinds are soy free, read your label)


Rice and Corn Chex: Great Value (Wal-Mart) and General Mills brand are both fine.

Kellogg's Frosted Mini Wheat's: (I know the frosting would make you think it's got dairy, but it doesn't)

Cream of Wheat

Ralston 100% Wheat Hot Cereal

Kellogg's Rice Crispies

Kellogg's Raisin Bran


Di Campania Classico Pasta Sauce: Traditional Sweet Basil & Roasted Garlic are both fine ( I find these at Meijer)