Archive for October, 2012

Allergy-Free Bacon Mushroom Spinach, Nirvana Pasta and Easy Condensed Milk



My allergy-free (top 8 free) favorites:

Reader Favorite:

  • Fudgy Mug Cake @ Writing in White (contains eggs, almond flour and heavy cream)

You can explore all of my past Allergy-Free Wednesday picks on my Allergy-Free Wednesday (Top 8 Free) Favorites Pinterest Board.  You don’t need an account to see them.


I’m hosting this party with six fabulous bloggers: Tessa@Tessa Domestic DivaMichelle@The Willing CookLaura@Gluten Free PantryAmber@The Tasty AlternativeJanelle @ Gluten Freely Frugal and Adrienne@Whole New Mom.  Be sure to stop by the other hosts’ blogs and check out their favorites!


A few things to remember when linking up:

  • Recipes/articles do not have to be completely allergen free, just allergen free in some way.  It would be helpful if you could note what your recipe is free of in the title.  For example: Italian Sausage and Summer Squash Skillet (top 8 free)
  • Please link back to this party.  You can grab the badge in the bottom of the right sidebar if you wish.  Remember, your link will show up on all 7 blogs!

Please read the full list of rules here.

Would You Know Anaphylactic Shock?, Caramel Apples, 5 Min. Chocolate Dessert and More



My allergy-free (top 8 free) favorites:


Free Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book!

The Food Allergy Mama’s Baking Book: Great Dairy-, Egg-, and Nut-Free Treats for the Whole Family Kindle book is currently available to download for FREE at Amazon!  I am excited to try this one at as it has wonderful ratings.  Prices tend to change quickly on Amazon, so please double-check your shopping cart before you check out.  Don’t have a Kindle? You can also dowload Kindle books to your IphonePCMac, or Blackberry.


Thank you for supporting this site by shopping through our affiliate links.  See our disclosure here.

National Jewish, Day 9

Cheese Stick Challenge


Previous: National Jewish Health, Day 8

If you are new here, you can find all of the posts in our Overcoming Eczema, Food Allergies and Night Terrors series here to get caught up!

I can’t believe how far we’ve come, and that we are going home soon!  We are continuing our soak and seal and then wet wraps where needed at the Ronald McDonald House every morning and evening. At this point, we are soaking and sealing the body and face with Vanicream.   In the morning, we dry wrap hands and feet with Protopic.  In the evening, we wet wrap hands and feet with the topical steroid.


The plan for today is to challenge baked cheese in the form of pizza.  If she passes that, we’ll challenge gently cooked milk in the form of a cheese stick.  If she passes that, we’ll challenge fresh milk in the morning and then spend our last afternoon with a local friend at the zoo.


I don’t expect to get very far in these milk challenges.  The last time she sneaked a cheese stick, she reacted terribly.  Her whole body turned red, hot and itchy.  She was miserable for days.  She hasn’t tried to sneak cheese since.


We started our pizza challenge as soon as we got to the hospital.  When she had no reaction, I cried at the thought that we could order pizza as a family. I know it’s not health food, but it’s convenient food.  For the past five years, I have felt guilty every time we’ve ordered pizza and left her out.  This is so liberating!


After the food challenge, the nurses asked Bella to teach a little boy in the program how to do a nose wash.  I’m telling you, these nurses know what they are doing.  Sure enough, she walked straight in the bathroom and did a nose wash by herself.  Her little friend did it too.  We were all so proud.


After all the excitement, the nurse said she needed to call Beth Ann.  Our main nurse, Beth Ann, was off today.  It turns out that she left a note for the other nurses to call her at home if Bella did a proper nose wash by herself.  That is the kind of care you get at this place!

In the afternoon, we had the cheese stick challenge and to my surprise she had no reaction!  Consider my mind blown!

National Jewish keeps a little bar stocked with fruit, bagels and juices for the parents.  I have eaten a bagel every morning for breakfast.  Bella has never had a bagel, and she has been coveting mine.  A few challenges ago, I realized she could now have one.  She’s not allowed to eat other food while she is doing a food challenge, so this morning I stuck one in my purse for her to have when we left the hospital.  She was so excited; she pulled it out of my purse in the parking lot.  Wouldn’t you know she dropped it?


You would have thought it was the end of the world.  I told her I would drive straight to the grocery store, and she could pick out any bagel she wanted.  The one she dropped was plain!  I tried to explain to her that there was a never ending variety of bagels and she could try them all.  She just didn’t understand.  She cried all the way to the grocery store.  When I opened the door to get her out of the car, she looked like this:



What in the world? Was she scratching her face while she was crying?  She was sitting behind me in the car, so I couldn’t see her.  Or was this some kind of delayed reaction?  The doctors told me that true delayed reactions were very, very rare.

She seemed absolutely fine other than the splotches on her face.  I quickly took her into the store to pick out a bagel.  After all that drama, she chose a donut instead!   We headed back to the hospital.


The doctors weren’t sure if she had an unusual reaction or if she had scratched her face either.  One thing was sure.  They were not comfortable going forward with the fresh milk challenge tomorrow. We stayed for observation for a couple of hours.  The splotches went away, and we went back to The Ronald McDonald House absolutely exhausted.


Next: National Jewish Health, Day 10

You can read all of the posts in the Overcoming Eczema, Food Allergies and Night Terrors series here.

60% Off plus Free Shipping at Tropical Traditions



Tropical Traditions is offering free shipping with coupon code 221211.  Tropical Traditions has the best quality coconut flour, coconut oil, palm shortening (read my review here), and soap.  In fact, theirs is the ONLY soap Bella can use on her sensitive skin.  It doesn’t dry out her skin or sting open sores.  I love it, because it is the only soap I’ve found to control my adult acne.


Their products can be a bit pricey, so I usually try to combine a sale with free shipping.  Today their coconut oil soap is 60% off! So, yes, I just bought 2 cases.  You can see the rest of their sales including Buy 1, Get 1 Free Organic Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil here (scroll down to Retail Sales – Available to Everyone)!


Thank you for supporting this site by shopping through our affiliate links.  See our disclosure here.

Allergy-Free Honey Mustard Bacon Wrapped Chicken Fingers, Pumpkin Scones, Chocolate Sunbutter Cups and More


My allergy-free (top 8 free) favorites:


A Seven-year Itch with Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Photo Credit: Wikepedia


Please welcome J. of as she shares her 7 year battle with a terrible  itchy rash.  It turns out that rash was  caused by an autoimmune disease called Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) or Duhring’s disease which is connected with gluten intolerance.  Since I had never heard of this disease, I asked J. to share her story here.  I hope her story can help one of my readers who might be unknowingly  suffering from the disease.



When I was 21, I returned to America after 16 months is Europe. My time in Europe was great.  But towards the end of my stay, I started getting scaly patches of skin at the edges of my scalp, and sometimes I’d get little blisters on the bony parts of my body. They itched like crazy.  I had no idea what was causing them, because they would come and go.


I went to a doctor just a few weeks after getting back to America.  He looked at the blisters, which had been scratched to oblivion, and he wasn’t certain what to call it. He finally pronounced it as some type of eczema and sent me on my way.


That was doctor number one and year number one. The rest of the doctor visits blur, but throughout the next seven years I visited 6 other doctors, rotating between family physicians and dermatologists.  The diagnosis was usually eczema, psoriasis or come back when the blisters erupt again.


Finally, on year seven while living in Virginia, my family physician referred me to a dermatologist. I sat down with her and explained the symptoms. At the end of my explanation, she said she knew exactly what it was but needed to take a biopsy just to be certain.


She found a blister that was intact, cut it out and sent it to a lab. She was right. I had Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) or Duhring’s disease.


DH is a skin condition characterized by watery blisters that erupt periodically (most often on the back, hairline, elbows, knees, face, buttocks, back of neck but can erupt on other parts as well) on the skin.


The blisters are fiercely itchy and seem worse at night. For me, the blisters would most often erupt during times of extra stress like my menstrual cycle or times of high emotional stress. DH usually manifests between 20-30 years of age but can occur earlier or later.


DH can be treated with Dapsone, but the drug requires regular blood monitoring as it can affect the red blood cells. Dapsone also only addresses the eruptions and not the intestinal problems causing it. DH is a symptom of gluten in the diet and can be eliminated by following a gluten-free diet.


Because gluten causes DH eruption, some consider DH a symptom of Celiac Disease. However, there is still enough unknown about it that other camps aren’t comfortable lumping them together. Either way, what works for those with Celiac Disease, works for those with DH, so my journey on a gluten-free diet began.


Within days of being gluten free my symptoms were gone and my blisters have not returned. In my case, the DH was a blessing in disguise. I doubt I would have recognized the symptoms of Celiac Disease until I was suffering from one of the more severe side-effects.  Because my skin was so problematic, I was forced to find someone who could finally tell me what to do.


In the States, DH and Celiac Disease often get misdiagnosed, but fortunately, more doctors are getting educated about these diseases. Celiac related issues are commonly diagnosed in Europe and have been at the forefront of medical studies there for some time.  This makes sense because DH and Celiac Disease are mostly European diseases and are particularly common in those of Irish descent.


I realize I’ve probably raised more questions than I’ve answered, so I’ve listed some resources below that have more information. I tried to list a mixture of  web sites from both the U.S. and Europe that cover both DH and Celiac Disease .   Hopefully these resources will  fill in the gaps for anyone wanting more information. I also included a site that address the issue of vitamin deficiencies for those with DH or Celiac Disease.


It’s my hope that others won’t have to go through seven or more years of agonizing blisters. If you suspect you might have DH, see a dermatologist and request a skin biopsy. The tricky part is leaving the blisters alone so that a viable one can be taken.


Dermatitis Herpetiformis Resources:




J. is a stay-at-home mom with three kids. She and her family have traveled various parts of the world for her husband’s job and most recently reside in Virginia. J. blogs at and sometimes covers gluten-free information there.

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Apple Chutney Stuffing, Pumpkin Fudge, Hamburger Buns, Pumpkin Bread and More!


I am drooling over this Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Apple Chutney Stuffing.  I could follow that with  some allergy-free Pumpkin Bread and 5 Ingredient Pumpkin Fudge!  Don’t forget to check out the reader favorite:  Allergy-Free Hamburger Buns!


Be sure to explore all of my past Allergy-Free Wednesday picks on my Allergy-Free Wednesday Favorites Pinterest Board.  You don’t need an account to see them.



My allergy-free (top 8 free) favorites:

Reader Favorite:



Allergy-Free Stuffed Acorn Squash, Harvest Day Cake with Maple Frosting and Snickerdoodles!


Happy fall!  Please join us for Stuffed Acorn Squash, Harvest Day Cake with Maple Frosting and Snickerdoodles!


Be sure to explore all of my past Allergy-Free Wednesday picks on my Allergy-Free Wednesday Favorites Pinterest Board.  You don’t need an account to see them.



My allergy-free (top 8 free) favorites: