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  1. Who ever said allergy-free food can’t be fun?

    May 18, 2016 by Dan


    Rice,  beet disks, and roast chicken drumsticks as art.

  2. Delayed

    May 16, 2016 by Dan

    It’s been difficult returning. A month turned into two, then a year, a second, and, voila, three years.

    I recently winced inside – and hopefully not visibly – when I saw a baby at the local Target store. His face was red, peeling, and crusty around the edges, and he looked very much like our son at the same age (about 1 year old). At first, I didn’t think the mother would want anyone to make a spectacle of her child. But thinking back to our journey, I decided having something to grasp onto in explaining her baby’s condition may be helpful and, assuming food allergies are the culprit, she may appreciate seeing that things can get better. So, I said “excuse me,” asked if her baby has food allergies, and – pointing to my son – said my son looked like hers at that age because of allergic reactions to food.

    The mother instinctively said yes and rattled off a number of allergens – “milk, wheat, peanuts, shrimp, …” She also threw in “eczema,” the catch-all-phrase doctors use when they don’t know the answer to skin reactions. Needless to say, she has her work cut out for her. Hopefully we can help others like her in the same boat traveling through Allergyland.

  3. In Our Cart: 5/13

    May 13, 2016 by Dan


    We avoid most food products at Costco (and other grocery stores) due to allergies. In case it helps someone else,  here are the things we got in our latest trip. All we’ve verified “safe” for Sprout.

    In our cart:
    1) case Green Giant whole kernel sweet corn
    2) Sun-Maid raisins
    3) Wild Planet, Pacific Sardines in olive oil
    4) Foster Farms organic chicken

  4. Update – Thanks for your patience!

    September 17, 2012 by brett

    Hey all. Just wanted to post an update. Sorry — I’ve been busy w/other things for the last couple of months. I was busy moving back from Saipan, a small rural island in the Asia/Pacific region, to California. It has been pretty stressful selling all our stuff, packing, dealing w/all the insects, all the while maintaining an steady, allergen-free supply of food for my son. Traveling w/allergen-free food and all the emergency medications on a plane can be frustrating, to say the least — LOTS of scrutiny from TSA, USDA ag inspectors, and whatnot. Yes, we were the ones slowing you down w/the boxes and boxes of medication and food we had to remove and get inspected by the TSA people. We were the ones required to get patted down because we dared to travel w/unopened boxes of soy milk for our allergenic-son. And no, I could care less if I’m “slowing” you down. LOL

    I haven’t really been keeping up to date w/Giant Hippo in recent months, so my apologies to those who have written to me. I promise I will write back as soon as possible. Right now, we are living amid cardboard boxes, sleeping on the floor, etc. I am extremely thankful we are back home, as we now have access to a greater variety of produce, fresh meat, and allergen-free supplies. Plus, I no longer have to cook on camp stoves and bake in a crazy, wildly unpredictable oven! YAY!

    In addition to getting over jet leg, getting set up, and getting settled in, I’ve been busy setting up the kitchen and getting it stocked w/the basics. I’ve been working on a bunch of recipes, some of which I find really exciting and interesting, but I want to test them out before posting them. I generally don’t like to post recipes till after I’ve tested them multiple times.

    Oh — one more thing — I had a few posts that recently published, but they were not supposed to be published. I scheduled them but in the midst of this crazy move, forgot to update them before they automatically posted. I’ve since removed them so I can review and get them polished. I’ll post them as soon as I can get some time to work on the blog.

    Thanks for your patience. I promise I’ll get back to blog, but right now, I’ve got to focus on getting food on the table for my family. My plan is to get a few days ahead (by baking and freezing bread, making stuff in big batches, etc.) so I can get some time to work on answering emails/comments and posting new recipes I’ve been working on.

    And if you want to know what’s on the menu today in my sunny southern California home, it’s farmers market day today, so that means:

    lemon grass chicken jook (rice porridge)

    fresh peaches and pears
    bruschetta w/balsamic vinegar and olive oil

    southern red rice casserole

    Tomorrow, will be making pico de gallo, a fresh, light salsa, with the Cherokee and Kellogg heirloom tomatoes we bought at the farmers market. The pico de gallo will go over some carnitas wedged in corn tortillas made from Maseca (still looking for a gluten-free source of fresh masa).

    OK. heading out to the markets to buy a few more ingredients. I hope everyone is enjoying their food, family, and friends. Much love to everyone who has risen to the challenge of cooking gluten- and allergen-free.