Sensible Fudge & Sauce

What is an ice cream sundae without incredible fudge sauce? Well, I just am not sure. One of my most favorite desserts of all time, is make-your-own ice cream sundaes. The best sundaes include something crunchy, hot fudge sauce, and whipped cream. How can someone on a Color Me Sensible diet enjoy such a delicacy you ask? Well with just a few ingredients, I will tell you how. This is not just any old Fudge sauce recipe. This recipe can be used for regular fudge and sauce! It’s a double agent! Let’s gather up our stuff!

Sensible Fudge & Sauce

  • 11.25 oz Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
  • 2 cups Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 2 pinches of Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil

Notes:

  • You can switch up the type of chocolate chip if you want a different flavor
  • I use Enjoy Life mini semi-sweet chocolate chips as they are free from the top 13 allergens.
  • If using this recipe just for fudge, feel free to top off the mixture with sprinkles or other goodies like cookie pieces.

Alright… so I don’t know about you guys, but I am ready to get my sundae on! So let’s get started!

1)On the stove top, set up a double boiler. this involves a pot with some water in it and a bowl that will fit on top of the pot. Turn the heat on medium and allow the water to simmer.

2) Bring together the Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk, Dark Chocolate Chips, Coconut Oil, and Himalayan Salt.

3) Place the ingredients into the bowl on the double boiler.

4) Stir the mixture continuously until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

5) Pour into a prepared baking pan and allow to cool at room temp.

6) Cut up into bite size pieces and store in the refrigerator.

7) Alternatively: You can take a couple pieces and heat them in a microwave safe container until melted. Pour onto your favorite ice cream.

8) Enjoy!




Emergency Preparedness

Living in Florida, I have become accustomed to an occasional disastrous hurricane here and there. No big deal, right? When I was younger, I lived through Hurricane Andrew in Miami and witnessed devastation first hand. The one thing I knew growing up, was to watch the weather channel and always be prepared for hurricanes. This year was different. As Hurricane Michael approached the gulf coast of Florida, a harsh reality hit… what would I do if we lost power for food?

Let’s face it… my Color Me Sensible diet has placed me in the position of eating freshly prepared meals and refrigerated meals. There is not much in the way of non perishable items that really fit into the Color Me Sensible diet lifestyle. So .. I set out on a mission to discover ways that people like me can prepare for disasters and keep themselves safe and healthy. Here are some of the tips and suggestions I have come up with. Hopefully they can give you some ideas for your your own disaster preparedness.

  1. Canned Meat Items
    • This is definitely an item that you can tailor to your own. I went with Chicken Breast and Tuna myself. There are so many other options you can choose from. I also got some extra condiments from a sandwich shop in order to tailor these items and keep them nonperishable. My goal was to make some sort of Chicken or Tuna Salad and eat them with some Gluten-Free Crackers. Keep in mind, if you have no refrigeration you will need to eat it in one sitting, so I went with small cans just in case. There are so many other options, so just keep an eye out on the ingredients and have fun with it.
  1. Nuts & Trail Mixes
    • Nuts are a great source of protein that is nonperishable. There are so many options and varieties to choose from. Decide based on what your diet can handle and go from there.
    • Trail mixes are also a great source of protein and energy that are nonperishable. They offer a variety of options to include dried fruits and granola pieces as well. EnjoyLife has great trail mix options that are major allergen free. Feel free to check them out.
    • Dried Fruits & Vegetables are also a good option to add to your nonperishable list. They offer nutrition and variety to your Color Me Sensible diet. Keep in mind family allergens and just be creative.
  2. Cereal
    • Never underestimate the role that cereals can play in nutrition during your day. There are multiple companies that make Gluten-Free and Allergen Friendly cereals to spice up your nonperishable diet.
    • If you want to get really creative feel free to mix cereals, nuts, and other items together to make some great trail mixes that are nutritious and packed with energy.
  3. Cereal Bars
    • There are several companies that offer Gluten-Free options for cereal bars that will offer some variety and options to your Color Me Sensible diet.

 

Remember this is just a general idea list for you to get ideas to include in your own disaster preparedness kit.

Above all else be safe when it comes to preparing for disasters.

  1. Make sure that you have a plan for yourself and your family members.
  2. Make sure that you have a list of all current medications and medical issues for all family members.
  3. Make sure to have resources available to you in case things go awry.
  4. Make sure to have important documents and emergency contact information handy as needed.

Help each other through times of need and work together as a community.

 

Stir Fry for All

If you had to ask me what I thought was the most versatile food on the planet, my answer would have to be stir fry. The whole concept is just amazing. You take some meat, veggies, seasonings, and mix them together and serve them on whatever vessel you desire. The versatility and flexibility that stir fry provides is pretty much unmatched. No matter what portion of the Color me Sensible diet you fall on, you can create the perfect stir fry for your liking. This is definitely a dish that you can customize to your favorite flavors and have so much fun doing it. I  have included a recipe here that is a general guideline for how to make a stir fry. Feel free to get your imagination going.

Stir Fry for All

1 pound Top Round Steak

1/2 medium onion

1/2 medium green bell pepper

1 celery stalk

1 medium carrot

1/2 yellow squash

1/2 zucchini

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

 

Important Notes

  • You can substitute out any veggies or meat for the ingredients I have listed. Remember my recipe is a guideline only. Get creative and make it your own.
  • Stir fry can be served over rice, noodles, lettuce, or whatever else you would like
  • You can buy precut  stir fry veggie mixes in the frozen food sections if you have a hard time getting fresh produce. Those mixes work really well for a quick stir fry if you need to throw something together real quick.
  • You can also precut your meat and veggies, portion them in bags, and freeze them for quick dinner throw togethers. You can plan out several different types and have them ready for when you need to throw dinner together real quick.

 

Now that you have gotten your imagination flowing. Let’s get started!

  1. Gather your vegetables and make sure that they are washed off.

DSC_0129 (1)

2. Cut vegetables into thin strips. Try to make sure that they are around the same thickness and size in order to ensure that they cook through properly.

DSC_0133 (1)

3. Place olive oil into saute pan and heat over medium heat.

DSC_0131 (1)

 

4. Take out meat and trim any fat necessary from meat.

DSC_0135 (1)

5. Cut meat into thin strips.

DSC_0138 (1)

6. Sprinkle seasoning on meat.

DSC_0139 (1)

7. Add prepped meat into the prepared saute pan.

DSC_0141 (1)

8. Saute the meat until halfway cooked through.

DSC_0143 (1)

9. Add minced garlic and continue to saute until meat is almost cooked through.

DSC_0146 (1)

10. Add your veggies to the mix and stir often to saute.

DSC_0149 (1)

11. Cook together until the vegetables are tender and the meat is completely cooked through.

DSC_0152 (1)

12. Serve your stir fry over your choice of base. Whether it is rice, noodles, lettuce, etc.

DSC_0155 (1)

13.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

4th of July

My family and I wanted to extend a heartfelt Happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans. Growing up this was one of my favorite holidays. Memories of great times with great friends and families, amazing food, and priceless laughs for all. This year was undeniably different. There would be barbeques going all around the area with great food and it would smell great! However, that food was out of my reach. No worries, with a few tricks up my sleeve, I was not going to let this holiday get away from me.

Instead of going the traditional barbeque route, we went for some oven baked chicken with some great sauce on it. This allows me to take off the skin and really control how much grease I have. There was no foregoing baked beans, but by removing the traditional bacon inside and on top of it, I was able to eat it just fine. My mom made an amazing potato salad to always go with the meal, and I was not going to skip out on it. So instead of using mayo like she did, I used my poppyseed dressing and i must say it got pretty close to her amazing potato salad.

For treats, my son helped me to make Patriotic Gluten-Free Orange Chocolate Chip Scones. By taking the original Sensible Scones recipe and adding some food coloring, you can create some pretty cool designs.

While this 4th of July wasn’t like I had growing up, it was full of amazing new traditions and memories to share going forward. As I continue on my journey I am sure i will have more to look forward to and new traditions to make. So I encourage you, make your own memories and make new traditions. Just because you are on a Color Me Sensible Diet, does not mean that the holidays can’t be full of Nutritious & Delicious!

 

Our Trip to The Family Cafe

This year, just like each before, was a wonderful year at The Family Cafe. It is always such a great experience as we connect and reach out to other families that endure the same struggles that we face on a daily basis. The amount of support and encouragement is always so amazing to me. This year I was incredibly blessed to see how much the hotel venue has grown to change and adapt to not only the needs of our conference, but the changing world around us.

Now i went through the process of making and packing all sorts of food items for me to eat, in order to make sure that I would have definite options for food over the weekend. I was pleasantly shocked to see that the coffee bar within the hotel had multiple gluten-free options available for sale. They had stocked up on many of the snack items that I had brought and they even were offering gluten-free chicken nuggets on their lunch menu. Seeing these was encouraging to me as I knew that this coffee bar was recognizing a growing need in this country and helping to minimize the barriers of those on Color Me Sensible Diets.

On Friday night we decided to go out and try to get food at a local chain restaurant. Now, I would be lying if I said I was not completely panicked and anxious at the prospect of this venture, but my family wanted something other than sandwiches so on we went. As I sat down to look at the menu I began to fill anxiety and depression set in. Would I be able to find something that I could eat confidently without fear of repercussion? I was praying that I would.

Now when the waitress arrived to ask for our order, she could see the apprehension and concern building on my face. I noticed that there were Gluten-free designations on the menu, but not any other. I asked what appeared to be a million questions and she answered each one like she was a pro. With her assistance, I was able to find something that existed on the menu and change a few things around to make it something I could eat confidently. I was truly grateful for this waitress and her patience. While I know that this, unfortunately, was probably an isolated incident, it was promising. My family and I all enjoyed having a meal together and not isolating myself from the table.

The next night we opting to go, as we do each year, to a local attraction area  to watch a classic car show. Knowing the food choices available, I stuffed my purse with snack items. Walking around the shops, it was disheartening to see that there was not a single items I could possibly entertain eating from there. While my family sat down to eat, I pulled my applesauce and snacks from my purse and just tried to make the best of it. While I knew full well that they would probably not have anything for me, it was upsetting to think of all the families and people who might venture to this location and not be able to eat when they get hungry here.

On our way home, we stopped at a Fast-Food Chain restaurant that I thought should have at least something I could eat. I looked at their readily posted allergen guide and found a salad that seemed to be within my diet. When the salad arrived, I carefully looked at the packaging for the pecans and the dressing and realized a very big error on that restaurant. The salad was supposed to be gluten-free, but the packaging for the pecans clearly stated wheat flour in its ingredients and the dressing had it as well. I brought it to the manager attention only to be told, that the manager did not know nutrition but if the corporate office says it is gluten-free than it is. I was very upset by this.

The world is changing and become more accessible for people on the Color Me Sensible Diets, however, it is still very  inaccessible. It is necessary to not just go by the symbols and allergen guides to determine if a food item is safe to eat. It is important that you actually read the ingredients to ensure that they really are free from the allergen. Companies need to do a better job in making sure that they are accurately advertising their items.

The best thing for those of us on the Color Me Sensible Diets to do is to arm ourselves with as much knowledge and tools as we can. It is my hope that I can help people do just that.

Preparing for our Trip to the Cafe

Next weekend our family will once again travel to the Annual Family Cafe Disabilities conference. We make sure to go there every year in order to reconnect with other families of special needs and learn more information to help us in our daily lives. This event is truly an experience for our family. It allows us a whole weekend where we can immerse ourselves with other families and get no judgement from anyone. No matter how many meltdowns, stimming sessions, sensory overloads, anxiety attacks, or just plain hyperactive moments we have, we are only met with helping and loving arms. Every year I go through the motions of ensuring that we have all the things we need to make the weekend successful. I have gotten into this ritual of making a list and checking it like 10 times before we leave to go. There are medications, sensory tools, snacks, cool cloths(my son does not sweat), entertainment, as well as mommy de-stress items. This year will be different however, and I am spinning dizzy in my head over just what exactly my plan will be. Continue reading Preparing for our Trip to the Cafe

My Journey Here

If you would have asked me when I was in high school if I would have ever started a blog about special diets and sensory diets, I would have probably asked why I would ever need to. Fast forward some multiple years and thanks to my 4 kids and my newfound lack of a gallbladder, I have become very accustomed to what these special diets entail.  You see, when I first got started down this path, there were not such readily available dietary options. It was a very much, “Figure it out as we go” kinda diet plan. My twins started me on this journey when they were younger. One of my twins has sensory integration disorder and it causes her to misinterpret signals that her senses are giving her. She always ate from the same color pallet, brown. If it wasn’t a shade of brown, she would not even touch it. On top of that she had a very difficult time with different textures in foods. This caused me much frustration as I knew she was not getting the proper balanced diet that she desperately needed. She also had lactose intolerance and several food allergies on top of that. I approached her pediatrician several times and the only advice we ever got was to give her a nutrition drink and go from there. I really disliked the idea of getting artificial nutrition and started searching for ways to help make the foods that she was comfortable eating, more nutritious for her. Continue reading My Journey Here