Thursday, July 3, 2008

Food Allergy Cookbooks - My Review

Ok, I am back, and this should be pretty short and sweet because I only own one cookbook out of my entire long and (might I say) impressive list of cook books. I do however like to hear myself type, so you never know how long I am able to talk about this one single food allergy cookbook that sits on a shelf surrounded by cookbooks unlimited in their ingredient lists.

First off let me preface this by saying I didn't cook unless you count heating things up in a microwave cooking. Of course all that changed when our friend Mr. Food Allergy entered the picture.

Mr. Food Allergy

He was an unpleasant sort of guy who kind of snuck up on us, behind our backs when we were least expecting it. He is quite the bully and has no regard for the terms share and take turns. The type of guy you never want to meet in a dark alley, or in that dark area under the slide at the playground. He can be mean and nasty, and downright dangerous. But he had a message for me, a message I had been trying to avoid for all of my 30 plus must now learn to cook, or at least bake - for the sake of your child.

So off I went, in search of some guidance on how to do this. Not only do I not bake or cook, I must now do it without one of the main ingredients required in most baked goods!!!! Eggs!!!! Which came first the baking or the eggs???? The baking!!!! So the panic began. My child needs a safe cake or cupcake! What am I to do, and there are 5 birthday parties coming up in the next week!!! Help!!!!

I never really got a cookbook when I thought we were only allergic to peanuts. It is pretty easy to cook without peanuts, just don't use them. Eggs however were quite a different story. In a panic I disregarded my need for instant gratification and ordered the book Bakin' Without Eggs by Rosemarie Emro. I am so happy I did.

Rosemarie Emro is the mother of a child allergic to eggs and peanuts. I felt an instant camaraderie with her, since her child has exactly the same food allergies as mine. So, I opened the book and scanned the recipes. I am not good with recipes that go on for longer then a page, and have more then 15 or so ingredients. I tend to get confused easily, and add the wrong amount of some sort of ingredients. I once tried to make a cake for a friends wedding from a long and wieldy recipe (before I had this book of course), and kept putting in 3 tablespoons of baking soda instead of teaspoons. Yuck!! Not tasty. Three cakes and lots of crying, screaming, and a tantrum on the floor later, I finally realized my mistake. (The 4th cake came out great though :) )

Anyways, most of the recipes in this book are direct and to the point. The ingredients lists are not too long and unwieldy, and the instructions are easy to follow. I have made many of the recipes in the book, and only had two real disasters which for me is a major accomplishment.(And let me say, they were not pretty - can you say brick???) The recipe for chocolate chip cookies is absolutely wonderful, and I think even tastes better then other homemade chocolate chip cookies with eggs. I have baked many of the cakes, and they too are great. There are also wonderful recipes for scones, pancakes and brownies that have been a great hit at many a party where people did not even suspect they had no egg in them. I was even able to make the brownies in a Christmas tree mold over the holidays, and ta da! unique , fun desert.

So anyways, what I am trying to say in this long (but witty) review, is that this is a great book, and a useful tool for anyone trying not to crack while avoiding eggs.

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