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What are your challenges with cooking?  Is it ideas on what to serve?  Dietary problems or allergies?  Our dear Yana cannot have gluten.  She tries to stay away from most meats.  At our "Girls Get-together" she regaled a story about having bought 20 pounds of lentils and not being able to bear to eat them after a while.  The said lentils became a beautiful piece of artwork for one of her daughter's boyfriends-a birthday gift.

I myself cannot eat dairy.  I have a true allergy, not just an intolerance.  I itch, eyes have swollen shut, and lips look as if I have been repeatedly stung by bees.  You get the picture-UGLY AND SICK!  My sister keeps an epi-pen with her in case someone gives her something with walnuts in it.  One of her brothers-in-law does the same due to shell fish.  

So I'm asking-what are your challenges?  How do you handle them?  I was going home from an errand the other day and on the back of a mini-van was this link: www.greencupcakes.com.
It said they had cupcakes that were:  dairy free, nut free, gluten free and a couple of other "free" things.  Being interested, I went on the site.  As I suspected, the CEO was a mom of a child who had several life threatening food allergies.  She decided her child and others like her child (adults included) deserved to be able to have a cupcake that looked like every other cupcake, tasted good and be "safe".  She only had 2 flavors-but hey, I'm sure it isn't easy to formulate any recipe with so many requirements.

There are probably many other sites that also have arisen with the same basic needs and people in mind.  Vegan sites may be fine for some of these allergies, but not all.  

What I would love to do is address some of these issues.   And not just for desserts!  I know when I go into any restaurant (with the exception of the already mentioned vegan-orientated venues); I start with letting everyone else order first.  Then I do the obvious-I inform my server of my allergies and ask for my "safe options".  Sometimes I'm lucky-there are easy choices on the menu or I just have to ask them to leave off any items that I can't eat.

If you have ways to work around your personal food issues, let's share them!  Let me know if you've found a good website that will ship a tasty product that you can't find in local stores.  If you've discovered switch outs on ingredients that don't affect the outcome of something that you like to eat-share with all of us!

On Wednesday, my way of eating lasagna!



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