Monday, November 3, 2008

Pop Pop's Birthday Celebration/Restaurant Food/Marshmallows

Last night Dave's family met at Spaghetti Warehouse for his Dad's birthday. For Ainsley, we brought:

-Whole wheat angel-hair pasta (Kroger brand),
-tomato sauce (from a can -- Newman's Own Marinara Sauce is safe),
-lima beans,
-a plain mini-bagel (Thomas's brand), and
-cupcakes for everyone (baked by yours truly and decorated by me and Ainsley).

We stopped feeding Ainsley restaurant food a long time ago. Her scariest allergic reactions happened at restaurants, and we didn't want to take any more chances. Thus, instead of ordering food for her at a restaurant, we bring her food from home, and try to match it to whatever we'll be eating at the restaurant (e.g., if we are going to a Mexican restaurant, we bring a quesadilla, an empanada, or taquito; if we're going Italian, we bring spaghetti). She doesn't seem to mind not eating the restaurant food. The only thing she complains about is (a) if we eat a dessert at the restaurant and we haven't brought a comparable one for her, or (b) if there is bread at the restaurant (she LOVES bread). Because I knew Spaghetti Warehouse serves bread, I brought a bagel (Sara Lee or Thomas's are usually safe) for her last night.

As for the dessert, we decided to bring cupcakes from home so we could all eat the same dessert as Ainsley. I made them using the white cake recipe out of "Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Kid-Pleasing Recipes," which turned out quite wonderfully.

We iced them using Pillsbury's special orange Halloween icing, and used sprinkles that were included with the icing along with some additional chocolate sprinkles from Kroger (the only allergen in the icing and the sprinkles is soy, and thankfully Ainsley isn't allergic to that).

We topped the cupcakes with special-edition ghost marshmallows made by Kraft (Jet-Puffed Marshmallows). There are so many varieties of Jet-Puffed Marshmallows these days, and it has been so great for us. Ainsley loves marshmallows and isn't allergic to any of the Jet-Puffed ones except the toasted coconut ones. Some of the varieties we've sampled include Jet-Puffed "Fun Mallows" (multi-colored mini-marshmallows) and "Strawberry Mallows" (large pink ones). One thing I love to do with them is make smores. I use Keebler Graham Crackers and either Enjoy Life chocolate chips or part of an Enjoy Life chocolate bar, pop them in the microwave or toaster oven, and voila -- instant happiness.

I also want to try my hand at making my own marshmallows sometime soon, and will let you know how those turn out!

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