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Need help again, with food ideas again, please. :(

(37 Posts)
mumat39 Wed 17-Oct-12 10:39:02

Hello everyone.
I hope this find you and your dc well.
We're having a family party on Saturday for my DS' 3rd birthday. Dd has multiple food allergies so I need to make stuff that is totally safe for her so that she can enjoy it with everyone and so that I don't have to worry about any potential food related reactions.
I'll be making a cake, using a vegan recipe but with Doves farm wf/gf flour, and chocolate cornflake cakes using kinnerton nut safe choc. We have crisps, carrot stick for snacks, but I usually try and cook a something hot too. In the past couple of years I've done jacket potatoes, but did that last month for DD's birthday so am looking for other ideas. I have to cater for vegetarians and meat eaters and am looking for some easy, simple, idiot-proof recipes that are quick to prepare. There are usually about 16 of us but this year I think we've got 18.
I usually end up in the kitchen for the whole day so would love to just be organised so that it's mostly done before hand. The cake I make, doesn't usually get eaten as it has an aftertaste, but it means DS will have some candles to blow out.
DD is allergic to: Wheat, eggs, tree nuts, sesame, legumes (peanuts, soya, peas, chick peas, kidney beans, beans, lentils, mung beans, etc), ginger, kiwi, strawberry, rapeseed, guar gum and celery. She has Epipens as some of these are severe, which is why I avoid them in the house. DS and DD have the same diet.

I have been thinking about this since last month but haven't come up with anything sad.

I realise it's quite late with only 3 days to go, but if anyone has any suggestions then that would be really appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.

Weta Wed 17-Oct-12 11:08:45

Gosh, I really feel for you as it sounds so tough to have to cater for everyone's different needs, especially as your DD is allergic to lots of the things one would normally give to vegetarians!

A couple of random ideas - not particularly partyish but could you do some kind of soup that everyone could eat? or I was wondering about sushi for the adults? or wheat-free crackers/bread with some sort of spread (eg you can make/buy aubergine or red pepper pate)? Fruit salad is always good too - and can she have sorbet?

I know I'd find it quite upsetting to go to the effort of making a cake and knowing people won't eat it, plus I would feel embarrassed on behalf of my guests and feel bad that they wouldn't like it... in the end we all have to work out the best approach for our family but I wonder whether you might want to rethink that bit and consider doing a cake that your DD couldn't eat, since it's not actually her birthday? Obviously you'd give her a special cake of her own of some sort, maybe even with a candle on too. I know you're also worried about contamination - I'm not sure which allergies are the most severe but maybe you could make a cake using ingredients that she can't eat but which won't kill her, IYSWIM? Not wanting to tell you what to do though, just thought I'd throw the idea out there!

FireOverBabylon Wed 17-Oct-12 11:33:37

apologies if this steps into her allergies, but can she eat corn tortillas? Could you use them to make wraps with a range of fillings or toasted as makeshift pizza bases for the children, then children can put their own toppings on, mushrooms, cheese, tomato, sweet corn (or are these lgeumes?)?

also, can she have egg noodles, or rice, to make a cold salad-y thing?

If it's a family party, have you got to cater for both adults and children?

mumat39 Wed 17-Oct-12 11:38:21

Thanks Weta. Dd is anaphylactic to wheat. Also she is very allergic to eggs, so a normal cake is out of the question, esp as cake is a crumbly thing. It's the same with sandwiches, too many crumbs. Some of my family will eat the gf/wf/ef cake I make but not everyone, but I'm not actually so worried about that. It's more the hot food I need ideas with.

Also, DS has always eaten the same foods as DD. I need to start trying him on some of the foods that dd can't have but that's got to be a slow intro at a later date.

I did think of soup but we're not really a soup eating family. confused

If I can't think of anything, then I might just go with the potatoes again sad

We did order pizza one year but there wer so many crumbs everywhere that it was just too stressful and the last thing I need is to have to make sure everything is clean at the end of the day by hoovering and wiping things down including the furniture.

I'd just really like to be able to enjoy it for a change and sit and catch up with everyone, if that makes sense.

Thanks for replying though, it's good to talk to someone about these things sometimes.

Xxx

mumat39 Wed 17-Oct-12 11:43:58

Hello FireoverBabylon
I haven't found corn tortillas that don't contain wheatsad

I was in saiansburys the other night and got really excited to see CORN tortillas, but they were only 20 or 30% corn and the rest was wheat.

She can't eat egg pasta, due to the egg. And I've tried salads before with her wf/gf pasta but it always breaks up and tastes really soggy when cold. I'm not a by good cook so that could be the problem.

It is a family party and there are about 5 children and the rest are adults so I do have to cater for both.

Thanks for your reply.

Jojay Wed 17-Oct-12 11:49:37

I've got a fab dairy and egg free cake recipe that I made yesterday for the first time. Not sure how it would work with g/f flour but might be worth a trial run - definitely no funny aftertaste, and it was a very convincing sponge.

I made it into a lemon drizzle but it would work victoria sandwich style I'm sure.

8oz SR flour - or g/f substitute.
3 tsp baking powder
6 oz caster sugar
6 tbsp (90 ml) sunflower oil
9 fl oz water
vanilla essence for plain. Bit less flour and add cocoa for chocolate.

Mix together, sperate into two round tins. Cook at 180 degrees, gas mark 4 for 10-15 mins - keep checking as it may need a bit more.

I feel your pain, my twins are dairy and egg free and parties are a nightmare but I was so chuffed to find this cake.

RationalBrain Wed 17-Oct-12 11:50:01

I get facebook feeds from the US site below that often have recipies suitable for multiple allergies - you might find something on there....

this site

DameFannyGallopsAtaGhost Wed 17-Oct-12 11:50:28

I can't help with the hot stuff, but re pasta, salute spaghetti is as good as the wheat stuff and doesn't contain eggs. waitrose do it if you have one close - might expand your overall choices?

rockinhippy Wed 17-Oct-12 11:51:26

Can you do Maki Rolls ?? Instructions HERE

They always look impressive & go down well with kids & adults & you can vary your fillings as much as you like - you can by the rolling mats very cheaply in an ethnic/oriental food store, along with cheaper sushi rice, rice vinegar etc etc

RationalBrain Wed 17-Oct-12 11:51:54

Sorry, this bit of the site here. Good luck, its bad enough with dairy and eggs, can't imagine how tough it must be adding all those into the mix as well.

Weta Wed 17-Oct-12 11:53:55

That's good if at least some of your family will eat the cake, means it won't feel like such a waste! and I think in fact we have talked before about your DS starting to eat different foods from your DD - I know it is a big issue for you, and as you say is best done at your own pace and in the right conditions.

you know what? I think that given all the constraints you are absolutely amazing to even consider catering this kind of party, and I'm sure that your family would totally understand if you just do the potatoes again - so I wouldn't sweat it too much if you're struggling to find alternatives.

Hope it goes well for you!

Vix07 Wed 17-Oct-12 11:54:54

have you tried making polenta cakes? they should be 100% corn meal & you can top them with anything, like mini pizzas. Sushi also sounds like a good idea

RationalBrain Wed 17-Oct-12 11:56:05

Fishfingers and chips? Grown ups/those without allergies could have posher fish finger wraps?

rockinhippy Wed 17-Oct-12 11:56:53

Lots of good sushi/maki recipes on that site too - the Dragon Roll looks like a good party piece & Basa fillets can be bought in Aldis & other supermarkets - Basa IS Catfishwink

shrinkingnora Wed 17-Oct-12 12:16:36

Chilli and rice (doesn't have to be hot) servied with tortilla chips and homemade salsa etc? Do a veggie one and a meat one and lots of iceberg lettuce, cucumber etc to go with it.

shrinkingnora Wed 17-Oct-12 12:17:34

I've just checked and Old El Paso taco shells are made with corn and oil. Could you do a couple of big dishes of those? One meat, one veggie, top with cheese and serve with salad. Very quick and easy.

casabevron Wed 17-Oct-12 12:24:18

Could you do something like a big shepherds pie for everyone? That way, you just have to do one big dish that everyone can take from - you could easily do it the day before, refridgerate it and just heat it through on the day. I find the grown-ups tend to love a bit of 'nursery food' once the weather turns, and of course the kids like it too! I know you wouldn't be able to use shop-bought stock-cubes, but you could easily make your own stock - just simmer a pan of water with an onion, a couple of carrots, peppercorns and a bay leaf or two. You can keep adding to the liquid as it reduces, until you have the quantity you want, and then add it to your meat with a tin of tomatoes, seasoning etc and just leave it to bubble til its nice and thick. I usually add in some finely grated carrot/courgette too, and serve with whatever veg the kids will eat. This way you get to enjoy the party too...

mumat39 Wed 17-Oct-12 13:24:11

Wow. So many replies. Thank you.
Jo jay, I haven't tried that recipe before so will give that a go. Thanks. smile

Rationalbrain, that site looks good and I haven't seen it before so will have a proper look at it later. And re the fish and chips idea, Dd hasn't ever had fish but it something I need to try her with. So if that works ok, then I'll try that next time as it sounds lovely and easy. Thanks.

Dame, I'll look out for that pasta. I use doves farm wf/gf corn and rice pasta at the moment which is also quite good. Thanks.

Rockinhippy, thanks for that link. I'll definitely look into that, but not sure my family are the right audience for that. I can just see my mum,dad and brother in law turning their noses up at the very idea. fussy buggers. Thing is though, I want to feed everyone and it's important that everyone enjoys it.

Weta, thanks again smile

Vix, polenta cakes sound interesting. I'm going to google that in a minute. Thanks.

Shrinkingnora, I used to do chilli for the first three years, DD is now 5. I did a meat one and a kidney bean one with rice, salad and tortilla crisps, but since dd started reacting to kidney beans I've gone off that. It also used to take me ages to make the chilli. Just browning all that meat took me about 2 hours. I used to make about 7 500g packs of meat, 7 cans of kidney bean curry, about q 500g bag of rice plus the other bits. It was so much food but always got eaten. I'm so tired at the moment, so jackets are great as the biggest job is washing the potatoes. <lazy arse emoticon> smile

Casabevron, a big one dish thing sounds great. DD and DS won't eat potatoes apart from as crisps. confused. I do make my own stock with chicken and the meat recipe you describe is what I make for my kids and is always one of their daily meals. Is it possible to make a veg shepherds pie?

Thank you all for your help. smile

freefrommum Wed 17-Oct-12 13:31:08

One useful tip: If you want to make pasta salad with cold gf/wf pasta, you need to store it in water while it cools otherwise it dries out and goes rubbery. I keep mine in the fridge overnight in water. You can then add freefrom mayo, tuna and sweetcorn or whatever topping you prefer.

mumat39 Wed 17-Oct-12 13:56:47

Freefrommum, hello.
That's a really good tip. Thank you! I've never tried free from mayo but will definitely look into that. Thanks! smile

mumat39 Wed 17-Oct-12 14:02:13

Freefrommum, I've just looked at the free from mayo options and the few I've looked at including Palmolive and the ones on ocado have soya protein in them. Such a shame!

mumat39 Wed 17-Oct-12 14:35:54

Plamil. not palmolive. lol.

casabevron Wed 17-Oct-12 15:43:18

blush sorry I hope I wasn't patronising - of course you know how to make stock! I am a bit of an over-explainer blush

I've always used soya mince for veggy shepherds pie, so that wouldn't be much use. How about a nice thick Italian-type sauce with a load of veg in it? You could split it across two pans, keep one veggy and add chicken pieces/mince/whatever to the other and serve with rice?

Ds won't eat potato either hmm I couldn't eat them either until he was around a year old, as he would be really unsettled after I fed him and produce horrible green mucousy nappies. Same with tomatoes. It now seems to be a texture thing with him. Mash is instantly rejected, but if pushed he will eat the odd chip or curly fry. I sometimes slice potatoes thinly and lay them on top of stews etc so that they go nice and crisp. That way I can occasionally fool him into eating a few mouthfuls. He never suffers any after-effects now, he just seems to be a fussy bugger!

mumat39 Wed 17-Oct-12 16:27:14

Hi casa, I didn't think you we're patronising at all. Sorry if I made you think that. I was just excited to see that your recipe for mince is almost the same as mine. I made mine up so as you do the same thing, it makes me feel like I'm getting something right. Hooray!

I think the potato thing is the same with my two. From weaning they just wouldn't eat potato. They happily eat crisps so maybe the laying thin slices on top could trick them work.

My problem is really that I hate cooking. Didn't used to but allergies have had that effect on me. I actually don't mind baking cakes or biscuits and for DD's birthday I made a hello kitty head cake that looked really good but forgot to take a picture of it.

It's also tricky when we eat with lots of people too. I end up watching to see if they wash their hands and mouths after. It's horrible, so I figure if I keep things simple and safe at home then that will make it easier for me. I am being referred for CBT so I hope that helps me get some more perspective.

Anyway, you and everyone else have been really helpful and I'm really grateful for you advice and suggestions.
xxx

casabevron Wed 17-Oct-12 18:23:23

Oh mum, we have more in common than just mince! I have just been through a course of cbt, after being diagnosed with pnd and mild ocd just before Christmas last year. It's almost a year to the day since we received ds's nut diagnosis (it was on my birthday - happy birthday to me, yay! hmm) and I think the whole idea of spending Christmas at someone else's house, with them cooking etc etc just really got on top of me.

Even though ds was tested for all the major allergens at his first appt, and we only came away with positives to cashews and egg (we knew about the egg already) I found weaning the most stressful experience, and I stopped going out to meet friends in case he had an accidental reaction. The sessions with my counsellor were really hard at first, as they forced me to face reality, when I had just been hiding away from it all and avoiding any sort of situation that worried me. And actually now I've come through it, I don't even recognise the person that I was for the last year. It feels as though I've come out of a dark tunnel into the light again - I couldn't even look past the end of the week, never mind any further into the future sad. I still can't even contemplate the idea of things like holidays abroad, restaurants etc but the therapy has given me the tools to face new situations rationally and deal with them without sinking back into that old pattern of avoidance.

We have ds's next appt at the beginning of December, and I'm praying that we don't come away with any more nuts/anything else to worry about, but I know that I'm better equipped now to deal with any additional diagnosis than I was last year. In a way, I'm not looking past that date until I know what we are dealing with, but that's not avoidance, that's just not being clairvoyant grin.

Anyway, I seem to have managed to turn this thread into my life story, sorry! Just wanted to let you know that you're not alone and that the cbt will really help you to deal with all your worries and fears. Sorry I can't be more use on the meal ideas front, but I'm sure it'll be a great day no matter what you decide on smile

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