Welcome! I'm Cookie's Mom. You can learn all about Cookie and why I blog here: About Cookie's Chronicles. If you're new here, you may want to SUBSCRIBE TO MY RSS FEED. Thanks for stopping by! Pull up a beach chair and be my guest, won't you?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ten Ways to Say, "I love you"

Monday Listicles (a little late)

I've been spending more time lately sharing what's going on in our world since being diagnosed with Lyme Disease. There's a lot to manage and I want to share this aspect of our lives as honestly as I can, but I also want to provide hope and optimism and a bit of cheer. To that end, I'm participating in a really fun link up that I have not been a part of for quite a while. I sure have missed trading lists with the listicle owner and her band of listicle makers!

I'm linking up with NorthWest Mommy's Monday Listicles, because it's never too late to say, "I love you" (even if it is... ahem... Thursday).

Sometimes, in the midst of my own struggle, I forget to acknowledge the small things that my husband does to make life a little easier for me. I even become frustrated when he forgets or seems to neglect to do certain things. To do so, at times, he would need to read my mind. The truth is, that despite not always knowing how to help, he ALWAYS tries, and the one thing I never question is his love for me.

This list is inspired by my husband and just one way that I can say, "I love you", back.


1. When your partner is broken and nothing you say seems to help, help anyway. Even if it's the 'wrong' thing to do, do it anyway.

2. Her feet are almost always cold. Warm up the foot of her bed and warm her feet with your hands as she prepares to sleep. She won't ask you to do this. Do it anyway.

3. When she collapses onto your lap, massage her aching back, shoulders and neck. Run your fingers through her hair. She seems to really like this.

4. When she hasn't the strength to take care of herself, don't nag or remind her. She has the list memorized. Instead, do it for her.

5. Pour her the warm bath you know she needs and offer your hand to lead her there. Turn on her favourite classical music and set her books at the side of the tub. Blow her a kiss and close the door.

6. Do the things that you always do even if no one else notices or says thank-you. Mow the lawn. Take out the garbage. Check the mail. Pay the bills. Do these things and expect nothing in return, for you do them out of love and love is its own reward.

7. Text her when you are out to see if there is anything she needs. Chances are she has a grocery list or drug store list and no interest in leaving the house to fill it. Do it for her.

8. When she is too tired to care what's for dinner, and though you have just arrived home from work and are tired yourself, make something you know she will enjoy. Do this day after day after day during the difficult times, until one day she can cook a meal. When she does, express your gratitude for something most husbands would take for granted.

9. When she feels guilt and worthlessness despite having every reason to feel the way that she does, remind her of all of the good that she does. And when she argues with you and refuses to give herself credit, remind her again.

10. When your partner is exhausted and overburdened by life's demands and has nothing left to give you in return for all that you do, love her all the same, for your love for her is unconditional and you would have it no other way.

My husband is pretty great, isn't he? People sometimes ask me how I do it. How do I keep on keeping on, despite my family's challenges, and with such a positive outlook? Well, I work hard at it, but no one is perfect. No one is up all of the time and when I'm down, my husband picks up the pieces and carries them for me until I am ready to carry them again on my own. He seriously rocks!

I love you too, honey. Thank-you for all that you do.


The View From Here: Guest Posting at I'm Dancing in the Rain

Finding Joy on an Unpaved Road

Today, I'm guest blogging at I'm Dancing in the Rain (formerly Just Jennifer). Jennifer has a moving new series called The View From Here, which hosts a new blogger each Thursday. Bloggers share their perspective in their own voice from where they are in their journey.

(click the title to access my guest post)

Today, I open up about my experience as a mother of a child with Lyme Disease, while I myself am struggling with Lyme Disease and several other autoimmune disorders. I hope you will visit Jennifer's blog and share your thoughts with me. I know that I am not alone in this struggle, that many other moms have children with chronic illness and other special needs while struggling in their own ways to survive. I am sharing this piece of myself in the hopes that you will know that you are not alone, that you can share your story too, and that there is healing and hope and even happiness even in the midst of the struggle.

Click here to access my post.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

HypoAllergenic Cooking: Homemade Sub Saves the Day!

If your a mom of a kid with allergies, you will understand why today was a big day for us.

Jack's school had another "special lunch day". While most parents might welcome the opportunity to pay a few bucks and order a meal for little Jimmy that they don't have to prepare or pack, for those of us with kids with allergies, it's a recurring nightmare.

I get that our schools want to treat our kids and to provide what they feel is healthy food, but what if it's not only not healthy for your child it could make him sick or even kill him? It's tough to get excited about a special lunch day that your child can't participate in. Will he feel left out? Will he be made fun of?

If you are the mom of the child who can't have that special treat, you know that you will do almost anything to make it up to your child, however irrational that behaviour might be.

Would you like a pony, honey?

Perhaps that's overkill.

You will at the very least make your child, from scratch if necessary, something that is as similar as possible to what the other kids are eating. If it's going to be different than it helps if it is also better.

Today was special lunch day at Jack's school. The caterer? Subway. Does subway have a gluten-free sub bun? Oh, no. Can you buy a gluten-free sub bun anywhere on the planet? I have yet to see one.

So, what do you do? That's right. You make one from scratch. And then you toast it just so, pile turkey slices on it and bacon (no else's will have bacon on it) and all sorts of lovely veggies, hold the dairy. Next you put it in a special container (no one else has a special container)...

and it is a beautiful thing to behold:

I made two sub buns so that I could have one of these gorgeous sandwiches today too! 

The recipe that I used for the sub buns is a hamburger bun recipe from a Donna Washburn cookbook called The Gluten-Free Baking Book. If you are new to gluten-free baking, pick up one of her books. Every one of her recipes just works, which is not the case for all gluten-free recipes. I have been using this recipe for a couple of years now. I made substitutions to remove dairy and sugar. The adapted recipe is below.

I used this perforated bun form which I ordered from the Canadian Celiac Assocation. This type of pan helps release moisture so that baked goods are not soggy on the bottom. I doubled the recipe to make two hamburger buns, two hot dog buns and two sub buns. 

Sadly, The CCA no longer sells this pan. If you see it anywhere, please let me know as I would love to buy another one! I have seen similar pans for baking just one type of bun that would also work well.

When Jack came home from school today, I asked him how he enjoyed his sub. He said it was DElicious! He went on and on about how good it was, and I had to fight back the tears of joy. If you have a kid with allergies, you get this. A successful meal is a big deal!

Bon appétit!

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free Buns
(great for hamburger, hot dog and sub buns)
Adapted from the Hamburger Bun recipe by Donna Washburn
The Gluten-Free Baking Book: 250 Small-Batch Recipes for Everything from Brownies to Cheesecake
page 99

My changes and notes are in italics below.

If using a perforated non-stick pan like the one above, no pre-greasing is necessary. Otherwise, lightly grease a pan large enough for 4 hamburger buns, or 4 hot dog buns, or 2 sub buns. (Double this recipe to fill the form pictured above to make 2 hot dog buns, 2 hamburger buns and 2 sub buns.)


1 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca starch
2 tbsp Xylitol (or preferred 1:1 granulated sugar replacement)
2½ tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp bread machine or instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 large egg *
1 large egg white *
2/3 cups non-dairy milk (rice milk works well)
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I use cold-pressed olive oil)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

* For vegan diets, substitute 1½ tbsp ground flax seed + 4½ tbsp water


  1. In a bowl or plastic bag, combine brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, sugar-substitute, xanthan gum, yeast and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, using a heavy-duty electric mixer with paddle attachment, combine egg and egg white (or flax seed-water mixture for vegan buns), non-dairy milk, oil and vinegar until well blended. With the mixer on its lowest speed, slowly add the dry ingredients until combined. Stop the machine and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the mixer on medium speed, beat for 1 minute or until smooth.
  3. Spoon dough into prepared cups of pan, dividing evenly. Flatten tops slightly. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 45-60 minutes or until dough has almost doubled in volume. [If desired, sprinkle the tops of the buns with sesame seeds before the dough rises.] Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until internal temperature of buns registers  200°F (100°C) on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the pan immediately and let cool completely on a rack.

Doubles and freezes nicely.

Note: This is a sticky dough. It is difficult to press into moulds, BUT the result is really worth it, and if you make a point of exaggerating how challenging it is to mould the dough, your sweet child (spouse, significant other, etc) may make you a special treat to thank-you for your efforts. Mine was sliced apples and segments of mandarin orange. :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Happy Hallowe'en: Don't be mad. It's just cute fruit!

I read a blog post this morning that inspired me to write this one. The author, a guest poster on Scary Mommy's blog named Marnie, claims to be "Taking Back Halloween" from "curmudgeons" who, according to her, want to ruin her holidays.  Do you know how these "hate mongers" do it? By providing Hallowe'en themed fruit and TREAT-sized treats. GASP!!! The horror of it!

I mean, just look at these clementine pumpkins and banana ghosts! What sick twisted child-hating parent would force these on your child?

I am so totally making these! 
Find lots of other fun & healthy 
Hallowe'en treat ideas at 

Good Lord, what's next? Diet candy??? Actually, these lollipops made with Xylitol are really good, and suitable for diabetics. 

The author is fed up, it seems, by articles that suggest healthier or diet-based holidays. She's so fed up that she and her kids are not only going to eat processed candy at Hallowe'en, they're going to gorge themselves on it. And she's taking her kids to "where the rich people live", because this apparently means they will get "the whole effing candy bar". She's also going to egg the houses that give them "some sort of homemade shit or raisins". 

Alright, Marnie might be exaggerating for comedic effect - surely she's not really so ungrateful a person that she would vandalize the house of someone who spent time and money on a treat that they thought she and her kids would enjoy. Marnie just wants what she wants. Fair enough.

I want what I want to, and at the root of it all Marnie and I probably want the same basic thing. We want our kids to be happy. She believes that super sized candy bars will make her kids happy. Me? I want my kid to have fun on Hallowe'en too. I want him to have 'treats'. But I also want him to live a long, healthy, disease-free, pain-free life, and that means no super sized candy bars for him.

You know what's possibly worse than having to put up with people who make fancy Hallowe'en decorations out of fruit? It's having a child who can't eat anything else.

I hope that people don't assume that if I bring clementine pumpkins to my son's Hallowe'en celebration at school (which the kids would LOVE), it's because I want to dictate what other people should be eating or because I think anyone needs to go on a diet. I do these things so that my child can not only participate in the fun, but feel like he contributed - so that he can feel normal.

If you have any kind of allergy or diet restriction, you know what it's like to look down a buffet table and see that the only thing that is safe to eat is a vegetable or piece of fruit. I'm a grown up. I can deal with that sort of thing.

Now imagine you're a six-year-old boy and you have to watch every other kid eat whatever they want from that table. Sad, right? I think so too, so I make up for that any way I can, and that might just mean making ridiculously cute pumpkins and ghosts out of bananas and clementines.

What will I hand out at my house on Hallowe'en? Probably the same things I have handed out for years: bags of chips, lollipops and chocolate bars. Standard, treat-sized treats. We are not "rich people" and even if we were, I wouldn't feel the need to give out huge bars of candy just to win some other mom's approval. I have seen the articles suggesting handing out healthier Hallowe'en treats, and I've considered it, but for now I'm giving the people what they seem to want, in treat-sized portions.

And what about my son? Even if you don't have anyone in your family with diet restrictions of any kind, you can probably imagine what trick-or-treating can be like for a kid with multiple allergies. My son can not have gluten, dairy or sugar. Sugar! Can you imagine a Hallowe'en without it? Well, I can. I have to, because I want the same thing Jill wants. I want my child to be happy.

We could choose not to participate, of course, but, at least for now, he enjoys dressing up and going door to door. He collects candy, brings it home and I trade him for it (and donate the candy to someone who will love it). He can choose coins, safe treats (like those Xylitol pops I mentioned earlier), a mystery (dollar store) 'prize' from a Hallowe'en themed canvas bag, and so on. This way, the whole experience is fun for him.

All I ask is a little tolerance and understanding. Not everyone who offers a healthy Hallowe'en treat is out to ruin another kid's holiday. I think it's safe to say that almost no one is concerned with ruining anyone else's holiday. Most of us have the best of intentions and if I have a wish it is that people assume this to be true.

I hope you all have a safe and very happy Hallowe'en!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

HypoAllergenic Cooking: Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Spaghetti Pizza Pie

I recently stumbled across this recipe for Spaghetti Pepperoni Pie and thought, I can easily convert this recipe and make a delicious gluten-free, dairy-free one pan meal for the family... so I did!

Doesn't this look yummy?

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Spaghetti Pizza Pie
(adapted from this recipe for Spaghetti Pepperoni Pie)

Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 
Actual Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Number of Servings: 6-8
Special Features: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free (unless an ingredient in packaged breadcrumbs or bottled pasta sauce)


1/2 pound gluten-free spaghetti, broken into thirds
1/3 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (I used Kinnikinnick Panko Style Breadcrumbs)
1 Tbsp gluten-free italian seasoning (see my recipe below)
1 tsp salt
2 cups pasta sauce
1 cup Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds
4 ounces gluten-free sliced pepperoni or salami, chopped
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan (some people are okay with Parmesan because it has little or no lactose, but if dairy is a problem for other reasons, substitute Daiya shreds or use ~ 2 tsp salt)


1. In large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water, cook spaghetti 1 minute less than directed on package. Drain.
2. Mix breadcrumbs with italian seasoning and salt. Set aside.
3. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 10-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. If skillet handle is not ovenproof, wrap with aluminum foil. Coat with crumbs.
4. In bowl, combine cooked spaghetti, pasta sauce, Daiya mozzarella style shreds and pepperoni or salami. Stir in beaten eggs. Spoon mixture into prepared skillet.
5. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan, Daiya shreds or salt. Bake until cheese is golden brown or for about 10 minutes more. Let cool 10 minutes. Cut into 6-8 wedges. Serve with cut up fruit or a light green salad.

Easy peasy, right? Even my picky six-year-old liked it!

If you don't have or don't want to use pre-packaged italian seasoning mix, here are the ingredients for my homemade version. Just mix all the ingredients together and store in a spice jar or sterilized baby food jar in a cool, dark place. It should last for at least 6 months.

Italian Seasoning Mix

3 Tbsp dried basil
3T dried oregano
3T dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Bon appétit!

I'm linked up with: