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Gluten Free Casein Free and DELISH!My name is Melanie and there is one thing that’s been asked of any man I’ve been serious with.  That is, “Do you cook?”  When I was in Jr. High, my parents were having a difficult time making dinners, running all of us (five children) to sporting events, and cleaning up.  Both our parents worked, in addition to raising us, so we developed a schedule of who was going to make dinner on certain nights, and who was going to clean up.  We also planned what meals we were going to make.

One time I decided to make spaghetti, but there was no sauce so I decided to make my own using tomato paste and whatever spices and other things I could find in the cabinets.  It was quite the cooking experiment and I was excited for dinner.  No one would eat it… except my Dad.  He quietly ate every single bite, and thanked me for making dinner.  He was very careful to avoid saying he didn’t like it.  It was so bad… not even the cats would eat it!  The following meal planning day, we were all instructed that we needed to go shopping for everything in our meals and we weren’t allowed to create our own anymore.  I’m pretty sure it was that day I decided I was a bad cook, and didn’t like it.

I’ve NEVER liked following recipes, and I still don’t!  I like to be constantly changing things around, and that’s why I never have the same group of gluten free flours in my cabinets.  That’s why I’m often making things from scratch.  It has been MANY, MANY years since that time and even though I’ve made some pretty good things – “the can’t cook, doesn’t like to cook” stigma still sticks.

Am I still that bad of a cook?  Sometimes, YES!  I have NO patience to wait for things to be done and I cannot tolerate waiting for a meal to cook while stirring it.  I’d much rather cook it on low and leave it for a while and come back to it done (often how things get burned).  That said, when I’m paying attention and not leaving the kitchen – or I actually HEAR the timers go off… I’m a pretty GREAT cook!  I’ve also learned a LOT more in the way of spices and seasonings than I knew as a child.  I’m pretty sure the only spices I was really aware of were salt, pepper, and paprika.

My children have taken me on a long and amazing journey, especially in the food department.  I suppose that’s why I’ve found a bit of a love of making things for them.  It is new and I can always express a bit of my creative side while making them feel special.  Here are the details of what we are sensitive to:

All of us are to stay away from gluten and casein.  My man and I suck at it, but all the recipes on this site qualify to the best of my knowledge since I make everything our children in mind.  My daughter is also VERY sensitive to artificial ingredients (colorings, flavorings) so we don’t use anything artificial.  PERIOD.  My step-son cannot have corn.  I am sure he is still getting some in ways I am not aware, but I do my best to avoid it if at all possible (including corn-free baking powder, corn-free confectioners sugar, etc.)  In fact, sometimes, I’ll just grind regular sugar into a powder to get what I want without having to go to the store.  My daughter is also HIGHLY sensitive to petroleum – this includes polyester and plastics.  So any liquids that come in plastic are OUT.  If you choose to use them, that is fine – but I avoid them at all costs because I’d like to keep her around for a long, long time!

When most people hear all that, they feel sorry for us.  I do not.  Honestly, I think it is a blessing.  We are one of the healthiest families I know of.  Our children are never sick from school, even when the stomach viruses are going around.  If they have a fever we make sure they are adjusted (go chiropractic!) and get some rest and the next day they are fine!  My children comment on how many children at school have dark circles under their eyes.  Mine used to, and still do when they eat foods they are sensitive to.  We joke that I have a 100% batting average at knowing when they cheat (at school or on the bus).  It’s because I do!

No one knows my family better than I do, and everything we do in our house is out of love and wanting nothing but the best for each other.  One day, I hope my children can pass these same values and dedication to health and happiness that we are instilling in them now.

I hope you will enjoy the journey we have taken, and continue on.  It would also delight me if you would share your successes and challenges.  There is no other purpose for me sharing these posts than the hope that it will help at least one other person.  If it does, please let me know!

None of this is medical advise, and you should always consult your primary care physician before making serious changes to your diet.  I am not responsible for anything you do – so be smart and use your brain.  Thanks!

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