So many of my most favorite and vivid childhood memories stem from food.

Whether it be holidays, birthdays or Sundays.

I love food & my family more than anything.

I come from a long line of cooks, chefs if you will. I literally grew up cooking. My dad would wake up with me on the weekends to give my mom a break, and we would watch Julia Child on TV together. The joke is, that is where my love of cooking started.

Around age 5, I was fortunate to spend afternoons with my dad’s mom, Nana, and we called them “Nana Days.”  She would pick me up from 1/2 day kindergarten and we would go to Braum’s. Then we would watch soap operas and I would watch her prepare dinner for Papa.

Our Nana was one of a kind. She was especially known for her baking skills. Nana made the best, badest breakfast foods ever! We would come over after church on Sunday mornings and she would have 6 dishes! ALWAYS biscuits, sausage, bacon, eggs then she would have fried potatoes, waffles or cinnamon rolls.

She followed the motto the more butter the better and she cooked with love.

She even had a butter warmer.  It was magical having melted butter always on the table next to the salt, pepper and syrup.

“People who love to eat are always the best people. – Julia Child”

We all value the importance of steak, butter and a good glass of wine.

My aunt & uncle are both AMAZING cooks! They both have a gift for cooking and a love for food. My cousin is also an incredible chef. She knows how to run a kitchen in a skirt and she has a killer smile with a don’t mess with me attitude. The title of this post is a quote that they say, “Food is a gift. Eating is a Celebration!”

My mom and her mother are also fabulous cooks. Our favorites on that side include Mexican food, pizza and italian and American classics. MeMaw had lots of practice cooking, seeing how she had 12 mouths to feed including herself!

My MeMaw is the strongest, sassiest and smartest lady I have ever known.

Her smile, her strength and effortless & stunning style  impress me daily.

They would have one BIG meal on Sundays and the Hasty Bake was the star. BBQ chicken and hamburger steak. We were always outside playing on the trampoline and swing set. Her au gratin potatoes, pot roast and chili are legendary! You can always count on 3 staples at MeMaws; oyster crackers, sweet tea and coca cola.
Writing these memories down makes me so grateful for my family and how lucky I am to have these moments in time with such amazing women and people.
My mom brings us full circle today. She incorporated the health aspect to our family meals and I am always craving one of her famous dishes. That will be a post in and of itself someday.

I love making safe treats for our little boys. I have had some successes but more epic fails when it comes to baking with out the “normal” ingredients.

Baking without real butter, eggs and flour was something almost sacrilegious in my family.

Well things have changed drastically for our family in the last 2 years and letting go of my way of cooking was one of them. I used to LOVE to watch the Food Network or Cooking Channel. So much so that I would watch cooking shows after work and even while in the hospital after giving birth. Cooking gives me a sense of calm, happiness and accomplishment. It also makes me think of my Nana and how much I loved cooking with her. I miss her so much.

Since the boys are at home with me Tuesdays and Thursdays I try to have at least one day a week that I devote to whatever they want to do within reason. Our outings include but are not limited to going to Target, the carwash, Kids Club, the bagel shop, Meme & Poppy’s, the park and cooking! I started cooking with our older son very early on and he still loves to help me in the kitchen. In fact, he is very territorial.

We make a mess, laugh and listen to jams and usually 3 of the 4 of us like the result. I will be posting some more recipes soon but I want to make sure I have them correct, because let me tell you it is weird. Seriously say this sentence out loud I am not going to bake or cook without butter, milk, eggs, flour, pasta, cheese, nuts or anything that is in the gluten, dairy, egg, or nut family, trust me it is like the upside-down face emoji!

My new slogan for the month is “IM NOT COMPLAINING IM EXPLAINING.”

Just because I tell people about our sons allergies does NOT mean I am complaining.

I am explaining the complexity of the situation and it is hard.

It is like a disability really. It may not be a terrible one to some but non the less it is so sad to see the look on children’s faces when they feel different & excluded. As I have said before we are educating and empowering our son to understand his allergies and own them not to let them own him. BUT we still have to be careful. Sometimes I am cool as a cucumber and other days it gets the best of me. I am SUPER grateful and BEYOND thankful to have such sweet and understanding family and friends.

So to end this post I am so excited to share some of my favorite “Allergy Friendly” Recipes with you over the next few months. Some are simple changes that you can make. Others take a little more effort.  I really want to do a “Grocery Haul” video to show you what all we buy and where. Food is expensive, eating out is even more so. We rarely eat out as a family but that is another post entirely. Ok please let me know if you have questions. I love you all for continuing to stick with me and read my blog.

XOXO

Just Happy Mommy

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