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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: Allergies, Away! by Frances Park and Ginger Park

Title: Allergies, Away!: Creative Eats and Mouthwatering Treats for Kids Allergic to Nuts, Dairy, and Eggs
Authors: Frances Park and Ginger Park
Format: ARC
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date: May 7, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the authors; however, this did not affect my review.






Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You are a foodie!
  • You may have or know someone who has food allergies.
What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "When sisters Ginger and Frances Park opened up a chocolate shop in Washington, D.C., they couldn't wait to share their gourmet sweets with their friends and family. Unfortunately, Ginger's son, Justin, was born with severe food allergies, and even visiting the shop made Justin sick. Far from discouraged, Ginger and Frances vowed they would find alternatives for Justin that tasted better than the real thing. Inspired by their mission, Frances and Ginger wrote Allergies, Away!, a fun and healthy cookbook chock full of recipes for the millions of parents whose children have food allergies. This book features more than seventy recipes for kid-friendly foods like Seoulful Half-Moon Dumplings, Rock Star Onion Rings, and Orange Chocolate Muffins, and every recipe is free of dairy, nuts, and eggs. The recipes are easy enough to make with children, and Frances and Ginger include helpful tips for maximum fun in the kitchen. Perfect for parents who are sick of making bland and boring food for their allergic kids, Allergies, Away! is the ultimate guide to tasty, homemade food that is also allergen-free."

My Two Cents:

Even if you don't have food allergies (which I do not - thank goodness), trying to dissect all of the terms on a nutrition label so you can figure out what the heck is in your food is a heavy task. However, if I misread a label and still eat the item, I'm more than likely not going to have an issue. If you had a food allergy to something like nuts, dairy, or eggs and ate something that you shouldn't have on accident, it could be uncomfortable or potentially be life threatening! I would think that sometimes it would be safer to cook your own food instead of trying to sort out a nutrition label.

Not too long after Ginger Park's son, Justin, was born she and her sister, Frances, realized that Justin had incredibly horrible allergies to all nuts, dairy, and eggs. Even a trace of any of these items could make him very sick. To make things harder, Ginger and Frances own a wonderful chocolate shop called Chocolate Chocolate in downtown Washington, D.C. Imagine being a little kid whose mom and aunt own a chocolate store but not being able to go because it could make you sick! Talk about hard knocks! Luckily Justin was blessed with an ingenious mom and aunt who made it their goal to come up with all sorts of awesome recipes that Justin could have (and yes, there's chocolate in this book still - yummy!). This book is filled with those recipes as well as Justin's journey with all of his allergies.

This recipe book is geared for people with children. The book even encourages getting your kiddos involved in the cooking (definitely a fun project). The hands on cooking could be especially good for kids with food allergies as it may help give them a little perspective on how even if you have food allergies, you can still eat really awesome food and not feel like you are missing out. The recipes are delicious enough that all members of a family would really enjoy them though. In order to thoroughly test out the book, I took a couple of the recipes on a test drive just to see how they were. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed. All of the recipes that we tried have the approval of both myself (a not picky eater) and my husband (a pickier eater).






Here's what we tried and how they turned out:
 

- Squash and Scallion pancakes: Delicious! These are really simple to make. I made them with the delicious dipping sauce as well! You could serve them as an appetizer. We had ours along side the bulgogi. They would also make a good stand alone dish when you want something quick, easy and delicious for dinner!

- Bulgogi: It's hard to think about this Korean beef without the yummy taste of sesame but with this recipe, you will never miss the sesame oil. My husband went wild over this dish. He could not stop talking about how much he loved it! I loved it too.

- Brown Bag Brownies: Oh, these were awesome and oh so decadent! They were a little crumbly but if you don't mind making a mess (and when it comes to chocolate goodies, I personally never mind making a mess), these are fantastic.



My mouth is watering now...

I know that I will definitely be making more from this cookbook in the future. The recipes are all very easy to follow and so many of them seem like they would be delicious (okay, really just about every recipe in the book). I do wish there had been pictures of what some of the dishes looked like. I like having a visual guide as to what dishes are supposed to look like!

Overall, I think this is a great cookbook for just about anyone even if you don't have food allergies!




  

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