Pre-Zoe, Memorial Day weekend was an annual trip to Cape May, NJ where we would celebrate my husband’s birthday, hang out with friends and family and gorge ourselves. I’m lucky I married into a family of great cooks and good eaters. There would be sweets for breakfast,  snacks at the beach, sandy sandwiches, afternoons of snacks, cocktails and fried flounder for dinner. I’d diet for weeks and splurge all of my calories over Memorial Day.
With Zoe, the thought of a group of people sharing a condo and eating all over the place is enough to make me break out in hives. Get it, allergy, hives? Oh, the allergy humor–HA!

Anyway, in preparation for this weekend, I borrowed an idea from my new fav site Pinterest. A very crafty woman turned diaper boxes into pretty storage containers. I’ve got diaper boxes galore! Pulled out my modge podge and got to work.

The result is a cute box filled with food that is safe to eat around Zoe. There are potato chips, corn tortilla chips, salsa, sausage, swedish fish, gummy bears and rice Chex cereal. There might be a few more items added after a shopping trip later this week. I’m also going to add wacky cupcakes in honor of Kevin’s birthday. Kevin talked to his family and they have agreed to only eat Zoe-safe food in their living room which is where Zoe will be spending most of her time when we’re in the house. Everyone knows not to actually give the food to Zoe (she could choke on a lot of it), but if she stumbles across crumbs or sticks her hand in the middle of it (hello oral phase), we don’t have to worry.

If you are traveling this weekend and spending it with friends and family, I highly recommend creating your own allergy-safe box and setting up boundaries in the house.  It’s all fun and games until somebody needs an epi-pen. Speaking of which, I’m open to suggestions on how to store epis at the beach w/out them getting too warm or too cold. Have suggestions? Email me at or post them in the comments below.

Have a great, safe weekend!


Even though the chocolate chip muffins broke in half too easily, I still put them in the employee lounge with signage about Zoe and Food Allergy Awareness Week. Out of all of the baked goods I’ve left in that room over the past 7 years, these certainly were eaten the slowest.

Best part? I got lots of compliments about how cute Zoe is and a few co-workers stopped by my office to share their own food allergy stories.

Five days later I made wacky cake cupcakes based off of this recipe. Again, I left them in the employee lounge only this time I really redeemed myself. These cupcakes were amazing. I can’t believe they are wheat, dairy, egg and peanut free. Ever since Zoe was diagnosed I’ve had this irrational worry about her birthday cake. I want the really cute first birthday pictures of her tearing apart her cake. What kind of cake would I be able to serve that would be safe for her? I know that given her allergies I have a lot more serious things to worry about, but this was a big deal to me. Now I’m looking forward to making her wacky cake and taking hundreds of photos.

In addition to finding a birthday cake for Zoe, Food Allergy Awareness Week helped me connect with my co-workers, learn new information about dealing with Food Allergies and teach others as well.



Food Allergy Awareness Week

May 13, 2012

To celebrate Food Allergy Awareness Week (May 13-19) I made wheat free, egg free, dairy free, chocolate chip muffins. My goal was to take them into work tomorrow along with signage about food allergies. Once my co-workers tasted these muffins they would swoon with delight and agree to never serve peanuts at parties and to give [...]

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October 14, 2011

Amiablelife has a new addition: Zoe! Born August 11, 2011. Things I’ve learned since she was born: –every nurse in the hospital has a different opinion about taking care of infants –if I were a spy, I would trade state secrets for a 4 hour nap –Happiest Baby on the Block is for real folks. [...]

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Make ‘em laugh

November 13, 2010

I’ve taken a break from food blogging lately. Oh, I’m still eating, but I’m not writing about it. This past month, I’ve had amazing burgers at Frog Burger and Snow White Diner, a fantastic dinner at R2L and 4 delicious pizza pies from Dr. Oetker’s Pizza. What’s been taking up so much of my time? [...]

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And the beat goes on . . .

October 10, 2010

Thanks to everyone who commented, tweeted, facebooked, emailed and called to tell me to keep writing this blog. Your words of encouragement were much appreciated and made a difference. This weekend I celebrated my birthday and in Amiable Life tradition, invited myself over to other people’s houses to break bread (read: cake). Even with the [...]

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I’m a loser!

October 3, 2010

This post is to announce my loser status in the Project Food Blog. Sadly, I didn’t make it to the third round. I’m discouraged and a little disheartened. Not sure if Amiable Life will continue in its present form. Turns out it’s difficult to get people to invite me to cook with their grandmother and/or [...]

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Vote for me!

September 27, 2010

Hi Readers, I made it to the second round of competition on Project Food Blog! In the next few days, the judges will whittle the list from 400 to 200 writers and your vote counts! You, yes you, can keep me going to the next round. Please click on the Project Food Blog widget to the [...]

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Tess’ Norwegian Stew

September 26, 2010

Sipping dirty martinis at a piano bar, Tess Kristensen taught me two Norwegian phrases necessary for entry into her world.  “Har du penger” translated means, “do you have money?” and “tusen takk” is “a thousand thank yous.” With that, our friendship was born. I’m lucky because for the past 5 years Tess was both my [...]

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(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday

September 22, 2010

Returning to the Philadelphia National Candy, Gift & Gourmet Show for a second year, I found a few of my old favorites in their usual booth locations and was thrilled to discover a few newcomers as well. The first thing to catch my eye? Colorful, fun lollipops from Kencraft Candy Fruit seemed to be a [...]

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