Happy one month birthday to Nut Free Wok!
(I know that’s cheesy and I promise I won’t celebrate on the first of every month for the next 11 months. 🙂 )
I woke up on January 1st with the intention of launching Nut Free Wok but first I had to clean my kitchen and prepare for our very dear friends to come over for dinner with their children to celebrate the new year and to catch up. All of us, kids and adults, really enjoy each other’s company and their family couldn’t be more supportive and kind about our children’s food allergies. I am so touched when they tell me about their children realizing that there are certain foods and situations that wouldn’t be safe for my children. They support our family’s fundraising efforts and my volunteer activities with FARE and SAFAR. They are even willing to be nut free 24/7 when our families take weekend trips together. Every food allergy family would want friends like ours in their community. I made Chicken Teriyaki Thighs, garlicky noodles (recipe is in queue), and green beans for dinner. Later we had mandarin oranges and rice crispy squares for dessert.
I hadn’t launched my blog yet and I didn’t tell my friends about my plans, just in case I wanted to chicken out. But I decided to make rice crispy squares as a tangible and concrete representation of blogging, of my thoughts, experiences, passions, and creativity expressed through words and pictures partially due to a conversation that I had had with Annelies, one of the speakers at the Food Allergy Blogger Conference. During one of the sessions, I had shared my idea of starting an Asian food allergy blog and later Annelies approached me to encourage me to pursue the idea and she zeroed in on some key points that I needed to know about how to start. I was floored by her openness and generosity considering I had just met her less than 24 hours earlier. Even though there was a box of Erewhon cereal in my conference swag bags (yes, plural! 2 bags!), she offered to send me my choice of cereal and because of my children’s multiple food allergies, I asked if I could sample their organic brown rice crispy and organic cocoa crispy brown rice cereal. The cereal boxes sat on my kitchen counter through Thanksgiving, oral food challenges at a hospital, family members getting sick, and holiday festivities. But during those two months, I worked on the website and the boxes of cereal were concrete representations of Annelies advice and belief in my idea as well as a reminder not to procrastinate.
A new year, a new blog, a new adventure, and in honor of new and old friends, I made two batches of rice crispy squares, one plain and one cocoa flavored. I used a standard recipe and both variations were wonderful and I loved the idea of making a yummy treat from an organic, whole grain product. The plain ones tasted great but the cocoa ones were awesome! After our friends went home, I cleaned up, worked on a few things and launched into the blogosphere! I’m so glad I didn’t chicken out as the response has been heartwarming. My favorite feedback is from a friend who felt inspired by my willingness to jump right in, so she decided to start a program at her church to help food allergy and special needs kids feel loved and included. Wow! I believe that with the mutual support and encouragement among friends, the food allergy community can make a difference and make life a little more brighter and happier.
Many thanks to friends, bloggers and organizations who have shared my page. I love the engagement via comments, Facebook page, Twitter, and personal messages so that I know I’m not talking to myself. I do hope that you will find some recipes and food allergy related information that will be helpful to you. Living life with food allergies is not easy but so much better when we have friends and a supportive community and a little bit of Allergy Aware Asian Fare! 😉
Cheers to our friends who came over on January 1st, to Annelies and other encouraging friends, and to my gracious Nut Free Wok readers and friends, all of whom are part of my community as well. Much love to my husband and children, my taste-testers and the loves of my life. <3
Disclosure: I received the Erewhon cereals from Attune Foods as a gift with no obligation to post a review and I have shared my personal and honest opinion.