Some of you may be aware that I’ve been experiencing some pretty terrible stomach pains over the last month or so – to the point that I’ve had to come home from work on a number of occasions.  I went to the doctor and he gave me a huge list of things to try to calm down the cramps and churning inside … so I’ve done most of his suggestions and I’m feeling better.  The problem is that now I don’t know which one made me feel better!  So much for me being a true scientist – I should have done an on/off experiment to really see the differences!

Anyway, one of the things he thought of was that because of my gluten and lactose intolerance, my system may be more sensitive to other foods.  Like corn.  And soy.  So I tried to go for 2 weeks without either of them, then introduced corn one day, waited 3 days, then introduced soy and so on (see, I did do some planned experiments!).  But I didn’t realize just how prevalent in the US food industry that corn is.  It’s in EVERYTHING!  It’s really difficult to find something that’s gluten, dairy AND corn free, apart from plain meat, fruit and veggies.  Fortunately we haven’t gone down the path of looking at whether I’m sensitive to nuts – I think I’d put up with the pains if it turned out I couldn’t have peanut butter any more!

So the results were that every time so far I’ve had corn in it’s fresh state i.e. corn on the cob, corn kernels etc, the following day I’ve felt really crook.  When I’ve had it just as cornstarch in baking powder, powdered sugar or mayonnaise, there’s been a few twinges but nothing too bad.  It looks almost conclusive, but I’m currently refusing to believe it and am going to keep trying to eat it!

And I can hear you all asking, what does this have to do with cooking with kids?  Well, this week Abby wanted to make cookies with me, not cupcakes, as she is doing a job shadow at a cookie store just down the road from us next week.  And she wanted to make monster cookies.  You know, the cookies that are irresistible to me, both before and after cooking (see here for the never-fail recipe).  I had bought some dairy-free white chocolate chips and peanut butter candies (kind of like a dairy-free M&M) with an Amazon gift card I received for Christmas (thanks Mum and Dad!) and I was waiting for an opportune moment to use them in monster cookies.  And so it arrived … this week.

When we lived in Chile, Abby had this thing about mixing batter with her hands – I think she remembered when I broke the hand mixer making these cookies previously.  Anyway, she wanted to do that again.  And it was our Mummy-Abby time – which usually alternates between watching movies with hot chocolate in our pyjamas, or baking something.  So we combined them this week …

2016-02-24 Abby mixing monster cookies

We had lots of fun making these and trying out all the new dairy-free stuff.  Unfortunately the chocolate also had cornstarch in it, so I was a little bit wary of how I’d feel afterwards, but I’ve only had a few twinges since then (thank you God!).  They were really REALLY yummy, and you really couldn’t tell that they were gluten and dairy free.  Unfortunately not soy or corn free, but that was ok.  And I had some soy milk neapolitan ice cream in the freezer that was just crying out to be made into ice cream sandwiches … which the whole family partook of that night.  It was awesome!

2016-02-24 Monster cookies

End of the story is that my stomach is stuffed and I have to be really careful what I feed into it.  And how much processed food that involves.  I guess my special snowflake-ness just increased again.  But it doesn’t mean that I can’t continue baking and making really yummy food and, the most important, spending time with my awesome family!

Thanks for reading – feel free to comment below about anything!

Until next time, enjoy cooking at home … with kids!


Filed under: Cooking with kids

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