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Dec 27, 2015

Nog French Toast Bake {dairy + gluten free}

Updated December 27, 2015

I love making Christmas a special time for my boys. We do lots of activities on Christmas Eve, including sprinkling reindeer food outside, leaving our magic key for Santa to get into the house, and our Elf on the Shelf, Teddy always leaves them a special gift. Teddy didn't show up this year though. Apparently he knew that his shenanigans would be too stressful for us with a new baby in the house or something. ;) 

In the past I've always made pancakes or coffee cake for breakfast on Christmas morning, and felt rushed to prepare and bake that early while the gift-unwrapping is occurring. A couple of years ago, I decided to make something for breakfast in advance so that I could just pop it in the oven first thing and enjoy the rest of the morning with the boys rather than standing over the stove the whole time.  

Nog French Toast Bake {dairy + gluten free} from Making it Milk-free

Dec 7, 2015

Winter Wonderland Holiday House {dairy+egg free}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HoneyMaidHouse #CollectiveBias

Christmastime is full of traditions, whether new or old. Mason and I have a tradition that we started when he was just a year old. Every year around his birthday in early December, we create a "gingerbread house." Because of food allergies, we always have to be careful with the ingredients we choose for the house and decor. Honey Maid graham crackers have always been our item of choice to build the house from because they don't contain milk. Another bonus? Mom doesn't have to spend time baking safe gingerbread and cutting the pieces out because the graham crackers are ready to go!

Winter Wonderland Holiday House | Making it Milk-free

Dec 6, 2015

Cranberry Bliss Oatmeal Cookies {dairy + gluten free}

Now that I've discovered an awesome dairy-free white chocolate, it is my goal to create as many amazing holiday treats using it as possible each year. For some reason white chocolate makes me think of the holidays. Also, oatmeal cookies are one of my absolute favorites, so it's a win-win!

Cranberry Bliss Oatmeal Cookies {dairy + gluten free} from Making it Milk-free

This time of year is always conflicting. On one hand, I want to try and eat healthfully in spite of all the delicious goodies around, but on the other hand I want to bake and create new festive holiday recipes. I figure that as long as I can find someone to share the treats with, they won't be in my house tempting me to eat them. This is where cookie exchanges come in handy.

With food allergies and intolerances, exchanging foods with others can be tricky. Most often the things we receive from others are not dairy and gluten free. The one upside to cookie exchanges is that I don't have any desire to eat most of them, knowing how miserable I would be afterwards, so it helps me to not be tempted by everything.

As much as I love sharing recipes with you, especially around the holidays, I decided to make it even more fun this year by giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to lucky reader (see details below)! 

Update: Thanks to my generous friends at Premium Chocolatiers, the winner will also receive their Signature Truffle Collection (15 pieces of vegan, nut-free, gluten-free deliciousness worth $29.50)!

For a fun twist on a holiday cookie exchange, I'm participating in a Virtual Gluten-free Christmas Cookie Exchange with 17 other fabulous bloggers. Not only are we sharing an array of delicious gluten-free cookie recipes, we're also each giving away some fantastic prizes! After you've entered to win below, head on over to the others and find some recipes to satisfy any sweet tooth this holiday season and check out the other giveaways too!

Cranberry Bliss Oatmeal Cookies {dairy + gluten free} from Making it Milk-free

Cranberry Bliss Oatmeal Cookies {dairy + gluten free}

  • 1 cup dairy-free butter substitute 
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 bar dairy-free white chocolate, chopped into small pieces (I used Milkless Polar Dream from Premium Chocolatiers)

In a large bowl, cream together dairy free butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, cinnamon, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients gradually while mixing on low speed, just until combined. 

Fold in the gluten-free oats, dried cranberries, and dairy-free white chocolate pieces until evenly dispersed throughout the batter. Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. 

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Using a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop batter onto parchment paper in balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Press the center of each ball down slightly to flatten the cookies a bit. Bake for 12 minutes.

Check out all 18 recipes in our virtual gluten-free cookie exchange, listed in the order they appear in the photo, left to right, row by row:

Nov 23, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls {dairy + gluten free} and Hallmark Ornaments

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SendHallmark #CollectiveBias

When Mason was born two weeks before Christmas almost seven years ago, the hospital gave us a gift basket that included a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament. I suppose maybe that's what they do for almost-Christmas babies. Since we did not get one this year for Dawson and our local Hallmark store closed awhile back, I was at a loss. I started looking online and realized that Walmart carries them!

I packed up my little guy and we trekked out to Walmart. I was excited to find a huge selection of Hallmark Ornaments in the Seasonal section at my local store. I actually arrived just minutes after two employees had finished stocking the shelves, so they were not picked over at all. I would recommend checking out your Walmart store's selection early so you can find the perfect Hallmark ornament for your Christmas tree, or even to give as a gift to someone you love.

I remember as a child, each year before Christmas, we would get a Hallmark catalog in the mail and would pour over the fun, festive ornaments. There were always so many new options each year and since decorating for the Holidays was one of my favorite things to do, I would imagine all of the possibilities if only my mom would let us buy one of each. Hallmark Ornaments are the perfect addition to any Christmas tree or holiday decor!

While that dream never did come true, I do remember a few specific, special ornaments that we would trim the tree with each year. The cutest ones were always the Hallmark ones. That stuck with me and I knew as an adult that I wanted to collect them for special events. Not only do I have a Baby's First Christmas ornament from Mason's birth year, but I also have one from our wedding year. These moments are so much fun to remember again when the holidays arrive!

When I found the Hallmark Ornaments at Walmart, they had several cute options. I was not prepared to have to make a decision. While I have spent the past few years trying to convert the majority of our ornaments to neutrals and metallic finishes, I try to get one ornament each year for our boys that represents something they are into at the moment. I found the cutest "Baby's First Christmas" picture frame ornament that'll be perfect for a little photo of Dawson. Mason is into super heroes at the moment, so Iron Man was very fitting for him too.

Now, I know we haven't even made it to Thanksgiving quite yet, but wandering around the holiday section at Walmart started to put me in the mood for Christmas. I could do without the cold weather, but there are so many parts of the season that I love and can't wait to experience as a family of five this year with our new little man!

I started thinking about sitting around watching Christmas movies with the kids with just the lights from the tree illuminating the room. The warm and cozy scents of the season, the holiday cheer that seems to spread everywhere you go, and the food. My goodness, the food... So many memories there!

I always try to replicate a favorite dish or dessert from my childhood, but dairy-free and gluten-free so that we can all enjoy it together. The first thing I thought of were my mom's Peanut Butter Balls that she has made every year since my childhood. While they are a simple dessert that could definitely be enjoyed any time of year, there is just something about having them at the holidays that is so nostalgic for me. 

I decided I needed to make them, stat! They're so simple that I already had all of the ingredients on hand. The only variances from my mom's recipe is that I used gluten-free rice cereal, dairy-free butter, dairy-free chocolate chips, and added a bit of coconut oil. I decided to dress them up a bit from the original recipe by adding some festive toppings. You could really use any sort of topping you would like to. It's kind of fun to switch it up a bit with the cool minty candy canes, the salty pretzels, and the sweet sprinkles. For an extra fun touch, insert candy canes in the middle to replicate a hook on your ornament! 

Dressed up holiday dessert classic inspired by Hallmark Ornaments at Walmart.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls {dairy + gluten free}

  • 3 cups gluten-free crispy rice cereal
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter (or other nut or seed butter)
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free butter substitute, melted
  • 1 package dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
Topping suggestions:
  • crushed peppermints or candy canes
  • decorative sprinkles
  • decorative sugar
  • crushed gluten-free pretzels
  • dairy-free white chocolate drizzle
  • caramel drizzle
  • melted peanut butter drizzle

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Set aside.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the peanut butter and dairy-free butter substitute. Microwave 30 seconds or until butter is melted and peanut butter is slightly softened.

In a large bowl, mix together the crispy rice cereal and powdered sugar. Pour the peanut butter/butter mixture over the top and fold together until the mixture is well combined.

Dressed up holiday dessert classic inspired by Hallmark Ornaments at Walmart.

Combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.


Step 1. Using your hands, scoop out a handful of the mixture and press together until it begins to form a ball. You want them to be about one inch to an inch and a half in diameter so they can be eaten in a few bites.

Dressed up holiday dessert classic inspired by Hallmark Ornaments at Walmart.

Step 2. Set the peanut butter balls on the parchment and continue until you've used all of the mixture. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to help the peanut butter mixture set up and hold its shape. (I can usually get about 20-22 out of this recipe).
    • If you want to make them look like ornaments with hooks, BEFORE refrigerating, gently press the straight end of a candy cane into each ball. You will likely have to press the mixture around the candy cane to keep it together. (I like to break the candy canes down so they are shorter or use mini candy canes.) Remove the candy canes and when coating them and be careful not to fill the hole completely with chocolate. A little bit is okay as it will help to hold the candy cane in place. Once coated, reinsert the candy cane.
Dressed up holiday dessert classic inspired by Hallmark Ornaments at Walmart.

Step 3. Using a large spoon or two forks, gently dunk each peanut butter ball in the melted chocolate and coat the outside completely. Gently shake them as you remove them from the chocolate to remove some of the excess.

Dressed up holiday dessert classic inspired by Hallmark Ornaments at Walmart.

Step 4. Place each coated peanut butter ball on the parchment paper. Add toppings before the chocolate sets. Once all are coated in chocolate and toppings are added, place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to set before serving.

Dressed up holiday dessert classic inspired by Hallmark Ornaments at Walmart.

Hallmark Ornaments at Walmart | Making it Milk-free | www.makingitmilkfree.com

Which Hallmark Ornament will you choose this season?

Dressed up classic holiday dessert inspired by Hallmark Ornaments from Walmart.

Nov 21, 2015

Maple Pecan Granola {gluten free + vegan}

It's no secret that one of the best parts of Thanksgiving are the leftovers. There are so many unique and delicious recipe ideas out there using everything from the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and cranberry sauce. If you are lucky enough to snag some of the leftovers, you can create delicious meals for the next few days.

Crunchy, salty and slightly sweet granola with a hint of cinnamon and maple. Perfect for layering with your favorite dairy-free yogurt for a breakfast parfait.

Nov 20, 2015

Food Allergy Friendships (and Making it Milk-free is Three!)

I realized a few days late that Making it Milk-free turned three years old! November 11 is a special day for many reasons. It is Veteran's Day, our wedding anniversary, and the day I decided to start a blog. In all honesty, I didn't know what I was doing three years ago when I decided to start blogging. (If you followed back then, I'm sure you could guess that!) As I reflect on that time, I have discovered so much more than I ever thought I would.

Photo Credit: Food Allergy Jams

Nov 17, 2015

Black Forest Trifle {dairy + gluten free}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SilkDairyFree #CollectiveBias

#chocolate #cherry #trifle #dairyfree #glutenfree #dessert #silk #yogurt

I am a creature of habit in many areas of my life. Grocery shopping is one of these areas. This stems from buying foods for specific restricted diets and the many years I have spent looking for certain products and trying to find the best deals. When I do venture out to a new or different store than usual, if I find a familiar product, I often do a happy dance in the aisle. Yes, I get many strange looks but it is just so exciting! If you or a loved one has food allergies, I am sure you can relate!

Nov 11, 2015

Caramel Apple Blondies with Caramel Sauce {gluten free + vegan}

It's no secret that apples are one of my favorite ingredients to use in recipes during the fall. Just type in "apple" in the search box over there ---> and you will see!

I have tried on a couple of occasions to make a dairy-free caramel sauce that would work for dipping apple slices in, drizzling over ice cream, or adding to baked desserts for a gooey addition. I finally had the time and patience to develop the perfect sauce and I was super excited to find a use for it. I decided the first recipe I would use it for would incorporate all three.

#glutenfree #dairyfree #vegan #blondies #apples #caramel

Nov 10, 2015

Baked Pumpkin Spice French Toast {gluten + dairy free}

French toast is one of our breakfast favorites around here. Usually just made by dipping slices of bread into a mixture of egg, almond milk, and cinnamon, and frying it up, then served with a drizzle of maple syrup. I love the idea of baked french toast, which typically is put together the night before and refrigerated overnight, saving you time in the morning. While it sounds nice, putting the whole thing together really only takes a couple of minutes. The main reason to make it ahead is to allow the bread more time to soak up the liquid for a more custard-like texture.

#glutenfree #dairyfree #frenchtoast #breakfast #pumpkinspice

Nov 7, 2015

Iced Animal Crackers {gluten + dairy free}

When I was a kid, animal crackers were one of my favorite snacks. My favorites were the ones in the pink bag: shortbread cookies, lightly frosted with a hardened glaze. My second favorite were the iced ones, coated in pink and white icing and topped with sprinkles. While I have been able to find one brand of the lightly frosted animal crackers that are dairy-free and safe for my little guy, I haven't found any that are free of both dairy and gluten, and also have icing.

The plain animal crackers are okay, but I'll usually only eat a couple and then be done with them. Which is probably better than eating an entire package, but where's the fun in that? Ha!

#glutenfree #dairyfree #animal_crackers #snacks

Nov 5, 2015

Doughnut Round-up {gluten + dairy free}

Apparently today is National Doughnut (Donut?) Day. I wish I would've known this sooner as I would have made some doughnuts for breakfast to celebrate!

But I certainly believe that every day is a good day for doughnuts, so I thought I would put several of my recipes here in one place. 

Doughnut Round-up {gluten + dairy free}

Nov 2, 2015

Easy Holiday Cleanup with Huggies®

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HuggiesforHolidays #CollectiveBias #CVSHuggiesHeroes

As the mom of a young boy with food allergies, I'm no stranger to keeping baby wipes on hand to clean up messes. I use them on surfaces we may touch to clean up after those who came before us, to wipe hands before eating, to wipe faces and hands after eating, even to clean up spills in the car. I should probably just buy stock in baby wipes already!


Nov 1, 2015

Mocha Mississippi Mud Crunch Bars {dairy + gluten free}

Do you ever randomly think about foods from your childhood that you didn't really think you liked, but suddenly you have to try them again? I hadn't had that experience until about the last trimester of my pregnancy. For some reason, out of the blue, I would have a memory of a particular recipe that my mom would make and decided I had to make it.

One such food item was brownies. I remember my brother being a fan of brownies, but I didn't care for them as much. I do remember a specific recipe for caramel brownies that Mom made using a German chocolate cake mix and individual caramels. That was probably the one I actually enjoyed the most. Because I haven't come up with a way to remake those gooey caramel squares sans dairy, I didn't make the effort to try them.

#glutenfree #dairyfree #chocolate #brownies

Oct 27, 2015

S'mores Popcorn Snack Mix {dairy + gluten free}

I have been really into snack foods lately. So much so that I will almost forget to eat a meal and will just snack all day instead. While that doesn't sound super unhealthy, if I am not careful I can find myself eating junk food all day. Because of this, I've been trying to keep healthier choices around like dried fruits and nuts, and fresh fruit and veggies cleaned, cut up, and ready in the refrigerator.

S'mores Popcorn Snack Mix by Making it Milk-free

Oct 24, 2015

Keep it Teal: the Teal Pumpkin Project

Teal Ombre Pumpkin with Glitter & Teal Mummy Pumpkin by Making it Milk-free | Teal Pumpkin Project | makingitmilkfree.com

If you haven't heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project yet, you're probably living under a rock. I kid...sort of. The Teal Pumpkin Project has been all over social media this fall. The campaign was launched in 2014 by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) to raise awareness of food allergies. It also is a way to encourage others to include people with food allergies in the fun of trick-or-treating on Halloween by handing out non-food items instead of just candy, which many with allergies are unable to fully enjoy. Find out more about how you can participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project™.

Oct 12, 2015

Bringing the Perfect Fall Day Indoors with Glade® Limited Edition Fall Collection

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 
#GladeForFall #CollectiveBias

#gladeforfall #collectivebias

Oct 3, 2015

Southwest Chipotle Dip

In the past couple of weeks, I have been enjoying my Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs immensely. Although I am a fan of mustard with my corn dogs, I was really wanting to switch things up a bit with a different dipping sauce. I decided a smoky, slightly sweet sauce would be perfect. Add a little cayenne if you like some heat too! 


Oct 1, 2015

Apple Pie Pizza {gluten-free + vegan}

When faced with a boxed pizza crust mix, the logical thing to do would be to make a savory pizza recipe with it. I plan to, but first I knew I wanted to recreate a dessert pizza that I remember from my childhood. Enjoy Life Foods Pizza Crust Mix has enough of a neutral flavor that it works well with both savory and sweet toppings. Because I added so much in the way of sweet toppings, it actually helped to not have a sweet crust underneath. 

#glutenfree #vegan #applepie #dessert

Sep 30, 2015

Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches {gluten-free + vegan}

Did you know that Enjoy Life Foods now has boxed mixes? I was so excited when I found this out because Enjoy Life is one of our absolute favorite, go-to brands when it comes to allergy-friendly, safe treats. I recently had the opportunity to try out one of each of their new mixes and let me tell you, they were fantastic!

#glutenfree #allergyfriendly #enjoylifefoods

Sep 18, 2015

Easy Party Food: Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs

During my pregnancy, one of the foods I found that I couldn't tolerate was pork. In any form. If I ate pork at all, I felt absolutely awful for the entire rest of the day. It only took a couple of occurrences to determine what was causing me to feel terrible, so I would try and drink as much water as possible and just do my best to sleep it off. After the first couple of times this happened, I just avoided pork completely through the rest of my pregnancy.

Sep 17, 2015

Dawson Thomas: Welcome Baby!

I haven't blogged regularly in quite some time. The past 9+ months or so I lacked motivation because I was super tired during my pregnancy and had morning (more like ALL day) sickness nearly the entire time. Between working full-time, trying to keep up with our busy 6-year old during summer vacation, and maintaining some semblance of our "normal" life, I just couldn't handle much else! 

But I am thrilled to announce that we welcomed our sweet, new baby boy - Dawson Thomas - on September 8th! 

Sep 1, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches {gluten free + vegan}

Ice cream sandwiches are a classic summer treat. I used to enjoy them as a child and I would love nothing more than for my little one to enjoy them too. Unfortunately, your typical ice cream sandwiches are made with real vanilla ice cream, ruling them out for us. I have found a few dairy-free options at the grocery store, usually made with coconut milk ice cream. This is fine, but sometimes you just crave that "real" vanilla ice cream flavor. The other issue for us is that most of those also contain gluten. Not that I have to be able to enjoy them with the kids necessarily, but I don't mind the occasional treat as well! 

We recently had the opportunity to try the new Cashew Milk Frozen Desserts from our wonderful friends at So Delicious Dairy Free. The Creamy Cashew flavor is SO close to that of a homemade vanilla ice cream and super scrumptious. I just knew I wanted to make our own ice cream sandwiches from the moment I first tasted it. 

gluten-free, vegan, so delicious dairy free

Aug 1, 2015

Lemon Blueberry Muffins {top 8 + gluten free}

I'm loving testing out the NEW! Enjoy Life Foods boxed mixes. With simple directions and minimal ingredients to add, I can easily use them to create fun, unique recipes with no fuss.

This morning I decided to use the Muffin Mix to create some yummy, lemony, blueberry muffins. The lemon adds a nice bright flavor and the blueberries pop for a fresh summery flavor. I like to pop some fresh blueberries in the freezer overnight so they don't turn the batter blue when I use them when baking. 

Apr 11, 2015

Cornbread Muffins {gluten free + vegan}

During the cooler months, one of our favorite meals is chili. I make a huge batch and cook it all day in the slow cooker. These Cornbread Muffins are the perfect side dish. Actually, they are perfect for a side with just about anything! I also happen to love them for breakfast, drizzled with a bit of maple syrup. Just thinking about it now...I'm going to have to make another batch! 

Cornbread Muffins by Making it Milk-free

Apr 7, 2015

Blueberry Cornbread Donuts {gluten free + vegan}

Well, I finally got bored with sitting around watching TV and decided to get to work on some long overdue recipe posts. Lately, as soon as I feel a little bit of baking/cooking motivation coming on, I take advantage, create a new recipe, and shoot photos. It's the actual posting of those recipes that's been neglected after that. But...I'm going to do my best to get caught up on a few of our favorites so that I can share them with you!

Blueberry Cornbread Donuts by Making it Milk-free

These Blueberry Cornbread Donuts were a fun experiment that turned out really unique and delicious. They can definitely be made in the more traditional muffin shape, but I thought the donuts were a fun and interesting change. Plus, my boys seem to eat things better when they're shaped like junk food rather than their healthier counterparts.

Mar 8, 2015

Grasshopper Pie {gluten free + vegan}

My apologies for being a little M.I.A. since around Christmastime, but thank you for hanging in here! What started as a fun winter/holiday break quickly turned into a sickness-filled couple of weeks for our little family. Shortly after the new year began, we found out that we are expecting! Our family of four will be a family of five in early September and we are SO excited!

I have felt pretty awful for the most part these past few months, but I am thrilled to say that I am (finally) regaining my energy and not feeling sick as often. Just in time for spring - thank goodness! 

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