Garam Masala
Jan 24th, 2016 by Alice

From Jason Enevoldsen

  • white peppercorn
  • clove
  • bay
  • cumin
  • cinnamon
  • cardamom
  • coriander
  • Optional: red pepper
  • Optional: mustard seeds


Grind together.

Soy Yogurt (homemade)
Apr 27th, 2015 by Alice

Alice Enevoldsen


  • Yogurt Maker (~$25)
  • Candy Thermometer


  • 3 Capsules Probiotic* or safe yogurt starter — this is the hardest one with dietary restrictions
  • 3.5 Cups Soymilk — must be plain, unsweetened, unenriched. The ingredients should be soy and water.
  • 1/4 Cup Sweetener — try honey first.
  • 2/3 Tsp (or 1/4 Packet) Gelatin
  • A little vanilla if you want vanilla flavor
Soy Yogurt

Soy yogurt in process


Mix soymilk, sweetener, and 3/4 tsp gelatin.

Bring the soymilk/sweetener/gelatin to 180F (not 212!). Stir it so as not to burn it on the bottom. Set it aside.

While the soymilk is cooling, consider sterilizing your yogurt jars.

When the soymilk is 110F (measure!) take out 1 cup and dissolve 3 caplets of probiotic in that 1 cup, OR 1 tablespoon of your last batch of yogurt. Mix that cup gently back into the rest of the milk.

You can cool the soymilk to 110 faster by floating the pot in a sink of cold water. Cooler than 110 is okay, hotter is not.

If you’re adding vanilla, add a little to each jar you want vanilla flavored. Leave one jar unflavored (so you have starter next time). For beginners like me fruit should be added at eating time.

Fill each jar 3/4 full and place in the yogurt maker. DO NOT put lids on the jars, but DO put the lid on the yogurt maker. Turn it on.

Return in 6-8 hours (I do this overnight). Gently tip one jar. The yogurt should jiggle and bulge like set jello. When it slips, it should pull away from the side of the jar making a space there.

Put the lids on the finished jars, label them with the date, and put them in the fridge. They’ll be ready to eat in 3 hours and good for 7 days.


If this is too sweet for you, or not as solid as you’d like, it should process longer. Try 7-8 hours if it is just a little off or 12 hours if you want it tarter. (If you want it sweeter AND more solid, add sweetener and/or more gelatin in stage 1).

Tips and Product Links:

No one gave me any products to try. I discovered and purchased these on my own.

  1. Epica Yogurt Maker:  Also works with seven 4-oz mason jars, or four wide-mouth 8-oz mason jars. I might recommend a larger brand name, or one that has the option of a taller lid. Not sure. Yogurt Maker Automatic with Glass Jars by Euro Cuisine YM100 or Tribest Yolife YL-210 Yogurt Maker.
  2. *Starter. If you’re as allergic to milk as we are, don’t use a yogurt starter, INCLUDING the one that comes with the Epica yogurt maker. They’re usually milk-contaminated. We like Klaire Labs Ther-Biotic Complete, it’s a probiotic capsule. We have also used Jarro-Dophilus Allergen Free Jarrow Formulas, but the flavor it made wasn’t as good. We might eventually try the Yolife Yogurt Starter that is vegan. (You want a starter or probiotic that contains these three microorganisms: lactobacillus rhamnosus, bifidobacterium bifidum, lactobacillus acidophilus. If you can have more rhamnosus than the others, my research says you’re on the road to thicker, sweeter yogurt.)
    It is YOUR job to check all ingredients and cross-contamination to see if it is safe FOR YOU.
  3. Soy milk. Non-sweetened, non-enriched (this part is important, you want to avoid the other ingredients they’ll mess up the “set” of the yogurt). We use Pacific Organic Soy Original UnsweetenedIt is YOUR job to check all ingredients and cross-contamination to see if it is safe FOR YOU.
  4. Sweetener. I’ve only used honey so far, but anything sugary that the bacteria can eat.
  5. Gelatin. Many people use other thickeners. I chose gelatin because I’m familiar with how it works in cooked recipes.
  6. Date Labels. You can label any way you want. I use removable date labels.
  7. Don’t eat your first batch all at once, testing various ways of making it. There’s going to be more good bacteria in there than your body is used to. Ramp up slowly. You wouldn’t swallow a ton of probiotic pills all at once: eat your yogurt in moderation until your body is used to it.


I found these links useful–

The only company making soy yogurt safe for us closed its doors in March of this year. Luckily, their product was so great, it gave me assurance that good soy yogurt was possible. Thanks to David for all the tips, and the boost in morale about the possibility of making soy yogurt at home.

Alcohol and Food Allergies
Jun 26th, 2010 by Alice

This is simply to share what I know about various alcohols and their ingredients, since ingredients labeling currently is not required for alcohol in the United States. I have no expertise, simply some experiences in Seattle, WA. As always, use your own judgment, and please let me know about your own experiences.

Beer and Malt Beverages

Beer itself tends to be straightforward, but can have intriguing things mixed into it. I’m skeptical of beers with names that contain flavors and Christmastime “seasonal” ales (due to added spices and therefore nut).

Hops has a track record of causing contact dermatitis, and both of us find that it unsettles our stomachs. We’ve found Belgian ales to be lower in hops content.

Mike’s Hard Lemonade/Limeade etc – contain malt and other beer-like substances. I have not had a problem thus far.

Wine and the Like

Red Wine – contains sulfites

White Wine – also contains sulfites, but I can tolerate it. I don’t know if you can.

Mead – mead is traditionally made from honey. I’ve tried many meads, but I don’t try the ones that have spices in them or “mulled” meads.

Sake – mostly made from rice. There’s a special kind of mold, koji, that is used instead of yeast to encourage and control the fermentation. Sakes also can contain sulfites.

Vermouth – infused with “botanicals,” who knows what that means. Watch out for martinis, vermouth may be a wine, but it is spritzed over martinis.

Mixed Drinks, Liquor, Liqueurs, etc

WARNING Gin is usually infused with many flavors including nuts. Bombay Sapphire is one I know has almond. Dry Fly is one that I know does not contain any nuts whatsoever (the people at Dry Fly are also very nice about answering ingredients inquiries).

WARNING Maraschino cherries may contain almond, and some bartenders like to add cherries or cherry juice unexpectedly. Explain why cherries are a bad idea when ordering your drinks. Several other anecdotal commentors have indicated that Maraschino is usually just sugar and color, traditional has an almond-like flavor from the cherries themselves, sometimes this is done with apricot. In any case, unless I’m holding the jar in my hands I won’t deal with them, since sometimes they do have almond.

Vodka – vodka is a popular drink to flavor, so watch the added flavorings, but what it is made of CAN VARY. Just because you’ve heard that vodka is from potatoes doesn’t mean it all is. I personally have now seen wheat-, rye-, potato-, and honey-based vodkas. Given that though, I find plain vodkas a great starting point when I’m out, one that isn’t scary because they usually are either very plain or the flavor is broadcasted all over the label.

WARNING Absinthe – Even now that it is legal again, I have no plans to ever try it. First it’s anise flavored (which is one of my allergies), and second, I don’t have a good way to test my allergies to wormwood first. Thirdly it contains other undefined herbs.

WARNING Chartreuse – contains over a hundred herbal extracts. I’m not interested in trying this, or trying to figure out if I’m allergic to any of them, I’m sure I’m allergic to at least one.

WARNING Jägermeister – also contains a large number of herbs, fruits, spices etc. That’s too many for me. Jäger is common in mixed drinks, especially drinks that have reputations as NOT “girly” drinks. Some people One bar I have visited adds Jäger to Long Island Iced Tea, even though that is not traditional. Remember, I’m allergic to a few spices and apricot pits, so I don’t mess around with unknown ingredients. I’ve read claims that Jäger does not contain either nuts or peanuts, and as a secret recipe, I don’t know the actual ingredients.

WARNING Vermouth (technically a wine) vermouth is infused with “botanicals,” who knows what that means. Vermouth is spritzed over martinis. Okay, I’m super confused about vermouth. Because there’s a wine that you can drink, infused with botanicals, and dry vermouth is an ingredient in dry martinis … anything that says “botanicals” I stay AWAY from.

Scotch, Bourbon, Whiskey – usually start from barley, rye, or wheat and are aged in barrels (frequently oak). Sometimes those barrels have been used for other alcohols first (sherry or bourbon – yes, some scotches are aged in bourbon barrels). The grain is usually malted and sometimes smoked – leaving a peaty flavor. Laphroaig scotch usually starts with water from peat bogs, in addition to being smoked over peat. Single malt scotches have a name that they want to maintain, so they’re quite consistent between batches.

WARNING Frangelico – is a hazelnut liqueur. STAY AWAY. This is contained in the popular “chocolate cake” shot – a shot that tastes like chocolate cake but has no cake and no chocolate.

WARNING Amaretto – this is almond liqueur. STAY AWAY.

Godiva Chocolate and White Chocolate liqueur – I had a little bit of a not-so-fun feeling in my mouth on tasting the Godiva chocolate liqueur. Since I don’t know and can’t find the real ingredients I’m staying away.

WARNING Celtic Crossing – I reacted minorly to this. It tasted a bit like almonds. I don’t know what it actually was that caused the reaction.

Kaluah – I’m pretty sensitive to peanuts and tree nuts and I don’t have a problem with this coffee-flavored liqueur. Jason won’t try it though because of his coffee sensitivity and general legume allergy.

Brandy, Cognac, Port – all of these start with wine. I said above that I don’t do red wines for the sulfites, but I haven’t had a problem with brandy or cognac. Port sometimes makes me sneeze, but I like tawny port anyway.

Grand Marnier – a citrus-flavored cognac

Rum – I haven’t tried the spiced rums, but both dark and white rum are pretty straightforward. They start from cane sugar, and some dark rums are aged in barrels.

Cointreau – citrus-flavored, but is NOT a cognac. This liqueur doesn’t start with wine. I have no clue what it really is, but I’m not allergic to it and neither is Jason.

Chambord – dark, berry-flavored. That’s all I’ve got. I’m not allergic to it and neither is Jason.

Tequila – is made from agave syrup. This does bother Jason, and if you’re sensitive to cacti or tropical fruits I’d be careful of it. I recommend getting tested or challenging agave before trying tequila.

General Advice

Alcohol impairs judgment. If you have food allergies, alcohol may make it harder to make the right decision about using your EpiPen or taking your Benadryl. Surround yourself with trustworthy friends when drinking and call for help if you’re not sure about something.

I have heard some reports that alcohol can speed up allergic reactions or make you more sensitive than usual. Please be cautious.

Benadryl and alcohol can mix badly as they’re both sedatives, so be careful. Follow your doctor’s instructions at all times. I have found consulting nurses, on-campus nurses, and doctors perfectly willing to discuss what happens when you mix alcohol with emergency allergy medications with me – especially when I bring it up before it happens accidentally. Alcohol is common in our society, and an expected part of many social interactions after a certain age. If you have a quick chat with your doctor before you get into a situation involving more than a sip of wine, then you’ll be prepared and ready (on the allergy front anyway) when you’re offered your first drink.

Cocktail shakers can be used for multiple drinks. Watch out for cross-contamination.

Finally, if you plan to go out with friends and you’re not the designated driver, I advise finding a simple, commonly-available alcoholic drink that you are comfortable ordering in a mixed setting before you go out. This way you always have a safe fallback that most bars will carry and you don’t have to feel put upon when the order comes around to you and you start listing allergies. Tee-totallers do this too – they order plain Coke (looks like they’re drinking rum-and-coke) or 7-up (looks like 7-and-7). Rum and Coke, vodka with a twist of lemon, scotch, etc. Feel free to tell your bartender to mix whatever you want. You know he has Sprite or 7-Up or some kind of safe fruit juice and your favorite liqueur? So what if it’s 7-Up and bourbon? Tell him what you want, he’ll probably do it – you’re usually only paying for the liquor and his time anyway.

Final Notes

You know this already: communicate with your server and the bartender when possible. In my experience these people are even more attentive and able to accommodate requests than restaurant servers and chefs. Perhaps there is less pressure in some of the settings I’ve been in, or perhaps there is some reality in the stereotype that bartenders are there to listen, but whatever it is, I’m glad for it.

I’ll keep adding to this as I learn more and as you leave your experiences in the comments.

Asian-Staple Substitutions
May 23rd, 2010 by Alice

Some of my standard substitutions for Asian-food staples:

  • Soy sauce = Maggi Seasoning (no soy, but wheat) never bothers my mild soy allergy.
  • Soy sauce = Two friends recommend San-J Wheat-Free Tamari (I’ve never used it – you know, the soy). Another friend recommends Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • Fish sauce = add a 1inchx2inch piece of cooked salmon (or raw if you’re making soup anyway)
  • Fish sauce = add a 1inchx2inch piece of smoked salmon works too
  • Fish sauce = (I know the above don’t help you if you have a fish allergy – for you I’d add a good dollop of salt, or perhaps some seaweed if that works) You might even try beef bouillon
  • sesame oil = canola oil with a touch of Maggi or “soy sauce”
  • sesame oil = canola oil with some spice added, try a grind or two of white pepper to get that “Asian spice flavor”, or a bit of Fenugreek to add the richness of sesame
  • “seasoned” rice wine vinegar = usually is seasoned with sugar and salt. Judge for yourself whether it is worth the risk, we have no trouble with it
  • rice wine vinegar = white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with a little sugar
  • bean sprouts = julienned broccoli stems (crazy, right?!)
  • Shiso leaf = peppermint leaf or basil leaf (it isn’t at all the same, but sometimes random weird ideas work)
  • bean noodles = rice noodles
Egg Substitute – Egg Replacer
May 14th, 2010 by Alice

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this yet. My go-to actually-for-real-egg-free egg substitute is Ener-G Egg Replacer. It is currently carried by Amazon.

Ener-G Egg Replacer

Their listed ingredients (but check your own box to be sure) are: Potato Starch, tapioca starch flour, leavening (calcium lactate [not derived from dairy], calcium carbonate, citric acid), sodium carboxymethylcellulose, methylcellulose.

I follow the directions on the back of the box. I always use it in baked goods, and have had luck in things like chicken nuggets as well which I wasn’t expecting.

When that’s not an option I use this recipe:

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon water (or other liquid)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network keeps a good list of substitutes on hand as well.

Safe “Old Bay” Seasoning
Apr 4th, 2010 by Alice

From Jason Enevoldsen

  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ½  tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp clove
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • ⅛ tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp (or more) bay


Grind up all the spices as fine as possible (or as finely as you have the patience for), then mix together.

As Old Bay seasoning has nutmeg and all-spice, it isn’t an option for us. Here’s something that smells the same and is tasty in similar recipes.

Green Tea Spice Rub
Dec 16th, 2009 by Alice

From Jason Enevoldsen

  • 10 Grams Celery seeds
  • 30 Grams Onion powder
  • 10 Grams Cayenne pepper
  • 35 Grams Garlic powder
  • 150 Grams Tea
  • 25 Grams Black pepper
  • 75-100 Grams Salt
  • 50-75 Grams Chili pepper


Combine. Coat on yummy meat. Cook.

Mayonnaise Substitute – Zesty French Dressing
Jun 27th, 2009 by Alice

Brianna’s Zesty French Dressing is almost creamy enough to pass for an herbed mayonnaise. It is slightly spicy, but not overly vinegary. It is more runny than mayo, so be sure to figure that in when substituting.

Brianna's Zesty French

Brianna's Zesty French

Beware! Brianna’s labels often picture foods that are not actually contained within the dressing. The most famous kerfuffle involves their Dijon Honey Mustard – which not only pictures an avocado, but is the exact same shade of green. There are no avocados in the Honey Mustard.

I wouldn’t use it in a chocolate-mayonnaise cake*, but in a case where you’re using mayo and don’t mind some spice and flavor, it works out quite well.

As of 6/2009 Brianna’s is available on Amazon.

*Yes, chocolate-mayonnaise cake. If you haven’t tried it, and you can have both chocolate and mayonnaise I recommend it.

Oat Milk Recipe
Jun 6th, 2009 by Alice

  • 1 cup Oats, rolled (raw)
  • 5 cups Water
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


Bring all ingredients to a boil, and simmer covered for an hour. Strain.

Alternative 2

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 cups cooked oatmeal


Blend in a blender until smooth. (Shake again before serving)

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