Bundt cake

source: http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=8&threadid=74242

I found this recipe and haven't tried it yet (no bundt pan). It might work well for cupcakes. Apparently you can use any flavoring you like in place of the peppermint.

Makes 12 Servings

Preheat oven to 325F.

Spray a 10 inch bundt pan with cooking oil and set aside.

Sift together in large bowl and whisk together well:

2 Cups all-purpose flour
2 Teaspoons baking soda
6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (some Fry's cans ok, others not) Update: NONE of the Fry's are ok anymore.
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Cup white sugar
1/2 Teaspoon salt

Whisk together by hand in medium bowl:

1 3/4 Cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 Cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon peppermint extract

Add the wet ingredients to the dry with a few swift strokes just until blended. Pour into bundt pan. Bake 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Cool on rack.


raspberry icing

Adapted from http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Buttercream-Icing

* 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
* 1/2 cup safe margarine
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 5 cups (approx 525 g) icing sugar
* 1 cup thawed frozen raspberries

Makes: About 3 cups of reddish-pink icing


In large bowl, cream shortening, margarine and vanilla with electric mixer. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, add thawed raspberries. If too thin, add icing sugar.

Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.

For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup.


pumpkin cookies

(origin unknown, cut out from a newspaper)

"Perfect for serving at Thanksgiving, a Halloween party or anytime!  They are delicious and, thanks to the goodness of the pumpkin, actually fairly nutritious."

1 cup (250 ml) white sugar
1 cup (250 ml) canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (125 ml) appropriate margarine
2 cups (500 ml) flour
1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
1tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt

Preheat oven to 375F
Cream together sugar, pumpkin and margarine with an electric mixer.
Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and stir until well mixed.
Spray a cookie sheet and drop teaspoons of dough.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until brown.
Let cool and add icing if desired.


allergy shots have begun

After testing highly allergic to grasses, dust, feathers and cats earlier this year, I thought best to seek a second opinion before embarking on an allergy immunotherapy program (allergy shots). 
This time nothing came up for feathers, but grasses where 5 (on approx scale of 4), dust mites were 4 and cats were 3.  There were some others, lesser ones, but I don't recall exactly. 
So I got a scrip for better antihistamines (continue daily), more nasonex (continue daily) and eye drops too should the need arise, until such time as the allergy shots have the desired effect.  Good news is that dust mite and grass shot programs have high success rates, as opposed to cats (which I can continue to avoid).
This is my 2nd week now of the shots, and so far so good with nothing more than a tiny pinprick to show for it.  Then again, I have had symptoms of a cold since yesterday... hmm...


another vaccine, another reaction

My older son (now 5) received his Quadracel vaccine this morning.
He got a few rather large hives on his back and sides, so he was given a liquid antihistamine right away.  He was tired, grumpy and complained of being sore all day (hard to tell if that is because of the vaccine, the antihistamine, or other factors).
This evening, we noticed his shoulder (where the vaccine was injected) was all swollen and had white patches of hives approx 4 inches diameter.  It is pretty clear to us that it is an allergic reaction to the vaccine.
I checked the ingredients on a Canadian manufacturers website (can't be sure it is same one that produced the vaccine he was given). 
Since there were none of the usual suspects, it could be an as-of-yet undiscovered allergy.  Most of the ingredients of the vaccine seem reasonably innocuous.  The only one I suspect is Neomycin, an antibiotic (remember he is allergic to penicillin).  Turns out neomycin is also used in the varivax and MMR shots he was given when younger, shots to which he also had allergic reactions (which we had attributed to egg and gelatin, but if indeed allergic to neomycin, we could add that to the list).
So, we'll keep an eye out for the signs of a neomycin allergy (1-2 week papule within 24-48 hours) and add it to the list of allergies at the pharmacies and report it to our allergist next time we see him.
I've also submitted an adverse reaction report just in case this is part of something else.

On another note, my other son (almost 4 months) got two shots today too.  He was mighty pissed (still is) and cried a lot all day (normally he beams whenever anyone even looks at him and only cries out of impatience for food; but today he sounded in pain).  For sure it's too early to tell whether he'll develop any allergies or not (genetics put the odds against him), but so far so good.