Hi! I’m Jennifer and welcome to Hickory Creek Kitchen! I’m so glad you’re here!
I’m a former marketing executive turned stay-at-home mom of two amazing children. Over the last 13 years, I have become a food allergy expert while caring for my egg allergic child. I have always loved baking and cooking. But when my son was finally diagnosed with his food allergies I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. Ever since then my kitchen has become a place of much trial and error to create our favorite foods while keeping my child safe from having a life-threatening reaction.
On my son’s 1st birthday was the final straw. The majority of his infancy was filled with lots of illness, vomiting, rashes, all unexplained (and the main reason I decided to become a full-time stay at home mom). At his first birthday party, it was time for his first piece of cake. I was nervous about him eating it because I saw so many time how sick he would get after trying something new. But since this was a tradition we cut a slice of the bakery cake and let him dig in. After the first bite, he was vomiting and red with a splotchy rash. Luckily the Benadryl worked that day. Finally, everyone saw what I was talking about and this event was what pushed us forward to find a new doctor that would figure it out.
In 2004 to find out your child had a food allergy was fairly a new thing. The first allergist we were able to get to do testing on a 1-year-old, told us he could only eat the following: lamb, spinach, peaches, apples, pears, rice, potatoes, and carrots. Yep, 8 foods! I was really stressed out and would cry while grocery shopping. How was I supposed to feed a toddler only 8 foods and make sure he was growing and getting everything he needed nutritionally? Well luckily we were able to get on a waiting list for the best food allergy doctors in Chicago and after 3 months of waiting we found out many of the food allergies were misdiagnosed. So he really only had an allergy to milk and eggs and we were told to avoid nuts until he was 4 years old. Luckily at the age of 4, he passed the peanut challenge and by the age of 6, he outgrew his allergy to milk.
Over the last 13 years, I have learned so much about food and how to make substitutions in recipes to adapt to my son’s ever-changing needs. We have appeared in the New York Times with our story, click here for article. We were also a part of research going on at Children’s Memorial in Chicago and appeared in a tv interview on NBC Chicago in 2008.
Now that we only have to worry about eggs it has made life a bit easier, but so many foods contain egg I find I am still always looking for new products and alternative ways to make something. And most importantly to make it in a way that tastes good so everyone can enjoy!
So I hope to share many of these recipes at Hickory Creek Kitchen as well as other fun things like home decor and our travel experiences because there is more to life than just food allergies!
You can find me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. You can also reach me directly at email@example.com.