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Simple, delicious family favorites
on March 9, 2007
The whimsical illustration on the cover of Sophie-Safe Cooking is the perfect representation of its contents. Simple, down-home recipes, created from a mother's love. There is just one thing missing...okay, there are eight things missing...milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish. Emily Hendrix authored this delightful collection from the tasty meals and treats she created for her food allergic child, Sophie.
So what's left? Admittedly, I am guessing that Emily's pantry is sparse, with large bags containing a handful of ingredients. Yet, what is in it gets some seriously creative mileage. I like that Emily uses only easy to find, everyday ingredients. Though natural foods and spices are her focus, trips to an expensive specialty grocer (i.e. Whole Foods) are completely unnecessary when following her recipes. Apple cider vinegar is about as exotic as it gets.
Sophie-Safe Cooking houses over 100 recipes very neatly laid out, one per page. Most of the recipes contain less than ten ingredients (always a top feature for me) and for the most part the directions are just a few straightforward sentences. Emily adds in helpful, but brief, notes with several of the recipes. Most of the recipes are Sophie-Safe versions of familiar family favorites, such as Granny's Meatloaf, Shepherd's Pie, and Chocolate Cupcakes (frosted of course!). While a few unique concepts caught my eye, like the Whipped Pinto Beans, Zucchini Brownies, and Taco Vinaigrette. My one and only complaint: the size is handy (6 x 9"), but it is difficult to reference while cooking without a stand to hold the book open.
It should be noted that many of the baked goods rely heavily on oat flour. For those who may have gluten concerns with oats, but would like the benefits of Emily's recipes, Gifts of Nature produces certified gluten-free oats. Purchasing oat flour is a convenience, but unnecessary. Just grind up oats in a blender, food processor, or my favorite, the spice grinder until it becomes flour.
Speaking of oats, the first recipe I trialed from Sophie-Safe Cooking was the Oatmeal Muffins. They were delicious, and gone in minutes! I like that most of Emily's baked goods are somewhat hearty, yet wonderfully sweet and tasty for kids and adults alike. At first I was unsure if the serving-size was correct, but I then realized that they are portioned for little ones. My husband and I each downed two muffins slathered with peanut butter (no peanut allergies in our house), without a pang of guilt.