The way to this Welcoming Kitchen began at the doctor's office. My son, Casey, was one of those stop-you-on-the-street beautiful babies from his first day. He had enormous wise blue eyes and bright golden-red hair. Within a couple of months, his skin was scaly, scabby, and bloody. He had several trips to the emergency room with breathing trouble. It took us several months to discover that he had multiple food allergies.
Rather than give up in the face of overwhelming diet changes, I learned to cook for my family and friends in a way that was safe for him. It turned out that there were people all around us who were also living with restricted diets for one reason or another. I learned how to cook so that everyone felt comfortable, safe, and joyful around our table. As I started writing recipes, the idea for a cookbook was born...
I started working on Welcoming Kitchen (to be published September 2010 by Sterling Publishing) three years ago. A couple of years ago, I was incredibly fortunate to make friends with my neighbor, Megan. Not only is Megan a great friend, but she is also a dietitian. She joined me, and together we formed the Welcoming Kitchen team.
In keeping with our philosophy that everyone should feel welcome at the table, each Welcoming Kitchen recipe is free of the eight common allergens (dairy, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, fish and shellfish), gluten-free, and vegan. You can always change up the ingredients if your guests can enjoy other ingredients, but we want to make sure that there are lots and lots of recipes that taste fantastic and are safe for almost everyone.
As we were waiting for a publisher for Welcoming Kitchen, we wrote two other cookbooks: The Everything Organic Cooking for Baby and Toddler Book (Adams Media, 2009) and The Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Autism (Adams Media, 2010). Although they don't follow the Welcoming Kitchen format, we put in a lot of ingredient suggestions to make them appealing for a wide audience.
We hope to create a place where you can learn some great recipes, discover fantastic products, and pick up a few tips with this blog.
Kim & Megan
Megan Hart MS, RD