“I’m so glad we went!” That’s what I told my husband on our way home from Kyle Dine‘s concert. It was completely worth the drive which was a little over an hour. Seeing Superman’s smile smeared across his face like (dairy-free) chocolate sauce made the last minute scramble to leave on time completely worth it.
I wasn’t completely sure if Superman would even like it. Usually in larger crowds he clams up, shuts down, and gets shy, especially if the atmosphere is too loud. He’s slowly growing out of this trend, so his attitude could have been good or bad. Luckily it was good. Very good. So good that after stepping out to take my 2-year old to the bathroom, I came back and Superman was in the front row. He even volunteered to be a sign holder for one of Kyle’s songs and had a blast!
It was so encouraging to see Superman raise his hand confidently when Kyle would ask, “Who’s allergic to peanuts?” For once, Superman was in a room full of kids just like him that made him feel normal. Seeing him smile, laugh, and enjoy something like this made me tear up. I’m so thankful for times like this, and for mentors like Kyle Dine, to bring a sense of normalcy and confidence in food allergic kids. Confidence is key to living with food allergies, and we’re so pleased that Kyle is willing to encourage children with food allergies.
Kyle does a great job of relating to kids, making them laugh with crazy puppets, yet educating at the same time. He was wonderful at getting the kids involved with dancing, playing instruments, clapping, and singing! THANK YOU, Kyle, for being a food allergy hero and teaching our kids that it IS possible to live a full life with food allergies.
Want to see Kyle live? Check out his tour schedule here, or check out his CDs here. If you haven’t yet checked out Kyle’s music to instill confidence in your child…..well, you better get to it! Until then, check out his Halloween song here!
My husband’s grandmother and aunt are known for their egg and dairy laden Pumpkin Torte. It’s always at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and it’s often requested even at birthdays throughout the winter. It’s a delicious, rich treat that I love, but once Superman was diagnosed with egg and dairy (and many other) allergies it was out of the question for him. Then, last year he was diagnosed with a pumpkin allergy. Since pumpkin was off the table (literally!), I made him a dairy and egg free sweet potato pie, which reminded me a lot of the coveted Pumpkin Torte.
The original torte and pie recipes inspired me to create a vegan, and allergy friendly, Pumpkin Torte, and when making it for my son I will use sweet potatoes. I’m sure this will become a family favorite. Don’t be intimidated by the three layers, as each layer is broken down into simple steps. Trust me, it’s worth the effort!
2 cups crushed graham crackers (about 24 crackers)
½ cup vegan shortening, melted
½ cup sugar
16 oz. Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups canned pumpkin (or canned sweet potato without syrup, draining syrup if needed)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup milk alternative, such as rice milk
¼ cup cornstarch
1 can coconut milk
2 packets vegan gelatin
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a glass 9×13 baking dish.
To make the crust:
Mix the crushed graham crackers, melted shortening, and sugar in a medium bowl. Evenly and firmly pat into baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Let cool about 10 minutes, then place in refrigerator.
To make the middle layer:
Melt Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese on medium-high heat in small saucepan, stirring frequently. Continue to stir and cook the cream cheese until it is about halfway melted.
Add sugar and vanilla and stir well to incorporate.
Continue to stir frequently until cream cheese mixture is smooth and pourable.
Pour over graham cracker crust and return to refrigerator.
To make top layer:
In a medium saucepan, add pumpkin, cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium-high heat until heated throughout, stirring frequently. This takes 6-8 minutes.
Once heated and smooth, set aside.
Whisk cornstarch into rice milk to remove any lumps. Once lumps are whisked out, pour into pumpkin mixture. Mix well with a spoon or whisk until color is uniform.
In a small saucepan, whisk coconut milk and gelatin well. Bring to a bubbly boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil for about 30 seconds-1 minute.
Quickly pour coconut milk mixture into pumpkin mixture. Stir really well until color is uniform and doesn’t look marbled.
Pour pumpkin mixture over cream cheese and crust layers.
Chill Pumpkin Torte in refrigerator, uncovered to prevent condensation, for 2-3 hours or until firm.
Set out for 20-30 minutes before serving. Store covered in refrigerator.
I hope you enjoy this rich, smooth dessert at a fall celebration or Thanksgiving Dinner. This dessert will definitely impress your guests and satisfy their sweet tooth at the same time.