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Great Dairy Subsitute Options:

Cheese - Rice cheese is the best for taste and texture. Soy cheese is also available.
Milk - Soy milk, rice milk, almond milk. All work great in baking.
Butter -  A margarine that has very little or no dairy (usually says "less than 2% whey). We have used Smart Balance original blend (minimal dairy), but I learned that Smart Balance Light with Flax has ZERO dairy. This is a great substitute. Butter flavored or plain shortning are also great options in baking.
Icecream - Fruit Sorbet, rice or soy icecreams
Cream Cheese - Trader Joe's sells a plain dairy-free cream cheese that tastes pretty good.
Pizza - Cheese-less pizza or special order from a pizza place (be sure to ask about their pizza dough).
Frostings - Homemade using margarine or shortning, some storebought frostings have no dairy (example: Pillsbury Cream Cheese Flavor... slightly ironic.)


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Pollo Asado

My husband has a new favorite meal, pollo asado. Luckily for me, I have a favorite store, Sprouts, that sells marinated chicken "pollo asado" style and it is very decently priced. I get enough for the 2 of us (about 1.5 lbs) for about $5 and it is worth it.

Sometimes I like making everything from scratch, and sometimes I don't. This is a great meal for one of those "don't" days.

Pollo Asado Tacos

Grilled Pollo Asado chicken, then sliced
Refried beans with garlic and chili powder
Cooked brown rice
Fresh lettuce and tomatoes

All on a moist warmed corn tortilla.

Serve with some chips and salsa.

Wassail - Warm Drink

Wassail is a hot, nutritious drink with an aroma and flavor that fills the house and soul. This is my very favorite Christmas-time drink.

For a group of 15-20 people, slowly heat on stove top or crock pot: 64 ounces apple juice 64 ounces orange juice (fresh squeezed is amazing) 3-4 cinnamon sticks (to taste) 1/2 tsp ground cloves
Heat over the stove until perfectly steamy. Store any leftovers in the fridge and reheat on the stove top or in the microwave.
This drink makes a great pair with Snickerdoodle cookies.


A definite favorite for all who have enjoyed them.

Preheat OVEN to 400 degrees.
1 ½ CUP sugar
½ CUP shortening
½ CUP margarine (softened)
2 eggs

2 ¾ CUPS flour
2 TEASPOONS cream of tarter
1 TEASPOON baking soda

Add more flour if needed to be able to make firm balls out of the dough. Shape dough into 1-1½ inch balls and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about 1-2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on wire rack.

Recipe makes about 48 2-inch cookies.
Estimated prepare and bake time is 30-40 minutes.
NOTE: An additional 1/2 cup of flour may be added for more fluffy cookies (as shown in photo).