Recently, I was honored to attend a gathering at the home of Lori Sandler, founder of Divvies Bakery and host of Navigating Food Allergies on   I first met Lori a few years ago at Dylan’s Candy Bar in NYC.  She was signing her new book, The Divvies Bakery Cookbook.  At the time, I had recently started a support group in CT and was eager to meet other mothers in the food allergy world.   I was immediately struck by her  warmth, kindness, and generosity.  She took time to speak with me and my daughters, and to offer her support.   She made a lasting impression on both me and my two daughters, and we stayed in touch.

From left: Colette Martin, Lori Sandler and Me (Gina Mennett Lee)

From left: Colette Martin, Lori Sandler and Me (Gina Mennett Lee)

A few weeks ago, Lori sent me an invitation to attend “a special gathering to discuss the emotional aspects of food allergies in a warm and understanding atmosphere .”  I was more than happy to attend.  I entered her home to find a packed kitchen and lively discussions already in full swing.   Lori immediately greeted me with a hug and brought me a cold drink.  We all nibbled on homemade treats and chatted until Lori began to speak.  In her usual sweet manner, she offered her candid thoughts and advice about successfully raising a child who “happens to have food allergies”.  She succeeded in providing a judgement-free environment as everyone that attended ended up sharing their personal experiences and offered support and advice to one another.

As a special surprise, Lori invited Colette Martin, fellow blogger and author of the “Learn to Bake Allergen-Free Cookbook”  to share some of her recipes with us.  Among other things, Colette showed us how to make raspberry jam.  I was thrilled!   I’ve always wanted to make homemade jam but felt intimidated by the process of canning.  Colette made it simple…and delicious.  (Guess what I’ll be making for Christmas gifts this year??)


Canning jam

Colette agreed to let me share her recipe here with you.


1 cup of crushed raspberries

1 1/2 tsp of fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup of sugar


1. Crush the berries in a medium saucepan.  Add the lemon juice.

2. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and bring the mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

3. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar.

4. Boil over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until the sauce starts to  thicken.

5. Use a spoon to test for doneness.  If the mixture drips completely off the spoon after cooling for a minute, boil for a few minutes longer.

6. Skim the foam from the top of the jam.

7. Let the jam cool.  It will solidify further during cooling.


jam in cans

I left Lori’s house with my favorite Divvies cookies (Choco-lot Brownie Cookies), a jar of delicious homemade jam,  a signed cookbook from Colette and new network of food allergy moms.  I’d say it was pretty successful morning.  Thank you Lori!






Gina Mennett Lee, M.Ed.

President and Founder, Food Allergy Education Network

P.S.  Colette was recently a guest speaker for a free, online baking class provided by Kids with Food Allergies Foundation.  You can view the class HERE.



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