Her food allergies nearly killed her, so KC native is helping others with cooking show

Mary Beth Eversole is slaying her food demons on YouTube, one ingredient substitution at a time.

When she was diagnosed with “seven allergies and a myriad of sensitivities,” she stood in front of her kitchen pantry with a sense of hopelessness.

“I just started to cry. It brought up a lot of things, because I’m a recovered anorexic,” Eversole said recently while sipping some green organic tea and taste-testing a raw, unbaked, gluten-free brownie at Unbakery & Juicery at 634 E. 63rd St.

Eversole, 34, was home to visit family. She graduated from Shawnee Mission West High School and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is an actress and voice teacher in Los Angeles, where she has landed roles on Lifetime’s “My Crazy Ex” and the short film “Over? Over!” (a Cannes Film Festival winner) and is a stand-in for “American Horror Story.”

But her most delicious role so far may be as the host of “Allergy Actress Cooking,” her year-old cooking show. In the weekly half-hour episodes, Eversole helps others who have food allergies figure out safe, clean-eating strategies. Episodes include “Superbowl Survival!” and “Kid-Friendly Allergy-Friendly Pizza.”

Eversole’s own diet — which adheres closely to what is popularly known as the paleo diet — eliminates meat, fish, shellfish, most dairy, soy, corn and wheat, which, to non-allergy sufferers may sound like a bare cupboard. Yet Eversole insists her recipes are hearty and delicious enough for even the pickiest eaters.

Although Eversole is not a professional cook or baker, she became “a master at substitutions,” she says. To prove her point, she hands me three allergy-free macarons. “I combined six recipes over the weekend. It took four tries, but I got it.”

Almond flour — a traditional base for French macarons — is naturally gluten-free. But she uses a special brand of powdered sugar with tapioca rather than cornstarch, an additive often used to keep the sugar from clumping. She used pure cane sugar for the batch, but coconut sugar can also be used. Instead of synthetic dyes, she uses natural food coloring made from beets.

When Eversole was finally diagnosed with food allergies 15 years ago, she began recalling how she had been self-eliminating foods as early as age 5. By the time she was 8, she quit eating meat because it made her stomach hurt. Her food eliminations eventually became so extreme, anorexia nearly killed her.

She was recovered and thriving until one day, when dining out with her husband and in-laws, she ordered a gluten-free pasta dish served at a national chain restaurant. It was a dish she had eaten before, but a few bites in, she realized something was different. The server told her the pasta dish contained no wheat — just semolina.

Semolina is a coarsely ground wheat flour.

Eversole had an anaphylactic reaction. Luckily, hers are not immediately life-threatening, though they are extremely debilitating: “Each food is different. Each reaction is different,” she says.

Still, she wound up in the emergency room. The restaurant manager offered her a free dessert. “I could have pursued suing them, but I’d rather educate them to keep this from happening again,” she says.

Eversole’s goal is to “bring joy to a diagnosis that can be debilitating,” and despite its lack of technical sophistication (she just held an Indiegogo campaign to raise…

No, It’s NOT Cheaper To Make Your Own Almond Milk. We Did The Math.

bhofack2 via Getty Images

Almond milk is ridiculously easy to make. It only requires two ingredients ― almonds and water ― so there are few excuses not to make your own. It’s clear that making it homemade will give you a simpler product; store-bought brands include ingredients such as potassium citrate, sunflower lecithin and gellan gum. But going the homemade route offers economic benefits, as well.

You’ll read on forums that making your own is more cost effective than buying it at the store, but no one ever provides any clear-cut math online ― so I set out to do it for all of us.

I looked at three brands ― Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Silk ― and compared the cost of the almonds that it would take to make almond milk vs. the cost of pre-made almond milk.

I picked up a pound of raw, unsalted almonds at my local grocery store for $9.99 (they were on sale from $10.99). I used the recipe from The Kitchn to make the milk. I took a cup of almonds ― which weighed a little under 6 ounces ― and soaked them in water for two days. I blended the almonds with two cups of water until the whole almonds were reduced to a…

Here are 6 Ways To Decorate Holiday Cookies Like A Pro

Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott

For every reason there is to stuff your face with sugar cookies, there’s a technique for decorating them. We spent a day with our resident baking pro, senior associate editor Claire Saffitz, who showed us six ways to deck out our simple Ultimate Sugar Cookies with frosting, chocolate, and a magical thing called “luster dust.” Follow her lead and pipe, sprinkle, and drizzle your way to a cookies so beautiful even Santa would stop to Instagram them.

1. Powdered Sugar

This is Saffitz’s favorite way to finish off a batch of sugar cookies. All you need is a fine-mesh sieve to dust some powdered sugar or cocoa powder over your finished cookies. Fancy ‘em up a bit with parchment paper stencils you can use to create patterns with the sugar.

2. Chocolate Drizzle

This one’s as elegant as it is simple: Melt down some chocolate and use it to fill a pastry bag or a resealable plastic bag….