Busy is not the word for Kris Mazy of Chino Valley. She is the mother of seven children aged 5 to 14, four of whom she home schools. The other three are in public school. Besides being a wife and mother, canning all her own food from her large garden, and cooking all her food from scratch, she has managed during those years to work at her father's gun store each day, worked to get an art degree from Yavapai college, and this fall, she received her BA in Education from Liberty University.
"People ask me 'how do you do all this,' and I say, well, I have 14 little extra hands that help me, as all the kids help out in the kitchen," Kris said.
Seven and a half years ago Kris and husband Larry found out their third born daughter Elwyn, who seemed to always be sick, was allergic to red dyes.
Kris did a lot of research online and in books about red dye and found out that many foods and other products contain the dye.
"Red dye is not only in food, but lotions, medicines, play dough, paints and hundreds of products," she said. "I had to start cooking and making everything from scratch. We reorganized our whole kitchen, and I put all my own mixes for things like breads, cakes, oatmeal, etc. in large jars to store them."
"My husband and I started compiling recipes and testing. We read every label and ingredient to make sure there were no dyes in the ingredients. Since we started using these recipes my daughter has had no outbreaks. Our lives have so changed. The rule in our house now regarding food is if Elwyn can't have it, no one can," she added.
Since these recipes worked so well for her daughter's allergy to red dye, Kris decided to write a book about cooking from scratch and using homemade dye-free mixes.
"This started out to be just for our family, then I realized how many people are in the same situation and could benefit from it. My book 'A Kitchen Full of Mixes,' has all of my everyday recipes in it. Cooking from scratch is a lost art, and this is the starter book for moms who are used to cooking out of a box," Kris explained.
Kris's book can be purchased on Amazon, or Barnes and Noble and locally at Kathi's Books and Mazy's in Chino Valley. It can also be checked out at the Chino Valley Library.
Kris already has three more books in the works -one on solar oven cooking, one on soups and stews, and one called "Kid Tested and Approved From Scratch Recipes."
"I feel that because our kids have allergies, God has given me the inspiration to write these books to help other parents," said Kris.