Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sleuth Thanks: Holiday Food Ideas

I made these little guys for Christmas gifts a few years ago.
Wait, where am I? Oh yes. I blog.

The holidays are upon us, and I am hoping for a mellow and relaxing Thanksgiving Day celebration. Our son will be home for a few days, and my mother and uncle will be with us, but that is all. I would be happy if our daughter could come as well, but she graduated from college last May and was recently hired as a copy editor for a newspaper, and she can only get away for a few days at Christmas. Those luxurious month-long school vacations are no more. I have been collecting recipes for a while now, and I am including a bunch of links, as well as my dinner plans for Thanksgiving.

Dinners (this cook reserves the right to make changes at the slightest whim)
Thanksgiving: I am planning to make turkey, potatoes (probably mashed, but I won't eat them), roasted candied yams (my plans below), maybe a turnip/beet/rutabaga vegetable medley, a green salad, a veggie tray, and cranberry jello (still deciding on recipe). I am considering making stuffing. I found this recipe from Nancy Newcomer which looks quite promising.

Christmas: I am fixing an Italian meal full of gluten: lasagna, salad, garlic bread with cheese (Buddy's style), probably a veggie tray. I have my own plans for a gluten/dairy free version of the lasagna for me (maybe even the garlic bread). Not sure about dessert yet, but I already have a few options (see below). My family loves my lasagna and since discovering that the noodles don't have to be precooked, I have been much more comfortable making it. In fact, it is the only gluten-laden food I cook for them.

Recipes and links
Roasted Candied Yams
I haven't made this before (except in my mind), but I have had enough experience with roasting veggies that I am fairly confident this will turn out well. Quantities will vary depending on how much is needed. Using the Aunt Lorena Method for measuring.
- Peel and cut up yams into about 1" cubes
- Toss in olive oil and maple syrup
- Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 20 minutes or until fork tender
- Remove from oven and cover with tiny Kraft marshmallows (safely gluten free)
- Return to oven and toast marshmallows (watch carefully, you don't want to melt them)

I have been collecting ideas for food, and one thing in particular I am going to try (read: tweak), is this recipe for Pumpkin Praline Trifle (follow the link). My plan is to go all homemade, using almond milk instead of dairy to make the puddings. I don't have a pastry bag anymore, but my favorite trick is to cut a small hole in the corner of a ziplock bag and use it. Cheap, easy, and really easy cleanup (file 13 it).

I found a recipe for dairy/nut free toffee bits at the bottom of this recipe for Toffee Pecan Apple Streusel: Gluten-Free, Egg-Free and I may or may not use it in the praline part. I haven't used the Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine before, and I know it has a titch of dairy in it, so I need to think about this part. My digestive system is a bit of a mess right now, and I don't want to use oats. I can get away with them sometimes, but now is not sometimes. I am confident I can come up with a yummy praline using pecans, but I am still working that out.

A gluten-free version of the Two-Minute Microwave Brownie recipe

Here is a pumpkin pie recipe, but it uses Earth Balance, and sadly I cannot stand that stuff. But perhaps you can. I am interested mostly in the possibilities with the cashew cream recipe at the bottom.

Other delights
Frozen Banana Bites: look delicious and easy to make. No tweaks necessary.
Pumpkin Hummus: different dippers needed, but the hummus recipe is fine.
Stove Top Peanut Butter Breakfast Food Candy (my name for it): This one only needs different cereal.
Home made Gum Drops: You need to be sure to use gluten-free food coloring.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie: This one is going to be used before Thursday; I promise you.
Banana Ice Cream: with a twist
Marshmallow Snowflakes: Any shape will do.
Cookie Dough Dip: You won't believe the base of this.

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