Friday, December 20, 2013

She Stood In the Storm


Holiday Survival Guide

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Holiday Survival Guide:

We all know that the holidays are a crazy time filled with temptations and falling back into old habits with old friends. Here are five easy tips to avoid eating gluten and dairy during the whirlwind of roast pigs, dancing cookies, and cheese trays.

1) Don't be afraid to ask for the menu ahead of time. 

  This way, if you need to bring your own substitutes, you can do this! If they are planning on making sandwiches, you can bring your own bread. If they are planning on making pizzas, you can bring your own crust!

2) Request that vegetable sides be made without butter.

  Many parties are guilty of taking a perfectly good vegetable side dish and floating it in butter. They can still add the butter before the dish hits the table, but you can scoop out some of the veggies before dairy goes near it.

3) Steer clear of all gravies!

  Gravy is created by adding flour/cornstarch to the meat drippings, they can also be finished with cream. It's also very high in sodium and many people will create more gravy through the use of bullion which contains MSG.

4) Bring your own side.

  If you are concerned that there will not be a side that you are able to eat, offer to bring your own side. Make sure that which ever side you choose to bring will fill you up. I have spent many parties munching on my own Texas Caviar and fresh fruit.

5) Hit up those fruit and veggie trays!

  Raw fruits and vegetables are get ways to fill up before the main meal. Plus, when everyone else is munching on their cheese, crackers, and pretzel, you won't feel tempted to break your GF/DF lifestyle. (Cheese is always my downfall, Wisconsin is known for their cheese. Yum... Cheese)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Enjoy your Thanksgiving with your loved ones, keep in mind that it's not about the food--its about the family and feelings of love!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cranberry Sauce Without Added Sugar

I really like this cranberry sauce, because it gets its sweetness from the fresh oranges and pomegranate seeds, which means that I don't have to add any sugar to the sauce. Plus, its the easiest thing to make for Thanksgiving: you put three things in a pot and put a lid on it.

Step 1: Remove the seeds from your pomegranate and juice your oranges
Step 2: Put the cranberries, orange juice, and pomegranate seeds into a pot
Step 3: Put the lid on it (and cook it over medium heat, stirring occasionally)

Literally. That's it.  Isn't this amazing?  Just taste it and be amazed.

Dairy Free Mashed Potatoes

One of the best things about family dinners is the mashed potatoes!  After becoming dairy free, I lost all hope of the delicious, fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes that I know and love.  After exploring different types of milks and butter substitutes, I have found a winning combination that fools all my friends.

Can I get a drum roll, please?!


So here's the steps to making mashed potatoes for everyone who is not exactly kitchen inclined:

Step 1: Wash and peel your potatoes.
Step 2: OPTIONAL: If you are short on time, you can cut your potatoes into equal cubes to boil them faster.
Step 3: Place the potato (cubes) in a pot of water with a (TINY) bit of salt and bring it to a boil
Step 4: Boil until fork tender
Step 5: Drain and mash the potatoes
Step 6: Place 1 cup of almond milk with 3 TBSP of buttery sticks in microwave for 30 seconds
Step 7: Slowly add the milk/butter mixture while mixing to ensure you don't over saturate your potatoes. (No one likes water logged mashed potatoes)

EAT PAPA, EAT! (Still not Christmas...)

The Best Dam* Dressing. Ever.

The Best Dam* Dressing.  Ever.

Why is this the best dressing ever?  Because the mix of sweet, savory, and insane textures creates a palate experience that is out of this world.  Plus it's ridiculously simple, but looks very impressive :)

So this dressing is created in two major steps:

Step 1: Create the "wet" ingredients that will be the source of liquids for the bread to soak up.
Step 2: Fold the "wet" ingredients into the bread cubes and cover for 30 minutes.


Here's what you're going to need:

  • 1 lb of Italian Sausage
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Bread cubes (I make mine from Gluten Free Cornbread and Gluten Free Sourdough)
"Wet" Ingredients:
Step 1: Brown the sausage
Step 2: Add in carrots, celery, and onion.  Sauté until soft
Step 3: Add in the sage, rosemary, and thyme
Step 4: Add in the apples
Step 5: Cover and remove from heat
Step 6: Allow to cool and then place in the fridge until Thanksgiving Day!

"Dry" Ingredients (AKA Bread cubes)
Step 1: Cube your bread, during this time of year I like to use the pre made breads (or bread boxes) so I'm not attempting to bake everything all at once.
Step 2: Season bread cubes with sage, rosemary, thyme and allow to dry
Step 3: If not stale enough by Wednesday, place cubes in the oven at 350F and shake every 5-10 minutes until stale

On Thanksgiving Day:
Step 1: Reheat "wet" ingredients and add about two cups of chicken stock
Step 2: Mix "wet" and "dry" be careful to fold the bread cubes, rather than stir.  You want the dressing to have unique textures and not just a pre-made box kit.
Step 3: Cover for a minimum of 30 minutes for the liquid to get absorbed and then transfer to serving dishes and keep warm in oven, covered loosely with foil

  • If your dressing seems to be really dry, add some more chicken stock.
  • If you are worried about your dressing becoming too wet with the two cups of chicken stock, then add in the solids and scoop the liquids of the "wet" ingredients in until desired dampness occurs.
  • I like to keep the bread cubes and diced veggies chunky so that you can see what you are eating.

Enjoy the delicious-ness!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Tasty Turkey

The turkey is Thanksgiving's Santa.  The holiday just isn't complete without the bird.  While some people love to be applauded while bringing out the bird and finish the moment with the act of carving the bird at the table.  Impressive, no?  That sounds fun, but also like a whole mess.  My family partakes in the tradition of carving the bird in the kitchen and leaving the...less than impressive...carcass behind where people aren't staring at it.  Which turned out to be a good thing, because last Thanksgiving my turkey carcass was an angry Pterodactyl.  Don't believe me??

Anyway, no matter how you slice it, the turkey should be moist and delicious, with a great skin crust. Here's how you do it:

Step 0: Take out your turkey neck and giblets
Step 1: Rinse off your turkey
Step 2: Pat your turkey dry
Step 3: Place turkey in roaster
Step 4: Rub turkey down with coconut oil
Step 5: Optional: Take sage, rosemary, and thyme and fill it in between the skin and the meat.
Step 6: Optional: Fill the cavity of the turkey with 2 quartered apples, 2 stalks of celery, 2 carrots, and ½ onion.
Step 7: Form a "turkey breast plate" from foil to protect your turkey breast from overcooking.
Step 8: Place your turkey in a preheated 500F for 30 minutes
Step 9: Drop the temperature down to 350F and immediately (and quickly, don't want that oven door open too long!) place the breast plate on the turkey's breast.
Step 10: Cook until the turkey thigh reaches 161F

Make sure that you allow the turkey to rest for at least 20 minutes to let the juices redistribute throughout the bird, otherwise you get super dry meat and a whole lot of juices.