Tag Archives: gluten free christmas

Udi’s Does Christmas (Gluten-Free, Of Course)

udis cinnamon rollIf there’s one thing I cannot do without during my gluten-free holidays it’s the Udi’s. From the stuffing, to the easy dessert options, I’m all over it. This holiday the good people of Udi’s sent me a box of products to see what I could make of it. Oh, I made of it. I made of it, good.

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Gluten-Free Christmas: Booze & Apps

Well now, doesn’t that look all Christmas-y? We trimmed that tree, and enjoyed some festive snacking yesterday so now I’m going to tell YOU how you can start your winter holiday season off with a gluten-free bang. Of course it involves booze and snacks. Of course it does.

One of my fave holiday snacks is the gluten-free cracker topped with smoked salmon, creme fraiche, and chives. It’s incredibly simple, and you’ll want to eat the entire plate-full. I recommend you share, but you don’t always have to take my recommendations as you are your own person and I respect that.

Next, I thought I’d get crafty while fantasizing about how many Pinterest shares I would get and did these Gluten-Free Peppermint Pretzel Sticks™. Not shockingly, my attempt at culinary craftiness did not go as smoothly as I anticipated, so this is exactly how many Gluten-Free Peppermint Pretzel Sticks™ I wound up with, instead of say, 50.

I tend to lose patience when I’m getting crafty also, which is just another reason I’ll never be a Pinterest star. Later I realized a nice ribbon around the shot glass would have really nailed it. Sigh. Still, I ate an entire shot glass full of white chocolate and peppermint covered pretzels. Eat your failures, people. Eat ‘em up. They are delicious.

Anyhoo! There are so many fun things you can make for a tree trimming party. I just did three, however, and one of those thing was an incredibly strong cocktail, the Sazerac. Kind of like an Old-Fashioned, but without the gooey cherries, and with a lemon twist, a classic Sazerac can be served over a giant ice cube (you have those, right?) or straight up in a martini glass. I will say it goes very well with a shot glass full of Gluten-Free Peppermint Pretzel Sticks™.

Here’s how you can pair those yummy things together and fill yourself with some holiday cheer.

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Gluten-Free Gifts for Celiacs & the People Who Love/Hate Them

Also, what you can expect to get from a celiac. Because the kitchen is closed to gluten, you guys. I don’t care if I only know like, one other celiac besides me. No one is getting gluten from me this year. NO ONE. The good news is, if you’re buying for a hard-to-please gluten-hater, you’ve come to the right place. Yes, it’s a little bit hipster. Which means I’m assuming your gluten-free friend is also a hipster. No offense to you or the hipster you pal around with.

This is how you make gluten-free dreams come true — food and booze. Hence, this booze- and food-filled record bowl. Pile your gift bag, bowl, or box with gluten-free cookies and gluten-free candy. Add a Mason jar or two of infused liquor, and voila! Hipster celiac gift.

You’re probably wondering how I got that album bowl. Well, I learned how to make something out of nothing this year. Having worked in the music biz, and been a dorky yard sale album collector, I’ve got a lot of useless LPs sitting around my house. Like this one -

But you can turn that record into a bowl in like five seconds if you’re willing to part with your vinyl. Here’s how!

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Gluten-Free Christmas Candy Because You’re Worth It

It’s time to stuff your face with candy, or make it for holiday gifts. Or both! Luckily lots of candy is naturally gluten-free. Unluckily, you’ll have to make it yourself since if you buy it, your candy of choice just might have all kinds of unpronounceable ingredients that may or may not contain the devil gluten. But yet, luckily again, I’ve been slaving over a hot candy thermometer just so you guys can have some great recipes for the holidays! Yes, that’s totally the only reason. Don’t look at me that way. No that’s not butter mint on my boob shelf/catch-alls.

So after experimenting (and failing miserably with the divinity — I clearly should never have moved away from the South’ish) I’ve found three winners that simply scream Christmas candy. Put these into your goodie bags, or stuff them all up in your face, I don’t care. They’re gluten-free and festive as hell. I made this:

See’s Fudge

Here’s the story with this fudge. My mother put together a family cookbook a long time ago, and this recipe was via my Aunt Shirley. Of course, I always thought See was some crazy old ancestor no one ever talked about, but was instead memorialized in this amazing fudge recipe. Then I went to California and understood that See is actually a huge candy corporation that may, or may not, sue me for reprinting this recipe. Still, this is super easy and I’ve been making it every holiday for years. This year, however, I learned a very valuable lesson about See’s Fudge: Go cheap, or go home. You see, I thought it might be nice to take it up a notch and try some organic condensed milk, maybe low-fat, some very fancy chocolate, and hey, why not some organic raw sugar while I was at it? Four attempts later I went back to the cheap stuff — we’re talking Carnation, Nestle, and Pure Cane Sugar from Hawaii — and voila, the fudge was to die for.

Butter Mints

When I was growing up I went through a candy making phase that can only be described as “crazy” and “of the ’80s.” I had rubber candy molds, lollipop molds, chocolate molds, the works. One of my favorite things to make were these butter mints in little flower patterns. This recipe, however, tells you to go to town with a cookie cutter. So I did!

Pretzel Almond Turtles

So incredibly easy, I could make, and eat, these in my sleep. The only trick is making it gluten-free. The pretzels are a no-brainer because I’m addicted to Glutino’s gluten-free pretzels. But finding chocolate covered caramels that are gluten-free is another task altogether. Lucky for me, I live near Trader Joe’s and they have chocolate covered salted caramels. But you may not, so always check with your candy company first. In a pinch (like I was in last night) buy Dove candies as their ingredient list is safe, even though it’s been manufactured in a facility with wheat. If you’re super sensitive, skip the sampling and give these out as holiday gifts to those without the sprue.

Here’s how you too, can be the talk of the neighborhood when you show up with your gluten-free candy. Oh, who are we kidding, you’re already the talk of the neighborhood because you’re gluten-free and a massive pain in the ass to prep for when invited to a party.

Happy Holidays!

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All I Want for Christmas Is Hickory Farms Gluten-Free Food Stuffs

Now that's what I'm talkin' about.

I have incredibly fond memories of my 11th Christmas. (Or maybe it was 12th, my memory is very fond, but not so accurate.) That was what I like to call the “Christmas of Food.” I asked for presents such as a box of milk chocolate letters that spelled out my name, a tub of three flavors of popcorn, and a gift box from Hickory Farms. My mother actually indulged me and I indulged that whole winter break.

While some of you may be thinking, “Wow this lady must have some serious food issues,” it was actually only the beginning of my food issues, but in an amazing way. Even though I’ve foodie’d up and (mostly) reject the processed stuff of my youth, these holiday items still hold a very special place in my gullet. So naturally when the Hickory Farms catalog arrived in my mailbox I had to get to the bottom of things. Meat and cheese things.

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Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies Thanks to Thomas Keller

If there’s one thing it’s almost impossible to find in a store that’s been gluten-freed, it’s Christmas cookies.  Since it’s something I don’t even care to eat more than once a year, it’s totally understandable that a magic gluten-free cookie fairy isn’t going to show up in my neighborhood with a fresh-baked batch just in time for my seasonal glittery sugar craving. Right? Anyone have information to the contrary?

So I decided to use this opportunity to  bust out Thomas Keller’s brand spanking new gluten-free flour, Cup4Cup  since I know Christmas cookies can be a little bit unstable. As can relatives, this time of year. Added to a very simple sugar cookie recipe, it turned out these cute and festive wonders. Yes, we are all up in Hanukkah and the Christmas spirit.

It’s a bummer that gingerbread man peed his pants, with icing. And that I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old.

Cup4Cup costs like $20, so I’ve been agonizing over what to make with my precious package of The French Laundry maestro’s gluten-free efforts. So any suggestions, please send my way because this made my cookies taste just like the real deal, and I’m blanking on what other amazoids gf’ness I need to be creating with this white gold. But you know what wasn’t great? The gluten-free icing that I bought. I mean, these guys like it, but I’m making my own next time.

But then again, they also created this when I let them go crazy with the icing and the icing pens.

I know. Totally scary. But those kids ate the crap out of these messed up Franken-cookies, and left the rest of them for us. Wheeee! Bring it, Christmas. We’re ready.

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Gluten-Free Chex Mix Two Awesome Ways

All right my foodie friends, I can hear you sniffing at me right now. Chex Mix? Really? Well suckas, Chex Mix happens to be a) delicious, and b) filled with gluten. So put away your organic wine from the Willamette Valley and pay attention. ‘Cuz we made some gluten-free Chex Mix to help ring in the holidays and . . . gluten-free Muddy Buddies. Oh yeah! That’s how we snack.

Since I didn’t want to sully my rep as an amazing chefs-tress (ahem), I decided to employ my family in the making of the holiday Chex snacks. First up, my husband who insists on having Chex Mix starting November 23rd and running all the way into the new year. Look at my man go!

He’s handsome, no? Luckily he didn’t have to ditch his favorite snack this year since Chex went gluten-free, and Glutino makes some amazing gluten-free pretzels and they also just added gluten-free bagel chips which are just as good as the norms. Which is why he was willing to add them into his traditional mix. (This is where I admit my better half begged his mother to bring us a bag of gluten-filled Chex Mix complete with Cheerios. You know, I love that guy but he’s kind of a Benedict Arnold.)

My committment to Muddy Buddies this year was just as simple. Using the gluten-free Corn and Rice Chex in this recipe was so easy a 5-year-old could do it. In fact, I totally made my 5-year-old make these Muddy Buddies for Thanksgiving. This is how she makes sure they’re evenly covered:

This is also where I enlighten you with our enlightened-ness: We’re a mixed religious family. And while I may connect Muddy Buddies with Thanksgiving and Christmas, clearly the Jewish half has other ideas. I mean, Sukkot has been over for like 41 days. Really.

Regardless, I think you can see how you can make rad holiday snacks while still being g-free. Just in case you don’t want to buy the box and get these gluten-free Chex Mix recipes (although you realize you have to buy the box, right?), let me fill you in on how you do it: Continue reading

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