Or “Friendsgiving” if you will. You see, the good people at Udi’s sent me this load of meal helpers and said, “Hey! Why not invite your friends over for a gluten-free pre-Thanksgiving nosh?” I was all, “You bet!” Then I got bronchitis and told everyone to stay away from our house. So me and the fam just ate it our own damn selves. Still. Friendsgiving, indeed.
Here was the final product:
Yes, that is a chicken instead of a turkey, but I still used the amazing brine and brine bag Udi’s provided to make the juiciest little bird in the West. Lip smacking good, it was. I always brine my turkey as you can cook it a bit long an it will still be juicy as heck. So you should definitely do that. But let’s start with the apps.
I did that pumpkin hummus thing again because it was so good and festive. This time I added Udi’s Ancient Grain chips to the dipping action to make it even more awesomely gluten-free. It ’twas.
The stuffing was made extra special with Udi’s gluten-free bagels. Although I was accused of heresy by another gluten-free blogger for using the delicious bagels in such a manner. And I did burn some bagel edges as I got caught up in a Twitter chat, because that’s how I roll, apparently. Still, dang good stuffing and I used my favorite gluten-free recipe subbing Udi’s bagels for cornbread. Yummers.
For one amazoids dessert, I converted my maple pumpkin bread pudding recipe into a cinnamon raisin bread pudding recipe by simply using Udi’s cinnamon raisin bread, eliminating the pumpkin puree, and adding an extra 1/4 cup of milk. You can top it with ice cream or not, totally your choice. I say go for it.
Add in mashed potatoes and a chocolate pie and dang, you’ve got yourself a Friendsgiving that will be the envy of all those friends you invite over. Except not so much envy since they’ll be sharing. If you don’t have bronchitis and people want to share with you. Unlike me. Excuse me while I go take a hit from my inhaler.
Happy Gluten-Free Thanksgiving you guys!!!
Okay, so this is chicken. Because how many turkeys was I supposed to make in one month? Really?
Turkey. It’s the elephant in the room, that is actually a bird, that you eat. The least exciting, yet most important, part of your Thanksgiving meal; attention must be paid. Especially for those of us who have the sprue, because turkeys can be easily contaminated with that devil gluten, and you’ll wind up in the bathroom all night long and not because Aunt Sylvia called you a fat communist again during Thanksgiving dinner.
So take care when prepping that hulking bird, and remember two important things: Always gluten-free your stuffing; and skip the flour for crispy turkey skin. Now, how about you check out two delicious ways to prep that turkey? One of which, is almost like practicing medicine! Continue reading
Maybe you just don’t have enough pumpkins at the ready for your gluten-free Thanksgiving meal. Pick up one more and fill it with cheese. Go get it. I’ll wait.
Yep, I’m talking about cheese fondue in a pumpkin pot. Holy crikey, it’s good. Because what’s not to like about melted cheese baked in a pumpkin. And it’s actually not that hard, making me think this could be a really fun fall party staple. You basically clean out that pumpkin, and start to layer your gluten-free bread, cheese, and roux. Like this -
Don’t forget to save those pumpkin seeds and roast them up with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika. Then you’re all, “I used every part of this food! I rule!!!”
As for your dippin’s, I happened to have an extra steak lying around so I just went full heart disease and plunged that steak into my fondue, along with some gluten-free toasty bread, and a few vegetables. It’s especially lovely when you scrape the sides of the pumpkin and get cheesy pumpkin goodness. You know what? You can also just take a spoon to this and sit in front of your TV all day. Whatevs.
There’s that one part of Thanksgiving day when you’ve got the turkey cooking, and are an hour + away from starting the sides when your tummy gets a little rumbly. Me? I could eat cheese and gluten-free crackers all day, every day. But some people like a little variety in their noshing. Bring on the Snackens!
After trying a variety of gluten-free appetizers because hey, it’s my job, I decided on these three super delish munchies that don’t compete with your turkey and variety of ‘taters. The maple pecan popcorn was already gone before dinner, and the spiced nuts would have been had I not hidden them from myself. (Spiced nut tip: Use blanched almonds for a more intense flavor.) These three yummerific treats are going to be very popular amongst the gluten-loving and the gluten-hating. Heck, you can throw these holiday-friendly snacks out anytime between now and the new year and feel totally like a gluten-free bad ass. Which is what I feel like right now as I finish off my gluten-free crostini with pesto. Bad. Ass.
Try ‘em, you’ll like ‘em!
Listen up party people, it’s pumpkin time if you haven’t noticed by every muffin mix, coffee drink, and local “patch” popping up in front of your fall-loving face. It’s so pumpkin-arrific that my 3-year-old saw a picture of a pumpkin pie and said, “Can I have that?” This is a kid who won’t touch a vegetable or fruit so I decided feeding him pumpkin in the form of pie was a freaking great idea. Whatever it takes, dude.
While I love the cheesecake variety of pumpkin pie, and love even more a pie with a sweet potato and bourbon twist, I decided to go classic with this pie. Also, I decided to go lazy because g-dammit, I am still not willing to make a homemade gluten-free pie crust. I’m just not. If you want to learn how to roll out a super sticky gluten-free crust and make little dough designs, you’re going to have to go elsewhere. Not unlike snakes, making a gluten-free pie crust is something I have a completely irrational fear of getting involved with, and I’m just not gonna’ do it. Graham cracker? You bet. Anything other than a dough you have to roll out? ON IT. But I’m rejecting this notion of traditional crust that must be made by my own hands. The ones from Whole Foods work like a charm. Go shopping.
One totally Brooklyn thing I did do, however, was buy a lil’ sweet pumpkin and roast it up and puree that baby instead of using canned puree. Although as my sister-in-law pointed out, roasting a pumpkin and giving it the old puree doesn’t taste any different than buying pumpkin puree in a can. But if I’m not making the pie crust, I feel like I must do something else artisnal-y.
This recipe needs a 15 ounce can, so you can either do that or roast a small pie pumpkin and use the innards (seeds and strings removed). Using fresh nutmeg will really make the flavor more complex, and I highly recommend it.
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
Hey, there's only a few tablespoons of flour. You'll be okay, right?
Okay, maybe you’re not. And if not, I’m sorry I just totally called you names. But as Thanksgiving arrives, ushering in the full-on holiday season I’m realizing that there’s no way I can enjoy this time without completely controlling every single thing about it. Like, everything. You guys, I traveled to a get together with gluten-free crackers in my purse last night. Yet again. It wasn’t the first time and it sure as heck won’t be the last. What if there’s cheese? And I need to eat it?
There are most certainly amazing Hanukkah get togethers in my future. And unlike last year’s super fun chow down at Canter’s, I’m sure I’ll be making lots of gluten-free latkes and brisket up in here and forcing everyone to come to me. Alternately, I’ll show up at your house with plate of hot oiled potatoes with no flour traces. That’s cool, right? And don’t even get me started on Christmas cookies. Just don’t. Continue reading