I’m finally embracing the 2011 holiday season with open arms. I’m ready for a bit a cheer, for watching White Christmas for the hundredth time, for decorating the house and putting up the tree and wrapping presents and hugging people dressed in Santa hats (my dad; although one year he showed up in reindeer antlers). I’m ready to cook special holiday dinners for my family and friends, drink luscious wines and enjoy favorite foods.
My first big holiday dinner this year is on Saturday and I will be doing all the cooking and baking. I’m planning a multi-course meal, and like many hostesses these days, I have to configure food allergies, intolerances and dislikes into the equation. One person doesn’t like garlic (AGHHHH!!); this basically eliminates about two thirds of my favorite main course dishes for large groups. Three people don’t like a lot of salt. But since I can’t cook without using any salt (sorry), I will cook with less salt. In addition, all the food at the meal will be gluten-free, because even though most people would be better off without a lot of gluten, my oldest son and I have celiac and can’t have any- no matter what.
There will also be a child with an egg allergy. This is a hard one when it comes to baking. But I tested making my Chocolate Fudge Cake egg-free using 1 tablespoon flax meal and 3 tablespoons hot water (per egg) and successfully made cupcakes (I’ve learned smaller is better when it comes to egg-free cakes). They are not exactly the same texture of the regular cake, but they are damn good. I’ll also be making my Chocolate Tart Crust (from Gluten-Free Baking Classics) filled with egg-free mint chocolate chip ice cream and a lot of naturally egg-free cookies from Gluten-Free Baking Classics (Shortbreads, Lemon Shortbreads, Coconut Shortbreads, Chocolate Shortbreads, Pecan Butter cookies). I want my young niece to be able to reach for and eat whatever she wants.
In case you’ve been pondering what to make for upcoming holiday dinners, I’ve listed some recipes from my Foodphilosopher.com website that might come in handy! And if you’ve been wondering what I did with all the eggnog I bought last week to make those Eggnog Teacakes, well, let’s just say that I’ve had to partake in a lot more eggnog than a person ever should. But I’ve enjoyed drinking several of the “nogs” that didn’t make the final baking cut (like the incredible organic full fat version and coconut milk version) with a nip of dark rum…… makes it taste a little more like Christmas.
Cookies and Desserts
Black and White Cookies
Lady Fingers (for holiday trifles)
Cold Lemon Souffle
Red Velvet Cake
Maple Walnut Cake
Angel Food Cake
Classic Lemon Tart
Coconut Bread Pudding
Scallops Wrapped in Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Sauce
Spicy Roasted Ratatouille Spread
Crisp Chinese “Dumpling” Balls