Tag Archives: holiday food fest

Grown-Up Hot Chocolate

That powdered cocoa mix in your pantry? Leave it for the kiddos. It’s time for some decadence. It’s time for some richness.

It’s time for grown-up hot chocolate.

This stuff isn’t a big, huge, steaming mug of mildly flavored chocolate milk. And it’s not low-calorie. This is rich, thick, intensely-chocolatey, oh-I-wish-I-could-lick-the-coffee-cup hot chocolate. You don’t need much – this is why the serving size is on the small side. But let me tell you, this is the after-dinner treat you must make this winter. It’s that good.

The theme for this week’s Holiday Food Fest is Holiday Cocktails, Mocktails and Appetizers, hosted by Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free. I am not much of a cocktail person (I prefer the occasional glass or two of merlot or cabernet, a gluten-free beer, or if I’m feeling “fancy”, a glass of cognac), so my experience in the cocktail-making arena is rather limited. I know margaritas and mojitos, but that’s about it. (Since the temperatures are hovering around the freezing mark right now, neither of those drinks sound remotely appetizing!) I needed to venture outside of my comfort zone a bit. And then I thought – hot chocolate. Who doesn’t like hot chocolate? I had a bar of Valrhona in the fridge just begging to be used. Suddenly, I knew an over-the-top hot chocolate was just the thing.

But even I underestimated the silky, creamy, lushness of this treat. I opted to dip a spoon into mine, rather than sipping directly from the cup, just so I could savor every minute drop. I can envision this being the perfect treat to enjoy on Christmas Eve, relaxing, after the stockings are stuffed and all is quiet in the house.

Adapted from Ghirardelli

4 oz high-quality dark chocolate (I used Valrhona 68%)

1 1/2 c 2% milk

1/2 c heavy cream

2 T amaretto (almond liqueur – I used Disaronno)

1 t vanilla extract

1 c whipped cream

In a saucepan over low heat, bring chocolate, milk, and cream to a simmer, whisking constantly. Simmer 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; whisk in liqueur and vanilla.

Pour into four small tea or coffee cups. Top each serving with whipped cream.

Serves 4.

43 Comments

Filed under Desserts, Gluten-Free, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

Holiday Food Fest – Winner of Giveaway!

Just a quick word to say thank you to everyone that participated in this week’s Holiday Food Fest! So many lovely, scrumptious dishes were submitted – which only served to give me even more ideas for the upcoming holiday. And a big thank you to Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free for putting on this amazing event.

Now, to the fun part! The winner, chosen by random.org, is Saveur at TasteSpace. Congrats! Please send me your mailing information so we can get your prize out to you!

Don’t forget, next week’s Holiday Food Fest will be hosted by Phoebe at Cents to Get Debt Free. Be sure and link up your favorite holiday edible gifts. (And send some my way, if you have any extra. Okay, just kidding. Kind of.) Phoebe will be giving away a Digital Precision Pro Scale, so be sure and link up!

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Filed under Uncategorized

Make-Ahead (Gluten-Free) Turkey Gravy and Stuffing for Holiday Food Fest

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The theme for this week’s Holiday Food Fest is Fall Dishes. If you have a favorite fall or Thanksgiving dish, please link up below to share! By doing so, you’ll enter for a chance to win a Flirty Apron! But more on that in a minute.

With Thanksgiving only 2 weeks away, I’m starting to form plans for how I will successfully host yet another big dinner for our family. Many families, including ours, have a variety of people with dietary restrictions. In our family, some cannot tolerate gluten, some cannot handle corn, and some are intolerant of sugar or dairy. I’m hoping to make a few dishes that will accommodate all of these restrictions, without sacrificing flavor. And to make it easier on myself, I’m planning ahead – making these dishes now, and freezing them until the big day.

Two of my favorite dishes to make ahead are gravy and stuffing. Yes, gluten-free gravy and stuffing! Not only is it gluten-free, it’s also sugar-free and dairy-free, so everyone can indulge in these Thanksgiving comfort foods. Making them ahead makes such a crucial difference the day of the big event. Have you ever tried to frantically make the gravy, while the bird rests, you’re finishing up other dishes, and there’s just not enough space or time? This gravy simplifies the whole process, as you only have to reheat it to serve. The stuffing only has to bake, so throw it in the oven as soon as the turkey comes out. Easy peasy! Once you have these two dishes in the bag, you can focus your energy on that beautiful bird, some mashed potatoes, or maybe a vegetable or two. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly wait!

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Don’t forget to link up below for the chance to win an apron from Flirty Aprons! They sent me one to review, and it’s wonderfully well-made, machine-washable, and so cute! The straps are adjustable, so the aprons can fit any size. Absolutely the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one. Link your favorite fall or Thanksgiving recipe, and comment below letting me know you did so. If you don’t have a blog, no worries – just leave me a comment sharing your recipe! The links will be available until Wednesday, November 18, at 11:59pm CST. Please make sure you leave your email address, so I can get in touch with you if you win!

The winners for this week’s Holiday Food Fest giveaways at Hoosier Homemade are:

Pampered Chef Pie & Tart Cookbook goes to April at Gluten Free Foods Rock
 
Red Velvet Cake Candle from http://www.etsy.com/shop/countrycandles goes to Alisa at One Frugal Foodie
Please get in touch with Liz at Hoosier Homemade to claim your prize!

Don’t forget next week’s Holiday Food Fest: Gifts of Good Taste! Phoebe at Cents to Get Debt Free will be hosting, so be sure to link up your favorite edible gifts. She will be giving away a Digital Precision Pro Kitchen Scale. I’m excited about this one too! I personally love making or receiving goodies packaged as gifts – so I want to see what everyone makes!

gravy

Gluten-Free Make-Ahead Gravy, adapted from Woman’s Day

4 lbs turkey wings, or turkey wings and drumsticks

2 medium onions, sliced

1 c water

8 c chicken broth

1 chopped carrot

1 stalk celery, chopped

1/2 t thyme leaves, chopped

1 t fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 t sage leaves, chopped

1/2 c potato starch

1/2 t freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put turkey wings/drumsticks in a single layer in a roasting dish; scatter onions on top. Roast for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until turkey is browned.

Put turkey and onions into a large saucepan or pot. Add water to roasting pan, stir to scrape up brown bits. Add water to saucepan. Add 6 cups of broth (refrigerate the remaining 2 cups), carrot, celery, and herbs. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove turkey and set aside. When cool, pull off skin and meat. Discard skin; reserve meat for another use. Strain broth into saucepan; skim fat off of broth.

Bring broth to a gentle boil. In a separate bowl, whisk the potato starch with the remaining 2 cups of broth until smooth. Whisk into broth, simmering 5 minutes to thicken gravy. Sprinkle pepper over, taste; add additional salt if necessary.

You can freeze gravy for up to a month. Reheat, whisking as necessary. You can even add fat-skimmed drippings from the turkey to the broth before serving. Makes 8 cups.

stuffing

Gluten-Free Stuffing, adapted from The Pioneer Woman and The Gluten-Free Homemaker

1 recipe gluten-free french bread, cubed, or about 4 cups of any cubed gluten-free bread (I used agave nectar instead of sugar in the recipe)

1/4 c olive oil

3 c butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 onion, diced

1 c celery, diced

2 c low-sodium chicken broth

2 T fresh parsley, chopped

1 t fresh rosemary needles, chopped

1/2 t sage leaves, chopped

1/2 t thyme leaves, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Place the cubed bread on a baking sheet and place in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes to an hour, or until sufficiently dried out. Place cubed bread in a large bowl.

In a large skillet, place 1 T of the olive oil. Bring to a medium heat and add butternut squash. Saute until tender, but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add remainder of oil, and add onions and celery. Saute for a few minutes more, until onions are translucent.

Add broth and herbs to the onion-celery mixture, and bring to a boil. Add butternut to bread cubes and toss. Ladle broth mixture over bread cube mixture, tossing after each ladle, tasting the whole way. Salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture isn’t quite moist enough, add more broth and toss again.

At this point, you can either place in a baking dish, or stuff your bird. If baking right away in the baking dish, bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. If stuffing your bird, stuff just before you are ready to roast your turkey. What did I do? I placed the stuffing in a baking dish, wrapped it tightly, and placed in the freezer to save for Thanksgiving. (I only baked a little amount just for the photo – and a taste test.) I’ll defrost in the refrigerator for a day before Thanksgiving, and bake it for 25 minutes or so in the oven, until it’s browned. Might even put some turkey drippings over and toss, just for added flavor. 

Make sure you click on the “Click Here” link below in order to enter your link, and/or to see the list of entered dishes. Contact me if you’re not sure how to submit them. Thanks!

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Side Dishes

Banana Souffle for Holiday Food Fest

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Liz at Hoosier Homemade is hosting Fall Desserts this week for Holiday Food Fest. Be sure to check out her blog and link up your favorite fall dessert! She’s giving away a Pampered Chef Pie & Tart Cookbook and a cool candle.

My submission for Holiday Food Fest this week are these banana souffles. While they aren’t typical “holiday” desserts, they are so rich in flavor, so comforting, that they would surely be a delightful end to any special dinner throughout the holiday season. They also take very little time to prepare, so they’re a doable dessert to throw together at the last minute. The best part is – they are much lower in calories and fat (and are of course, gluten-free!) than most desserts, since they only use egg whites, and rely a great deal on the natural sweetness of the bananas. (I haven’t tried to completely omit the sugar, but I imagine it would be possible to replace it with a lesser amount of agave nectar. If you do so, let me know how they turn out!)

Stay tuned, for next week, I will be hosting Fall Dishes for Holiday Food Fest! Be sure and check back, because there will be another chance at a giveaway!

 

Banana Souffle

2 ripe bananas

3 T water

1/3 c plus 1 T sugar

1/2 t cornstarch

pinch of cinnamon

4 egg whites

pinch of salt

Butter and sugar 4 4-ounce ramekins. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the bananas, and puree in a food processor until smooth. In a small saucepan, bring water and the 1/3 cup of sugar to a boil. Simmer 4 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Add banana puree, cornstarch, and cinnamon to sugar syrup, and stir until incorporated. Set aside to cool completely. (this is important – if you rush it and the mixture is still hot, it won’t fold into the egg whites correctly.) In a stainless steel bowl, beat egg whites and salt until foamy. Add remaining tablespoon of sugar and beat to soft peaks. Fold cooled banana puree into egg white mixture. Pour into ramekins and place ramekins on a baking sheet.

Place baking sheet in oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until puffed up and browned. Don’t open the oven to peek! If you must look (and I always want to!), use your oven light and peer through the window. If you don’t have one, trust your timer. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

48 Comments

Filed under Baked goods, Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Desserts, Eggs, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian