Monthly Archives: December 2010

Top Tasty Eats in 2010

2010 feels like a whirlwind of a year to me. Doesn’t it to you? This has been the first full year that Tasty Eats At Home has been gluten-free, and I feel like I’ve learned so much about gluten-free living, baking, and health in that time. Tasty Eats At Home has become dairy-free as well. Still, there is so much left to learn, and so much left to do. I took a look at my resolutions I posted at the end of 2009, and while I’ve accomplished a few, I realize I still wish to tackle some of those goals!

But first, let’s review some of your favorites from 2010. These are all tasty recipes – and run the gamut from quick-and-easy dinner recipes to yummy sweets.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast – I have come back to this recipe time and time again for an easy solution to dinner.

Quinoa Salad with Spinach, Raisins, and Walnuts – a healthy, light way to enjoy a quick meal.

Jap Chae – This is one of my favorite quick meals, and it’s completely vegan. Talk about satisfying without the guilt!

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins – I’ve made these multiple times since posting this recipe. A treat for kids and adults alike!

Gluten-Free Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – A favorite of mine from childhood. Yum.

Gluten-Free Churros – These were fun, and I kid you not, our kids have requested these for Christmas morning next year. Guess they were a hit.

Chocolate Ice Cream – Need I say more? Who doesn’t like chocolate ice cream? To make it dairy-free, simply use coconut milk and another dairy-free milk. I’ve made all-coconut milk ice creams before – they’re so creamy and decadent!

Gluten-Free Brownie Bites – Brittany just made these a few weeks ago, and they’re wonderful. We made them dairy-free by substituting 7 tablespoons of palm shortening for the 8 tablespoons of butter. Easy peasy, and SO worth it.

Masala-Spiced Adzuki Beans and Rice – I think it’s time to make these again, especially once the holiday overindulgence has occurred. The dish is vegan, packed full of protein, and comforting.

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies – Another easy-to-make treat! Who doesn’t love cookies, and these can be whipped up with just a few ingredients.

And what was my favorite recipe of 2010? It’s hard for me to choose! Here are my top 10 that I truly enjoyed.

Peach and Kumquat Crostada – I loved the crust here, and this was a perfect ending to a heavy meal.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Broccoli “Cheese” Rice Casserole – I was so excited when this was just as tasty as the original!

Texas Chili – This is my “go-to” recipe for chili. I made some for Christmas day, actually, using venison. (Yes, we had chili on Christmas. Long story, but we had our traditional Christmas dinner the day after, so chili was the meal for the actual holiday.) Talk about yum.

Curried Acorn Squash, Sweet Potato, and Apple Soup – a delicious and healthy soup; one of my favorites made this year!

Vegan Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote - I was ecstatic when this turned out. Cheesecake is back on the menu!

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato and Pork Pierogies – These were phenomenal. I think I should treat my husband and I again to these!

Perfect Lamb Chops – If there’s one dish that was enjoyed over and over again in our home this year, this would be it. Something that’s delicious and easy? Yes, please!

Moist and Herb-y Turkey Burgers – Another healthy dinner recipe that’s sure to make its rounds on our menu soon! 

Ratatouille – If there was a vegetable that I truly fell in love with in the past year, it would be eggplant. This is one dish that truly makes eggplant sing.

Croquembouche – If there was ever a Daring Bakers Challenge that I had to conquer, this was it. I had multiple failures before this dessert finally worked, but when it did, it was heavenly.

Whew, that was harder than I thought! Apparently I am quite attached to a lot of my posts.

And now, in keeping with my tradition, a few food/cooking-related resolutions for the New Year:

- Perfect and post a great gluten-free bread recipe (I posted a baguette recipe, but I’d like to make my own sliceable sandwich bread)

- Learn to make menudo (was on the resolution list last year and I didn’t get to it)

- Learn to make gluten-free puff pastry (I’ve read about it, I just need to take the plunge!)

- Improve Tasty Eats At Home design

- Achieve work/life/blog balance! (A lot has happened in the past few months – and as much as I’d love to spend all my time with you guys, I must revisit my goals and find balance.)

And most of all, I’m curious: What would you like to see on Tasty Eats At Home? I’d love to read some feedback – more healthy recipes? More desserts? Easier layout, search functions, etc? Let me know!

Happy New Year to you all. I hope you have a safe, healthy, happy, and prosperous 2011!

Daring Bakers: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Christmas Stollen

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book…and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

I have heard of Stollen, but have never made it. I’m not a fruitcake person, really, but I do love dried fruit and nuts, and this was more of a bread than a cake. I was excited to give it a try, but knew I only had 1 shot at getting it right. Instead of trying to guess which gluten-free flours would make a perfect bready texture (and I’m out of several of them, and have to wait for my online order to arrive), I opted instead for Pamela’s Bread Mix. I’ve used it multiple times for pizza crust and hamburger buns, and it bakes up fluffy and light. As for the dairy-free substitutions, that was a breeze – I used So Delicious coconut beverage  for the milk, and palm shortening for the butter. I opted to not use red glace cherries, instead substituting dried cherries and bumping up the amount of dried fruits in the bread.

The verdict? I was worried it wasn’t rising at first. I made the dough and let it rest in the refrigerator for 2 days, and when I let it warm, rolled it out, and rested it, it really didn’t look as though it rose. I know gluten-free dough has a tendency to have difficulty rising (that lack of gluten!), but I had concerns it was going to bake into a doughy lump. But once it was in the oven, it rose, browned, and looked delicious and crusty. And when we ate it – heaven. Yum. Not too sweet, crusty on the outside, and a soft interior studded with sweet cherries.

I would love to make this again. Next time, I’d love to soak my dried fruit for longer (I only soaked for about an hour), to really bump the flavors, (and probably use rum instead of bourbon) but overall, a lovely Christmas treat.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Christmas Stollen Wreath

1/4 c lukewarm water (110 degrees F)

2 packages dry active yeast (Red Star is gluten-free)

1 c non-dairy milk

9 T palm shortening

5 1/2 c of your favorite gluten-free flour blend

1 T xanthan gum, if your flour blend does not already include it (mine did)

1/2 c sugar

3/4 t salt

1 t cinnamon

3 large eggs, beaten

Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

2 t vanilla extract

1/2 t almond extract

1 t lemon juice

3/4 c candied orange peel (make your own!)

1 c golden raisins

1/4 c dried cranberries

1/2 c dried cherries

3 T bourbon

Juice from zested orange

1 c sliced almonds

Melted non-dairy butter for coating the wreath

Powdered sugar for dusting the wreath

In a small bowl, soak the raisins, dried cranberries, and dried cherries in the bourbon and orange juice. Set aside while you work on the rest of the stollen.

Add the yeast to the warm water and stir to dissolve. Allow to sit for a few minutes to “proof”.

In a small saucepan, combine the non-dairy milk and the shortening and melt the shortening over medium heat. Remove from heat and let stand until lukewarm (about 110 degrees F).

Lightly beat eggs with extracts in a small bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, xanthan gum (if using), sugar, salt, cinnamon, and zests. Then stir in the yeast mixture, eggs, and the lukewarm milk mixture. Mix until dough comes together. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Add in the candied peel, the soaked dried fruit, and the almonds and mix with your hands or with a mixer (with a dough hook) on low until well-incorporated.

Sprinkle some additional gluten-free flour onto a clean counter, and turn dough onto flour. With floured hands, knead dough for approximately 8 minutes. Dough should be slightly sticky, but not excessively so. The raisins and dried fruit might fall out of the dough a bit as you knead – this is good. Just keep pressing them back in. Gather the dough and make a ball. Lightly oil a large, clean bowl, and place the dough ball in it, rolling it around to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature on the counter for about 2 hours. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter and turn dough onto it, and place another large piece of parchment on top. Roll dough out into a rectangle about 16 X 24 inches and about 1/4 inch thick. Remove the top sheet of parchment, and starting with the long side, roll dough up tightly into a cylinder.

Transfer the cylinder roll to a sheet pan. Form the roll into the shape of a wreath, using a bowl in the center as a guide, if needed. Pinch the ends together. Using kitchen shears, make cuts along the outside of the circle, about 2 inches apart, and about 2/3 of the way through the dough. Roll these pieces towards the outside of the wreath so that the cuts separate somewhat. Cover wreath loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate 180 degrees. Bake for another 30 minutes or until dough reaches 190 degrees F in the center and wreath is deeply browned. Remove from oven and brush with melted non-dairy butter. Using a sifter or a fine-mesh strainer, sprinkle powdered sugar over the wreath in an even layer. Allow to soak in for a minute, and sprinkle another layer of sugar. Allow to cool for 1 hour before serving, or store in a plastic bag once completely cool.

Serves about 12.

Kids in the Kitchen: Dairy-Free Fudge (and Peanut Butter Fudge!)

Christmas is obviously in full swing around here. Brittany wanted to go all out with chocolate this past weekend – she wanted to make brownies and fudge. Not just plain fudge, either – she wanted to make peanut butter fudge too! So I stocked up on chocolate, experimented with my tried-and-true gluten-free brownie recipe (making it dairy-free by substituting 7 tablespoons of palm shortening for the 8 tablespoons of butter – easy peasy!), and located my soon-to-be favorite fudge recipe over at Go Dairy Free.

I opted to lower the sugar just a tad (not that it’s a low-sugar recipe by any stretch!), but otherwise followed the recipe pretty closely, making improvisations for the peanut butter variety. What resulted was an intense, rich, creamy, dreamy fudge. The peanut butter variety was even more crave-inducing, and was the favorite of all three kids (and John, who savored his piece.) It was a breeze to make, and will definitely be a recipe I’ll turn to time and time again. If you’re looking for a last-minute holiday candy to bring to a party, give as a gift, or just to set out for the family to enjoy, this is definitely one to consider!

Dairy-Free Fudge (adapted from Go Dairy Free)

1 c dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 c confectioner’s sugar

1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder

2 T dairy-free margarine (I used Earth Balance)

1/2 c regular coconut milk

1/2 t vanilla extract

Lightly grease an 8X8 inch square baking pan. Set aside.

Set a stainless steel bowl over a small saucepan with an inch or so of simmering water. Place chocolate chips, margarine, and coconut milk and melt, stirring occasionally. Add sugar and cocoa powder  and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Pour everything into your prepared pan and spread out evenly. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Fudge

1 c dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 c confectioner’s sugar plus 1 T more (for peanut butter)

1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder

2 T dairy-free margarine (I used Earth Balance)

1/2 c regular coconut milk

1/2 c smooth peanut butter

Lightly grease an 8X8 inch square baking pan. Set aside.

Set a stainless steel bowl over a small saucepan with an inch or so of simmering water. Place chocolate chips, margarine, and coconut milk and melt, stirring occasionally. Add sugar and cocoa powder  and stir to incorporate. In a microwave safe bowl, heat peanut butter until softened, about 30 seconds. Stir in remaining tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar. Remove fudge mixture from heat and pour everything into your prepared pan and spread out evenly. Scoop the peanut butter and place on top of fudge mixture in spoonfuls. With a butter knife, drag the peanut butter around the fudge to make swirls. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Multi-Grain Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

It’s officially the holiday season, and I’m starting to prepare the holiday sweets – cookies, candies, and fudge (yes, dairy-free fudge! Coming soon!). The other day I shared one of my new favorite treats, and here’s another. These cookies were more of an experiment, resulting from some cranberries that I bought and for whatever reason, didn’t use. I opted to make a fresh cranberry cookie. These were delightful – the whole grains remind me of oatmeal cookies, but the combination of cranberry and chocolate definitely makes them something special. When I baked these cookies, I could hardly wait until they were cool enough to eat. And then, I had to will myself to stop at 2. They definitely were tasty, to say the least. Maybe not the flashiest cookie on the holiday table, but sometimes, those “ugly ducklings” are the true gems!

So if you’re looking for another treat to round out your holiday cookie platter, these might be a great gluten-free, dairy-free option!

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Multi-Grain Cookies (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)

½ c tapioca starch

¼ c teff flour

¼ c buckwheat flour

¼ t salt

¼ t xanthan gum

½ t baking soda

1 t cinnamon

¼ t allspice

2 T ground flaxseed meal

1/3 c palm shortening

¼ c coconut oil

½ c sucanat or evaporated cane juice

¼ c sugar

¼ c honey

1 large egg

1 t vanilla extract

1 c quinoa flakes

1 c dark chocolate chips (dairy-free)

1 c coarsely chopped fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, combine tapioca starch, teff flour, buckwheat flour, salt, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and flaxseed meal and whisk. Set aside.

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream shortening, coconut oil, sucanat, sugar and honey together. Add egg and beat in until combined. Add vanilla extract and beat in. Turn speed to low and slowly add flour mixture. Once combined, add quinoa flakes. Stir in chocolate chips and cranberries.

Scoop onto prepared baking sheets into balls about 2 inches in diameter, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15-18 minutes or just until the edges are browned. Remove and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes or until set enough to transfer to a rack. Allow cookies to cool completely on rack.

Makes about 2 dozen.

Gluten-Free Holiday: Chocolate Dipped Dates with Spiced Nuts

This is the final week of Gluten-Free Holiday, and we’re ending it as we should end any holiday event – with dessert! Special holiday treats are often the highlight this time of year – many people love to make holiday goodies, cakes, cookies, pies, and candies. This gives those of us on a special diet some wonderful dessert ideas that meet our needs, or the needs of our loved ones. It’s always wonderful to make a special treat that a loved one that usually goes without can eat!

But before I get to my recipe for chocolate-dipped dates with spiced nuts (which you should TOTALLY check out!), let me share with you the fun giveaways for this week! Amy over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free is hosting this week, and has some wonderful giveaways – two books that you could win before anyone else gets them!

Amy is giving away 3 copies of Stephanie O’Dea’s More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow. The release date for this book is December 28th. (If you wish, pre-order it now and get the special pre-sale price!)

Amy is also giving away 3 autographed copies of her new book, Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free. The release date for this book is mid-January. Same story with this one – pre-order and save! (I am pre-ordering RIGHT NOW!)

Definitely head on over to Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free and share your favorite gluten-free dessert and check out these giveaways! Also check out her cranberry swirl cheesecake – it looks sinful!

Now, to my gluten-free holiday dessert. This is a little treat that is easy to make beforehand and set out at any holiday party or dinner as part of a dessert tray, or even all by itself! I found the recipe in Bon Appetit’s magazine and modified it just barely. The recipe was naturally gluten-free already (a plus!). When you bite into these, they taste so rich and complex – their flavor far exceeds the effort, and compared to a lot of desserts, they’re really not all that unhealthy. Definitely traits I look for when choosing what treats to make!

Chocolate-Dipped Dates with Spiced Nuts, adapted from Bon Appetit

54 roasted, salted almonds, divided

3 t freshly grated orange peel, divided

2 t honey

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t allspice

18 medjool dates, pitted

1 c dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)

Toss 36 almonds, half of the orange peel, honey, cinnamon, and allspice in a small bowl.

Cut a slit down each of the dates and stuff with 2 spice-coated almonds. Close the date as much as possible.

Line a small baking sheet with foil. Heat a small saucepan with about 2 inches of water to a simmer and place a stainless steel bowl over the water (make sure your bowl is large enough to sit on top of the saucepan, or else use a double boiler). Place the chocolate chips in the bowl and stir occasionally until melted through. Grasp one end of each date, dip into chocolate, shaking off excess, and place on the foil. Repeat with each date. Then with the remaining almonds, press one on top of each of the chocolate-covered dates. Sprinkle with remaining orange peel and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until set.

Makes 18 dates.

Daring Cooks: Eggs Benedict

Jenn from Jenn Cuisine and Jill (Jillouci) have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

While I’ve poached many an egg in my day (I even know how to do it in the microwave), I have actually never made eggs benedict, so I took this opportunity to try it out. It’s one of my favorite “classic” breakfast dishes, and I’ve neglected to make it on a weekend morning, simply because in my head, I felt that making hollandaise was “too fussy” and would take too long.

Boy, was I wrong. I made this for dinner last night (breakfast for dinner is something I really must do more often!) and it really didn’t take much time or effort at all! The hollandaise came together in a flash, and was creamy and delicious. I opted to use a Kinnikinnick hamburger bun instead of coming up with a gluten-free English muffin, and it worked just fine. I also substituted Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread for the butter, and it too was perfect. Now that I’ve realized how simple the basic, traditional eggs benedict recipe is to make, I have hopes to make a fancy, pimped out version again sometime soon. (Anyone have suggestions?)

Another great Daring Cooks challenge complete! Thanks to Jenn and Jill for this easy and delicious challenge!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Eggs Benedict

For the hollandaise:

3 large egg yolks

1-2 t water

pinch sugar

10 T dairy-free butter

1/2 t kosher salt

2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice

pinch cayenne pepper

For the eggs benedict:

4 eggs

1 T vinegar

4 thin slices ham (or Canadian bacon)

4 gluten-free English muffins (or other gluten-free bread)

 Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and set aside. Whisk egg yolks and water in a mixing bowl large enough to sit on the saucepan without touching the water (or in top portion of a double boiler). Whisk for 1–2 minutes, until egg yolks lighten. Add the sugar and whisk 30 seconds more.

Place bowl on saucepan over simmering water and whisk steadily 3–5 minutes (it only took about 3 for me) until the yolks thicken to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat (but let the water continue to simmer) and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time. Move the bowl to the pan again as needed to melt the butter, making sure to whisk constantly.

Once all the butter is incorporated, remove from heat and whisk in the salt, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. Keep the hollandaise warm while you poach your eggs.

Crack eggs individually into bowls. Fill a shallow pan with about 2 inches of water.  Add salt and a splash of vinegar (any kind will do). Bring to a simmer. Slip eggs directly into the very gently simmering water, making sure they’re separated. Cook for 3 minutes for a viscous but still runny yolk.

While waiting for the eggs, quickly fry the ham slices and toast your English muffin. Top each half of English muffin with a piece of ham. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, draining well, and place on top of the bacon. Top with hollandaise and garnish with chives or chopped sage, and enjoy!

Gluten-Free Holiday: Holiday Breakfast and Brunch (Breakfast Tacos/Taquitos)

Can you believe we are in our 5th installment of Gluten-Free Holiday? Time flies, I tell you! This week we are celebrating over at Ginger Lemon Girl and sharing recipes for holiday breakfast and brunch. I can’t wait to check out what recipes have been shared. But even more exciting are the books that are up for grabs this week!

There will be 4 copies of Elana Amsterdam’s The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook and 3 Elana’s Pantry totes. I own this book, and love it – the recipes are simple, straightforward, and delicious!

2 copies of Cooking For Isaiah by Silvana Nardone - a book I have yet to get my hands on, but can’t wait to check out!

And 3 copies of Gluten-Free Diner by Diane Eblin of The W.H.O.L.E. Gang – another wonderful book I’m proud to own. She serves up delicious comfort foods in this book.

This week’s recipe links are of particular interest to me. Why? Well, our family doesn’t typically put much thought into holiday breakfasts. Christmas morning is a frenzy of emptying stockings from Santa, opening gifts, snapping photos of bed-head kids tearing apart wrapping paper, and bargaining with them on how many chocolates (from their stocking) they can eat for breakfast. (Usually it’s just 1 piece, and hey, it’s twice a year they get candy for breakfast!) If we’re not dashing off to someone else’s house to celebrate, then I might whip up a breakfast, but it’s not much different than any other weekend breakfast. The favorite among our kids is breakfast tacos (called taquitos around here – not sure why!), which is just a simple mix of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and cheese. Most of the time, I can pry the kids away from their new gifts for 5 minutes to gobble some of these down. This year, however, I might actually plan ahead and start a new tradition – we’ll see!

Check out the recipe for breakfast tacos/taquitos here! To make them dairy-free, I simply omit the milk and use Daiya cheese, if I have some. Otherwise, I just omit the cheese – I don’t miss it anymore.

Head on over to Ginger Lemon Girl and check out some amazing recipes for your holiday breakfast/brunch!

Kids in the Kitchen: Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut butter cups rank pretty high up there in terms of favorite candy, when it comes to our kids. I can’t blame them – I long for those creamy, sweet, delicious treats myself, but because of my dairy “issues”, most store-bought candies are off of the list. So when Matt said he wanted to make these, I was excited. Not only would we be rewarded with delicious candy treats, the process was relatively simple and fun!

This would be a great project if you happen to be home with your kids during the holiday break. Candy molds are relatively inexpensive, and if you use the paint brushes, it’s almost like going back to kindergarten – and who doesn’t love that every once in a while? And when you’re getting to eat your project when you’re finished, then it’s the best kind of project available!

If you are looking to make this dairy-free, be sure you find dairy-free chocolate chips. I used Enjoy Life brand, but I’ve found some other brands also are dairy-free. And of course, if you or someone in your family can’t do peanut butter, then almond butter or even sunbutter would work! You can even try to use a bit of jam (I’ve used raspberry jam in the past) and make fancy bon-bons!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Cups

1 1/2 c dairy-free chocolate chips

about 1/2 c peanut butter (I used creamy)

In a double boiler (or you can use a small saucepan with a bit of water in the bottom, and place a stainless steel bowl on top), bring water to low boil and add chocolate chips in top. Stir slowly until melted. Turn heat down to low.

Using a paint brush (I used a cheap one – no need to get fancy), paint chocolate in the inside of the mold, making sure to coat evenly and thoroughly. Place mold in freezer for a few minutes. Remove from freezer, and scoop small amounts of peanut butter into each mold. Freeze again for about 10 minutes. Remove from freezer, and paint chocolate over the top of the peanut butter, making sure you have enough to “seal” the filling inside the candy. Freeze again for 30 minutes, and remove from freezer. Turn mold over and pop the candies from the mold.

Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger: Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

This month I adopted one of my favorite gluten-free bloggers – Tom and Ali of Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. Their blog is full of delicious gluten-free healthy options, many of them also vegetarian/vegan and dairy-free. I also happen to own their cookbook,  which also happens to be one of my favorites. When it came time to pick my “adoptee” for Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger this month, I figured I was way overdue to actually blog about their wonderful recipes.

When browsing the recipes on their site, I happened to come across a wild rice dressing recipe that caught my attention. While it is after Thanksgiving, I actually gave away all of my turkey leftovers this year to family members. Lucky for me, I bought an extra turkey, and so this past Sunday, we had Thanksgiving 2.0 at our home, just so I could then make delicious recipes with the leftover meat. But I didn’t want an exact duplicate of our Thanksgiving dinner – and so this wild rice dressing was just the thing. I halved the recipe (which still made quite a lot!), and opted to simply bake it all in a casserole dish. It came out so beautifully – I love the nuttiness of the rice, the crunch of the pecans, and the sweetness of the apple and cranberries. I could eat it for breakfast – no joke. It was that good.

Not that it’s any surprise – every recipe I’ve tried from Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen has been good! Ali and Tom share amazing raw “caramel” apple dip that would make any kid (and adult) smile. Their nori rolls are a great way to enjoy a light and healthy lunch. If you haven’t checked out Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, I highly suggest insist that you visit. You won’t be sorry!

Gluten-Free Holiday: Christmas and Hanukkah Favorites – Tamales

It’s week 4 of Gluten-Free Holiday and this week’s theme is Christmas and Hanukkah Favorites – specifically, entrees and side dishes. Hanukkah is already in full swing, and Christmas is just weeks away. Diane over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang is hosting this week, and is sharing this amazing recipe for chipolatas. Seriously, they make my mouth water just looking at them. And of course, in our Gluten-Free Holiday style, there are more amazing gluten-free cookbooks to win.

One copy of Gluten-Free Girl: How I Found The Food That Loves Me Back…And You Can Too by Shauna James Ahern.

And one copy of Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef, also by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern.

One copy of Sweet Freedom by Ricki Heller,

And three e-book trios, each including one copy of Sweet Freedom, one copy of Desserts Without Compromise, and one copy of Anti-Candida Feast Ebook, all by Ricki Heller of Diet, Dessert and Dogs.

My submission for this week’s theme is something that I look forward to every holiday season – tamales. While I don’t always make my own, I have found that they’re not all that difficult to make. (They are time-consuming, however.) But it’s great fun, and you’ll be rewarded with a lovely, spicy, flavorful treat.

Many times, we will get together with my husband’s side of the family on Christmas Eve. Rather than a fancy, sit-down Christmas dinner, we instead enjoy a casual, but generous spread of various snack foods, ranging from the ever-famous cheese dip to cookies and cake. In the past few years, we’ve brought tamales to our celebration, and they’re always a huge hit. With a bit of salsa, bottled hot sauce, or even unadorned, they are the perfect way to ring in the season. I highly suggest you try to make tamales once – it’s a fun experience, and you’ll be rewarded with delicious treats and smiles from all.

Read my tamales recipe here. And don’t forget to visit The W.H.O.L.E. Gang and link up your favorite recipes for Christmas and Hanukkah entrees or side dishes, and enter for a chance to win some amazing cookbooks!