Pumpkin Creme Brulee, serve this thanksgiving

Time Saving, Stress Reducing Tricks for Thanksgiving

So next week is Thanksgiving…..have you figured out what you’re going to do? Are you going out to eat or cooking in? If you’re cooking, are you making all the food or getting some help?  As a kid we always went out to eat for most holiday meals, so I love to cook at home now.  That said, making a whole meal can be a very daunting task.  Therefore, I like to get a little help when I can.  If you have family or friends that are coming over, ask them to bring a side dish or dessert.  If that isn’t an option or you want to manage all the food, I like to get some items pre-made to help me out on the day-of.

Here’s a round-up of my favorite time-saving and stress reducing tricks that help me look like I can do it all on Thanksgiving, I hope it helps you figure out what to serve this Thanksgiving too:

  • I like to order some food items for Thanksgiving, and make the rest. I will usually order a pre-made turkey that I can just reheat day-of, sometimes I’ll also order veggie sides and potatoes. My go-tos are Whole Foods catering or if you’re in Southern California I also like Bristol Farms.
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gluten free chili

Gluten Free Chili aka Claire’s Cocoa Loco Chili

This gluten free chili also goes by the name of “Claire’s Cocoa Loco Chili” in my house.  Both my husband and I went to the University of Texas at Austin and every year they have the Annual Texas Chili Showdown.  We went to the one in 2015 and I was very sad to find out that most of the chili recipes had gluten in them, in the form of beer, soy sauce and flour.  I have been on a quest ever since to perfect my chili recipe.  There was one chili that I voted for, 1) because it was one of two that were actually gluten free and 2) because it had an amazingly different flavor, which I learned was cocoa powder.  I then modified my recipe with cocoa powder too, hence how “Claire’s Cocoa Loco Chili” got it’s name.

Now if you’re freaking out right now because I said there is cocoa powder in my recipe, calm down….you don’t taste chocolate, it just adds a richer full-bodied flavor to the chili that enhances the other spices and ingredients.  I do put beans in my chili, so this wouldn’t qualify as Texas chili which doesn’t have beans and I use Lysander’s Original Chili Seasoning (link below) as a shortcut.… Read Full Post

gluten free spritz cookies

Gluten Free Spritz Cookies- Valentine’s Day Edition

This post was originally posted in February of 2015 and was my first post on this blog as my old moniker “Gluten Free Avenger”.  In celebration of my blog turning 2 and because this is just a kick-ass recipe, I thought I would share it again.  I love to make spritz cookies for many holidays because you can make them into fun, holiday appropriate shapes and it happens to be my husband’s all time favorite cookie.  These cookies will disappear quickly with guests, so I usually make 2 batches (at the very least).  I remember when I brought a huge bucket of about 100+ of these cookies to my sister-in-law’s house for a holiday party and my step daughter and her friend snuck off with all the cookies.  By the time we finally found them, there were only about 10 cookies left.  They’re addicting….you have been warned.

I started making the regular gluten-full version of these when I was about 13.  Now that there are so many good 1-to-1 gluten free flours on the market, I can now share my original family recipe.  You can use a 1-to-1 gluten free flour or if you’re not gluten free you can use regular flour.  I like Authentic Foods Steve’s Gluten Free Cake Flour Blend as my 1-to-1 gluten free flour for cakes and cookies.… Read Full Post

Gluten Free Stoli Vodka to Launch in April

A growing interest in gluten-free diets among health-conscious Americans has prompted the Russian maker of Stolichnaya vodka to add another drink to its menu.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.reuters.com

Gluten Free Stoli Vodka is set to launch in April.  It will be made from 88 percent corn and 12 percent buckwheat. Yay! Wait, free vodka?… Isn’t vodka gluten free already? Yes?!   So, why is Stoli putting so much effort in repackaging their vodka as “gluten free”?….market share.  So many companies are jumping on the gluten free bandwagon.  They want to get a piece of the growing gluten free trend and Gluten Free Stoli Vodka is just the latest brand looking to enter this growing market.  Food and beverage companies are now labeling items as gluten free that are always gluten free just to get in the special gluten free section of the grocery store. Why is there a gluten free label on packaged vegetables or lemonade? This is completely unnecessary and ridiculous.

We already know that food labeling in the United States is questionable best. Now companies are blatantly using “gluten free” as a gimmicky and trendy food label. Remember the Gluten Free Cheerios debacle? My advice? Do your own research before you put an item in your mouth; make sure that it really is gluten free.… Read Full Post

Gluten Free Holiday Meals and Entertaining

I love having friends and family over for the holidays, but gluten free holiday meals can seem daunting.  We usually have one or two orphans(someone who isn’t able go home for the holidays) and some family over for the holidays.  Our gatherings are usually pretty small, because our families are spread out all over the US, so getting everyone in the same room over a holiday is pretty impossible.   Entertaining does give me an excuse to set the table beautifully, bring out the nice serving platters, utensils, etc, but when you’re making food for lots of non-gluten free people, you don’t want them to feel like they’re missing out.  When I do have people over I usually make everything gluten free….I used to buy pre-made non gluten free stuffing, but everyone usually liked my homemade gluten free version so now I only make everything gluten free.

In past years, I’ve ordered partially prepared meals and picked them up.  In Los Angeles, my go-to is Whole Foods.  I like “Thanksgiving food”, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, but I have learned that I’m usually the only one that is enthusiastic about the food.  This years we are doing something completely different for Thanksgiving and we ordered BBQ from Salt Lick BBQ in Texas.  … Read Full Post