My father-in-law loves sweet potatoes and requested that I make some for our Christmas dinner tonight. So I altered a simple recipe and made it work. It is pretty darn tasty. Healthy? Nope. But tasty? You bet!
2 16-oz cans sweet potatoes, drained
1/4 cup vegan buttery spread
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup gluten free bisquick mix
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp vegan buttery spread
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Heat the sweet potatoes in the microwave for 3-5 minutes. Add the vegan butter (I use Earth Balance). Mash with a fork or potato masher until thoroughly combined. Add in almond milk, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well. Pour into an ungreased casserole dish.
3. In a small bowl, add bisquick, brown sugar, and butter. Mash with a fork until it makes a crumbly mixture. Stir in your nut of choice. Generously sprinkle over the top of your casserole.
4. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Serve warm.
At the end of November I had these grandiose plans to watch a Christmas movie every night until Christmas with my husband. Of course then my husband had to go to Texas for work the first week of December so that didn’t work out so well. The following week seemed to fly by as we were preparing to go back to Texas for a company Christmas party. Now all of a sudden we are in the third week of December, Christmas is 8 days away and we have yet to watch a single Christmas movie. To be quite honest, I’m lucky we even got our tree up and some decorations. With all of his traveling early on, my husband didn’t even want to put up decorations in the first place. It wasn’t until I had a good friend offer to come over and help me put up the tree did my husband change his tune. (Thanks Z!)
Even with Christmas music playing around the clock, stockings hung on the chimney with care, and presents under the tree – I felt like I still hadn’t fully gotten into the Christmas spirit. I remember growing up, ever since I can remember, my mom spending an entire weekend baking TONS and TONS of homemade Christmas cookies from scratch and then sending me off to deliver them to all of the surrounding neighbors. I found this very embarrassing as a child but now I think it would be rather fun to catch up with some old neighbors. She would make baklava, pizzelle cookies, chocolate covered peanut butter balls, Christmas shaped sugar cookies with holiday sprinkles, kiffles, macaroons, Madeline cookies, and jam thumbprint cookies. Yeah, my mom was a cookie rock star.
I love to bake, but I’m not very patient and I don’t like cleaning up big messes. So if it involves rolling out dough, rolling dough in sugar or sprinkles, or dipping things in chocolate and setting them out on wax paper to dry you can probably count me out. In fact – in my 6 1/2 years of marriage I’ve only “baked” Christmas cookies once and I think that was our first year together. And I didn’t actually make anything from scratch. I went to the local grocery store, bought every kind of cut and bake cookie available, baked them, and handed them out in pretty tins. So I guess that doesn’t really count. Since then, I’ve just handed out Christmas cards to my neighbors and I make my husband stick them in the mailboxes.
This year I wanted to be different. I wanted to get as Christmas-y as I possibly could in the midst of all of our hustle and bustle with our new house, getting settled, working, and every day life. So tonight, for the first time in my married life, I made Christmas cookies. Actually, I just made cookies but I will call them Christmas cookies because they are for Christmas. I decided to keep my list of cookies short since: 1. I can’t eat the cookies myself due to being gluten and lactose intolerant. 2. My husband doesn’t really eat sweets so the leftovers would probably go bad before they were eaten. 3. I don’t have that many new neighbors to hand out cookies to.
So on my list to make were Blondies (which is like a blonde brownie, I guess), chocolate chip cookies, Heath cookies, and mint chocolate cookies. I figure you can’t go wrong with the basics and everyone likes the standard “go to” cookies. I mean, who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies? And the mint chocolate cookies were Christmas-y, sort of. I decorated the festive holiday plates (courtesy of the dollar store) with Hershey Kisses to give it that extra holiday effect and slapped a Christmas card on top to solidify the fact that these were indeed Christmas cookies. I even hand delivered them to my neighbor myself. Mom, aren’t you proud of me? (I’m still debating about the other neighbor. I don’t have their contact info, I don’t know if they are home, and it’s not safe to leave food on the doorstep when you live on a wooded lot.)
Anyway – 129 cookies, 4 cookie plates, 1 special plate for the hubby, and 1 huge ziplock full of leftover cookies, I can officially say I’ve made homemade Christmas cookies. Tis the Season!
So this year I made pumpkin custard which literally was like pumpkin pie filling in a dish rather than in a crust baked in a water bath. Since I only made 4 custards, I was left with some extra pumpkin custard filling. Not being one to waste things, I decided to bake some muffins (which could easily be pumpkin bread if you wanted). In fact – you could probably use this recipe and just omit the pumpkin custard if you wanted and just use the base recipe if you wanted. Either way – these turned out to be super tasty and I’ll be turning this into an after Thanksgiving tradition.
Yields 30 regular sized muffins or 2 loaves of bread
1 cup leftover pumpkin custard
1 – 15 oz. can pumpkin (not pie filling)
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar, granulated
1 cup sugar-free applesauce
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup oat flour
1 cup gluten-free baking flour
1 1/2 cups almond flour/meal
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tin or lightly grease your glass loaf pans.
- In a mixing bowl, combine pumpkin custard, pumpkin, eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract. Set aside. In a larger bowl, thoroughly mix together all of the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring constantly.
- Once everything is mixed together, add the water and stir.
- Evenly distribute the batter into your muffin tins or loaf pans.
- If baking bread – cook for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- If baking muffins – cook for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
This year I made an entirely gluten and dairy free menu for Thanksgiving. I was also in charge of coming up with the dessert. Wanting to keep with tradition I came up with a pumpkin custard which I topped with a fantastic soy whipped cream which tasted pretty fantastic. (It looks like a redi whip container.) It is a super simple recipe and I’ll definitely be making this every year.
Yields 4 – 5 custards
1- 15 oz. can pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 – 16 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar, granulated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in the coconut milk. Evenly pour into 4-inch diameter ceramic custard dishes.
- Place dishes into an oven safe baking pan. Pour hot water into the baking pan so it comes about 1/2 inch high on the glass dishes.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes before reducing the heat to 350 degrees and baking for another 40-45 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
- Serve warm topped with soy whipped cream (or all by itself) or refrigerate and serve cold later.
This makes a TON of cornbread – be prepared to either serve a lot of people or to eat this for 4-5 days…
1 – can whole kernel yellow corn, undrained
1 – can cream-style corn
1 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 box Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix
1 stick – Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients and dump in a 9×13 lightly greased glass baking dish.
3. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.