Last week, sweet Kelly over at The Spunky Coconut invited me to join her for her second Spunky Coconut podcast. It was a hoot! We had fun rambling on about everything from gluten-free dining, dumpster diving, recipes we're working on, and more. Like Kelly says, podcasts are like listening to the radio but only better!
Have a listen! Head on over the The Spunky Coconut.
A big thank you to Kelly's husband, designer and publisher, Andrew for making this happen.
Tonight I got to thinking about the coming week. This whole bit about Thanksgiving is so food-centric—the preparation, the making and the clean-up. Sure, I love the food, but there is something else that makes this holiday my all-time favorite. It is the slowing down, the catching up with family and friends and the counting of blessings that makes it so special.
This month, Lexie's Kitchen was in the running for Top 25 Food Allergy Mom Blogs 2011. When I got the email announcing that it had made it into the top 25, I couldn't contain myself. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Lexie's Kitchen would pull in 1,216 votes! And it was nothing I did (aside from knocking on your door relentlessly :), it was all you! Your votes have put wind in my sails in a big way! For you, I am thankful! You are my friends, you are a blessing. This Thanksgiving you can be sure I will be remembering you.
If we could fit, I would invite you all to our table—a place card with your name would be waiting. Imagine the time we would have! Alas in the past 18 months over 100,000 different people have visited Lexie's Kitchen—I think we'd need a mighty big table!
I wonder who will be joining you at your table? I am sure they are a blessing to you, and that for them, you are thankful.
This week I am attaching a download for some simple place cards we will be using at our table and I thought I would share them with you. A little extra touch to show the ones we love how thankful we are to have them in our life.
DIY Holiday Place Card Download
1. Choose from a folder-over tent-style or card that would insert into a place card holder.
2. Download the version you'd like.
3. Print on decorative cardstock.
4. Trim and fold.
4. Then in your prettiest handwriting, customize each card.
Place Card Holder Ideas to Check Out:
If you are like me, the Thanksgiving menu comes together at the last minute. This year I am so glad that my sister took charge. "Here's what you're making," she wrote me in an email. Weee! I love take-chargers. Here's her plan:
Cassie & Lexie's Thanksgiving Menu 2011
Brined Rotisserie Turkey
Gluten-Free Cornbread Dressing [recipe]
Mom's Mashed Potatoes [recipe]
Outback Wedge Salad [recipe]
Holiday Green Beans
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites
Hot Carob Hemp Milk with Coconut Cream Whipped Topping [recipe]
How about you? Is your Thanksgiving menu squared away? Need a few recipes to fill in the gaps? Here are some from past posts that you may enjoy—all are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and more.
Caramelized Carrot & Licorice Soup
Lemony Vinaigrette over Arugula
Outback Steakhouse Wedge Salad
Raw Nacho "Cheese" Sauce / Dip
Gluten-Free Cornbread Dressing
Pumpkin Pie (version 1)
Pumpkin Pie (version 2 - nut-free)
Now, I wonder what my bachelor brother will be bringing?
Happy menu planning!
Down South it’s “dressing,” up North it’s “stuffing.” Whatever name you give it, no holiday feast is complete without it. Sidled up next to a scoop of whipped potatoes and smothered in gravy, this gluten-free version of an old classic is sure to be a crowd pleaser. This “cooked outside the bird” cornbread dressing has been modified to be egg-free and dairy-free as well.
This Thanksgiving we will be feasting with family that do not have dietary restrictions so I wanted to make a cornbread dressing that would be just like the "real deal," but agreeable with disagreeable tummies around table.
For the most part, I cook from scratch and stick to basic ingredients. However, there are times when I whip out a mix for the sake of saving time and ease of preparation—birthdays are one, holidays another. In the notes for this recipe I have included the ingredients in the Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix I use. You may want to skim it over to ensure it's a safe one to serve at your table. Folks with a corn sensitivity should obviously avoid it. See notes for gluten-free brands and substitution suggestions.
Grandma Maxine's Cornbread Dressing
Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free
The inspiration for this recipe comes from my friend Heather and her grandmother. Last year we spent the holiday with Heather and her family and she made the BEST cornbread dressing I'd ever had. It was a recipe handed down to her from her grandma Maxine. She handed it on to me, and with a few modfications it is now egg-free and dairy-free. Thank you Heather. And thank you grandma Maxine!
For the Cornbread:
Prepare 1 package (20 oz.) Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix according to package directions using the following substitutions and bake in a 13x9" pan to achieve a drier bread:
1-1/2 cups water or unsweetened NON-DAIRY MILK in place of cow’s milk
1/3 cup GRAPESEED OIL or extra light olive oil in place of butter
2 GEL “EGGS” in place of chicken eggs (see notes)
For the Dressing:
8 cups of 1/2” cubed CORNBREAD
1 tablespoon OLIVE OIL
1 medium ONION, minced
1-1/2 cups gluten-free chicken or vegetable BROTH
1/2 cup Soy-Free Earth Balance Natural BUTTERY SPREAD
1/4 cup FLAX SEED MEAL (or chia meal)
2 teaspoons gluten-free POULTRY SEASONING
1 teaspoon SALT (or to taste ... more if using low-sodium broth)
1 teaspoon PEPPER
1 can WATER CHESTNUTS, 1/4" dice (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. Spread cubed cornbread in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until cubes are dry, but not browned.
3. In medium bowl, whisk broth, melted buttery spread, and flax meal. Set aside 10-15 minutes.
4. Sauté onion in oil until tender.
5. In large bowl, toss cubed cornbread, onion, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add broth mixture and gently toss to combine.
6. Transfer dressing to oiled 13x9” baking dish. Bake 40-50 minutes. For a crispy top, broil on low the final 2-3 minutes.
Flax or Chia Meal: Gel “eggs” are commonly used to bind baked goods in egg-free baking. To make one “egg”: Whisk 1 tablespoon flax meal or white chia meal with 1/4 cup water. Set aside 10-15 minutes until a thick gel forms. Flax or chia meal is easily made by grinding the seeds in a coffee/spice grinder. When using chia for baked goods, select white seeds versus black if you prefer your baked good not be speckled with black. You may purchase flax seed already ground such as Bob’s Red Mill Golden Flaxseed Meal.
Broth: There are number of gluten-free options. Here are a few. When in doubt, only buy products labeled “gluten-free.”
Poultry Seasoning: Brands known to be gluten-free are Penzey’s Poultry Seasoning and McCormick’s Poultry Seasoning.
Bob’s Red Mill: Most Bob’s Red Mill products are manufactured in a facility that also use tree nuts and soy. If tree nut and soy are a concern select an alternative product(s). Ingredients in Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread Mix – whole grain cornmeal, potato starch, whole grain sorghum flour, evaporated cane juice, whole grain corn flour, tapioca flour, baking powder (sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate), sea salt, xanthan gum.
Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread: Ingredients in the soy-free version; Expeller-pressed natural oil blend (palm fruit, canola, safflower and olive), water, contains less than 2% salt, sunflower lecithin, pea protein, natural flavor (derived from corn, no msg, no alcohol, no gluten), lactic acid (non-dairy source), naturally extracted annatto for color.
An Allergy-Friendly Reminder. A food allergy can be a serious matter. If you are dealing with severe allergies or intolerances, always read labels or check with the manufacturer prior to consumption of any food product. Ingredients and processes are subject to change at anytime, which means a once “safe” product or ingredient may not be “safe” the next time. For the sensitive guests, establish an “allergy-safe” zone in the kitchen with dedicated utensils and cutting boards. Keep this area free of gluten, nuts and/or other potential allergen(s).
More Dressing & Stuffing Recipes to Try
Rosemary Sage Stuffing Paleo Style over at Real Sustenance
Surprise Dressing over at Gluten-Free Easily
Gluten-Free Stuffing over at Cook IT Allergy Free
Cranberry Apple Dressing over at Elana's Pantry (not egg-free)
Wild Rice Stuffing over at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Gluten-Free Sage Dressing over at Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom
Perfect Homemade Stuffing Crockpot Recipe over at A Year of Slow Cooking
Cornbread Stuffing over at And Love it Too!
Gluten-Free Stuffing with Pancetta Sage Sausage over at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang
Cornbread Dressing over at The Sensitive Pantry
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