PUMPKIN ICEBOX CAKE

20131124-145843.jpg

By now you can tell that I am a huge fan of icebox cakes, and this pumpkin one is no exception. I love pumpkin pie but after a huge Thanksgiving dinner I find myself craving something light and fluffy, and this icebox cake does the trick! Plus, it is one less thing you have to worry about finding time to go into the oven. There’s really not much more I can say about this dessert if I don’t already have you at pumpkin and no bake, so here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

1/2 package of pumpkin spice Jello instant pudding mix (just the powder, don’t prepare it)
2 and 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
28 gluten free graham cookies (I prefer Enjoy Life’s Vanilla Honey Graham)

In a mixer with a whisk attachment, mix heavy cream, sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form; add pudding mix and whisk until completely incorporated. Then, on a cake plate, layer the pumpkin mixture and cookies, starting with cream and alternating with cookies until finishing with cream. Optional: Top with whipped cream. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in your refrigerator over night (or if you’re impatient 8 hours will do!) Enjoy!

You May Also Like:
Keylime Pie Icebox Cake
Cookies ‘N Cream Icebox Cake

THE GLUTEN SUMMIT

Last week I took part in the first ever Gluten Summit, a series of online interviews on the topics of gluten-related disorders, nutrition and healthy living from 29 of the world’s experts and opinion leaders. I was so happy when I heard they were doing something like this, I feel that there is a definite lack of education when it comes to gluten-related disorders and I was very excited when I realized that not only were they focusing on Celiac Disease, but they were also addressing non-Celiac gluten sensitivities; an area which I feel there is even more confusion. Although all of the lectures were very informative, one in particular really got my attention: Cynthia Kupper, Executive Director of The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), spoke a lot about finding support after being diagnosed with a gluten intolerance. As you know I think having a support system is very important when comes to dealing with staying gluten free, but what I didn’t realize is how much further it could go than just family and friends! Their website states: “GIG’s Mission is to support persons with gluten intolerances, celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, and other gluten sensitivities, through consumer and industry services and programs that positively promote healthy lives. GIG’s Branches fulfill GIG’s mission on a local and regional level through programs tailored to their communities.”. I have already joined my city’s branch through Facebook and I have to say, it is an informative, supportive community, I’m just sorry I didn’t know of it sooner! The Gluten Intolerance Group not only encourages local support, they also provide educational materials, organize gluten free events such as children’s camps, review gluten free products, and help restaurants train their staff to adhere to the strict procedures they’ve developed for a gluten free friendly kitchen. In fact, the chain restaurant California Pizza Kitchen just added four certified gluten free pizzas prepared using methods and guidelines approved by GIG! (I can’t wait to go check that out!). If you haven’t already, I highly suggest checking out The Gluten Intolerance Group online, and finding their nearest local branch on Facebook! I hope the Gluten Summit was successful enough to become an annual event, and I will definitely let you guys know if I hear of anymore educational happenings!

CRANBERRY SAUSAGE BITES

20131117-152227.jpg

Every year we go to my Mom’s for Thanksgiving, this is only the second Thanksgiving that I’ve been aware of my gluten intolerance and I have to say, my mom is being so accommodating! I spoke to her the other night and she was telling me she plans on making me my own gluten free stuffing and roasting turkey breasts separate from everything else for me so there’s no risk of cross contamination! She even asked for a gluten free pie crust recipe so she can make me my own pumpkin pie! (I told her to skip the crust, the filling is my favorite part anyways, hidden under a mountain of whipped cream of course!) I plan on bringing my gluten free sweet potato biscuits and I’ve also been asked by my mom to put a new spin on the cranberry tradition. Luckily, I had just experimented with some dried cranberries leftover from making wassail. I’m not going to lie, my husband and I had our doubts about how these were going to turn out; I’m a huge fan of mixing savory and sweet, but at this point I thought I had gone too far. Unsure, I had him take the first bite….. “Well, I hope you’re ready to make these for the next 60 years!” He loved them, and I did too! It’s like taking everything that’s good about Thanksgiving and rolling it up into one bite, as satisfying as your crazy aunt, who isn’t quite sure what it is exactly that you do for a living yet still has an opinion on it, losing her voice and unable to speak through dinner! The chances of that happening are slim, so you had better make these cranberry sausage bites, you can chew on one while resisting the urge to spar back when she asks you “When are you going to give up the salon thing and go to college?” …just me? Ok, well they’re still delicious! I recommend serving them as hors d’oeuvres while you’re finishing everything up for turkey time! I guarantee no one will be in the kitchen bugging you about when the food will be ready!

Ingredients:

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp dried sage
1 cup dried cranberries, diced
16 oz ground sausage
1 egg

Combine ingredients and mix well (your hands are the best tool for this, you’ll be getting them messy for this next step anyways). Roll mixture into balls, about a tablespoon each, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Serve while hot! Enjoy!

THE GLUTEN SUMMIT

I am super excited about this week!  Why you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you!  I am registered to attend the first ever Gluten Summit, a series of online interviews on the topics of gluten-related disorders, nutrition and healthy living from 29 of the world’s experts and opinion leaders!  The website states that the goal of The Gluten Summit “is to shift the scientific discussion and clinical recognition of gluten-related disorders forward by five years. Meaning, we want the conversation between patients and doctors that will be happening five years from now to happen now.”.  I already recognize a couple of the speakers as some of my teachers from my Institute for Integrative Nutrition classes!  I can’t wait to learn as much as possible and to share that knowledge with all of you!

Stay tuned!

SWEET POTATO BISCUITS

20131110-154805.jpg

 

About a month ago I had the extreme pleasure of dining at Posana Cafe; an upscale, entirely gluten free restaurant in Asheville North Carolina.  Words can not express the joy I found in being able to eat out somewhere without having to ask a million questions or worry about how I was going to feel once I finished eating.  As someone who is used to only a few ‘safe’ options on the menu I was thrilled to be able to look at an entire menu and simply order whatever sounded good; which at Posana Cafe, was everything!  Overwhelmed with incredible options, my husband and I just decided to order everything we wanted, after all, this isn’t something I get to do everyday, so why not splurge?!  We ended up with lobster mac & cheese, PEI mussels, butternut squash risotto, crispy chicken confit, and the dessert of the night which was a perfectly moist almond cake with raspberry sauce.  Every bite was amazing, if I hadn’t been absolutely positive that it was gluten free I would have been panicking thinking about how I was going to feel for the rest of the night.  My hands-down favorite thing that evening though, was the sweet potato biscuit topped with a honey bacon butter that came with the crispy chicken confit; that night I actually had a dream about eating another one, so I knew I couldn’t live without the recipe.  Lucky for me (and now you!) they have it posted on their website!  I have adapted it a bit to make it a little more Stay At Work Housewife friendly, halving the recipe and using a premixed all purpose flour, but it’s still just as good as the original!

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

6 ounces chilled, cubed unsalted butter

2 cups roasted mashed sweet potatoes (that’s about 3-4 large sweet potatoes)

2/3 cup buttermilk

*Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Peel, cube and roast sweet potatoes (I toss them in some melted butter, two tablespoons of brown sugar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon and salt before roasting them) in a 400 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.  Once roasted, remove from the oven, mash and allow to cool a bit so that when added to the biscuit mix it doesn’t melt the butter.

In a large bowl combine gluten free flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Cut in chilled, cubed unsalted butter, then add the sweet potatoes and buttermilk.  Drop biscuits in desired size onto a parchment lined baking sheet, mine were about 1/4 cup of dough each.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

While they were baking I whipped up my own honey-bacon compound butter by combining one stick of room temperature unsalted butter, 2 tbsp raw honey and 1/4 cup cooked, finely chopped bacon.I definitely plan on making these for Thanksgiving!  Enjoy!

*These freeze really well if you have leftovers, just allow them to cool completely first.