Last year I came up with some real winners in the GF/Veg cooking department and these staples are sticking around for another year. On my menu for Thanksgiving will be:
Stuffing (of the Gluten Free Variety)
Pumpkin Pie with a little twist
The Shepard’s pie is a staple in our little household, it just makes you *feel* like it’s a special occasion and that you’re fulfilled with Thanksgiving ‘feels’ just as much as those who are partaking in the Turkey. I am going to surf the food waves at my local Rainbow market to see what other treats tantalize my taste buds, but for now these are on my menu to stay. I’ll share my finds if they end up being interesting.
So now here’s the ooey gooey feely part, what am I thankful for?
Well I’ve got to say this last year has been pretty amazing. I’m super thankful for my current job situation(I’ve had some real crap jobs in the past), and I got Duke this year who has changed the family dynamic totally in our little 2 person household. There’s been lots of good things this year, I’m pretty dang happy.
I like to take advantage of time when I am home and working on things, so usually I have several things going on at once. There is ALWAYS a TV show(lately I have been catching up on House) or a Radio Show(This American Life ALWAYS) Playing in the background. But why not listen to a radio show, make a fun new DIY AND Bake something? All those wasted minutes while a treat is baking in the oven can surely be used for some quality handcrafting time, right?! Well These pictures sum up how I used my time.
I made Gluten Free Rice Krispie & Chocolate Chex Marshmallow Treats using Dandies, my favorite Vegan marshmallow. Here is the recipe I used from Fettle Vegan. Instead I did 2 cups rice Krispie’s and 3 cups Chocolate Chex.I also made my favorite Gluten Free/Vegan Pumpkin Pie Recipe that never ceases to amaze me. I really like to slice it in thin bread-like slices and warm it with a little agave or butter on top….Yum! I also made a new pair of shoes using a pair of white sneakers, acrylic paint and a paint pen, it was time consuming but totally fun.I got the white sneakers at Target and they have elastic in them so you don’t need to have laces in them! Happy Friday!
These little mini Pumpkin Pies turned out pretty cute. I made Gluten Free Pie Crust using William Sonoma’s Gluten Free Pie Crust Mix:
To Make these mini pumpkin pies I used the same recipe as the recipe I used for Thanksgiving Dinner They turned out great! The recipe makes about 12 mini pies, these are perfect to give to friends or your Valentine! I used small 5″ non stick pie tins for this recipe.
I baked these at 450 for the first 15 minutes and then at 350 for 45 minutes. When your toothpick comes out clean they are ready to take out of the oven. After baking these I let them cool for about 20 minutes then they pop right out of the pie tins and are ready to eat warm from the oven! I really like this idea for all of my pie making, they make great single serving pies!
Valentine’s Day is coming up and I’ve also been trying to practice baking, so I married the two and made adorable little cakes for the holiday. I really cheated because I can’t decorate cakes very well AT ALL (as you will see in the upcoming images) but my secret was using cake molds that made beautiful little cakes.
Any non-stick cake mold will work for this purpose, I got really lucky and found a very cute (and heavy!) cake mold that had really intricate details on it. It’s really important to use a more dense cake for this; usually ‘Bundt cake’ is used for these types of molds because they are denser and show the molds details better. I used two different types of cake mix, one white cake and a chocolate cake mix. Technically I should have used a bundt cake mix for this but I couldn’t find a gluten free mix over the weekend so I used ‘Wholesome Chow Vanilla Cake Mix’ and ‘Pamela’s Chocolate Cake Mix.’ Both mixes are Gluten Free and Dairy Free! Right away I could tell which cake was going to turn out better in my mold. The Vanilla Cake mix was much denser and more like thick jelly than cake mix. This will make a much denser cake; the instructions say that you can add more milk until it becomes more pourable. I added a little milk but kept it on the thick side because I knew I wanted to get more details from my mold.
In the past when I have worked with GF cake mixes they don’t usually rise very much so I filled my molds to the top. It was quite a surprise when I took them out and they were like muffins coming out of the top! If you aren’t sure weather your cake will rise or not, you can fill it to the top and just cut the muffin top off each of the cakes.Now this is where having a non-stick mold will come in handy. I let the mold cool COMPLETELY, I’m talking 6 hours to cool. I baked these in the morning then left them for the afternoon to just cool off. It’s important to let the mold cool completely or else you may not get a pretty decorative cake when you take them out.As I had originally thought, the Chocolate cakes were more fluffy and didn’t show the molds as well as the vanilla cake. If you aren’t decorating the cakes with any frosting then you will want to choose a cake that is thicker. But I had plans to decorate my cakes. Which just turned into a crazy mess! I started out trying to be very detailed, but cake decorating is hard! After countless mess ups, I just went crazy and threw frosting on where ever I could. It was pretty fun, this would be a great project with children or friends. If you do pull out your cakes a little early while they are still warm, wait to decorate them until the cake has cooled completely. The frosting will just turn into a melted mess. After you are done decorating you can package them up to give to friends, or your Valentine. My Valentine took a chocolate one, added another large heap of frosting and ate it gleefully that afternoon. Something about sugar that just makes the day better 🙂
I also made Mini Pumpkin Pies, which I’ll share tomorrow.
This pie is something that I came up with because I’ve never really liked Pumpkin Pie, it seems like I’m just eating Pumpkin Pie pudding and for some reason that hasn’t ever been very appealing to me. So I sort of just came up with a little twist on the pie that is DELICIOUS. Even my boyfriend (who is always the skeptic) said that it wouldn’t be good to take away from the creamy center of pumpkin pie and I made it anyway and he was totally in love after that. I followed the basic recipe on the back of the can except for a few substitutions.
1 Can Libby’s Pumpkin
1 cup soy creamer(or any other non-dairy sub but it should be thicker more like cream than milk)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 unbaked gluten free 9″ pie shell(or you can make your own crust)
1 12oz pouch of gluten free granola(I used Udi’s Pure and Simple Au Naturel)
You can use any granola you want but I think it’s really important to go with an unflavored granola and one that doesn’t have ‘clusters’ in it. The Granola I used is more like oatmeal and I think even quaker oats could be a good alternative if you aren’t cutting out gluten.
Anyway, I follow the directions on the side of the Libby’s can and then at the very end stir in the granola before adding it to the pie tin. The pie crust will be pretty full but as it bakes it will settle and won’t be over full. I also followed the same baking instructions as the side of the can. 425 degrees for the first 15 minutes then down to 350 for 45-55 minutes.
I call it pumpkin bread pie because it has the fluffy consistency of bread but also has the creamy pumpkin flavor that the pie traditionally does. For anyone looking to try something different then the traditional pumpkin pie this is a great alternative!
I am really excited to make another one of these pies for Thanksgiving, I’ve been having little pieces of pie since I baked this one. Pumpkin pie could become a treat not just for the holidays around here.