Our Gluten-free and Dairy-free Christmas Dinner, 2017

Christmas Dinner, 2017

We’ve spent many holidays in recent years away from family. I thought it was going to be so sad the first year, Thanksgiving 2009 – the year we moved to California, but it ended up being really nice just the two of us. We cooked a nice meal, stayed cozy in our pj’s, took our pup (we only had Charlie then) for a walk, hung out, and watched movies. We’ve followed the same ritual since and we make an effort to provide special holidays experiences for ourselves. This year we watched more holiday movies (The Family Stone is one of my favorites) and traveled to Sonoma and Big Sur — I had a dream of ceremonially closing out the year in my favorite part of the country to find solace and quiet (mission accomplished).

I’ve learned a lot of great recipes and workarounds since removing gluten and dairy from my diet a little over two years ago. There are so many great recipes available and truthfully, I don’t miss it too much even for big holiday meals. Everything we made this year turned out delicious and I’d happily make the same meal next year. Here’s what we made this year for our GF + DF Christmas Dinner:

GF + DF Biscuits

notes: I used cashew milk, lemon juice, arrowroot starch, and ghee as the fat. Best gf biscuits I’ve made yet!

Mushroom Bisque

notes: I used olive oil and chicken bone broth in place of vegetable broth.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

notes: I doubled the amount of roasted garlic (because I can’t get enough) and used ghee. These are the best mashed potatoes – I think better than the ones loaded with cream and butter. Make sure to use yukon gold potatoes.

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash

notes: I used yellow onion, I would do a bit less red pepper flakes next time, and I used some leftover bacon fat from breakfast with the olive oil.

Honey Butter Roasted Carrots

notes: I tossed everything together and roasted because I misread the directions. They turned out great and I’d probably do it again to save some steps — the carrots were tender, not really caramelized but the honey didn’t burn!

Chocolate Chip Meringues

notes: I didn’t think I liked meringues until this year. I first noticed them in Europe this summer – they were in most desserts as a garnish. I liked their delicate, sweet, almost glassy texture. Then Matt’s Aunt Jane made meringues when we visited Sonoma and I really liked them! I used these vegan chocolate chips, added lightly salted + toasted chopped hazelnuts, and ½ cup sugar. I followed the fast cook method as I prefer them crackly and fully cooked. These are so good, I’ll definitely make them again.

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies

notes: I halved the recipe, subbed Trader Joe’s cashew butter (any smooth nut butter should work) for peanut butter, used Maldon salt. Next time I’d like to experiment with using less sugar or substituting some of the sugar with maple syrup/honey. Maybe add chocolate chips too?

We purchased our ham locally from Texas Honey Ham (you must try their Frito Pie if you’re ever in Austin!). We also got a few slices of pie from Quack’s (not gf/df). And we enjoyed a bottle of “Old Vines” Zinfandel from St. Francis Winery, found locally at Central Market, which is one of my favorite reds right now. (We went to an amazing tasting at St. Francis Winery when we visited Sonoma – highly, highly recommend.)

Charlie “helping” unwrap gifts 😉

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