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A GF Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving will soon be upon us and I’m thankful that I don’t have to host this year. Don’t get me wrong – I like to cook, but hosting my first Thanksgiving ever with a house full of people in a new house was a little more stressful than expected. Or maybe it was the fact that our one toilet stopped working in the middle of the night. Or that I cooked the turkey upside down…

I come by this honestly. Thanksgiving was a bit of a pressure cooker in our house growing up. For years, we went to my grandmother’s for “Italian” Thanksgiving (turkey, pasta, pasta and more pasta). But then my mom took back the holiday. The result was a very stressful week of cooking, panicking, cleaning, and chaos. Looking back, I get it, but at the time I didn’t and I’m sure the rest of us didn’t make it any easier for her.  We really should have kept more alcohol in our house.

This year, I’ll still be cooking, but just a few dishes with my in-laws. And there isn’t a whole of pressure there. Well, except the fact that this will be my first gluten-free Thanksgiving. But as long as I can have turkey, potatoes, veggies and cranberries I think I’ll survive just fine. The tricky part is the stuffing and desserts.

When it comes to cooking, I prefer simplicity and gluten-free cooking sometimes adds a few extra steps I’d rather avoid. So I scoped out a couple of easy recipes for stuffing and pumpkin pie to complete the meal. Oh and the stuffing includes bacon and I sincerely believe that bacon makes everything better. And these are the two dishes that were usually out of box ore store bought at my house growing up. I think homemade is much better and honestly not much more difficult to make.

So give them a go if you are so inclined. And remember – keep it simple, don’t stress, and have a good bottle of wine for emergencies.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gluten- Free Cornbread and Bacon Stuffing (from RecipeGirl.com)

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix, prepared according to directions
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 3 Tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free bread cubes (see notes below)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • One 16-ounce box of Pacific Natural Foods Creamy Butternut Squash Soup (or similar)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (gluten free)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Cut cornbread into cubes and spread on rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, just until cubes are little bit toasted. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large skillet, saute bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and set aside to cool and drain on paper towels. Remove all but 3 Tablespoons of bacon drippings and discard. Add celery, mushrooms and onion to the pan. Saute vegetables in the bacon drippings until they become tender (5 to 6 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool.

3. Place toasted cornbread cubes and bread cubes in a large bowl. Add sauteed vegetables. Crumble bacon on top. Add sage and gently mix it all together. Add salt and pepper, as desired.

4. In medium saucepan mix soup and broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thoroughly heated. Pour over the stuffing mixture (a little at a time) and stir well. You may or may not need all of the liquid. The texture of the stuffing should be damp, but not soggy. Spoon into a well-greased 13×9″ dish and bake for 35-40 minutes until well heated-throughout and crispy on top.

Pumpkin Pie (from Wife or Something Like It)

Crust:

  • 1 ¼ cup white rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 stick of butter(1/2 cup)
  • 4 tablespoon cold water
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
Filling
  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon white sugar
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until crumbly. Add water. Pulse a few more times. Pour crumbs out and knead until a dough is created. Split into 4 pieces for 4 smaller pies or use the whole thing for a 10 inch pie with a thicker crust. 
3. Spread into ramekins or pie pan. (Because of the rice flour, the dough will be sticky. It probably won’t work to roll it out like regular pie crust).
4. Combine filling  ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until combined.
5. Pour into crusts. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 degrees. Cook for 45-60 minutes more, or until the crust begins to get lightly browned. 
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