[NYE] Easy as 1-2-3

[NYE] Easy as 1-2-3

Every year we have a party for New Year’s Eve. I love NYE! In fact, anytime I can celebrate the ‘New Year’ I do. From Jewish New Year [Rosh Hashana], my birthday [my own personal ‘new year], and actual New Year, I consider them all a time where I can reflect on what I’ve accomplished, what I want to change, and be thankful for everything I have.

We ‘do’ the New Year thing much differently than others. There are no reservations, there is no dressing up, and there is definitely no driving allowed. We host a NYE Party called “Pajama’s and Pearls” every year. Essentially it’s a pajama party but fancy; Men wear bow ties or ties and ladies wear pearls or some sort of fancy necklace with their most comfortable jam jams.

We eat… a lot, drink and lounge around. Kids are welcome, and the slumber party is awesome.

Over the years, our friends and our neighbors have all wandered over to our place to ring in the New Year. It’s a blast!

So to help ring in your New Year, here are [3] party essentials that are a MUST.

Cranberry Orange Champagne

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Ingredients:

  • Champagne
  • Orange Juice
  • Cranberries
  • Cuties

Directions:

  1. Use a food processor or blender to puree cranberries
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of Cranberry to a champagne flute
  3. Add 3 tablespoons of Orange Juice
  4. Fill with champagne
  5. Garnish with Orange peel and whole cranberries

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Slow Cooked Chili

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 (14.5) oz cans diced tomatoes 
  • 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Serve topped with:

  • Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, chopped red or green onions, cilantro, roasted peppers, or hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large and deep non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add onion and saute. Add garlic and onions.
  2. Return skillet to medium-high heat, and cook stirring occasionally until beef has browned. Pour into the slow cooker.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kidney beans, 1/2 cup water or beef broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, sugar, and season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Stir mixture, cover with lid and cook on low heat for 5 – 6 hours.

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Chocolate Covered Energy Balls

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 table spoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cranberry
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon soy butter
  • 2 bags enjoy life chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped coconut

Directions:

  1. Rinse and melt coconut butter with sugar in a rice cooker. Cook quinoa according to the directions. [1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water].
  2. Once cooked, add soy butter and quinoa to a bowl. Mix with a spatula until all soy butter is melted.
  3. Add cranberries and finely chopped coconut and mix together.
  4. Refrigerate for at least an hour before making them into small balls.
  5. Melt 2 bags of chocolate chips in a glass bowl over a boiling pot and add quinoa balls to the melted chocolate.
  6. Freeze balls for an hour before serving.

[8] Crazy Nights

[8] Crazy Nights

The Holiday’s are my favorite time of year. I’m Jewish. I grew up going to temple for Shabbat, Religious School on Sunday mornings, I was Bat Mitzvahed at 12 and had a beautiful wedding under the most beautiful Chuppah.

Growing up, the first night of Chanukah was the most special night for my family. We always had the ‘big gift’ on night one. We also randomly celebrated Christmas, but that’s for another post (coming soon!)

Now that I have a little one, I realize that I truly want to have all 8 Crazy Night’s of Chanukah, not just night one; but don’t fret, our night one will still be the ‘big gift’ night.

Most Jewish food is centered around allergens. Keeping Kosher for many Jews could prove to add another set of challenges for allergy free kids. Dairy, gluten, and egg wash are all parts of the eight crazy nights of Chanukah. (and many other Jewish events)

Latkas are the center of Chanukah’s food selection. Latkes of Potato Pancakes are shallow fried ‘pancakes’ made from ground potato, flour, and egg. They are often topped with a variety of condiments, ranging from sour cream, cottage cheese, and applesauce.

Here is a recipe you’ll love for latkas no one would suspect are allergy friendly. Just a few quick ingredients, about 15 minutes of time, and you’re done.

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Ingredients:

  • Potatoes
  • Egg Replacer (for 3 Eggs)
  • Garlic Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Vegan Butter (cold – so you can use as a binder)
  •  4 Scallop Onions
  • Canola Oil

Directions:

I’ve chosen golden potatoes for this recipe but you can use anything you’d like. You can even buy store bought frozen hash browns if peeling potatoes isn’t your jam. The frozen hash brown brand I like is ‘Alexia’. (Shop Here)

Make sure that you drain your potatoes of moisture so that they aren’t soggy. The dryer the better. I peel mine into the sink and then squeeze the moisture out every 5 minutes with a paper towel.

Mix your ingredients together in a bowl (leave some green onions out so you can garnish) – use the butter as a bonding agent (note* yes it will melt but it will get your latkas from the bowl to the pan)

Form you potato latkas into flat pancakes and fry in your choice of oil. I like canola oil because it can get very HOT.

Add more garlic salt/pepper on the top of your latkas as they fry. Flip after a few minutes (roughly 5 minutes on each side)

Serve warm!

 

 

Your Allergy Free Thanksgiving

Your Allergy Free Thanksgiving

If you’re making an allergy free Thanksgiving this year, I’m sharing all my secrets. Get cozy and settle in for all options free from gluten, egg, dairy, oat, and nuts. By now you have a Thanksgiving to plan, so let’s get started.

T U R K E Y

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, room-temperature
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 12 lb turkey, fresh or defrosted
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 stalk celery, chunked
  • 1 carrot, chunked
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally

Directions:

Heat oven to 375° while you combine butter, parsley, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place the turkey breast-side up in a roasting pan. Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Place the onion, celery, carrot and garlic inside. Using your hands, rub the turkey with the butter mixture. Roast for 18 minutes per pound (for a 12-pound bird that’s roughly 3 1/2 hours). The turkey is finished roasting when the thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165° and the juices run clear. Tent the turkey loosely with foil and rest for 20 minutes before carving.

S T U F F I NG

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Ingredients:

  • 1 C Quinoa
  • 1 C Wild Rice
  • 4 C Vegetable broth
  • 3 Stalks of Celery
  • 4 Fuji Apples
  • 1 package of Mushrooms
  • 1/2 White Onions
  • Cranberries to taste
  • Thyme to taste
  • Sage to taste
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Add Quinoa, Wild Rice, Onions, 2 Apples shopped without skin, Vegetable broth, Garlic Salt and Pepper to your crock pot on HIGH for 5 hours.

Once your crock pot is done cycling, mix your Quinoa, Rice and Onions. Add celery and mushrooms for 1 hour on warm.

Once ready to serve, add Thyme, Sage, 2 cut apples and Cranberries to the top of your stuffing. Serve.

M A S H E D    P O T A T O E S

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Ingredients:

  • 10 Potatoes (peeled and cut)
  • 4 tbls Vegan butter (I use earth balance)
  • ½ of Dairy Alternative (Soy, Coconut, Lactaide etc.) (you can leave this ingredient out if needed)
  • Green Onions (depending on your taste buds but I did 4 stalks)
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Peel and cut potatoes. Bring them to a boil in a big pot. Once boiling bring heat down slightly and allow potatoes to soften.

Once soft, drain water and add all ingredients together while whipping potatoes into a mash.

S W E E T    P O T A T O E S

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Ingredients:

  • 8 Sweet Potatoes (I used sweet potatoes not yams)
  • ½ cup of coconut milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Marshmallows

Directions:

Peel and cut potatoes. Bring them to a boil in a big pot. Once boiling bring heat down slightly and allow potatoes to soften.

Once soft, drain water and add all ingredients together while whipping potatoes into a mash.

Add potatoes to a casserole dish and add marshmallow’s to the top. Bake for 5-10 minutes. Be careful to not allow marshmallow’s to fluff over the edges.

V E G G I E S

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Not much to say here – Basically you grill veggies with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Seems way too easy but don’t under-estimate the power of simplicity.  Here I grilled Green Beans and Mushrooms.

 

Good Luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Arugula Pesto

Arugula Pesto

Pesto is one of my favorite sauces. I used to (before allergies) put it on everything; chicken, pasta, bread! Yumm… Now that we are unable to use ingredients commonly found in pesto i.e. pine nuts, peanuts, or walnuts, we have just stayed completely away.

A friend of ours (who just so happens to be a chef) invited our family over for an allergy free meal. This meal included my favorite, pesto! Even better, after inspecting his kitchen, reading all the ingredients he had already sent me through text (in advance), and having him repeat the ingredients all back, I found out that Arugula was used to make his pesto.

Side note: My love for arugula is one that I can’t explain. Spicy but fresh all at the same time, it’s like heaven.

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I was very skeptical of this combination but OH.MY.GOD. I can’t believe I’ve been missing this amazing concoction for 3 years. I promise you won’t be sorry for trying this one out

Ingredients:

  • Arugula
  • Lemon (1)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • S&P
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

  • Over medium heat cook down 3 cloves of garlic with a little olive oil
  • In a food processor or blender combined the rest of your ingredients
  • When the garlic is browned add the olive oil and garlic to your mixer
  • Blend on your low setting and drizzle olive oil in as all your ingredients puree

Thanks Jeff – http://grubtribe.org/

Zucchini

Zucchini

Zucchini is pretty darn good. Dylan is finally seeing the difference between a zucchini and cucumbers. Dylan has never had a problem eating his vegetables but if you’re the parent who has a difficult time getting your kiddos to munch on something healthy, here is a way to make zucchini look the part but also taste great too!

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Cut your zucchini length wise in half
  • On your stove top, soften your zucchini in a flat pan with olive oil for 5-8 minutes
  • Move onto a baking sheet
  • On the top of your zucchini add:
  • Add olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Italian Seasonaing
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Bake for 15 minutes

Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie Bowl

You know I LOVE Smoothie Bowls! I even found a place around the corner that makes great ones. Only downfall is I don’t know if it would be safe for Dylan to consume because they don’t seem to have their allergy game up to par. So of course, I just make them at home!

  • Handful of Blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup Coconut Milk
  • 5 strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 Apple (I like honey crisp)
  • Chia seeds

On top added:

  • Coconut Flakes
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Blueberries

Picks Salad

Picks Salad

We call them “picks” in our house but it basically means a little bit of everything to pick at. In this bowl we created a picks that we ended up devouring in minutes. This has now come to be known as “picks salad”:

Included:

  • Beets
  • ‘Back to Nature’ Crackers (Allergy Friendly)
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Carrots
  • Persian cucumbers (because they are small and cute)
  • Honeycrisp Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Lettuce (spring mix)
  • Avocado