The Celiac Mom’s Guide to Holiday Hosting Part II| Thanksgiving

Hosting Thanksgiving. Those two words can create fear and dread in even the most seasoned of cooks. Throw in the fact that the meal has to be gluten free, and well, let’s just hang up the apron now, right? Wrong! I hosted Thanksgiving for 18, all gluten free, and got rave reviews. It. Can. Be. Done.
If you think about the traditional Thanksgiving meal, most of it is naturally gluten free: turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes (I have a killer sweet potato casserole recipe I’ll share in a future blog post because it’s that good) veggies, cranberry sauce, etc. I rounded out my meal with a fantastic baked pineapple side dish, naturally gluten free as well. The hot spots for gluten are the stuffing, gravy, rolls, and desserts. I found ways around these gluten hot spots with success, and I’ll lay it all out for you here.

Stuffing: I used Gillian’s stuffing mix and a fabulous recipe I found on Food Network called Miles Standish Stuffing. It has sausage, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese in it, if you can believe it. The rest of the ingredients were traditional celery, onions, etc, and with sage added in, it really tasted like a traditional stuffing. The sausage and pepperoni added
moisture and tons of flavor, and it was an enormous hit at our table. For a meatless stuffing, I used Glutino brand cornbread stuffing mix. FANtastic.

Gravy: I tried a recipe for make-ahead turkey gravy that was from Cooking Light magazine. I made it a few days before Thanksgiving and simply reheated it on the big day. I used a gluten free flour blend from the Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking cookbook for the thickener and it was delicious.

Rolls: I was way too intimidated to try to make gluten free dinner rolls for a big holiday, and someday I’ll try, but it wasn’t going to happen this year. But I came across a recipe for
Cheddar Puffs from a friend and tried them gluten free and they were great. I made them two days before and froze them, then simply reheated in a low-heat oven. They were delightful. I will post that recipe in a future blog post. They deserve a post all their own.

Desserts: I served Butterscotch Pumpkin Pie, Chocolate Marshmallow Pie and Key Lime Tarts. For the Pumpkin Pie, I used a recipe from a gluten free magazine that I get every month. It was good, not great, and I’d do a different crust next time. The Chocolate Marshmallow Pie was a recipe from Food Network Magazine, and it was flawless. The recipe called for a chocolate graham cracker crust, but instead I used Glutino brand chocolate “oreos” and made a cookie crust. That pie was gone in literally five minutes. The Key Lime Tarts are a wonderful little treat that uses cream cheese and my old standby Bob’s Red Mill gluten free Baking Flour in the crust. Perfection.

So there you have it…a successful gluten free Thanksgiving. Many of my recipes will be shared separately as their own posts, so keep looking!
I hope you and your children have a fun, safe and yummy gluten free Halloween!
The Celiac Mom is CEO of Diehl Enterprises. Her duties include executive chef, pastry chef, taxi driver, housekeeper, kisser of boo boos, popsicle distributor, counselor, and champion Uno player. She is also the Content Coordinator and writer for Allens Creek Living Magazine. She lives in Pittsford, NY with her husband and three children.

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