Category Archives: Christmas

May you all have a very Merry Christmas!


Menu Plan Monday – December 22, 2008

It is time for menu planning!  Head over to Laura’s for Menu Plan Monday to see her Christmas menu and what other’s will have on their plates this week.  For the Gluten Free Menu Swap, I am hosting this week (WOO!) and have chosen cranberries as the theme ingredient in honor of the season.  I am really excited to see how others celebrate the season and what are some of the traditional foods your family enjoys.   Our family on my mother’s side is Swedish, so we have lefse, Swedish rye bread, ride pudding, potato pudding (it’s a bit of a carb-fest!), lingonberries and cranberry relish.  I have added a BIG salad to the mix and there is always a variety of cookies.  We always have this meal Christmas Eve and open the family presents after the dishes are washed.  My grandparents always insisted on that.  You would not believe how fast dishes are washed and put away on Christmas Eve!  This year due to work schedules (I married a nurse and people still need care on holidays, ya know) we are having our Christmas Eve dinner for lunch on Christmas and just having something simple in the crock pot for Christmas Eve dinner.


The kids are off from school and will be celebrating and we are enjoying family this week.  Lots of extra kid snuggling hasn’t got my menu up very quickly, but I sure feel cozy!  I hope everyone has a blessed holiday season and travels safely this week.  My kids have a nice long vacation this year and we are in full gear preparing for Christmas.  I love it!  


If any one has any baking left to do, see Ginger Lemon Girl’s Christmas Cookie Roundup.  There are cookies of every type.  What a great resource!  Yum, yum, yum!  Thanks, Carrie!


Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday

Monday:  No school all week!/have a little friend over to play and bake with us/Boy Scout broom ball/kids finish making and wrap gifts to each other and bake gifts for rest of family

      Wild Rice Chicken Soup (I will be adding chopped broccoli today) with Corn Bread 


Tuesday:  finish preparing for Christmas with kiddos

      Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Bok Choy – Sesame Saute


Wednesday:  Christmas Eve/ Christmas Eve church service (due to some scheduling issues, our traditional Christmas Eve dinner is being switched to Christmas Day at noon.  We are still opening family presents on Christmas Eve after my dad and husband get home from work, though!)  

     Sweet, Hot and Spicy Turkey Three Bean Chili, Swedish Rye Bread and salad


Thursday:  Christmas

    Our traditional Christmas Eve meal served today:  Potato Pudding (sounds weird, but tasty, some topped with fresh side pork which is traditional and some with portobello mushrooms, which is how I added to the tradition several years ago), cranberry relish, rice pudding (my addition to the tradition is using chai spices and almond milk), lingonberries, salad (with oranges, dried cranberries and orange poppy seed dressing), lefse and Swedish rye bread.  



    Brunch for dinner/what I usually make for Christmas morning:  Waffles (served with tofu sour cream and lingonberries, maple syrup or cinnamon apples), sausage, fruit

Gluten Free Menu Swap Monday

Other participants in the Gluten Free Menu Swap:


Ginger at Fresh Ginger is using the theme ingredient for a cranberry vodka cocktail and in cranberry sauce for her Christmas dinner.  Vietnamese Chicken Pho, shrimp cocktails and latkes are all on the menu for Ginger this week.  She made some amazing sounding brittles this weekend and sounds like she will be eating and celebrating well with family and friends.  


Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness will be traveling this week, and we hope they travel safely, without a speeding ticket or accident this year.  Roasted cauliflower , sourel soup, and salmon are on her menu along with some tasty chocolate covered fruits to sweeten up their celebrations.  She will hopefully be making a cranberry relish with the theme ingredient (that is what we make for our family’s Christmas Eve dinner, too.)


Sea at the Book of Yum will be celebrating with a cranberry cake and Chahan.  She also has potato, sweet potato and zucchini latkes on the menu, which I will have to try!  Sounds really good!  This week Sea has shared a recipe for a Fresh Herb Yogurt Sauce.


Kimberly of Gluten Free is Life is having an easy meal week (pulled pork sandwiches are on both our menus) in order to concentrate more on family time.  Sounds great to me!  Cranberry cornbread, a GF chocolate roll, honey baked ham (for Christmas Eve), salmon and a spaghetti dinner (using quinoa pasta) will be served this week.


M-Elle of Cooking and UNcooking is finishing up her holiday baking and taking a well deserved down time to spend with family and friends.  I love the idea of the Apple Cranberry Chutney in gift baskets, something I want to experiment with canning up.  Yum!  Thanks for the recipe link!  On Christmas Eve she will be having homemade sushi rolls and tomorrow a chickpea curry.  She even has plan for an alternative menu in case she is snow bound for Christmas!  


Merry Christmas to you all!  Thank you for joining in on the Gluten Free Menu Swap this week!

Organized Christmas – Day 42

Day 42 says, “We did it! Time to look ahead to holidays’ end.  Today, we hang a wreath on the door to open the season. At month’s end, a post-holiday debriefing will set the stage for an organized Christmas in 2009!…

This is not to say that we’re all ready! I’d venture that 98% of us still have more to do. Not only is this no surprise, but it’s normal. That’s why the Countdown ends where it does. There’s still time to complete holiday preparation, and nearly all of us will need it.

At the same time, look how far we’ve come! If you’ve been trying, you should be well ahead of the Christmas game. Better, the notes, forms and records you’ve assembled will be next year’s road map to an even easier season.”


Today’s recipe is Date-Nut Bread.  For a gluten free one, I would make this insanely delicious sounding/looking Dark Date & Pecan Spice Bread from Deliciously Gluten Free. In fact, I see this in my very near future!  Yum!

Organized Christmas – Day 41

Day 41 at Organized Christmas encourages us to learn about other holiday traditions.  


Today’s recipe is Chicken-Biscuit Casserole.  This is a freezer meal.  To make gluten free, be sure your chicken broth is gluten free, and use homemade gluten free biscuits for the topping such as the ones here (see notes under recipe to make dairy free).

Organized Christmas – Day 40

Day 40 of Organized Christmas talks about simplifying holiday entertaining.


Today’s recipe is rocky road candy.  This is how I would make it gluten and dairy free!


Gluten Free/Dairy Free Almond Bark

makes 1 1/4 pounds candy


1 cup whole raw almonds

24 ounces of gluten and dairy free semisweet chocolate chips

2 tablespoons organic shortening


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread almonds on a rimmed baking pan place and bake for about 8-10 minutes, stirring almonds around periodically.  Watch closely so they do not burn.  Let almonds cool.


Line a 10″ x 15″ pan with wax paper, covering bottom and sides on pan, folding corners of wax paper into a sharp crease.


Place chocolate chips and shortening into the top of a double boiler.  Stir over barely simmering water until mixture begins to melt.  Remove pan from heat and stir mixture until chocolate is completely melted.  Stir in toasted almonds.  Pour mixture into pan and spread to distribute nuts evenly.  


Refrigerate candy until just firm.  Lift candy out of pan using wax paper and remove paper.  Break into pieces before serving.  Store by covering in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.  


Rocky Road Candy:  Replace almonds with 2 cups dry-roasted peanuts and 6 cups of miniature marshmallows.  Skip the roasting step for the almonds…

Organized Christmas – Day 39

Day 39 talks about making room for any new toys that may be coming by clearing out outgrown or broken toys.  


The recipe today is for a “We Whisk You a Merry Kissmas” gift.  Use small meringue “cookie” drops shaped like kisses.  There are several on the market that are gfcf.

Organized Christmas – Day 38

Day 38 of Organized Christmas talks about teaching children to give.  Some things our family likes to do is to have each child make gifts for their siblings, and really focus on giving of themselves, not just “stuff”.  Also, we want them to focus not just on giving to our family, so some places we like to donate to as a family are:


Feed My Starving Children – where you can help pack food to feed others.  This really resonates with my oldest daughter as she understands that having poor nutrition really matters.  This is one of her favorite things to do and she is planning on having her birthday party here.  

Operation Christmas Child – Have your child help pick out things for and pack a shoe box with toys for someone else who is your child’s age.

World Vision – They send out a gift catalog so your family can better choose what  they may be able to help with.  I think it is nice for them to be able to see and understand the different types of needs other people have in other areas they never have to encounter and how very, very blessed they are.  My kids usually like to give a gift of a goat (probably because of the cute factor!).  Try having your family save change throughout the year in a jar and see how far all that “forgotten change” can go toward helping someone else.  It’s amazing what we practically throw away can add up to!


The recipe for today is a jar recipe.  See the list of gifts in a jar here.

Organized Christmas – Day 37

Day 37 talks about simplifying holiday traditions.


The recipe is candy cane cookies.  I have a gluten and dairy free version in my Holiday Cookie e-book which our family uses.

Organized Christmas – Day 36

Day 36 is the kick off of Celebrate Week!  Woo!  Tidy up the loose ends in your holiday planning and start celebrating.

Today’s recipe is a silly stocking stuffer of “Reindeer Poop.”  Use the same filler ideas as for “Turkey Poop,” if you are so inclined.

Organized Christmas – Day 35

Day 35 of Organized Christmas is the beginning Catch-Up Weekend!  “This weekend, do the things that jumpstart your holiday feeling. Play the special carols music. Bake the family cookie recipe. Take in a live performance at church.”…”Whether it’s gifts or decorating, cards or cooking, catch up on what needs doing. But be good to yourself! Lighten up the load and lighten your hearts, because we’re almost there.”  


Today’s recipe is Banana-Nut Bread.  For a gluten and dairy free version I have two:  one gluten and dairy free Banana Bread and one free of the top 8 other allergens and refined sugar as well (Hannah Banana Bread).  Both are delicious.