Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hosting for Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving week and we will be hosting a formerly only-online friend and her 12yo son. They have no food allergies and also have no family in the area. I'm hoping it goes well! Since they asked what they could bring, I told them beverages. I'm realizing that this is an area that we totally fall short on. It's now been so long that we haven't had traditional/mainstream beverages in the house that I no longer know the best stuff, and frankly, I don't want to waste my money on something that won't get used if there's left over after company leaves. So I generally tell people to bring beverages that their family would drink--and I tell them that we have water, lemonade, coconut milk and wine... nothing else. This has really worked out well.

I like to host because then we control the menu. That being said, we occasionally offer "unsafe" foods. In the case of Thanksgiving, I'm serving an "unsafe" soup by Matthew's standards--and I feel okay doing this because Matthew hates all soup except for chicken noodle. So I don't have to worry about restricting him because he will naturally restrict himself. :)

Same goes for appetizers. There was one that I'm actually ordering because I couldn't resist. But I can do that because the rest will be "safe" foods.

We're ordering two other sides (assuming Mike finds they're completely safe when he goes to order--I've listed our alternatives if they're not) just to make life easier. I'm typing this in my bed as my almost-7yo sleeps off a fever. So I'm not anticipating having a ton of time this week. :/

There will be 3 adults and 3 kids (12, 6 and 2)

So here's our menu (with some suggestions & other recipes in case you want to do some other stuff at that bottom):

  • "safe" potato chips
  • celery & carrot sticks
  • garlic flavored hummus
  • unflavored coconut milk yogurt with safe, dried Italian dressing to make a "dip" (or onion if I can find it)
  • Crostini with roasted balsamic pears and gorgonzola cheese (this is being ordered from Whole Foods and mimics Mike's favorite of my own figs & gorgonzola on crostini)

  • Squash bisque (this is also being ordered from Whole Foods and has cream in it)
  • Salad (which is just lettuce, EVOO, some white vinegar and salt)
  • Turkey (coated with EVOO and seasonings)
  • Green beans with shallots & fresh herbs (also ordered from Whole Foods as long as Mike confirms that they're either steamed or cooked in EVOO--otherwise, I'll make fresh or frozen steamed green beans or this recipe with carmelized onions using EVOO instead of butter... or better yet, this one with some bacon - no alterations necessary!)
  • Stuffing made at home (see recipe below)
  • Roasted winter veggies (parsnips, turnips, rutabaga, carrots, brussel sprouts--ordered from Whole Foods as long as any oils are "safe"... otherwise, I'll make baked acorn squash with maple syrup if I'm strapped for time, or Roasted vegetables with rosemary :) )
  • Mashed sweet potatoes (although, if I'm making the acorn squash, I'll switch to making some greens wilted in EVOO with garlic & pine nuts with whatever greens I can find... chard, spinach, kale, collards... whatever)
I'm going to actually make a "Yellowberry" sauce for Matthew in lieu of cranberry sauce, but I may offer up cranberry sauce also for our guests. That might get tricky. Here's the recipe for the "Yellowberry" sauce:
  1. Drain well a can of crushed pineapple, pouring the juice into a little saucepan. Add enough water to make one cup.
  2. Sprinkle on 2 packages of unflavored gelatine.
  3. Heat and stir until dissolved (not long). Refrigerate
My stuffing will "Sheila's Stuffing" from an old Feingold newsletter that I found freely online. :) She offers up a rice version, so if I can't find "safe" GF bread squares, that's what I'll be doing. That link is also where I got the "Yellowberry Sauce" recipe as well.

For dessert, I'm grabbing a gluten-free frozen pie shell and making this pumpkin pie recipe with coconut milk and replacing the cornstarch with Arrowroot. Obviously not using the pie shell in the recipe. WAY too lazy for that. I could go with this recipe, too (which doesn't need altering)

We'll also have some coconut-milk ice cream available, and some cubed melon (cantaloupe, honeydew & watermelon).

Okay, but here are some really awesome recipes I found in my hunt, btw... I'd totally be making all of this if I had a lot of company this year! Most are from Woman's Day!

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