Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night

Well, it is officially Christmas (at least here on the East Coast). And I am proud to say that the christmas baking and cooking is over. Everything is prepped and ready to drive to Nashville tomorrow. We are meeting my mom's side of the family there for Christmas lunch then packing up again that night and heading off to West Tennessee to stay with my dad's side of the family for a few days.

For those of you who don't know my family all to well, one thing you should know is that there are a lot of us. And we all really like food. This means a lot of food must be made. For lunch we all split it up, so that wasn't too bad, but then we had to do Christmas Eve dinner at my house, and Christmas breakfast for the next morning, and so on and so on. I think I have spent the past two days shuffling back and forth between the grocery store and our kitchen. I think I have lost my sanity. I am currently laying in bed remembering why scoliosis is so awful. Standing all day can do that to my back (an yes, I know I sound like I'm 85 years old).

Its a good thing I love cooking, right? Otherwise I may not have survived. My mom's a trooper because she doesn't enjoy cooking and suck it out with me in addition to cleaning the kitchen about 5 times.

Here is a little recap of some of the things we made for Christmas, and over the next week or two, I will probably post most of these recipes because they all turned out so good.

For tonight we made bacon-wrapped scallops, fish and chips, and bread pudding with a brown sugar sauce for dessert.

For tomorrow we made pecan and apple pies, one gluten an dairy free and one regular of each. I also made green bean bundles, a recipe which my mom's friend, Myra, sent me and has recently become a family favorite.

Lastly, for tomorrow we made sausage-egg casserole for breakfast. I am still not quite sure why this food took so many hours in the kitchen but I guess I have always done everything in my own time. I consider it one of my better qualities :)

I can't share with you all of the recipes just yet, but I would love to share the recipe for the pumpkin bread pumpkin because it is absolutely delectable. This is the first bread pudding I have ever eaten, let alone baked, and it has turned me into a believer.

Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding
vegan butter
Gluten-free white sandwich bread torn into small pieces (6 cups more or less)
2 cups soy milk creamer
3 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter an 11x7 inch baking dish with the vegan butter.

Put the bread pieces in a bowl and pour the soy creamer over them.

In another bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin, melted butter, spices, and vanilla with a hand or stand mixer. Stir in the cranberries.

Pour this pumpkin mixture over the bread and cream mixture and stir to blend. Now pour this mixture into the buttered baking dish and sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar.

Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until pudding is set. It should look like this out of the oven:

Serve with this brown sugar sauce drizzled over it:

Brown Sugar Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup soy creamer
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let boil for about five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool as the sauce will thicken as it cools.

Here is the bread pudding served into little glasses and layered with light drizzles of the super rich and yummy brown sugar sauce. Doesn't it just look lovely. I was planning on putting a little dollop of whipped cream on top but I couldn't get my soy cream to whip. If any of you have any tips on making dairy-free whipped cream, please let me know! I could really use the help on that front.

Merry Christmas to everyone! I hope you get to spend it with the people you love and reflect on the blessings that God has given each and every one of you, including the greatest blessing of all, sweet little baby Jesus (said ricky bobby style). But in all seriousness, Merry Christmas and God Bless!


  1. Bread pudding should be sainted--especially any that contains pumpkin AND cinnamon. And that brown sugar sauce looks like something I'd really love to swim in.

    Sounds like we're in the same region right now! My parents live in West Tennessee, and that's where I'm spending the holidays. Nothing like it, that's for sure. ;)

  2. Do you make your own sandwich bread or do you buy a particular brand? If you buy, which one do you chose? Thank you for your blog! I'm new to the gluten/dairy free life (2months) and it's been a struggle to find recipes. :)

  3. Amy- I hope your Christmas was wonderful! and you are right that there's nothing like it haha

    Brian- I am kind of new to the gluten and dairy free diet (since the end of may) and I have never actually made my own bread. I hope to soon, but in the meantime I have Udi's white sandwich bread which I found at our grocery store in the frozen part of the specialty foods section. I used to buy nature's own gluten free bread because it tasted pretty good and didn't have to be frozen but they discontinued it so recently switched to Udi's which is also pretty good, but you have to keep it in the freezer. The bread is pretty crumbly and hard but its much better than most of the gluten free breads out there. I've found that it tastes better if you toast it with a little dairy-free butter. The stale-like bread is good for a lot of recipes though! How's the diet switch been so far? The first couple of months were he toughest for me.