Monday, November 18, 2013

Pumpkin Pie + Handling Food Allergies during the Holidays

You've got a couple dozen, hungry guests gathering around your table at various points this season,
and as easy as Ina Garten makes it look, truth is... most of us are sweating bullets, asking Google
for answers, and checking-in on Facebook to make sure that someone else's sweet potato casserole
doesn't look better than ours!

The holidays are like the tango; beautiful and intense with a dash of stressful,
tinsel and lights,
fa-la-la-la-la... love it!

Laughter, tears, filling hearts and stomachs to the brim...
tis the season for tender moments met with tinkling glasses of champagne,
happy reunions in the glow of the Christmas tree, and memorizing all the details
of such happy memories being made as you savor every bite of pie.

Honestly, I get a little anxious with all the festivities and gatherings during the holidays.
I'm that relative, a guest who wants to RSVP with complete abandonment to the culinary adventure
the host has planned, but reality is - WE HAVE ALLERGIES.

How does one tackle the topic of allergies with family and friends?

I'm not claiming to be a professional dinner guest by any means - but I've done a lot of hosting
and I know that I like to know AHEAD OF TIME if there are any allergies/preferences.
Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, here's a bottle of Benadryl!

I now make a habit of ASKING my guests, before they arrive, how we can best serve their needs.
Mainly because I know how awkward it can be to step up and address the situation.

If you have real allergies - just speak up! Do it with grace, thanks, and love...
and I know the host will understand and most likely be so willing to accommodate!
When a host does not ask, saying something along the lines of...

"We are so thankful for the invite! Looking forward to coming over. Don't know if you have heard, but
our family is allergic to *name your poison* and have to avoid it all together. Is there something we can
bring to "fill in" the meal you already have planned?" Don't want you to stress, so please let us help!

...can be a good place to start! And if all else fails, make pie.


I found my filling recipe HERE //

2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 (15-oz) can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/4 cups Silk vanilla soy, almond or coconut milk

I used 1 tsp. cinnamon + a dash of cloves and nutmeg instead of pumpkin pie spice.
And we went with vanilla almond milk - works like a charm!

Mix all together and set aside.

Namaste Biscuit, Piecrust, and More gluten-free blend is my secret weapon right now.
This is their crust recipe // more great recipes HERE.

(Makes two 9" crusts - freeze half the dough for later use,
double the filling recipe, or halve it like I do!)

2 1/3 C. Namaste Biscuit, Piecrust, and More gluten-free blend
1/2 C. butter or non-dairy substitute
1 egg
3-5 tbls of COLD water

Cut the butter into flour blend before adding egg and water.
Add more water if needed to pull the dough into a solid, but not sticky ball.
I also add a dash of salt to my crust because I like it that way.

TIP: Working with gluten-free dough can be hellish. Refrigerating the dough for
at least one hour before rolling out will save your sanity. Also, rolling the dough out between
two pieces of wax paper or seran wrap is highly recommended.

Peel off one side of seran wrap to lay and press the dough in your pie pan - with the remaining
seran wrap side UP. Slowly pull off the remaining seran wrap before filling with pumpkin mix.
It's just best not to touch gluten-free dough. If you touch it, you'll understand.

Fill with pumpkin mix and cover the exposed edges of crust with thin strips of aluminum foil.
This will help to keep the crust golden and not burned. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes - and
then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 40-45 minutes.
You can pull aluminum foil off for the last 10-15 minutes of the baking time if you want.
Let sit for 4-6 hours before serving for best results!

I hope you feel warm and fuzzy inside right now. Because I do.

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  1. It's definitely difficult to cook for friends and family during the holidays when food allergies are so rampant. Thanks for these great tips! I think I will post some of these at the office of my allergy and immunology specialist! I hope others will find this very helpful!

    1. I so hear you!!! Deep breaths, right?! I just don't ever want my kids to feel "left out" ya know? Glad you found these tips helpful - and I hope others can too!!! XO

  2. Namaste has the best gluten free flour!


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