Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving / Holiday Guide – Part I

First shopping trip - Whole Foods

As the holidays are approaching, there are certain ‘staples’ that I need to have a tasty yet healthy and allergen free Thanksgiving.  Certain ingredients need to be acquired from Whole Foods and a few others.  So today I shopped at Whole Foods for the fundamental ingredients:  the turkey and some baking ingredients:

The turkey-I need a turkey that has no additives, no ‘pre basting’ – not stuffed with antibiotics, hormones…and it would be nice if the turkey was somewhat ethically treated:

Christmas I usually make duck (my son LOVES it)-again don't want an over processed duck that doesn't even taste like duck.  Again, it is pricier than the cheaper frozen duck you find in typical grocery stores....

Since I'm at Whole Foods, I may as well pick up some uncured bacon and bratwurst (my son loves both-and I don't have to feel guilty about all the nitrites I'm feeding him):

My mother used to make great goose...I have yet to do this-but I need to make sure I master this technique before I make it - this goose is $100

Since I'm here I may as well pick up some drumsticks for oven baking (my son loves this)

When roasting turkey, chicken broth needs to be under the turkey rack...this is a reliable allergen free broth.  Some may say why bother with free range?  It turns out what's good for the animal is also good for your diet.  Free range chickens eat a healthier diet, which ultimately affects the nutrients in the the chicken that humans consume.

How I spend 50% of my time in the grocery store-found a new the ingredient list to make sure I see no dairy derivates (or shellfish, nuts and peanuts)-no casein, no whey, no lactic acid starter culture from dairy. I also have to read the allergen information on what type of facility the product is made to assess the risk of cross contamination. 

In the "dairy section" - some great soy based butter (I can make the best desserts with butter needed).  The Tofutti cream cheese is dairy free and is great on bagels or as a base to wild salmon.

 Free range organic eggs are more nutritious than the ones from the tortured chickens (again, being ethical has health benefits). They are higher in Omega 3s because of the diet of the chicken.

Regular Olive Oil has a lower frying temperature than this one.  So this is an expeller pressed (less processed) canola oil.  

I don't even like cranberries but these are good....
 Reread ingredients EACH time...just in case they changed something

The 365 Organic Ketchup was rated the highest in a taste test conducted by Chicago Tribune.  My son agrees...he no longer likes Heinz (which also is not composed of  the best ingredients)-he now eats food just so he can have this ketchup with it.

This is the shortening I use for frosting and other baking...(combine with Earth Balance shortening for cookies though).  NO crisco

What would Thanksgiving be without a pumpkin pie?  Yes, one can have a dairy free creamy pumpkin pie....this is one of the ingredients.

Sometimes it's nice to have some ready made cookies though.  Jovial cookies are delicious.  They are made in Italy and are made with an old world flour.  But mostly, they are delicious.  Usually quite pricey, but today they are on sale....time to stock up.

Creamy sauces...need a thick milk substitute.  This is one of my favorite ingredients for making cream sauces.  Clearly dairy free, but also soy free (many are allergic to soy)

We also make some Tofu dishes...this is a fairly new discovery.  I like it because: 1. it doesn't need draining and it's already firm, 2. I can use just part of it and put the rest back, 3. is higher in protein than the usual tofu.

And for a treat....caviar and wild salmon.  This will make a great appetizer.

Now I still need to plan the menu...acquire the vegetables...and start cooking...brine the turkey, make bread for stuffing (best stuffing is 'made from scratch') and dig through my recipes-most likely pumpkin pie, mocha cake - all free of dairy.

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Garlic breadsticks in the comfort of your home

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about anything.  I have plenty of new additions, I just have to take the time to write it down.

As I resume the blog, it’s best to start with a simple addition-garlic bread sticks.  Some people go to Olive Garden for this.  We all know that most restaurants will not use the most wholesome ingredients.  The food is at best partially pre made and it’s not that fresh.  When you cook at home, you are in control of the ingredients, flavor and hygiene.   Yes, it’s more work….but we all know it’s better for you.


Pizza dough/breadstick dough


1 ½ cups of warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups bread flour (I use Bob’s Redmill Organic non bleached flour)
2 ¼ tsp. dry yeast (package)

Use bread machine to knead dough


Preheat oven 375 (this is convection oven)
Take a cookie sheet and line with non stick foil paper

Make bread stick shapes and lay them out on cookie sheet
Lay them out on cookie sheet
Brush top with extra virgin olive oil
Put coarse kosher salt and garlic powder on top (not garlic salt)
At this point you can add other herbs if you choose….

Bake for about 25 minutes…but when top starts looking dry – about 20 minutes into it….take a pat of butter and run it over the breadstick top.

Bake until golden brown (total 25 minutes in convection oven)
 And enjoy while warm.

Note:  Pizza/bread stick dough can stay in the refrigerator for days; just make sure you bring it to room temperature before baking.

Why the paper plate?  This was a nighttime snack while working and doing dishes wasn’t appealing.

Contents are protected by the U.S. Copyright act and may not be duplicated or redistributed.  All contents are owned by BlogToTheNextOne ©2011