Like most of our major holidays Easter is yet another time our family will gather to enjoy a nice meal together. Our family traditionally would have, Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, and a variety of cooked vegetables followed by dessert, candy and treats - total overindulgence. Now that we eat gluten free and often dairy free as well, we opt for different fare. Here is what we will be having this Easter and a list of safe treats for the kids (wink, wink...):
Slow Cooked Ham
I think I have mentioned before that there are many great Slowcooker recipes for a gluten free lifestyle. My absolute favorite dishes from the slowcooker are pork based because it keeps the meat moist and honestly, I hate dealing with cold meat and this is far less hands-on then using the oven. Here is what you can do with a 5lb bone-in fully cooked ham:
Mixed together in a small bowl:
1 Tbs Honey
1 Tbs Mustard
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/8 tsp black pepper
Set aside. Place the ham into the slowcooker and pour 1/3 of a cup apple juice over it. Spread the above-mixture over the ham, place on the lid and cook on low for 8 hours (slow and low is always the way to go). Try your best not to open the lid in an effort to keep all of the juices in the pot. When it is time to eat, slice and serve. This recipe will serve 10-12 with leftovers.
Simple Brussel Sprouts
I know that Brussel Sprouts are not everybody's favorite but these are slightly caramelized and easy to prepare and can be done in advance and reheated.
Wash and trim 2lbs of Brussel Sprouts while bringing a medium size pot with steamer basket to a boil. When water is boiling place in the Sprouts and allow to steam until tender approximately 8 minutes. While the Brussel Sprouts are steaming saute one or two slices of bacon in a medium size frying pan (a pan large enough to spread out you sprouts in). Remove the bacon from the pan and drain off about half of the fat. When the Sprouts are finished steaming remove them from heat and cut in half and add to saucepan cut-side down. Allow to cook for 5 minutes uninterrupted on one side and 3 minutes on the other. The Brussel Sprouts should be a nice golden brown when finished. Serve now or refrigerate and reheat later.
Yummy Yummy Yams
Our baby's favorite are yams so our meal would not be complete without them.
Peel and cube 3 medium size Yams while bringing your pot with steamer basket to a boil. When water is boiling add your Yams and cover for 20 minutes. Drain your Yams and place them back into the pot. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Place into a serving dish and for adults garnish with toasted Walnuts or Pecans.
A Fruit Bouquet and Candy...
Because we will be eating lots of chocolate Easter eggs, I plan to keep dessert light. Awhile back I received an Edible Arrangement as a gift. An Edible Arrangement is a bouquet of the most perfectly ripe fruit. You can of course order one direct from the company and have it delivered. If you decide to make your own you will want to purchase your fruit in advance giving it enough time to ripen. Here is what you will need:
a vase or basket large enough to support your arrangement;
Styrofoam or Florist's Foam to fill the vase or basket;
a pack of plastic skewers in various lengths (if they come in one length trim them);
a melon baller;
a large flower cookie cutter;
a large egg shaped cookie cutter (for Easter);
a package of red grapes;
Prepare your vase as if you were to be placing a flower arrangement in it; cut and secure the foam in the vessel.
Wash your fruit. Cut your melons in half and remove the pulp and seeds and make as many melon balls out of the cantaloupe as possible, make small wedges out of the honeydew ("leaves"). Set Aside.
Remove the stems from the strawberries and grapes and set aside.
Remove the stem and skin from your pineapples and slice into rounds. Using your cookie cutters cut as many shapes as you can.
Skewer your fruit. Create flowers with the pineapple and melon balls for centers. Create chains of grapes and "roses" by skewering strawberries. The honeydew "leaves" can be used to fill any areas where the foam is showing through. With all fruit be sure to not let the skewers come through. Refrigerate until it is time to serve.
When it comes to Candy for the kids here are a few safe treats:
Large size Reester Bunny (beware the small ones are not gluten free)
Peanut Butter Eggs in Large and Small size (beware of small foil wrapped eggs as they are not gluten free)
Miniature Peanut Butter Cups
From Dove Chocolate:
Milk Chocolate Eggs
Almond Milk Chocolate Eggs
Peanut Butter Eggs
Dark Chocolate Eggs
Solid Bunnies in Milk and Dark
Fairy Bunny Hollow Milk Chocolate
Orange Cream Eggs
Mini-eggs (dark and milk chocolate)
Dairy Milk Bunnies
Hollow Dark Chocolate Egg filled with Mini Eggs
Original and Peanut M&M's
Kisses, Almond, Caramel, and Regular
Milk Chocolate Bunnies, Flowers and Crosses
Candy Coated Milk Chocolate Eggs
Solid "Speedy" and "Princess" Bunny
Hollow Milk Chocolate Bunny
Hollow Milk Chocolate Egg filled with Candy Coated Chocolate Eggs
Marshmallow, Dark and Milk Chocolate Eggs
Peeps in all shapes, colors and sizes (even dipped in chocolate)
Of course double-check ingredients lists for glutinous ingredients such as:
malt; (remember maltodextrin is safe)
For the very sensitive, look out for candy processed in facilities where there are wheat products.