brian and i went to his home town, sandusky ohio, for thanksgiving this year. we had an amazing time, and did lots of visiting with family. thanksgiving dinner was a delicious spread of offerings from many family members. i made a roasted veggie dish (which sat too long and became soggy, but so it goes!), an apple upside down cake, and brian made prosciutto and sage wrapped roasted yams. brian’s grandma was in charge of the main array of potatoes of all sorts, oyster dressing, gravy, turkey, and a kabillion other things i’m forgetting.
cindy, brian’s mom, baked some beautiful pies. -a pecan pie and a pumpkin pie, which she spent all morning making the shortcrust cut-outs to decorate with. look how cute they turned out! she was kind enough to bake my pumpkin pie separately in ramekins, sans crust. i ate them both within minutes of each other.
i was able to adhere to my grain free diet with ease. holidays are most certainly not as difficult as some may imagine without grains. cindy was more than accommodating and bought lots of snacks, and brian and i were sure to do lots of baking so i wouldn’t feel deprived. though i’m still learning my way around it, i love cooking in brian’s parent’s kitchen. it is brand new and beautiful, huge, with 2 ovens and 6 gas burners. we also managed to make grain free pancakes in the morning so the grain eaters could try my new recipe. they turned out great, though i will add more liquid next time so they don’t get dry! i think they liked them, and i hope to do lots of baking and cooking for my family when we visit them for christmas.
though the traditionally roasted turkey was delicious, i must mention uncle todd’s deep fried turkey. brian and i have a theory that everyone has a crazy uncle that deep fries the holiday bird. in my family, it is uncle jeff. in brian’s, it is uncle todd. since i haven’t been an omnivore in 12 thanksgivings, i had never even tried a deep fried turkey. i’m sure in the past i may have done some trash talking on this unhealthy, nontraditional method of cooking but alas, this year i was looking forward to trying, what many chefs swear is “the perfect way to cook a turkey”. yes, i ate deep fried turkey, and i feel no shame. it was the most moist, tender, juicy meat. the skin was perfectly crisp and salty. the meat had a wonderful flavor that often times gets “baked out” with the hours it spends in a dry oven. and yes, there is a safe way to do it. did uncle todd adhere to ALL of the safety rules? probably not. it’s about sacrifice, people! hat’s off to uncle todd, who knocked my fat-loving socks off.
friday morning, we made the annual family voyage to ‘jolly doughnut’, which is a diner that serves awesome greasy eggs and bacon, potatoes, and tons of other unhealthy but equally delicious breakfast items. including fresh made doughnuts. i wish i could have tried them, they looked awesome. brian got a pumpkin doughnut with cream cheese icing. jealous.
though cliché, i feel compelled to divulge that i am extremely thankful to have had a wonderful visit with my new family. they have, as usual, gone out of their way to include me and accomodate my dietary restrictions and imperfections., and most of all to show brian and i a good time!
as i said before, we made pancakes for breakfast one morning as a sort of thank you to them for doing all they do. in my opinion, they are virtually undistinguishable from their grainy counterparts. we had them with cinnamon apples that were leftover from the apple cake we made. -oh, and bacon. lots and lots of bacon. here is my not-so-secret recipe for grain-free pancakes, slightly revised and closer to perfection!
this recipe serves 2-3, and can be doubled easily for more.
2 tbsp coconut flour
3 tbsp almond flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
few pinches of cinnamon
1 tsp oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple syrup
few tbsp of milk as needed
1 apple, thinly sliced
tsp maple syrup
sprinkles of cinnamon
for apples: in a large skillet, combine all apple ingredients and saute over medium heat, with lid on, until tender. turn off heat and keep lid on skillet. set aside until ready for serving.
for pancakes: combine all dry ingredients together in a bowl.
separately, combine all wet together in a bowl, except for the milk.
combine wet and dry ingredients with a whisk. allow to set for a minute or so for flour to soak up liquid. if batter appears too thick, whisk in a few tbsp of milk.
heat a skillet on medium flame. i love using cast iron, but whatever you use will probably work. coat skillet in oil. once hot, pour 1/4 cup or so into center of skillet, and cook until bubbles form in the middle. flip, and cook for just a minute or so, until golden brown. place on racks in warm oven to keep warm while you finish the rest of the batch.
serve pancakes with apples on top and a little extra syrup. don’t forget the bacon.