12 December


Pumpkin Pie

(Gluten and Dairy Free)

Pumpkin Pie (Allergy-Free)

December 25: National Pumpkin Pie Day

“Rockin’ around the Christmas tree

Let the Christmas spirit ring

Later we’ll have some pumpkin pie

And we’ll do some caroling!”

Now Islander can enjoy a piece of pumpkin pie without worrying that it will bloat her belly like a bowl full of jelly because the recipe that follows features gluten- and dairy-free ingredients!

She found gluten-free pie crusts in the freezer section at Whole Foods market, used coconut instead of cow’s milk and sweetened the batter with maple syrup (hence, our pie is decked out with maple leaves molded from pumpkin-flavored Candy Melts).

Those suffering from food allergies can try this delicious dessert with or without the crust. So celebrate Christmas and National Pumpkin Pie Day with a sweet slice of gluten- and dairy-free pumpkin pie.

Recipe

(Adapted from Williams-Sonoma)

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch gluten-free pie crust, baked
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk (use full fat Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoon agar-agar powder (do not use bar or flakes)
  • ¾ cup water

Directions

Pre-bake the pie crust according to the package directions. Set aside to cool completely.

Pumpkin Pie (Allergy-Free)

In the blender container, combine the pumpkin, maple syrup and coconut milk.

Pumpkin Pie (Allergy-Free)

Add the tapioca flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt and vanilla.

Pumpkin Pie (Allergy-Free)

Blend until smooth. Set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the agar-agar powder in water. Simmer to thicken, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the pumpkin batter. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened (another 2-3 minutes). Immediately pour into the pie crust. Cool at room temperature then transfer to the refrigerator. When chilled, slice and serve.

Pumpkin Pie (Allergy-Free)

Notes

  • Take a taste test to compare this with a traditional pumpkin pie (see the regular recipe on our blog). The crust is crisp without a buttery taste. The filling is firm and gelatinous and not as creamy. But it is a nice alternative for those with food allergies. Even our friends who can tolerate gluten and dairy do not mind eating this pumpkin pie with us.
  • For another no-bake pumpkin pie, try it St. Martha-style using lactose-free milk.

Fried Shrimp Balls

Shrimp Balls

December 20: National Fried Shrimp Day

Fried shrimp balls may have a naughty name but these appetizers are nice to eat during holiday gatherings (Christmas and New Year) and throughout the year. We like to order fried shrimp balls from the dim sum menu when we at Chinese restaurants that offer them. Some are plain and soft, but we like the crunchy thread-like coating for its artistic presentation.

Be naughty yet nice and fry some shrimp balls for the holidays and on National Fried Shrimp Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Rasa Malaysia)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound shrimp, raw, shelled and deveined
  • 1 egg white
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • white pepper powder, to taste
  • won ton pi (thin wrappers)
  • Oil for frying

Directions

In a blender (we used our nifty Nutribullet), place the egg white and beat until frothy. Place the shrimp, salt and sugar in the container.

Shrimp Balls

Add the corn starch, vegetable or canola oil, sesame oil and white pepper powder in the container.

Shrimp Balls

Blend until all the ingredients become paste-like. Using slightly wet hands, form the paste into one-inch balls. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to set. Slice the won ton pi into thin strips.

Shrimp Balls

Roll the shrimp balls in the strips to coat evenly. Heat the oil and deep fry the shrimp balls until puffed up and golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Transfer to a plate and serve hot with sauce. Yield: 2 dozen fried shrimp balls.

Shrimp Balls

Notes

  • Thanks to our friends Pat and Phyllis S. for helping us prepare the fried shrimp balls for our blog. Phyllis helped to roll them in the won ton pi while Pat fried them in his wok.
  • Serve the shrimp balls with soy sauce or sweet Thai chili sauce.
  • The balls may flatten slightly but will puff up into rounds when fried.
  • If not coating the balls in won ton strips, deep fry plain until golden. Poke toothpicks or skewer a few fried shrimp balls for an appetizing arrangement on a party platter.
  • Search our blog for more shrimp recipes.

Black Russian Cupcakes

Black Russian Cupcakes

December 15: National Cupcake Day

When our Ukrainian friend Olga W. got married in 2004, we gifted her groom with a cake. The flavor requested was a Black Russian chocolate cake because 1) they are chocoholics and 2) the flavor gives tribute to Olga’s culture.

The Black Russian cocktail is made with vodka and coffee liqueur (which gives the drink a dark color) and served over ice. The cake also contains both spirits for a doubly delightful dessert.

Instead of a groom’s cake, we made them into mini-sizes for our blog post for National Cupcake Day. Bake Black Russian cupcakes and enjoy! Na zdorovie!

Recipe

(Adapted from “Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor” by Anne Byrn)

For the cupcakes

  • 1 package yellow cake mix (we recommend Duncan Hines brand)
  • 1 package (5.9 ounces) chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar, granulated white
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup coffee liqueur (Kahlúa)
  • ¼ cup vodka

Directions

In a mixing bowl, combine the yellow cake mix and chocolate instant pudding mix. Stir in the oil and water.

Black Russian Cupcakes

Add the sugar, eggs, coffee liqueur and vodka.

Black Russian Cupcakes

Blend well. Scoop the batter into cupcake papers lining muffin tins. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick. Remove from the oven and transfer the cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: Approximately 2 ½ dozen cupcakes.

Black Russian Cupcakes

For the glaze and topping

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup coffee liqueur (Kahlúa)
  • white/vanilla frosting or whipped cream
  • chocolate-covered coffee beans

Directions

In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar with the coffee liqueur. Mix until smooth. Generously brush the tops of the cooled cupcakes with the glaze. Pipe white/vanilla frosting or whipped cream in the middle of the cupcakes. Top with a chocolate-covered coffee bean. Serve at room temperature.

Black Russian Cupcakes

Notes

  • We used brown “tulip” cupcake papers for this blog recipe post. Check local craft stores and bakery supply shops for an assortment of choices of cupcake paper styles (regular, mini, jumbo, “tulip”, scalloped, ruffled, foil, colored, patterned, etc.).
  • Search our blog post for more cupcake recipes.

Next Page »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 99 other followers