Search This Blog

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas with Celiac #7 - The Christmas Party

I love my friends. I have really really great friends. I am now going to talk about my friends. Remember, I love my friends.

I went to my first Christmas party last weekend. We had food, there was music, we did the white elephant exchange game, we had food, we made fun of each other, there was this great punch, and did I mention the food? I love food. I shamelessly ate most of the shrimp. Twice.

What's great: I had plenty to eat. What's not great: There were three tables of food, and only five things I could eat:

A cream cheese and cranberry cookie topping, sans cookie (foreground)
A bowl of kisses and Snickers (background)

A chicken salad for sandwiches, sans sandwich (foreground)
Some tasty shrimp (not pictured)

and the stuff I brought: yogurt and granola

I didn't take a picture of the third table: it was just baked goods. It was pretty easy to pick out what I could eat; I only had to ask for ingredients on a few things. I ended up with a nice plateful of food, and was very happy with it. Sure I wanted to eat everything else, too, but like I said, I shamelessly loaded up on the shrimp! (Twice!)

Note to self: yogurt on a plate does not photograph well! (Sorry 'bout that!)

The hardest part of the night was listening to the comments people made when (a) they saw what I brought or (b) I asked for ingredients. Here are some of the things I overheard:
  • Yogurt? Yeah, it's Christmas! Let's eat healthy! (sarcastic laugh)
  • Man, I would hate to have to figure out what I couldn't eat.
  • Who brings yogurt to a party?
  • What a pain. I'm glad I don't have any food restrictions!
None of these comments were directed at me. When I asked for ingredients, the lists were happily given, but you know how you always chatter when you're at a buffet? No one talked to me this time. So, I felt uncomfortable, and conspicuous. So I waited until everyone was done, just stayed out of the way, and then got my food and went and sat down.

It was weird. (Don't forget - I love my friends!)

Once I was seated with my plate, it was totally normal, sorta. It helped that I sat with close friends, ones who know that I can't eat the yummy gluten-filled holiday goodies, but we still ended up talking about it.

I felt defined by the food missing from my plate.

It was weird.

The party was fun. I got brass candlesticks. I ate a pile of shrimp and yogurt. (Not at the same time! Ew) I hung out with my buddies. I took home my yogurt and granola and ate it every day for lunch this week. And thought about Christmas. I love Christmas. And I love my friends.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas with Celiac #6 - Cream Cheese Cookies

One of the few cookies that we're committed to each year at Christmas is the cream cheese cookie. This is Jim's favorite and SUPER easy to make.

All I did to make this a GF recipe was to substitute a GF cake mix for the regular cake mix. Ta-da!

The cookie ingredients:
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1/4 t. vanilla extract
1 box yellow cake mix

The icing ingredients:
Powdered sugar
Ice water

The process:
1. Cream together butter and cream cheese
2. Add egg yolk and vanilla, mix well
3. Add cake mix, about 1/3 of the mix at a time to help with mixing
4. Chill for 1 hour or so
5. Bake 10-12 minutes at 375
6. Cool and ice

If you don't have a heavy duty mixer, you'll end up struggling to mix by hand - it's a dense dough. I often lay the dough and last of the cake mix in a big sheet of plastic wrap and knead the final bit of mix in by hand instead of trying to stir.

Keep the icing a little thick. You want it to be thick enough to stay on top of the cookie, but thin enough to drizzle a little bit. Play with it if you're unfamiliar: if it all drips/runs off the cookie right away, it's too thin.

You shouldn't be able to see through it after it settles/hardens. Add sugar or sprinkles if you like.

Cookies will fluff a little as they bake, but won't really change shape. You'll pretty much get out of the oven what you put in. I did notice that the GF batch was a little spikier...

...while the regular batch was a little smoother in appearance.

Happy baking!
Related Posts with Thumbnails