Make the Season Merry with These Crock Pot Ideas
The holidays are here!! Can you believe it? For me, this year has flown by and it seems like New Year’s Day was only yesterday. Unfortunately, regardless of what day of the year I feel like it is, the holidays of 2011 are upon us. This means many different things for our family: shopping, crowds, gift-giving, traveling, spending quality time with friends and family, community service, AND of course, lots of yummy food.
For those of us with Celiac Sprue, holiday eating can sometimes be a nightmare. I have been very blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law who makes me a special gluten free option of almost every dish she prepares. She is always extra careful and runs the nutritional and diet information by me first to double-check that it is "Amy-friendly," as we have termed it.
Entertaining guests during the holidays can be stressful enough without having to worry about preparing a gluten free appetizer or meal that everyone will love. I must admit, when it comes to cooking, I am guilty of trying to find the easiest version of something I’d like to make. If there are too many ingredients or the preparation seems to complicated, I immediately flip to the next recipe. All that being said, the crock pot is my best friend, especially during holidays, and in all honesty, I typically search for crock pot versions of basic meals.
To cover all the bases, I will share a drink recipe, a couple simple appetizer recipes, and a classic meal recipe.
Hot Buttered Rum
Preparation: Combine all ingredients, except rum, in crock pot. Stir well. Cover and cook on LOW setting for 5 hours. Stir in rum. Serve. You may wish to top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Spicy Chicken & Cheese Dip
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on LOW setting until heated then switch to warm. Serve with gluten free corn tortilla chips.
Simple Beer-Marinated Hot Dogs
Gluten free beer
Little sausage smokies or hot dogs
Preparation: Boil your hot dogs/smokies in GF beer on the stove for about 10-15 minutes. Let them soak in beer for about an hour. Drain and cut up hot dogs/smokies in bite-size pieces. Place in crock pot and add barbecue sauce (I prefer Sweet Baby Rays). Leave crock pot on warm setting.
Crock Pot Lasagna (Why not break up the turkey/ham meals a little!)
Preparation: Turn crock pot on to begin warming. Brown 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef on stove. Drain beef and stir in spaghetti sauce. Add 1 cup of water and heat to boiling. Transfer mixture to crock pot. Sprinkle in garlic powder. Add pasta, cottage cheese/ricotta cheese, 2 lbs. mozzarella cheese/Italian blend cheese. Stir, cover,and cook about 3 hours on HIGH or 6 hours on LOW. Optional: top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve with a warm, buttered slice of Udi’s Gluten Free Bread!
Mmmm!!! Armed with the above GF recipes, you should be able to successfully host your holiday guests this season and they will surely be more open to gluten free food in the future!!