A Magical Snowman Christmas Story from the Book of Yum

December 25th, 2010 yum Posted in Baby yum, Christmas, Holiday, just for fun 13 Comments »

The Princess and the Snowman

Once upon a time, in a yard not so very far away, there was a Princess. Every day, the Princess liked to go on a walk and survey her kingdom.

One day as the Princess was walking through her kingdom, she came across a Snowman stuck in a hedge.

“Oh no! Poor Snowman,” said the Princess, and she disentangled the Snowman from the vines that surrounded his arms and snowman body.

Once the Snowman was free, since he didn’t seem to know quite what to do with himself, she asked him if he would accompany her on her stroll. He seemed to agree, and so the Princess and the Snowman set off together.

The Princess was sometimes lonely while she surveyed her kingdom, and so she was very happy to have company.

While they walked, the Princess told the Snowman all her best stories and jokes. He listened very attentively.

When the Princess was tired, she and the Snowman rested together. It was nice to sit quietly with a friend.

The Princess grew to love her Snowman friend very much.

She loved him so much that she decreed that no Princess should ever be without her Snowman.

The Snowman, for his part, was very happy to have found a home with the Princess. And so, the Princess and the Snowman lived Happily Ever After.

Wishing you a very Magical and Fanciful Holiday Season!
This Holiday Story Brought to you with Love from Sea, the DH, and Baby Yum.

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Gluten-free Christmas Persimmon Pudding Recipe

December 22nd, 2010 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Christmas, Dairy Free, Dessert, Go Ahead Honey Event, Holiday, Persimmon 7 Comments »

I seem to recall some days ago promising you all a Christmas pudding. I ended up writing an entirely different post about the loss of my cat Neko and I was amazed at the response I got from all of my wonderful, compassionate readers. I had been self-conscious about posting something so very painfully personal, but I realized after writing it that my experience was not exactly personal- it is one shared by anyone who has shared their lives with a pet and lost them. Thank you to all of you who responded with kind words and shared your own experiences with your beloved pets. Each and every comment was very precious and brought me a great deal of comfort. And now, my dear readers, I would like to give you something for this holiday season. Here is that pudding recipe that I was supposed to post. I think it is worth the wait, and also the perfect entry for the most recent Family Traditions themed edition of Go Ahead Honey it is Gluten-free, hosted by Carol of Simply Gluten-free.

This monthly themed food-blogger event was started by Naomi of Straight Into Bed Cakefree & Dried, and celebrates glorious gluten-free food.
Looking for info on future editions? Here is the list of past and present hosts of Go Ahead, Honey.

I mentioned in this post on Amaranth Sorghum Persimmon Muffins that we had a persimmon tree in our back yard. They are delightful for snacking on, but one can only eat so many, and the idea of using them in baking appealed to me. I scoured the internet looking for creative ideas and came across a very interesting recipe for a (gluten) persimmon pudding. I adapted it to be gluten-free and suit our tastes for a Thanksgiving dessert and found it delightful. I’m very in favor of any dessert you can light on fire. It is so festive, and satisfies any latent tendencies for pyromania in a socially acceptable way. This would be lovely for a Christmas dinner, in my opinion. I stored it in the refrigerator so it would keep as long as possible. To refresh it after a day or so in the refrigerator, just microwave a single serving briefly. It is very, very tasty with vanilla ice cream. No dairy? No problem. Soy, rice, or coconut milk offers some beautifully decadent and dairy-free ice cream options.

Do you know how hard it is to get a good photo of a flaming pudding at night? My father-in-law took the above of mother-in-law/grandma holding Baby Yum. I thought it was rather sweet. Here are a few other of my attempts, albeit with a rather unfortunate lack of white balancing. *Sigh*

Here is the DH with creme brulee torch in hand, watching the pudding burn. You should see him tending fire pits… I think we all have an inner pyromaniac, but his is a little closer to the surface than most. If you look closely, you can see a little grey kitty snuggled up on the arm of the couch in the background. It was one of his favorite places to be.

Other gluten-free steamed pudding recipes:

Gluten-free steamed Veg pudding with maple-rhubarb sauce
Gluten-free Sugar-free Steamed Carrot Cake Pudding (YUM!)
Gluten-free Dairy-free Steamed Pudding Recipe
Gluten-free Meyer Lemon Spotted Dick Recipe (Not veg as written. And the name, well, it is a British thing. lol)

Other Gluten-free pudding recipes:
Gluten-free Crockpot Bread Pudding Recipe
Gluten-free Crockpot Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake Recipe
Gluten-free Orange Almond Bread Pudding Recipe
Gluten-free Old-fashioned Bread Pudding Recipe

This post was shared with Gluten-free Wednesdays and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

*I know I am late posting the roundup for Adopt-a-gluten-free Blogger. My apologies, all. I will get it up as soon as I can. Adopt-a-gluten-free-Blogger will take a brief holiday hiatus and be open again for new sign-ups in January.

Gluten-free Dairy-free Persimmon Pudding
1 cup sugar (3/4 cup should work too if you prefer)
1/2 cup margarine (I used Earth Balance)at room temperature
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup potato or corn starch (or more sorghum flour)
1/4 cup tapioca starch or arrowroot starch
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup pureed persimmon pulp
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. warm water
7 tablespoons brandy (should be naturally gluten-free, but check with manufacturer)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup raisins
Grease a 5 or 6 cup oven-safe pudding mold that will fit in a large pot with a rack or steaming insert. (You can use Earth balance margarine, palm shortening, or butter if not dairy-free.)

Thoroughly combine sugar and margarine in a large bowl, using a spoon or mixer if you prefer. Sift dry ingredients (flours, and spices-NOT including the baking soda) together and add to the butter. Fold in your persimmon pulp. Drop your baking soda into the warm water and lightly whisk. Add baking soda solution, 3 tablespoons brandy and vanilla to your batter. Add eggs and gently combine. Sprinkle in your raisins, stir, and pour into your buttered mold.

Here is the cool part. Cover the mold (I used aluminum foil) and put on your rack or steamer insert in your large pot. Fill with boiling water halfway up the side of the mold. Put lid on your large pot and simmer 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Let stand a few minutes before you unmold it.

When you serve it, pour 4 tablespoons warmed brandy on the pudding and light it on fire. Should have a gorgeous little blue flame for a bit. If you warm the brandy and let it sit too long before pouring, the alcohol might evaporate and not want to light. In this case, just add a little more brandy and try to relight until *poof* you have a flaming pudding on your table! (Yes, this happened to me)

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