Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Steampunk Christmas Cake

I made this cake a few years ago for a family Christmas party. I really like the look of steampunk items, and wanted to combine that with a Christmas theme. As you can tell, my fondant smoothing skills are not perfect, but I really  liked the end result. Everything is edible except for the support system. Even the goggles are entirely edible. :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Gluten Free, Dairy Free Green Bean Casserole

Thanksgiving has now passed us by, and the world around me has changed quickly over into Christmas mode. I want to linger back a little and share this recipe for gluten and dairy free green bean casserole for you that my family enjoys. Although it is a typical Thanksgiving dish, it could be good for Christmas too, if you want to serve it then as well.

2 lbs. fresh green beans
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup earth balance vegan butter or similar alternative
1/4 cup cornstarch, plus another 1/4 cup cornstarch, separated
2 cans coconut milk
1 onion, cut into half-rings
1/2 lb. bacon (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Snap and prepare green beans (a great kid job). Start bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Once it is boiling, carefully drop in green beans and boil until fully cooked, but not overdone. Strain and allow to cool slightly.

At the same time, saute the mushrooms and set aside. Cook the bacon in the same pan, then set it aside as well. While the bacon is cooking, seperate the half-rings of onion and toss with cornstarch. Shake off the excess, and place the onion rings, a few at a time, into the bacon grease left after you took the bacon from the pan. Cook until browned and place aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter alternative over medium heat, and then stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of cornstarch. Stir  the butter and cornstarch mixture for a minute, and then pour in the coconut milk. Simmer the sauce mix, stirring frequently with a whisk and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

When the sauce has thickened, pour it over the green beans in a large bowl. Add the mushrooms and combine. Pour into a 9x13 inch pan and top with the onions and bacon.

Cook at 400 degrees for 15 minutes to heat thoroughly before serving.