Thanksgiving Favorite!

Growing up in New Hampshire, we always had Indian Pudding at Thanksgiving.  I took this delicacy for granted until I moved to other areas of the country where the dish was virtually unknown.  Best described as a cross between bread pudding and pumpkin pie, it is perfect served warm with a side of natural vanilla bean ice cream.

Indian Pudding first appeared in New England during the 17th century. It grew in popularity and became a Thanksgiving staple. However, Indian Pudding seems to be fading from memory, even in our region.  I have enclosed our family recipe below (with lactose free equivalents).  If you are looking for a new treat, give it a whirl!

Classic Indian Pudding

5 Cups Whole Milk (yes, whole milk as skim and fat free do not work. Lactose Free will also work)

½ cup Yellow Corn Meal

½ cup Sugar

½ Cup Molasses

¼ Cup Butter (for Lactose Free use Margarine)

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (If unavailable, mix ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp ginger, and ½ teaspoon nutmeg)

Preheat Oven to 350. Combine 2 cups milk with corn meal, sugar, molasses, butter, salt, and spice in heavy sauce pan.  Heat on medium heat until bubbly, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.  Pour into buttered baking dish (8 cup dish). Stir in 2 more cups milk. Bake for one hour. Stir in remaining one cup milk and back for approximately 1-2 hours or until set (jiggly, but still soft)

Serve with Natural Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (I have also found lactose free ice cream, but it can be a challenge to find)

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The Food at Universal Studios Orlando

Yum!  What’s just as good as rides and themed islands? The culinary adventures you take along the way!  While most theme park food is mediocre at best (in addition to being pricey), Universal serves a variety of delicious options. Be prepared to spend much more than you want, but with a little creativity, your food budget can go a long way.  Best advice is to eat your big meal during the day since lunch prices are lower than dinner.

Tomato Mozzarella Panini

While going dairy and gluten free has made a world of difference in my day to day life, there are times when I crave my favorite foods beyond control. I splurge, and for the moment taste satisfaction, but my stomach soon reminds me why I don’t eat certain things. So, for today, I will dream of my favorite lunch while I pack my gluten free tuna macaroni salad.

And, if anyone out there knows of a lactose free mozzarella cheese that actually tastes like mozzarella cheese, please let me know!

 

Tomato Mozzarella Panini

Easy, Easy, and so tasty!

Bakery Italian Bread (pre-sliced saves time)

Fresh Mozzarella (splurge for the good stuff, trust me!)

Tomato slices

Fresh Basil (chopped)

Balsamic Glaze

Slightly butter the bread and assemble your masterpiece. If you do not have a panini maker, a frying pan still works.

When done, drizzle with balsamic glaze (I always make a little puddle of glaze to dip in).  Enjoy!

 

Apple Picking in Vermont

It’s not all about pumpkin in fall.  Apple picking makes wonderful memories…and desserts! Our visit to Wellwood Orchards in Vermont boasted a petting zoo, honey crisp apples the size of softballs, and warm cider donuts.

Autumn Apple Picking

Fall is arguably the most beautiful season in New Hampshire. The leaves provide a visually brilliant backdrop, and combined with moderate temperatures and no bugs, there is no better time to enjoy the outdoors. A must see-and-do item is apple picking. Start the day with a tractor ride to the farthest reaches of the orchid, followed by a leisurely stroll through scenic vistas. Finish with some warm apple cider and then take your little red treasures home to bake. One of my favorites is an apple brownie with cinnamon sugar on top.  Yum, Yum!

At War with Food

After years of living to eat instead of eating to live, I find myself in a position shared with many others…food is now the enemy.  I have been lactose intolerant for most of my life, which I have been able to manage by carefully balancing what I eat with those little miracle lactose supplement pills, but over the last year something changed. I found myself nauseous after every meal, sometimes just a little and other times to the point of talking myself down from vomiting. I cut out all dairy and even gluten, but the problem persisted. After months of tests and trial and error, the latest diagnosis of functional dyspepsia and/or gastroparesis is the winner.  I have been told my stomach does not empty properly, a lifelong condition to be managed by careful diet and consumption limits.

Thankfully, all of my changes have resulted in feeling better than I have for over a year, but eating is a full time job. My days consist of dairy free, gluten free, no raw vegetables, lean fats, high protein, oh, and I can only eat small amounts every few hours. My measuring stick for small amounts…a deck of cards. By limiting myself to all of the above and portions no more than the size of two decks of cards, I have found the silver bullet!

The challenge now is within my mind. Walking away from chocolate frosted donuts when I get my Iced Tea at Dunkin Donuts, never eating pizza again, and passing on the warm dinner rolls in a restaurant even though they smell like heaven. Once in a while, I fall off the wagon, but my symptoms are always there to remind me.