Well, Christmas has come and gone as fast as it always does, and the new year is just around the corner. This was our first Christmas with a baby, and it was more fun than I thought it would be. And, he doesn't even care about presents or treats yet! Maybe that is because he is only 2 months old, but it was fun to celebrate the holiday with him and our families. A new baby brings so much joy to life and family. It is fun to experience it and be a part of something bigger than yourself. I am so thankful for family and love this Christmas.
I didn't do a bunch of cooking this holiday, but I did do a lot of cookie baking. I made 5 batches of my favorite GF/DF cookies and they went with us to every gathering we attended. It was a fun treat, and it was something I knew I could eat whenever dessert time was in full swing.
I shared one of my new favorite recipes in my last post. I think I made that recipe 3 times in a week to share with friends. It is my new found favorite, and I know I will be making those all year now. My husband has been enjoying the cookies, but then asked me last night to never make cookies again because he can't stop eating them. I told him I would for him of course, but let's be honest... I could never really stop baking and inventing new cookies, haha :)
Now, my thoughts come to the New Year holiday. I love to celebrate a new year, but really I feel we are more like celebrating the old year and then looking hopefully ahead to the new year to be full of life as the last. I know many of my friends and family have had a rough year this past one, and are looking to have a fresh start and a breath of fresh air. I couldn't agree more than a "new year" is a time to feel like to start something new, or let something go. This past year for me has been one of many changes, and I am looking forward to the next to see what another year of loving life may bring.
And, of course, we need a good dairy-free, gluten-free recipe to celebrate! How about some nut cheese dip to enjoy those GF crackers and veggies with. I know dairy-free "cheese" never sounds that interesting, and to be honest I would love to indulge in some goat cheese right now, but I am making the sacrifice to be strictly dairy-free while nursing my newborn, and so I must create and indulge in a savory nut cheese instead. And, it is not that bad. It is deceivingly good. So I will share the little creation I made to spice up your dairy-free life...
Creamy Herb Nut "Cheese" Dip Recipe1 cup of soaked raw cashews for 6-8 hours (soak the raw cashews in water for 6-8 hours in a glass bowl or container, just cover the nuts in water and then after the soaking time, rinse 2-3 times under clean water, then they are ready to use).
1 ts. of apple cider vinegar
juice from one lemon ( 2 TB of juice)
1 ts. of sea salt
1-2 ts. of Italian herb spice blend
1 ts. of minced garlic, or onion works too
Optional: Roll finished cheese in pecans or fresh herbs
Put all the above ingredients in a food processor (or high powdered blender) and blend on high for a few minutes until the nut cheese is creamy. Put in the fridge to get cold and firmer, and then pull from the fridge and roll in pecan pieces before you serve. You can roll into a ball-like form and put on a plate to serve up with the crackers or veggies. Or, if you want to just keep it in a bowl as a dip that works too. Be creative and enjoy the ability to do what you want with this creation. My favorite crackers are, "Mary's Gone Crackers" in any of her varieties. They are crunchy and perfect for dipping.
Here are a few more New Year's appetizer ideas for you this season:
And I am sure I will be making some more cookies, or a finger-food dessert as well. I hope you have a blessed end of 2010, and that you look forward to the new year in hope for a better year than the last!
Much love to you, friends!