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Holiday Celebrations with Grandchildren Are The Best

Holiday Celebrations with Grandchildren Are The Best
After my latest sinus infection, my Doctor suggested I stop eating all wheat, dairy, sugar, beans and alcohol.She called it the Allergy Diet…I called it… ludicrously impossible!
The no alcohol and no sugar restrictions were tossed out the window immediately, but the others I’ve been able to avoid.
We had the whole family for July 4th dinner last week and because of my new restrictions I needed to be extra creative with the menu. I hate making foods I can’t eat!

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Of course the star of the day was our cutie pie. There were copious amounts of  smothering fawning, over our grandchild James. I was probably the worst culprit!

As I started dinner preparations, he crawled into the kitchen to keep me company.  He’s just learned to pull himself up to stand and found my maxi skirt most helpful :)) Such a brilliant child!

I gave him some wooden spoons and Tupperware… but he seemed much more interested in what I was doing. Lucy wasn’t leaving my side either. She braved the beard pulls and tail grabs to stay glued to my leg.

For our dessert, I made my first Pavlova, to great accolades and appreciation!
PAVLOVA:
A dessert of Australian and New Zealand origin consisting of a meringue shell topped with whipped cream and usually fruit.

 

I checked online for several recipes, then altered and combined a few to come up with this one.
VERY SIMPLE PAVLOVAINGREDIENTS:6 ( room temperature ) egg whites -I used organic egg whites from a pint container.
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

Put mixing bowl in refrigerator to get very cold.
Preheat oven to 300 and place rack in center of oven
Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

With stand or handheld electric mixer, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Gradually add sugar, in small batches, mixing thoroughly after each addition until glossy.
(Most recipes said to add sugar one tablespoon at a time, which I thought was insanely slow, so I added 1/4 cup at a time)
Fold in cornstarch, vanilla extract and lemon juice.

Spoon mixture onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet, making a large circle… building outside edges by ladling excess around edge and leaving a slight indentation in the center.

Bake on center rack for 60 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow meringue to cool completely on cookie sheet.
Place plate on top, flip over and peel parchment paper off.

To avoid the dairy I made whipped coconut cream. Again, there were complicated and simple recipes online. I modified them to make this one.
WHIPPED COCONUT CREAM
 
INGREDIENTS:2 cans full fat Coconut Milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons white sugarDIRECTIONS

Put cans of full fat Coconut Milk and mixing bowl in refrigerator overnight. I used Thai Kitchen.
When ready to make “whipped cream”, remove can from refrigerator, invert and open the bottom. All the coconut water will then be on top and poured off to use in other recipes or chucked. I drank it.

Scoop very thick coconut milk into mixing bowl and whip with electric mixer. When fluffy, add vanilla extract and sugar.

Spread Coconut Cream on top of meringue and cover with berries of your choice. I chose organic Blueberries, Strawberries and Raspberries in honor of the 4th of July.
The only picture I was able to snap of the finished product is blurry because it was moving so fast! We literally inhaled this dessert. Elegant, easy and delicious.
In hindsight, I realize it looked a bit skimpy in the Whipped Coconut Milk department, but tasted perfect. I may or may not use a third can next time.

Have you made Pavlova?

It’s basically a huge Macaroon without the top meringue.

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