going to a Christmas party at someone's house.
for the basics of how to do this well, read this article on attending a potluck. this will give you your foundation of info, and allow us to focus on some holiday specific stuff - such as how to be merry & gluten free. basically, you're going to assume that you won't be able to eat anything at the event. if you know the host well, you can find out what he/she is serving and ask some questions to find out if there will be anything there that is safe for you. but with all the Christmas baking going on these days, i would suggest steering clear of anything at the party on the assumption that contamination is imminent. remember: flour can remain in the air for up to 6 hours, so anything made in the kitchen post-baking is risky business. also, keep in mind that anyone who isn't strictly gluten free don't know what they don't know - read: its unrealistic to expect that they will think of everything, and despite a solid effort, chances are high that there has been contamination somewhere along the way. so we're going to assume that there won't be anything there that is safe for you - which means that whatever you bring to the table, pun intended, will be your feast for the night. so bring something delicious! check out the recipes and ideas below. *if you've been invited over for a meal at someone's house, and it's not a party with multiple guests and lots of different food, that's a different story. in this case, read this article on how to safely eat at a friend's house!
going out to eat with family, friends or coworkers.
a restaurant experience is going to require the same effort from you regardless of whether it's for a Christmas celebration or not. hear me clearly - it will require some effort for you, and the preparation you do is going to serve you well in this case. see this page for exactly how to go out to eat, including calling ahead, doing your research, and working with your server. if the event is being catered, you will find many similarities and helpful tips on this page. and hang tight until thursday's blog on what to order from the bar!
hosting a holiday soiree.
this is so much fun, because not only do i LOVE hosting people at my house - i equally enjoy showing people first-hand how delicious gluten free food can be! so take the challenge, and keep in mind that it can actually be quite simple. as for recipes, rest assured i'm about to hook you up with some great ones. i actually find it the easiest and best tasting to take regular, gluten-filled appetizer recipes and alter them to make them safe. there are lots of mainstream ingredients that you can find to make your favorite recipes just like you always have! that's the easy part.
it gets a little tricky when your guests want to bring something to contribute, as is generally status quo. i've tried saying "oh no, don't bring anything, just yourselves!" - i've tried saying that in all different ways, shapes and forms. but it never works, and inevitably they show up with a dish full of love and time-spent cooking... and full of gluten. so make a suggestion - cheese is my go-to. asking guests to bring their favorite, gluten-free cheese has worked marvelously for me. they may do the homework themselves, or you could give them some suggestions (which i will spoon feed to you below). make sure to tell them that you already have plenty of crackers so just the cheese is perfect! another suggestion could be a box of mandarin oranges - oh-so christmassy, and they will be devoured at any occasion. wine is another one.
of course this means that the brunt of the work will fall to you - all of the work, in fact. so make sure you take that into account when deciding whether or not to host your big party this year. but if you decide to go ahead and do it, i assure you that i'm here to help ya and you'll do a great job!
(the what-to-drink blog will make it's appearance on thursday, followed by what to bake, so by the weekend you'll be the hostess with the mostess!)
here is the piece de resistance: the recipes. click here to choose your feast!