The holidays are in full swing, which means it’s time to start thinking about gifts. The Celebrations cookbook is the perfect holiday gift for everyone on your list.
It is no secret that I love Danielle Walker, in fact, she is the one who inspired me to start blogging. (I’m also obsessed with hair, I wish my hair could be so perfectly curly!) Danielle blogs at Against All Grain and has amazing cookbooks: Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes to Make Anytime and Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great. I love both these books, while I’m not Paleo and could never stick to that diet her recipes are so amazing I don’t care! Her latest book Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion is perfect for the holiday season. So many festive recipes it is the perfect Christmas gift for anyone on your list who’s interested in a healthy lifestyle.
I got this book right before Thanksgiving so the first recipe I had to start with was the pumpkin pie. She has a stunning pie in her book with a gorgeous paleo crust that looks too pretty to eat. We’ve got nut allergies in my house too, so Paleo baking is often too difficult for us. I bought a chocolate premade crust, so mine is not nearly as beautiful or healthy as hers. The pumpkin custard filling recipe is simply divine. There’s no refined sugar, just maple syrup which perfectly compliments the pumpkin and coconut milk. It was just as easy as the pumpkin pie filling a usually make, but way healthier. I actually rewrote this recipe on an index card to put in my recipe box so it’s always on hand!
Next, I tried her recipe for “baked beans” which doesn’t use beans at all, but pine nuts instead. The closest I’ve come to eat paleo was my failed Whole30 experience, and that did not go well. One of the things I missed the most being “paleo” was beans. It’s crazy, I don’t eat a lot of beans, but tell me I can’t have them and boy do I crave ’em! I wish I had this recipe then, it definitely would have helped with those crazy bean cravings! This recipe again has no refined sugar (No of hers seem to, she’s simply the best.) but still had the sweet flavor of traditional baked beans. I would heat them up in the morning and then top with a fried egg, simply perfect!
From there I tried her Brussels sprouts with bacon jam, because who can resist bacon jam. Holy moly! My new favorite condiment (Seriously Danielle how do you think of these things and can we be best friends) it has such an incredible flavor. There’s a lot of spices, including a touch of cinnamon which really makes the flavors pop. I actually made a big batch of the bacon jam and kept it in the fridge. That way when I wanted to make the Brussels sprouts it was just a quick and easy side. I also put it on some asparagus one night for equally delicious result.
Then it was time to make one of her beverages, of which there’s many throughout the book. I love that she’s got some healthier beverage options I try to avoid sugary drinks but just drinking water can get boring. I went with her homemade ginger ale recipe which truly blew my mind. My picture does not do it justice, because I can’t take a good beverage picture to save my life (Danielle when we’re best friends you can teach me your tricks.) I’ll be honest this recipe doesn’t taste like store bought ginger ale, however, I don’t think store bought ginger ale tastes like ginger at all and this stuff packs a ginger punch. It’s the kind of recipe that actually made me wish I was sick, so I could drink this to feel better. Something just so comforting about the deep honey and spicy ginger, this will be my new feel better drink for sick days.
The last recipe is probably the one I was most hesitant to try, her Spinach Artichoke dip. While I love this dip usually, her recipe is paleo, as in no dairy. While there is a dairy option, in the spirit of her book I wanted to try the paleo version. The base is cashews, which while I love snacking on cashews the thought of these cashew as cheese recipes do nothing for me. Since Danielle has never steered my wrong I gave it a go, and of course, it was delicious. I put it out without telling anyone it was dairy free and it was gobbled right up without suspicion!
Each recipe in this book is just incredible! Since this book is called Celebrations it’s divided in different categories based on different events. Everything from New Years Eve parties for 4th of July BBQs, she’s got you covered. Give this gift this holiday season, it’s the gift that keeps giving all year long!
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