Freebird is Still my Homeboy!


Okay, first let me address the fact that my nephew is shooting us the bird in this picture…he thinks he is telling everyone that Elon is Number One!  Of course I love it and I put it on this flyer for my brother-in-law’s birthday dinner last night.  My sister and Freebird live close by and our families are very close. I had a small, surprise dinner party last night to celebrate.  The weather allowed us to have a fire inside.  Yay!  I was sad on Christmas Eve that it was too warm to have one.  It just makes a party so much better to have a fire to look at or sit by.


Two of my guests had gluten allergies, another had shellfish allergies and another was a vegetarian.  Of course each of them told me not to worry about it.  For real.  Well, although I appreciated that they didn’t want any special treatment, I was super excited to plan the whole meal with that in mind.  I think you all know by now how much I enjoy cooking.  I was excited.  It was a challenge that I was happy to have.  I found a few things during my research that I thought I should share.  For instance, I couldn’t find beef, chicken or vegetable broth that didn’t have some type of wheat in it or that was not manufactured in a plant that produced wheat.  Of course someone else might just think to make it from scratch, but that was not in my plan.  Whole Foods carries Gluten Free Bouillon Cubes.  They are also vegan.  I was so psyched when I found it.

I was also shocked by how many cornmeal varieties are not gluten free.  Bob’s Red Mill is the brand I found that was Gluten Free.  Score.   I did cook a beef tenderloin to satisfy my meat eaters.  Well, I overcooked it, but everyone rolled with it.  I just slathered horseradish sauce on mine.  The polenta with wild mushrooms satisfied my vegetarian for an entrée.  I caramelized, or technically, I ended up frying some shallots to serve with green beans.  Whatever, I was socializing in my kitchen and having cocktails.  It happens.  The following links were my inspiration recipes.  You can be assured they are both gluten-free.

I seasoned the beef tenderloin with salt and pepper only. Many dry spices are not allergen-free, so I just counted on the sauces and tenderness of the meat.  If you don’t count my overcooking it, it was great.  haha.

For appetizers I had a cheese plate with gluten-free crackers that I found at our local Company Shops Market.  Another guest made awesome bacon wrapped pineapple morsels of amazingness.  Yummy. They also were a nice gluten-free option. Another piece of trivia that I learned was that Philadelphia Cream Cheese is also gluten-free.  I know it sounds ridiculous to most, that I might have thought it may be, but trust me, when you start researching labels, you’ll be surprised at how many things contain gluten.  So I made twice-baked sweet potatoes.  I love them and they are a staple in my house.


For dessert I made Salted Pot De Cremes.  I’ve made them before and I follow the recipe completely.  It won’t fail you.  Here’s the recipe link:

I found lots more great options on these sites.  I’m saving them for future dinner parties.  You’ll just have to keep visiting my site to see how they turn out.  🙂  Although our local market carries lots of gluten-free beers, I mainly stocked up on NC craft beers for our birthday boy.


Inside this bucket were some of my favorites:

bottle-humminbird-grayHummin’bird by Red Oak Brewery-it’s a fabulous golden lager and one of my favorites!

southernSouthern Pale Ale by Natty Greene’s Brewery-Yummy!

guilfordGuilford Golden Ale, also by Natty Greene’s Brewery-another light, yummy beer!

We had a couple wine options, but last night just felt like a beer night. I had plenty of them, too.  (Woot Woot to Saturday night parties in my house).

I’m learning to let things go when they don’t go right.  My guests didn’t seem to mind the overcooked meat.  I was the only one concerned about it. After dinner, I let myself forget about the dirty dishes and I sat down with my guests. As I looked around at my friends, sitting around my den, I saw relaxed faces. I realized that I had done what I had set out to do, which was to celebrate my brother’s birthday! He’s a wonderful man that has completed my sister.  Yes, I just wrote that.  It’s true.  I’m thankful to call him my brother.  Freebird is still my homeboy!  Happy birthday brother!