Recently, we had a “friends-giving” party planned at our house for 5-6 couples. I have always enjoyed a small, more intimate number of guests. This allows conversation to remain in a combined group setting as opposed to branching off into mini factions. One of our friends has Celiac Disease, so all of the guests were asked to bring an item that would assist with her dietary needs. Nothing is worse than going to a party where you can’t eat anything! The guests complied easily. The day of the event, I set-up my cozy, festive décor and table arrangement, then headed to the kitchen! Once in the kitchen, my nature is to go a bit crazy; this night was certainly no different!
Creating the ‘Perfect’ Party-Or Punting When Necessary
I love to create in the kitchen. There is a sense of freedom and relaxation that helps me at the end of a work day as much as it does on the night of a party. I love that down to the wire pace that leaves me feeling like I am on the Food Network during a challenge! Well, this particular night, my husband and I definitely pushed it to the limit! With the party starting at 7pm and a list-gathering-husband still MIA at 6pm, I opened the fridge and started winging it! What was originally planned as an “appetizers only” event turned into the following:
- Pork tenderloin wrapped in sugar free, GMO and gluten free bacon surrounded by fresh cranberries and pink lady apples! YUM! Our guest with celiac is allergic to cinnamon, so the normal apple pie spice that I add to the fresh fruit was left out and I added fresh parsley and locally grown honey drizzled. Again, YUM!!
- Chicken with rice soup with celery/carrots/red onion/ and spices/herbs + re-seasoning often! We sent containers home due to crowd requests!
- Ground turkey, shredded chicken and sweet potato chili; topped with fresh avocado and fresh cilantro-OMG; crazy good! None left to send home to the guests! That’s a good sign.
- Home made gluten free bread with my addition of fresh cranberries and chopped pecans + fresh parsley and locally grown honey. I don’t even know what to say; however, the main “naysayer” regarding gluten free bread…had 4 pieces and kept saying “Oh my God”. So, I think it was good. LOL
- Charcuterie with all organic and gluten free, preservative free salami, hard cheeses like the parmesan, pecorino, Asiago-salsa, cheddar. If casein is an issue for you, these hard cheeses can be good bets. Check out more details on casein and other links on http://www.livestrong.com/article/412339-what-cheese-has-no-casein-or-lactose/.
- Fruits, veggies, figs, nuts, berries. Always be careful to clean fruit thoroughly and be mindful of the dirty dozen and clean fifteen!
- Brie cheese baked with figs, blackberries, fresh basil and rosemary….with gluten free crackers that people raved about!!
- Our friend made the best gluten free cake that can rival ANY cake that I have loved. And I love cake-with all of my being! White cake with home made gluten-free cream cheese frosting topped with fresh strawberries….I am drooling as I type this. YUM, YUM, YUM!!
- Finally, we had a Prosecco + Bourbon, oranges and raspberry punch that almost had the crowd spending the night. We made a few changes to the recipe, but check out the original at http://heatherchristo.com/2016/11/16/spiced-cranberry-prosecco-punch/. You will NOT be disappointed!
Needless to say, the dinner, company and openness to try the gluten free fare was a huge success! Maybe this holiday you can keep spreading the word with some gluten free versions you have tried yourself…sometimes I like to wait until after the rave reviews start before I say…
“Bazinga! It’s gluten free” Ha!”
Happy Holidays and Many Blessing to You!
Share the love with friends and family this season!
Dr. Jody 🙂