My heart gets little palpitations when I think about it. I can still remember her as this tiny little girl sitting on the floor with a head full of dark curls screaming because she wanted something that I wasn't about to give her. ::sigh:: Oh, cousinly love.
It's amazing what a beautiful woman she's grown up to be and I'm so happy that she found such a wonderful man to share her life with. So, of course, I was excited when I was recruited to help with her bridal shower!
This is my dear cousin sampling the food. Isn't she going to make the most beautiful bride?! Of course. She has good genes ;)
Seriously, I love cooking for parties and get togethers, but at times it can be a bit stressful. Especially now that I'm gluten free and the rest of the world isn't. So I've decided to show you how I've figured out how to host a party for non-gluten free peeps while still making yourself happy.
First Rule: Make yourself happy.
You should not suffer during the party you are throwing so make your favorite items the way you can eat them. Always. This is selfish, but necessary. Think about it this way-- what if you made mini chocolate cakes for dessert, but they aren't paleo. You love dessert, but you will sit around watching everyone else enjoy the thing you love... or you'll give in. Either way isn't ideal, so make those desserts gluten free!
Okay, okay. I know. Baking tends to be the hardest with it comes to gluten free cooking, but with the right recipes you can do it! I recommend Gather, the Art of Paleo Entertaining, and Primal Cravings: Your favorite foods made Paleo. They are definitely my go-to cookbooks and I will stay that their gluten free pastries, biscuits and bread products are THE BEST! The difference is that Gather uses more almond flour and Primal Cravings use more Coconut Flour, but they are both delicious.
Ah, sweet, sweet, control.
When I entertain, I tend to make my menus half gluten free and half regular food for the regular peeps. This mix often tricks the regular people and they don't even know that they're eating gluten free. (More evil laughing).
I find it quite fun so I often don't say anything until the end of the party. ;) It's kind of fun to have a little reveal especially if you're sneaky like me. But it's also interesting because I found out that a few people at the party were also gluten free, including an adorable little girl who immediately scarfed down the rest of the zucchini bread.
For our Bridal Shower, we are having just around 25 guests and I've created the following Bridal Tea Party menu:
- Pumpernickel with creamy dill sauce and cucumbers
- Cucumber sandwich with dill and smoked salmon (paleo)
- Sliced Apples with Pumpkin Dip
- Orange Scones and Cranberry Scones (paleo)
- Blueberry Scones (non-paleo)
- Apple Butter (paleo)
- Zucchini Bread with sherry soaked raisins (paleo)
- Quiche (from my lovely Aunt)
- Chocolate assorted desserts from local bakery
- Shortbread dipped in chocolate
- Cookies (store bought)
- Oatmeal Banana Muffins (made by the bride to be)
It looks like the bride to be was enjoying herself! :)
Here are some more pictures of the Tea Party Bridal Shower:
Most of the paleo/gluten free recipes I make for parties are from the cookbook Gather, the Art of Paleo Entertaining. It's a great cookbook if you entertain or if you frequently have potlucks. I've used it quite a bit for entertaining and for holiday gatherings. They have a lot of great ideas and they never have let me down!
But if you're cheap (I don't blame you-- I AM!) You can check out these websites for some ideas!
More Gluten Free and Paleo Entertaining Ideas
Paleo Lemon Poke Cake
Chocolate Espresso Cake (Grain Free)
Grain Free Blueberry Jam Cookies
Mint Chocolate Gelatin Hearts