Monday, May 27, 2013

How to Throw a Gluten Free Party

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope you had a great weekend! I had a lot of fun, packed in to just a few days! I have a lot of fun to recap here on the blog, but I thought I would start with my sister Susan’s Engagement Party.

Saturday I traveled down to Boiling Springs, South Carolina to celebrate my sister Susan and her fiance Jerry’s upcoming wedding. It was such a happy day, with absolutely beautiful weather!

When I started planning the party, I decided to throw the party in between lunch and supper. I knew only needing to plan snacks would be easier, and particularly only gluten free snacks would be easier than planning an entire meal.

For the menu, I decided to do two dishes that required cooking, and two that just required prep. That way I could feel less stressed about timing. 

The menu:

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The veggie strips and fruit skewers were the easy part:

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I prepped pepper, carrot, and celery strips the night before. Day of, I spooned fat free ranch dip into small cups and stuck in a serving of dippers. That way folks could grab these easily. Leftover strips and dip went into a dish on the side, that way once the pre-made cups ran out, guests could still snack without me prepping more cups.

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My Mom and Bestie helped prep the fruit skewers two hours before the party:

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Who doesn’t love strawberries, pineapple, and grapes?!

Especially when dipped into Orange Creamsicle dip!?

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The dip was from one of my favorite blog’s Iowa Girl Eats. You can find the recipe HERE.

I will say though, that the dip was VERY sweet. I think the next time I made it, I would use Fat Free Cool Whip instead of Marshmallow Fluff. That would take down the sweetness factor.

It was delicious though! Both the veggies and fruit were great, and the prep was easy!

The buffalo chicken dip was the only dish that needed to be cooked the day of, and unfortunately I forgot to snap a picture! I will say though, that it was a BIG HIT, and lots of folks were asking for the recipe. You can find that RECIPE HERE. I love this recipe, because it’s actually a lighter version of buffalo chicken dip but you can’t taste the difference!

But the REAL hit was the BLT Ranch Pasta Salad!

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Man oh Man! Delicious!

It was my first time trying this recipe, so I was nervous about how it would turn out. Then again, all the ingredients were great, so how could it not work?!

Gluten Free BLT Ranch Pasta Salad

adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

You’ll need:

One bag gluten free pasta in spirals (I used Tinkyada Brown Rice Vegetable Spirals)

One block Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheese, cut into cubes

One can of diced tomatoes, juice drained

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 cup thinly chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce

One pound bacon, baked crisp and roughly chopped (how to bake bacon HERE)

1 to 2 cups Hidden Valley Farms Ranch Dressing (feel free to use low fat or fat free, just be sure to check for the gluten free label on the back!)

Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and then let the pasta cool. I placed the noodles in the fridge for half an hour to speed up the cooling process.

Once cool, poor the noodles into a large bowl and add in the rest of the prepped ingredients! Start with just one cups of ranch dressing, and keep adding until it’s the right amount of moist. You want the dressing to stick to the noodles and hold the ingredients together, but you don’t want it to be soupy.

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Simple!

All of my dishes were gluten free, but no one could tell. Especially the pasta salad!

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In fact, until folks started asking me for recipes, I’m not sure gluten free even came up in the conversation!

Along with the food, there was a tasty treat to wash it all down:

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Lemonade!

I rarely drink lemonade, just because of the sugar content, but on a special occasion…

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it sure is refreshing! So summery. Love.

The party was so much fun. It was great to be able to see so many friends and family members, especially when we’re all celebrating such a happy occasion!

Happy Monday!

1 comment:

tracy said...

Great ideas! Thanks!