Posts Tagged: party food

French Toast, Fancier Shower Style, Easy!

Easy, Fancy French Toast for Showers, Special Occasions

I love a simple gluten-free frittata on the brunch menu, but most of my friends hope there’ll be something sweet as well. If I’m going to have sweet, it better be worth it! This fits the bill, with the cinnamon sugar topping adding a nice crunch.

Caramel Flan, Taste-of-Home Style (+ 200-serving Recipe)

Flan for 200?!

We were knee-deep in flan this past week, making 210 servings for our church’s annual Women’s Christmas Dinner. We learned: do NOT let 2 1/2 lb. of sugar get to the golden stage- it’ll be too late! (Turns out, the sugar gets to critical mass, continuing right past the golden stage, right on to the stinky brown stage, before you can even get it out of the pan and into the baking dish…) But hey, a single recipe of this should turn out just fine 🙂

Blueberry Pie, Jean’s Recipe

BonAppetit-Style Blueberry Pie w/Fresh Blueberries, Less Sugar

I recently brought this to a church picnic for the pie contest. It didn’t win first place, though it won a few fans, OK, so those fans were my good friends, who also try to limit their sugar intake. They figured the pie should’ve won first place, and that it was the fault of judging team’s composition that it didn’t win: four guys who love sugar were the judges. In other words, maybe you wouldn’t serve this to a very traditional group, that expects a pie to be a vehicle for a gooey, jam-like substance. BUT, for those of us who love eating more whole, natural foods, we can splurge on this and still feel great!

Chocolate Fountain: Easy Dip + Fixings

Warm ingredients in low-heat oven first, for easy chocolate fountain

Use a crockpot to warm chocolate and coconut oil, for the easiest chocolate fountain ever. I served this at a women’s retreat this spring, at a camp with minimal kitchen conveniences, and it worked. For minimal effort in serving, set the chocolate out with baskets of graham crackers and marshmallows, pretzel sticks, and strawberries. Hardly any prep involved, but so fun to eat.

Rice Krispie Treats, Fast Recipe

Easy- Microwave Ingredients for Large Recipe Rice Krispie Treats!

You can make a lot of Rice Krispie Treats with very little time commitment! And even though I also offered chocolate quinoa cupcakes at last week’s retreat, these treats were the most popular. A total crowd-pleaser. Oh, and they’re even gluten-free!

Chocolate Mousse in Meringue Crust (aka Pavlova)

Chocolate Mousse in Meringue Crust, Gluten-Free!

This is a take on the traditional “Pavlova”, which typically has fresh fruits garnishing a meringue crust, with plenty of whipped cream in between. I wanted to use the egg yolks though, so the chocolate mousse gave me a way to work those in. I guess you could also call this “Gluten-free Chocolate Dessert”, since that’s trendy. Or maybe, “Healthy Chocolate Pie”, since it uses bittersweet chocolate and not very much sugar. Oh, who am I kidding?! I just love meringue, and take any excuse to eat it!

Persian Rice (AKA “Jeweled Rice”)


Amazing colors (pistachios, cranberries, saffron) work together with other spices to make a rice dish that’s not boring! I served this with a roasted chicken, brushed with ground foenogreek,

Poppy Seed Cake

Warm honey syrup's poured over poppy seed cake once baked

I wanted to make a poppy seed cake for my husband’s birthday, but he hadn’t been too thrilled with the original recipe. Fine. He was right. The first cake was not exceptional. So I pushed myself to create a better dessert. “Poppy Seed Honey Cake” sounded awesome, so at least I had a good name.

I searched the web, but didn’t find anyone else who had used honey in a simple syrup to pour on while the cake’s still warm. But that was my plan. In my research, I did find an article about the virtues of not over-heating honey. Supposedly, the flavor is better when the honey isn’t baked into the cake, and it’ll retain more nutrients. Perfect—my plan was to thin the honey in a bit of warm water, then pour it over the baked cake. If it would have even more flavor this way, hurray!

Pasta Salad w/ Honey Mustard Dressing

Pasta Salad w/ Sweet Potato, Homemade Dressing

This pasta is so cool! There’s a tiny, tiny hole in the middle of what looks like fat spaghetti. So yummy- I love the texture! And something about homemade honey mustard dressing, with a touch of tarragon, thyme, orange, and smoky flavor. I’m a bit squeamish about eating mayo-based salad dressings, but when it’s made with olive oil, I am so OK with that!

Garden Pasta w/ Orzo, Carrots, Peas, Herbs

Orzo Pasta Salad w/ Carrots, Peas, Pine Nuts

Having a deli for over thirty years now, of course we have a few pasta salad recipes! This one was a favorite of some of the staff. The ingredients are often already on hand, making to easy to fill last-minute potluck needs. We pretty much always have carrots in the hydrater, and peas in the freezer, right?