Successes and Failures of a Garden Party
Had a party today - was gonna grill, but instead decided to do a table of apps and finger foods. Mostly successes, a failure, and some meh. Here was the rundown:
Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa: Success
believe I got this off of Chowhound... thanks! used the fire roasted corn from TJ's freezer thawed. used 1 jalapeno instead of two, and i believe a little less lime juice. people really liked it. this recipe made a LOT tho
::one of the necessary dairy-free options
Bonnie's Buffalo Dip: Success
Not the *raves* that I read on here from some, but well received enough. Used canned chicken in broth from TJ's and ranch dressing (not the blue cheese as some subbed in). Eliminated celery from in the dip, because of the pressure of a family member to leave it as a crunchy dipper, but next time i would mix it in, for textural contrast. Also, I mixed the ingredients rather than layered. Next time I'd try layered.
Watermelon and Tomato Salad: Success
from Epicurious. simple but well received - watermelon, tomatoes, basil, balsamic, red onion, and olive oil
::another dairy free options; gluten free
Spinach Balls: Success
the most unrefined-- used *gasp* premade cornbread stuffing mix with eggs, parmesan, butter chopped spinach etc and baked
Fruit Salad: Success
Meatballs (vegan and meat versions) in a home-made bbq sauce - Success
went over REALLY well. so easy.
::dairy free, gluten free
Sundried Tomato and Basil Pesto Terrine - Sucess
Forgot to get provolone so subbed shredded parmesan and worked well. layered with pesto, sundried tomatoes and a cream cheese/garlic/lemon juice/pistachio mixture in some specified order. easy and tasty.
My Famous Pasta Salad - Success
i always make this. very simple but the seasoned rice wine vinegar and the other ingredients are always great once allowed to marry overnight
Salami Crisps - Success
salami slices baked til crisp then topped with a dollop of sour cream and chives
::dairy free (used non-dairy sour cream)
Flatbread with Grapes and Blue Cheese - Failure
Pizza dough flattened and pressed with red grape halves and sea salt, then baked and sprinkled with blue cheese just short of being done, then baked til bubbly. drizzle with honey. i also added chopped pistachios. however, the amount of blue cheese called for was wayy to much and overpowering.
Veggie Tray, Tortilla Chips (looove the Tortilla Chips with an Identity Crisis from TJ's (gluten free yay!), Pita chips, Pumpernickel bread squares, etc.
Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread (in mini loaves): Success
I am known for this, so I pretty much have to always have it on hand. New converts added as well today.
Chocolate Chip Cookies - Success
A variation on the Jacques Torres recipe in the NY Times. i use shards of dark and semisweet chocolate amongst other minor changes
Overall, a big success. Sent a LOT of leftovers home. Now I'm exhausted. Funny how you spend so much time obsessing over what to make, how to make it, when to make it, then when the party arrives, you're already tired... Goodnight moon.
Thanks for reporting back, despite the exhaustion! With so many events coming up, it's nice to have a roster of ideas on hand, especially ones that can meet special dietary needs....
Sorry that the flatbread didn't work this time, but am inspired to try out this idea for an event next weekend (with sparing use of blue cheese....) If there were any other reservations about the recipe, please advise!
Hope you've rested well post-party! Thanks for sharing....
I have a couple of ideas for the flatbread... possibly include prosciutto; possibly use gruyere or emmantelier or even goat cheese. i'd also consider adding rosemary to the dough or sprinkling on top, which i did consider but seemingly had no rosemary. another idea might be to stuff the flatbread with a cheese-y layer. i dunno, my honest friend commented that he liked the dough and the interesting contrast of the grapes, but that the cheese was overwhelming (and he likes blue cheese).