I love going to parties, but it can be really hard to eat, and I hate quizzing the host about what's in everything and generally play it safe by eating at home before we go. Therefore one of my favorite things about throwing parties at our house is that I can control the food! We tend to go above and beyond when it comes to entertaining and food too, since both Hubs and I are into cooking. And as our very first party in our new South Florida locale, we were eager to feed people well so they would come back :)
I planned well in advance for this one, scouring my Evernote for recipes and putting together a menu and shopping list. Every single thing we served was gluten free aside from the burger buns - there was no way that I was going to drop that kind of money on GF buns, and they are also not nearly as convincing as other GF foods in terms of taste and texture. So Hubs specially set aside my BBQ before putting out the big bowl of pork for everyone else. Otherwise, it was all safe.
- Caprese Sticks
- Roasted Garlic Bacon Dip
- Atomic Buffalo Turds
- Bacon Brown Sugar Smokies
- Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches with Coleslaw
- Roasted Potato Salad
- Smores on a Stick
- Pillsbury GF Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Homemade Sangria
Everything went over really well! The BBQ was obviously the star of the evening, and Hubs outdid himself - he started up the smoker at 6 AM and got the two pork butts going shortly after, and they spent all day getting delicious.
We also went the extra mile and made our own BBQ sauce - a Sweet Onion & Peach Bourbon sauce (recipe here). It was actually really simple to put together, I was pleasantly surprised. I used frozen sliced peaches, so no prep needed there, and it came together very quickly. We did a half recipe and ended up with 3 pints of sauce.
Between the delicious pork, homemade sauce, and my go-to coleslaw recipe from Paula Deen, it was easily one of the best pork sandwiches ever!
So this is pretty much where the pictures stop - which I can mostly blame on the delicious sangria! We used this recipe from Bobby Flay and made a double batch using an inexpensive boxed wine and good brandy - with all that liquor the quality of the wine doesn't matter all that much. We served it in a beverage dispenser and I put bowls of sliced fruit - apples, strawberries, oranges and starfruit - out in front for people to add to their glasses. The starfruit was definitely the most popular, I got a lot of compliments on that addition.
The Bacon Brown Sugar Smokies also turned out to be very popular, I would highly recommend them as a gluten-free appetizer at any party since they were very easy and don't involve using spoons or anything that could easily be contaminated, and they don't use special GF ingredients. All you have to do is take Beef Lit'l Smokies, wrap each in 1/3 slice of bacon, and secure it with a toothpick. Then right before baking sprinkle some brown sugar on top. I also used a maple bacon, and the flavor worked really well. One of the girls said they'd be good for breakfast, and I agree - I tossed the leftover ones on the pancake griddle the next day and they were great!
I was happy to see everyone enjoying the food and having a good time, and it was a great opportunity to bring together the various friends we've made here in Florida and get to know all of them better. Plus, it was fun to finally show off all the hard work we've put into the house! It was a great evening, and I'm really looking forward to doing it again!