When it comes to entertaining, boards are the ultimate in wow factor without a ton of fuss. More specifically I am a HUGE fan of cheese and meat boards. Selfishly when entertaining, since I prefer to avoid grains and greasy chips and snacks, cheese and charcuterie boards offer a great, pretty low maintenance way for me to have everything that I want, while still making all of my guests happy.
My cheese and charcuterie boards are generally focused around being totally grain-free and then depending on my guests, I will often have a generous pile of toasted crostini, that I serve to the side, separately for the non gluten-free or grain-free folks. I simple arrange sliced crostini in a single layer on a cookie sheet, brush both sides with olive oil and toss under the broiler for a few minutes on each side. Add a sprinkle of sea salt. It’s the fastest way to lots of toast.
Follow along for all of my tips on How-to Build an Epic Grain-free Cheese and Charcuterie Board.
Truth me told, the loaded fries and the chicken wings, those are more my husband’s football food. He begs and pleads for junk food on football Sundays, so I have always caved by simply recreating the classics for him, but in a healthier way. It’s a good deal for both of us. Me, I am a bit more uppity when it comes to what I want in a party spread. Give me an epic charcuterie or crudités platter, a little homemade roasted red pepper and feta dip, some tasty, fresh homemade salsa and chips (I reach for the plantain chips these days), a simple, but flavorful chili, the best darn gluten-free soft pretzel bites or these…tasty, crispy salmon cakes!
These Grain-free Salmon Cakes with Old Bay Aioli may seem a more fancy option at your Super Bowl spread, compared to the chips, fries or wings, but don’t let these fool you. They are whipped up in a mere minutes and they are the perfect small bite, party food. A little crispy on the outside with a soft, fluffy, perfect interior. Do not, I repeat do not skip out on the Old Bay Aioli. It’s a must here.
Though salmon cakes aren’t a food I grew up eating, these are comfort food to me. They are totally fuss-free, so they actually make for a very simple weeknight meal or a quick lunch or brunch, even. We almost always have canned salmon on hand, but this recipe is also great for leftover cooked salmon, as well. I love these served over a mixed baby greens salad, but they make an amazing appetizer, as well. Make the patties even bigger and go for more of a burger vibe, if you’d like.
As we officially kick off the summer season this weekend, I can’t help but think of all the wonderful parties, BBQs, picnics and other celebrations that lie ahead. After my trip to Mexico this week, I also cannot get mango and avocado off my mind. This simple-to-make appetizer is the perfect fresh and light, nourishing bite for any late spring or summer celebration. You’ll find a bright and slightly sweet flavor from the mango, a wonderful crispy crunch from the cucumber and a creamy, richness from the avocado. The red pepper flakes bring a gentle heat that you can control and the fresh mint compliments it all beautifully with a cooling finish.
This one-bite snack is a great treat for your casual Memorial Day backyard BBQ or it can be the perfect elegant appetizer for a more formal event. No matter the occasion, these Mango Avocado Cucumber Mint Bites will brighten up any celebration. Read the rest of this entry »
Guess what today is? Today is baby shower day! A bunch of us food bloggers got together and we are throwing a surprise virtual baby shower for our friend Emily of The Pig & Quill, who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her first little piglet in the next month.
First off, I want to talk about how jealous I am of their new addition. I am pretty sure this is going to be the most well-fed little one, ever! That Emily sure knows her way around a kitchen and she doesn’t mess around when it comes to combining flavors and creativity in her recipes. When it came time to create a dish to bring to our little virtual gathering, I quickly realized that couldn’t just bring any ‘ol pink cupcake or some chips and dip, I had to step up, bring my A-game and get serious with my offerings. But, as you guys know I am still smack in the middle of an elimination diet (it was 10 weeks this past Friday, but who is counting) – so with lots of restrictions and true to the real life, selfishly I also wanted to bring something to this party that I could eat.
These delicious little bites are so simple to put together, they are so fresh and light and they are absolutely beautiful to top it off. Perfect for any party. I’ll be honest, the concept of this recipe came straight from me looking for a savory dish I could incorporate the color pink, given that Emily and Chris are expecting a girl! Though salmon isn’t exactly that pale baby girl pink color we all know, I still think I should get major bonus points on sticking with a theme! Thank you.
Besides all of the many obvious things that we love about living here in California, one of my favorite things is the fact that we get to entertain so often. Our house here in Long Beach was meant for having guests. We have a really open living room, with tons of windows and great light and great fireplace for the cool nights, plus when the weather warms up we can host cookouts and dinner parties like crazy on our large deck. I am certain we have entertained far more in the first year of living in this home, than all 9+ years living in our home in New York.
I love well planned dinner parties with a theme, where everything matches and has a purpose. But just as much – I love a good thrown-together spur of the moment get-together where we just toss some burgers on the grill, pop open some bubbly wine or beers and enjoy the company of our wonderful friends. A few weeks back we did just that with our friends Dan and Debbie. We decided to get together and just grill some burgers and catch up. Nothing fancy. Just easy and simple. I swore I wasn’t going to fuss, it was going to be simple as can be and just about spending time together. Read the rest of this entry »