Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Gluten Free Girl's Night: Simple and Tasty Appetizers

A Gluten Free Girl's Night: Simple and Tasty Appetizers
Menu, Recipes and Grocery List
and for the grand, grand finale:

Keeping things simple and really tasty, that's the key.  Who cares if you don't have paper towels or baking sheets, the perfect spatula or the exact ingredients.  We sipped our wine and cooked too much bacon.  We bonded over quinoa and almond flour, health scares and yoga.  The key to a good dinner party?  Good friends and the willingness to improvise.  Choose only a few appetizers and make more than enough of them.  Pick a theme- these are rich and indulgent.  Our next get together?  We'll have a private yoga lesson and lighter fare. 

Grain Free Crostini Duo
makes 20 pieces

Against the Grain Baguette (does contain milk and cheese)
1 container pesto (from Trader Joe's)
1 package ripe, small tomatoes
1 package nitrate-free bacon (Niman Ranch is my favorite)
1 package guacamole (from Trader Joe's)

Let the loaf of bread sit on the counter to defrost as you begin cooking
Preheat the oven and cook the bacon on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet until crispy (about 20 minutes)
Remove to a plate, drain on papertowels
Slice 8-10 tomatoes into thin slices
When the bread is mostly defrosted, slice into 2 inch pieces and slice those in half
(Optional: dip in the bacon grease)
Place on a baking sheet and heat in the oven until warmed through or slightly toasted
Remove from the oven
Top half of the crostini with a spoonful of pesto spread and two thin tomato slices
Top the other half with guacamole, a third of a piece of cooked bacon and a tomato slice

*you could easily choose one of these options and make all of the crostini this way-but we loved both so we simply could not choose.  Also, dipping the extra pieces of bacon into the pesto is a fabulous way to snack as you cook...

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Orange Palm Sugar Buttercream
Follow this recipe from Hip2Save.com for the cake.  Our hostess, Franicse, used canola oil instead of coconut oil and palm sugar instead of honey because that is what she had on hand.  The result was a rich, dark and dense chocolate cake. 

Adapted from my original recipe for Sweet & Salty Toffee Cupcakes
2 sticks butter softened
1/2 - 3/4 C palm sugar
1/4 C honey
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 orange

Soften the butter and blend all ingredients together in a food processor or electric mixer, or simply mix well by hand.  Spread on the cake and chill in the fridge so the icing can re-set before serving. 

Grocery List:

  • 1 package nitrate-free bacon
  • 1 package guacamole
  • 1 package small tomatoes
  • 1 container pesto
  • 1 package Against the Grain French bread
  • 24 mini bella mushrooms
  • 1 8 oz. container crab
  • mayo
  • dijon mustard
  • old bay seasoning
  • small onion
  • 2 dozen eggs (for the deviled eggs and cake)
  • curry powder
  • 1 stalk celery
  • smoked paprika (optional)
  • honey
  • palm sugar
  • almond flour
  • cocoa powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • coconut oil
  • vanilla extract
  • 1 orange
  • 2 sticks butter
  • red wine
  • sparkling cider
*a lot of these ingredients are staple pantry items.  If you don't have certain ingredients, just make do without them or find a substitute. 

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