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How to Throw a Party with Vegan and Gluten-Free Friends   Leave a comment

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Parties are great. Add together friends, food, beverages, and the privacy of your own home, and baby you got a stew goin’. But if you are friends with a lot of people with food allergies or special diets, menu planning can be difficult. This is where dips come in.

Dips and dippers are the perfect party food. Why? Minimal silverware. People can choose to eat light, by dunking one dipper into a dip, or get a plateful. They don’t seem like a whole meal, but will fill you up. Dips are usually super easy to make, require minimal cooking, and minimal tools. Dippers are typically bought ready to eat, and probably just need to be cut into smaller pieces.

Their are many types of dips and almost all of them can be made vegan and/or gluten free:
Salsa; green, red, black bean
Pesto
Garlic
Bean
7 – layer
Artichoke
Spinach
the list goes on.

So, I’m an ovo-vegetarian who rarely eats eggs, and goes to visit farms to see if the chickens are happy. Yes, I’ve seen that episode of Portlandia. I have several friends who are gluten-free, some who cannot eat garlic, and ya know, there always seems to be someone with a nut, bean, or seed allergy to boot. Variety is the only way to see that all are able to enjoy the spread and your hospitality. This is my spread for the Apocalypse Party I threw (spoiler alert: the world didn’t end.)

Dips:
Kale and Artichoke Dip
Black Bean Salsa
Pinto Bean Dip
Roasted Garlic Dip
Red Salsa (super spicy)*
Verde Salsa (also spicy)*

Dippers:
Vegetables – Broccoli, Cucumbers, Celery, Green Peppers, and Carrots
Tortilla Chips
Pretzels

Baked Goods:
Beer-Battered JalapeƱo Muffins*
Brownies – GF*

Beverages:
Spiced Apple Cider
Orange Juice
Coca-Cola
Soda Water
Lemon/Lime Juice or Fruit
Assorted Alcohols

Always have two types of baked goods. I feel the same way about sweets as I do about clothing, they’re optional. But public opinion prevails and so I go clothed, bearing treats. Baking is often a chore for me. It will probably take me two hours to complete a recipe the average person completes in twenty minutes. And then there’s cleaning up. If you also feel this way, outsource. There’s no shame in asking a friend to bring a dessert. I have lots of friends who love to bake, and hate to cook. Take advantage of it.

Make sure to have an inclusive beverage selection. Not all of your friends drink. If your friends are responsible, someone will be the dd, and they’ll probably get thirsty. Drinks will vary depending on your crowd. Beer can be expensive, and since everyone likes different kinds it can be hard to please everyone. Buy shitty beer. This is for beer pong, and people who only drink beer, but don’t enjoy it enough to bring their own. I feel this way, because if I want to drink beer at a party, I usually bring my own. Have a bottle of wine or two. And a mix of assorted alcohols. I made a delicious, non-alcoholic spiced apple cider in my crock pot. Then, when I actually made a glass for myself I spiked it with Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum. Sailor Jerry >; Captain Morgan. My roommates contributed to the gathering with White Russians and colorado bulldogs. We had a plethora of hard alcohol; rums, vodkas, gin, tequila, vermouth, and triple sec. This isn’t necessary. A bottle of each of rum, vodka, and gin or tequila will yield a rowdy party, but it looks really cool when you have a whole bunch of bottles on your counter.

As a side note, I don’t like drinking out of plastic or styrofoam and I don’t like all the waste they create either. When I throw a party I bust out all of my pint glasses and mugs (for hot drinks), and allow my guests to use those. It’s classier and better for the planet.

And that’s how a successful party is thrown.

*Denotes a dish brought by friends. Thanks friends!

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Posted December 22, 2012 by deeats in Event Planning