Let's start with dessert, shall we? All three of the desserts I served were make-ahead dishes, which I stored in the fridge until about 30 minutes before the party started.
White Chocolate Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles
First up, the white chocolate pumpkin cream cheese truffles (click for recipe) I substituted the graham crackers and ginger snaps for gluten-free versions of the same items. They turned out fabulous!! I also sprinkled the tops with a little nutmeg instead of sprinkling them with graham cracker crumbles.
Mocha Coconut Fudge
Next up was the mocha coconut fudge (click for recipe). OMG. This was so good. No adjustments were needed to make this gluten free. Mmm. I could literally eat this all day.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles
And last, but certainly not least, chocolate peanut butter truffles (click for recipe). Superb and super easy. With this recipe, I used gluten free graham crackers instead of the regular version. I could eat these all day too.
Ok, let's rewind and revisit lunch for a moment.
Caprese Fruit Skewers
Caprese fruit skewers....these are so fun. Strawberries, watermelon, basil and mozzarella, with a walnut and pear balsamic glaze. So easy and beautiful!
I made a simple veggie skewer as well, as topped it with italian dressing. Again, super easy and the bright colors just look gorgeous.
This coleslaw ended up being a huge hit. I have to thank my mother in law for this recipe -- it's one of my favorites! The recipe calls for shredded cabbage (not the purple kind or the mixes that come with carrots...just regular ol' cabbage), dried cranberries, blue cheese crumbles, sliced green onions, grapenuts and poppy seed dressing. You can mix everything together except for the dressing and grapenuts ahead of time. Add the dressing and grapenuts just before serving. To make this gluten-free, I simply substituted the grapenuts for toasted pepitas (mexican pumpkin seeds), and it was absolutely fabulous.
BBQ Beef Sliders on Pretzel Buns with Blue Cheese and Marinated Red Onions
I also served BBQ pulled beef sliders on pretzel buns with blue cheese crumbles and marinated red onions. The pretzel buns were the only non-gluten-free item on my table, but I offered up butter lettuce leaves so my gf-friends could make lettuce wraps instead.
I made the BBQ beef the day before in the crockpot. I used beef chuck roast cut into pieces (not too small). I put some roughly chopped onion and garlic in the bottom of the crockpot, and then layered the beef on top. I added a generous sprinkling of onion power, garlic powder, and an applewood smoked BBQ rub on the beef. I add just a bit of chicken stock and let the beef go on low for about 8 hours or so....until it was easily shreddable. I removed the meat from the crockpot, discarding the fatty pieces. I also discarded the onions, garlic and cooking liquid. I added the beef back to the empty crockpot, and started shredding away. Once it was shredded, I started stirring in BBQ sauce until it tasted "right." I let the meat cool a bit and then stored the whole thing in the fridge. In the morning, I put the crockpot back on low to warm up the meat slowly. I stirred it every 30 minutes or so, adding more BBQ sauce as I went.
The blue cheese and marinated red onions really set this dish over the top! To marinate red onions, you simply julienne slice red onions. Transfer the onions to a tupperware dish that just barely fits all of your onions. Fill the tupperware about 1/4 of the way full with red wine vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then put the lid on your tupperware. Shake the container and then put it in the fridge overnight.
Later this week, I'll share with you how I made the party favors: Oatmeal and Rosemary bath soaks!
All in all, the party turned out to be a huge success!