I work at a place where celebrations are fairly common-place. And the celebrations usually involve food. There are birthdays and wedding and baby showers and retirement parties and congratulations on your new job parties, and Yay that project went well and now it’s over parties and staff potlucks and holiday festivities and more. We are always celebrating something. And mostly I just know that I will have a cup of tea and remind myself that my pants will thank me later for not making them fit tighter.
If I’m really wanting to join in the eat-fest, I break out a gf cookie from my stash in the freezer at work. (I know that not everyone works at a place where there is a freezer that you can stash a dozen cookies, so this may not be a solution for you.) After a number of over-the-top apologies from co-workers about there not being gf desserty food at a celebration, I have empowered them to get one of my cookies and put it on a plate and give it to me to enjoy while others are eating cake. For some reason, this doesn’t sit well. The people I work with are generally very sensitive and caring and really want me to be included, so they go out of their way to get or make gf treats for the party. This usually turns into extra time and money spent on little ol’ me, and I confess that the caretaker in me doesn’t want them to make a fuss. And, the gf stuff is usually IN ADDITION TO the regular food, so there's a lot of it with only me eating it. I end up eating way too much gf cheesecake or some such because I know it’s especially for me and I don't want to be rude. And honestly, I LOVE to eat and I don't have a very good off-switch once I get started.
I recently shared my website with a friend and colleague who reports directly to me who has in fact purchased expensive gf desserts or mixes on my behalf (hi TL!). She suggested I put together a list of “What to make your gluten-free boss for the office party.” Excellent idea! I will list a few ideas here, and expand on them with recipes when I add that page to the website. My goal here is to note things that are comprised of ingredients that people are likely to have around anyway or are readily available. Before preparing anything, make sure you wipe down your counters (I use Clorox wipes) to make sure any errant crumbs or wheat flour particles don’t accidentally contaminate the gf foods you are taking such pains to make. In terms of planning, wipe or wash down everything that you will use to create the party food and do your gf food prep and wrapping before you start any regular baking. Some folks are very sensitive to even the trace amounts of gluten that might find its way into the gf product by way of flour in the air.
So, here are a handful of ideas for party food made from ingredients that are readily available: Sweets: Custards and puddings; crustless pies; baked fruit with chopped nuts on top; crustless chocolate cake things (I don’t eat chocolate, but I know I'm in the minority!); I've seen plenty of peanut butter cookies that have no flour in them. I just googled up this tasty looking flan. Yum.
Salty/savory snacks: GF Chex mix (regular recipe but leave out the Wheat Chex, sub in GF pretzels and leave out the bagel chips--and I'd use GF tamari sauce since worcestershire sauce isn't a vegetarian product); nuts; peanut chili dip (made with tamari instead of soy sauce) with carrots; tortilla chips and salsa; crudités with hummus and other dips. On the fancier side, one of my colleagues recently brought stuffed endive leaves to a party. I'm not a meat-eater, but I note that people will wrap bacon around anything -- I saw dates, prunes, apricots and more on a quick search.
Leave a comment with your favorite regular ingredient party food ideas!
Got this on a recent visit to a farmers market. Yum!