Last weekend we entertained a small group of friends. Our plans were to have a BBQ and a bonfire –a perfect Fall evening. However, when I woke up Friday morning the wind was whipping a million miles per hour and there was a 60% chance of rain forecasted. Not exactly ideal conditions for a BBQ or bonfire. We had to quickly implement a backup plan. Pasta buffet is what first came to mind. And pumpkin cheesecake was going to replace s’mores for our dessert.
I wish I would have snapped photos of the night but I was too busy making sure the food was done and everyone’s tummies were happy and full. Hindsight I guess. As I lay in bed after everyone had gone home it dawned on me that I should have taken pictures of the evening to share with you. Are you good at taking pictures at parties when you’re in the moment? I am not, but from now on it is my goal. This weekend is my daughter’s birthday party, so we’ll see if I do better.
Since I don’t have any food photos from that night I thought I would share a list of what I made. You’ll have to use your imaginations here (sorry!).
The quantities are what I used for our party of 10 adults 2 children
A friend brought a large salad to enjoy while the pasta was cooking.
2 boxes farfalle (for us this was plenty)
1 box gluten free fusilli (this fed 2 male adults with leftovers)
Marinara (recipe coming)
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (sliced thinly, seasoned with garlic salt & black pepper)
1 pound white mushrooms, sauteed
1 pound broccoli florets, steamed
1 medium-large eggplant, cubed and roasted
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved and roasted
2 (15 ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained
2 loaves of store bought garlic bread (this was plenty, we used 1 1/2 loaves)
1 package (containing 4 rolls) Gluten Free ciabatta rolls
This set up allowed guests to top their pasta with any combination of toppings and sauces. I thought it worked out well and it seemed like everyone left full and happy. I hope to have another dinner party like this again soon! A pasta buffet would be the perfect starting point for a potluck. The host could provide the pastas and guests could bring various sauces and toppings. Hmm….I need to do this.
For dessert I whipped up a gluten free pumpkin cheesecake. It was a subtle pumpkin flavor and a great way to bridge the transition between light and fruity summer desserts and the stronger, spicier winter desserts. This would make a wonderful addition to the Thanksgiving dessert table! Your gluten intolerant loved one will thank you. 🙂
I did not use a water bath when I baked this cheesecake. My easy bake (not really easy bake just incredibly small) oven wouldn’t fit a pan large enough to be used as a water bath. The top of my cheesecake cracked slightly so to cover up the imperfection I topped it with a walnut praline.