Monday, June 17, 2013

The Feast!

Several weeks ago, I got this bee in my bonnet about hosting a craft night. I've been invited to craft nights before - often hosted by one of the girls in my book club - and I decided it was time I tried my hand at doing it myself. I considered inviting that whole gang, but ultimately, I felt that a smaller group of people would make more sense. Since I have four good girlfriends in my closest circle of friends, I invited them to join the fun. We had an awesome time, crafting, relaxing and EATING! While the eating wasn't really the point of the evening, it is the point of this post. 

In the days leading up to craft night, I got to thinking about the menu. I knew that if I called it a potluck, everyone would bring something and we'd end up with a pleasant hodge podge. Nevertheless, I really enjoy it when I'm invited to a party and I don't have to bring anything except myself. I decided I wanted to make the entire menu. As I started brainstorming menu ideas, I realized that this would be my first Paleo-esque foray into cooking appetizers. Challenge accepted! 

After some google research and some brainstorming, I came up with the menu. 

I decided to serve guacamole and hummus, neither of which were homemade. I also served them with white corn tortilla chips (also store bought). I also bought some salsa to accompany the chips. This was my big Paleo fail - but don't judge me yet! 

I made these Paleo Cookie Dough bars, which contain almond and coconut flour, as well as coconut oil and maple syrup along with chocolate chips and spices. The blogger, Stephanie, raved about them and I didn't quite believe her... until I made them and tasted them. Oh my goodness - so yummy! These were definitely the biggest hit of the evening. 

I also made Fudge Babies using a variation on the recipe. I added some coconut oil to make it stick more easily, and some chocolate chips to amp the flavor. It worked out really well! They were definitely easier to roll this time than last. 

My laptop spent a bunch of time in the kitchen during my prep work. On the screen, you can see the recipe for coconut cream pie larabar balls. They were also quite a hit - my Dad particularly enjoyed the leftovers. I did all of my "baking" the night before craft night and it was cool but a TON of work...

And I made a gigantic mess. It sure was good, though, on Friday that all of the baking was done. 

That gave me time to make the deviled eggs...

... and these easy beef paleo meatballs...

... along with salad and cut up veggies to dip in the hummus...

and, of course, the fruit salad! 

So, this is the full spread. We ate and drank and made merry! I was very pleased with how things went. I'd sort of underestimated how much work it was going to be to prepare everything. I certainly considered trying to make some of the dishes more Paleo - the hummus, the filling in the deviled eggs, the sauce for the meatballs. But, ultimately, I didn't think I had the time, energy, or inclination to make that leap. As much as I've critiqued my failure to be "perfectly" Paleo, I was really satisfied with how things went. I made a real effort to cook better food and, though it was tiring, it worked great! 


  1. Oh man, I am really sad I missed this! I want to try those paleo cookie bars; they look amazing and I am always looking for healthier versions of desserts. Where did you find coconut flour and almond flour? Do I have to go to Whole Foods for that type of stuff?

    1. I think you could buy both almond flour and coconut flour at Lunds or Byerlys, at least the ones I was at had it. I actually bought almond meal (which is the same but includes dark flecks from the skin) at Trader Joe's. Good luck with your "baking" - its perfect for summer since you don't have to turn on your oven!