Saturday, 2 June 2012

Let's Celebrate!

Having a Jubilee party? Need some dairy free ideas?
This is something I've been working on for a few weeks, but was rudely interrupted by a sick Baby! Whether You're celebrating the Jubilee or some other occasion, summer is the season to party with friends and family. 

Cheers for the Queen!
I don't know about you and your plans for the weekend, but on Sunday, we've been invited to a Jubilee tea party. It's one of those 'bring and share' type of occasions. Usually I groan inwardly on these occasions, as it means thinking through the entire meal that Baby and I want to eat whilst we're there, plus taking something that everyone else can enjoy. 

However, this time I've really got into the excitement of the Jubilee - Baby and I both have patriotic outfits of the occasion - we'll be sporting Union Jacks and I've been searching around for some food ideas. Here are some, that I've gathered, whilst I've been thinking about what we'll take, to our Jubilee party. The problem is, that I've come up with quite a few, so now I've got to decide what to take!

Something Savoury?
Sandwiches, I suppose it goes without saying, that you'd have sandwiches! Of course to make them appear more festive they can be cut into shapes (e.g. stars). Some shops are even selling crown shape cutters!

    Baby's choice - mini pittas and ham with Organix nought and crosses
  • Pinwheel Sandwiches - to be a bit different you could make pin wheel sandwiches. These are made with tortilla wraps. You lay cold meat slices across the wrap and roll it up to make a sausage shape. Then you cut through to make little round wheels. Just make sure you check the meat packets to make sure there's no dairy. Roast chicken is a particular problem, but sometimes ham too contains dairy.
  • Filled mini pittas - Marks and Spencer sell some mini pittas, which can be cut in half and filled with whatever you choose - egg or tuna and mayonnaise (Hellmann's Original is dairy free) bacon and avocado, smoked salmon or a hot filling, like mini fajitas or chilli. Baby would probably just like ham!

Something to Nibble?
There's lots of dairy free alternatives for these.
  • Crisps - can be a pain, with dairy being found in all kinds of places you'd never imagine (e.g. salt and vinegar flavouring). You probably already have your favourites. For a special occasion, Kettle Chips or Tyrell's can be good options - they tend only to contain dairy where you;d expect (e.g. Cheese flavours). Tyrell's 'Naked' crisps are great for Baby - being made without salt. We sometimes let her have a few, but our preferred option for her is a baby snack Organix Spicy Tomato Noughts and Crosses (perfectly acceptable for adults too, in my opinion - they're actually quite nice).
  • Nuts - as long as you're not allergic to these too. I like pistachios, as an alternative to peanuts - I love them salted but know that they're better for me unsalted. Obviously not something I'd offer Baby, she's still too young. 
  • Sticks and dips - breadsticks, carrot sticks, cumber sticks, pepper sticks, mini sweetcorn with dips (e.g. hummus, guacamole etc.). If you're not ready to make your own, I know that some of Sainsbury's are dairy free.
  • Popcorn - we love Tyrell's 'Sweet and Salty,' but Tesco's own version is cheaper.
  • Cocktail sausages - some are dairy free. If you only want a small portion, the sandwiches chiller in Sainsbury's is the place to find some, with a ketchup dip!
Mini Scotch Eggs - perfect for a nibble!
  • Mini Scotch Eggs - Sainsbury's are dairy free.
  • Chicken drumsticks - obviously, always check the pack if you buy them already marinaded.
  • Sausage rolls - remove dairy free sausages from their skins and reshape the meat. Use the accidentally dairy free ready to roll pastry (check the packets of ready to roll pastry in the supermarket).
  • Bruscetta - a simple recipe from Delia Smith.
  • Falafels - make your own, with help from Pippa Kendrick.

Sadly, Baby and The Hub don't like green stuff, but who said salads have to be green! 
  • Potato Salad - easy to make. Just remember to use Hellman's original (Hellman's Light has milk in it)!
  • Coleslaw - some of Sainsbury's are safe.
  • Sainsbury's Finest Chargrilled Coucous is dairy free.
If you want to make something a little more complex, here are some alternatives from Pippa Kendrick , which can be found on her website, 'The Intolerant Gourmet':
  • Tuna, New Potato and Salsa Verde Salad 
  • Smoked Chicken, Kale and Cranberry Salad 
  • Sweet and Sour Quinoa
Or course you can always make cupcakes, or any kind of cakes for that matter, but as it's summer, the ideal thing would be to keep desserts light and fruity!
  • Fruit Sceptre ArrangementFor the base: half an ice berg covered in silver foil. For the arrangement: fruit pierced onto bamboo skewers to make kebabs. These could be made with mango/melon chunks for the gold pole and red, white and blue, for the jewels. Suggestions of fruit to use: using strawberries, cranberries, cherries, apple chunks, grapes, melon balls and blueberries.
Just add blueberries, to match the Jubilee theme!
  • Meringue Nest Crowns - buy some meringue nests (or make if you feel so inclined). Whip up some soya or Oatly cream with some icing sugar and pipe (or dollop) into the nests. Top with fresh fruit, reflecting the red, white and blue theme (strawberries etc.)
  • Fruit Flan - you can buy or make your own flan case. Fill with fruit and jelly. Serve with dairy free cream or ice cream.
  • Fruit Salad - with dairy free ice cream, of course!
Ready Made Options - if you want something ready to grab and go, try:
  • Tesco new chilled Free From raspberry jelly  (only selected stores).
  • Tesco raspberry sorbet (or similar).

Something Sparkly to celebrate a Coronation!
You've probably got your own favourites already, but if you're looking for something festive, sparkly and non-alcoholic, let me suggest:
  • Belvoir or Bottlegreen Elderflower - so summery and refreshing!
  • Lorina Pomegranate (on offer at Waitrose at the moment). Watch out for this one - it's really explosive!! The bottles are gorgeous - you can buy empty bottles similar to these or keep these and fill with your own little bevvy, (homemade lemonade anyone?) for another occasion!
One to make yourself:
  • St Clements - with help from Hugh Fearnley Wittingstall

You've proabably already got this sorted, but just in case you'd like some Jubilee buffet table flags, here's a little link to some from Tesco. You can print them out for yourself. Trim and stick to cocktail sticks and 'Bob's your uncle!' 

Something for the children - Free From chocolate coins from Sainsbury's

And finally enjoy!

Are you going to a party this weekend? What will you be taking?

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