Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Kristin's nautical sip and see

My dear friend Kristin had her second baby in December and instead of a baby shower we had an open house where people could drop by and meet the baby. I was cohosting, so I only had to focus on the food. Specifically, paleo food! Kris and her family are paleo and we wanted to make sure most of the food options were compatible. As is par for the course lately, I failed to get many pictures but it was a really wonderful afternoon of eating and passing around the sleepy new baby. Welcome Matteo!



main table

I have enough friends who are paleo that I was pretty familiar with the restrictions (at the most basic - no grains, no dairy, no vegetable oils, no sugar) and it's really easy to find good recipes that meet those criteria online. I think that most people wouldn't have noticed that any of the savory food was paleo specifically.

For savory bites I made:
- bacon wrapped dates stuffed with pistachios (stuffed and wrapped a day ahead of time, baked the morning of, served room temp) - with uncured bacon instead of lamb bacon
- asian-style meatballs (made and baked the day before, served cool)
- deviled eggs three ways (eggs boiled three days ahead using this method, peeled one day ahead, fillings made one day ahead and stored in ziploc bags, filled the morning of by cutting off one corner of each bag and using them like pastry bags, except for the tuna one which had to be spooned) - with crispy shallots and jalapenos*, with tuna confit, and guacamole style.

I have never made grain free baked goods, so I made sure I picked a well reviewed recipe. These paleo chocolate chip cookies are a definite treat, but they feel healthier and fill you right up (probably because of the almond flour). Bonus - they're basically the easiest cookies you could possibly make. They were best fresh out of the oven, but alas, that wouldn't work for a party. They were still very good the next day and we're actually just finishing up the last of them today and they've gone down well with paleo and non-paleo people alike. The texture is not cookie like - it's more like a muffin top - but they're tasty.

Since not everyone has exactly the same paleo rules, I included food tags slightly more detailed than usual, listing the ingredients for each dish.

To please any carb hungry guests one of our other friends made beautiful sugar cookies, big platters of non-paleo sandwiches, hummus and vegetables and we also had a giant batch of guacamole (paleo) and tortilla chips (not paleo, I think). I also made non-paleo chocolate toffee cookies.

I wasn't in charge of the decorations but I wanted to add a bit of nautical flair to the food platters, so I cut blue cardstock into strips about 1" wide and freehand cut waves. D saw me doing it and asked if he could try and he ended up being so much better at it that I asked him to cut the rest (benefits of having an architect for a partner!). I packed them flat and then attached them to the edge of the cake stands and platters with Zots once I arrived. Easy-peasy.

It was such a lovely, low key way to celebrate with the family and I'm honored that I was able to be a part of it. Congratulations, Kris!

*Because regular mayo is usually made with canola oil and isn't paleo compliant, I tried making homemade mayo with avocado oil. And failed, four times, even after frantically googling several different recipes. I was starting with Nom Nom's recipe and it just didn't work for me. I managed to salvage a small batch of mayo by re-emulsifying it with another egg yolk and it was enough for the eggs, but I seriously don't know what was happening. I think the avocado oil might be more temperamental because I've never had a problem getting my Caesar salad dressing to emulsify, even when I'm being much lazier.


  1. everything was wonderful! i'm so glad you told me to freeze those meatballs, I've had them for lunch 3 days in a row. They have saved me from another salami and plantain chip lunch :) i am sorry you had so much trouble with the mayo- avocado oil is not cheap and i feel so bad that it was a flop. I use the everyday paleo blender mayo recipe and it usually turns out great (I use the cheaper light olive oil from trader joe's to save $$) but then I discovered Sir Kensington Mayo at wholefoods which uses better oils (sunflower seed oil I think?) so it's more paleo friendly. you are totally right about paleo baked goods being super easy to make and pretty foolproof if you find good recipes. if you end up missing bread while you're doing your gluten free thing, try out elana's pantry bread 2.0 recipe. http://elanaspantry.com/gluten-free-bread-20/ it's ridiculously easy and really yummy toasted with butter. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR EVERYTHING!!

    1. I was so happy to be a part of it, Kris! It was such a fun afternoon and you know how much I love a cooking project. Glad you've been able to put the meatballs to good use!

      I'm def going to try the light olive oil next time. I have no idea why the avocado oil was giving me trouble! Kitchen mysteries.

  2. Hi! I really love reading your posts. I had never heard of paleo before, thank you for enlightening me! I really loved the little waves you cut out and added to your platters. Such a cute idea and I may borrow it. : )

  3. I'm envious of your organization skills. I'm actually preparing my own birthday party in a couple of weeks and am taking cues from you about preparing certain things ahead of time so I don't overwhelm myself.

    I didn't realize paleo was so specific (i.e.: the canola oil in mayo). At first I thought, "wow, guess my diet is very paleo like (besides my sweet tooth…)" but apparently not! I loooove bacon wrapped water chestnuts, but I may have to try the bacon wrapped dates w/pistachio.


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