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Practically Raw art party!

November 8, 2012

Last Friday night, Matt and I hosted a Practically Raw party at our apartment! Well, not really – it was actually an art showing event for a friend, Rachelle Gardner (give her a “like”!) – but I catered the soirée, and all the hors d’oeuvres I served are recipes from my cookbook Practically Raw.

Here’s a look at the buffet of goodies I prepared. All page numbers in parentheses are, naturally, the pages in Practically Raw on which you can find the recipe(s) mentioned.

Gluten-free whole-grain rice chips (the only storebought snack on the table) with Zucchini Hummus (pg 110):

Vegetable crudités with Pizza Dip (which is just the coating from my Pizza Kale Chips, pg 102!):

Marinated mushrooms stuffed with Garlicky Guacamole (pg 88):

Mini Sopes con Mole Poblano (i.e. Mexican corn cakes with a spicy chile sauce, pg 150—one of my favorite recipes in the whole book!):

Sweet ‘n spicy Curry-Glazed Cashews (pg 181):

Bite-sized award-winning Caramel-Fudge Brownies (pg 204):

And lastly, Chocolate-Covered Cookie Dough Truffles (pg 203):

This last recipe involves making a raw chocolate chip cookie dough (I did use storebought mini chips here for convenience)…

…then rolling it into balls and dipping them in melted chocolate! These babies would be the star of any soirée.

Even though I sort of pulled the menu together at the last minute (just two days prior to the event), and even though none of the guests were told that all the food would be raw, vegan, and gluten-free, everything was a HIT! I received compliments from almost everyone who attended; I think I was permanently blushing all night. I also learned a lot about small-event catering (<25 people) in the process, and who knows, that could come in handy again someday.

If you’ve got any holiday parties coming up, these are all excellent suggestions for crowd-pleasing dishes you could serve or bring. And since all the recipes in Practically Raw provide dehydrating AND oven-baking directions, you can make all these snacks in any kitchen.

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29 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2012 9:38 am

    Everything looks so wonderful. I’m particularly interested in the mushrooms. Very interesting combo that I’ve never tried (mushrooms and guac). I’m also curious as to how long the truffles actually lasted. I would have taken off with the tray to the bathroom or something. ‘Oh, shoot…I don’t know WHAT happened to all those truffles! Guess everyone ate them already… What? There’s chocolate all over my mouth??’ 🙂 I think ‘finger foods’ are the way to go with catering. I’ve enjoyed my catering jobs/projects in the past, and smaller portions of a variety of food has always yielded the happiest mouths. I think people get really excited when they see such a variety of yumminess waiting to be eaten.

    • November 8, 2012 9:43 am

      I agree re: serving lots of smaller things! Once people started eating, they couldn’t stop. Everyone had a different favorite – one girl was obsessing over the hummus, another guy was grabbing handful after handful of cashews, etc. Funny thing about the Cookie Dough Truffles: when the party first started, I forgot to label everything, so I don’t think people knew what they were at first. Then I went aside and created little nametags to set by each dish, and as soon as the first person tried a truffle, they started disappearing like mad. 🙂

  2. Andrea permalink
    November 8, 2012 9:43 am

    These photos tipped me over the edge and I just ordered your book!

  3. Sherry permalink
    November 8, 2012 9:44 am

    Wow! OK, now I gotta get this book!!

  4. November 8, 2012 10:09 am

    Looks lovely! You’d be GREAT at catering — hm — a traveling caterer? 😉

    Love,
    Eva

    • November 8, 2012 10:11 am

      Thanks! It actually stressed me out like crazy, but that was because I just didn’t know what I was getting into. 😉 Now I know, and can do a better job of planning next time!

  5. Dana permalink
    November 8, 2012 11:13 am

    Oh yah, I can just imagine the stress of that entire night! Just thinking of it stresses me out. I know what it’s like to cook for 10 people for holiday dinners and well, lets just say, thank GOD for wine! But 25? I think I’d run the other way (or wish I could anyway). The fact that you pulled it off in such short notice, and extraordinarily so, speaks volumes about your capabilities! Good for YOU Amber. 🙂 I do have your cookbook and this has definitely inspired me to make everything you offered at your party (the marinated mushrooms will be one of the first. Holy!!!).

    And by the way, made your Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (using the chick pea base) a few days ago (I was the one who high-fived you on hummus about 5-6 days ago) and figured I’d be the only one eating it since my girlfriend has sworn up and down for years that hummus just wasn’t her thing (she’s only really had TJ’s or Costco’s). Now she’s good about “trying” something if I ask her to…I usually say, “we’ll, perhaps that particular version or recipe wasn’t to your liking but THIS, you’ve got to try. Trust me.” And she usually does. 9 times out of 10 she’ll be surprised to find she actually likes something she would normally turn her nose up at.

    Well, because of your hummus, she is now a convert! lol. Yup. I almost fell over. She couldn’t believe how good it was. So the following day, after I had her first try it, she had to be gone for then entire day (and into the evening) helping at a big event (a three day event) her dermatologist friend was having. Sent her off with her healthy snacks and green smoothie as I do (even though the event was catered, we know it’s best to come prepared, as I’m sure you understand)…and sometime around noon I get a text, “your hummus rocks”! lolol. Again, I was shocked to hear such an enthusiastic appreciation come from her regarding a food she, for years, thought to be pretty much disgusting. Wow, I say. Wow.

    So I just had to share that with you and say thank you for ALL that you do, for ALL your efforts to bring such wonderfulness to so many. Cheers to success all the way around! 🙂

    • November 8, 2012 11:46 am

      Luckily it was just snacks, not a full dinner – I don’t think I could handle that ! (Yet?)

      HOORAY for converting skeptics! I rarely meet a hummus-hater, but when I do, they seem to REALLY be averse to it. So the fact that my hummus impressed your gf and “showed her the light” is fantastic. Thanks for making it and sharing it with her! And thanks for your super-sweet comment. 🙂

  6. Laura permalink
    November 8, 2012 11:44 am

    Yum! Inspired again! I just love your Practically Raw cookbook, Amber. Your recipes are easy to follow and so reliable — I always know we’ll enjoy the results!

  7. November 8, 2012 5:52 pm

    Wow, those cookie dough truffles look incredible! Lucky guests!!

  8. November 8, 2012 6:24 pm

    It all looks so tasty – I just ordered your book last week and can’t wait to try out some recipes

  9. November 8, 2012 8:00 pm

    I recognise the table and the view and the names and I miss you.

  10. November 9, 2012 3:42 am

    Nice job!

  11. November 9, 2012 6:57 am

    Looks like my kind of party! I must admit though, I would probably end up hoovering around the buffet, periodically nibbling more delicious bites… At least you’d know where to find me. 😉

  12. November 9, 2012 10:55 am

    This all looks so freaking delicious Amber! Would love to be at one of your parties.. or would be fun to do an event together 😀

  13. Ed Swier permalink
    November 9, 2012 5:32 pm

    It really does look too good to be real. I’m writing this shortly before dinner – so it looks especially delicious. I feel like reaching right thru the screen for some. Love to have some!

  14. November 11, 2012 5:36 pm

    Wow everything looks amazing!! I can’t wait to receive your cookbook for Christmas. The chocolate truffles will be the first recipe I try!

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