It's all well and good to be Stepford but perfection is the enemy, and if you can appear that way without the pressure then all for the better I say!
As I've mentioned before, in our family we have gluten-free, dairy-free, vitamin C allergy, vegetarians, those who can't eat preservatives or additives, people breastfeeding and plenty of fussy kids! Anyone who hosts a family event bends over backwards and usually leaves someone out who ends up nibbling lettuce to get by.... But I think I may have cracked it!
I stole a fab idea from Pinterest and made a Mexican feast. Every single person could eat Natural Corn Chips, and I bought stacks of regular and gluten free tortillas.
The day before I made beef and bean mince with a little passata,
a slow cooker chicken filling from here http://www.food.com/recipe/slow-cooker-chicken-burritos-360657
and a mexican rice recipe from here http://mexican.food.com/recipe/mexican-rice-117892
and popped them in the fridge in throw away aluminium trays to reheat just before the party.
Served with Chopped lettuce, grated cheese, chopped tomato and cucumber, Sour cream and Pickled Jalapenos
I served it all buffet style and everyone was happy -some of the worst allergy offenders went back for thirds!
Dessert was the biggest stepford secret of all!
I made birthday cake (well two because I'm a slight over achiever and I couldn't decide which one to make) White chocolate mud cake - have you tried it? Melt and mix! No Creaming the butter and sugar! It's a revelation. Super yummy and the easiest cake I've ever made, plus an excellent texture for carving into shapes, even when it's fresh.
And! I bought some cheap cardboard cake stands, got out my vases and here's the biggest secret of all - every time someone asked me if they could bring something I said something 'Sweet, small and pink or white'
Beforehand I set up an empty dessert table with flowers and marshmallows, lolly bags and the birthday cake and as people arrived set up their sweet treats on it- It looked so gorgeous and impressive but cost next to nothing and everyone felt good about contributing. It was the best!
So happy birthday to my gorgeous One year old. We love you little monkey!