It's no secret that Elliot and I are getting married next year, but we are not done with the high of being fiancés just yet! As we got engaged in the middle the coldest winter UK has experienced since well before we were even born, it only made sense to wait for the summer to celebrate outdoors.
We hired the lawn bowling club next door, ordered some props online, put together a canapés menu and recruited the best looking helpers in town...
|DIY decorations in the making the night before.
|The gorgeous Californian beauties and their funny mini man.
|Raw pizza and salad for the helpers.
|And the #1 prize goes to my #1 helper and bestie! Gina- you are a little cupcake of awesomeness!
When you are preparing raw food, it shouldn't actually take you any longer than preparing cooked food, however you must always start ahead of time to allow for the dehydration process.
The great news about dehydrating is that you literally- pop in your trays full of food and walk away for the next 12-24 hours or so. No need to check up on anything, no need to worry about anything getting burned, and no crazy energy bills either! Have you checked out what dehydrator I use and recommend? See my entire suggested equipment list here>>
Here's a sampling of what I made...
|Everybody's favourite- these Marinated and Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms never stick around for long, they are the best addition to any picnic and you can even serve them as a main course with a side salad.
|Dessert was surprisingly tricky to organise, as I knew it'll be sitting out in the sun, while so many raw food dishes require a fridge or a freezer. That's why I opted for Chocolate-filled Macaroons (they are usually chocolate covered and I teach the recipe in my Raw Chocolate 101 class) and Chocolate & Caramel Coated Cookies (recipe is just like these Dutch Stroopwafels, but with added cacao powder).
|Raw Food Pizza- a party must-have! The base is a classic nut-free version I always make, then goes the tomato paste, then the spreadable cheese and finished with any toppings you have in mind (or in my case- something that required minimal prep time was the winner- olives!) I also teach the making of it in my Raw Food Tastes of Italy class>>
|Dips and Dippers. ALWAYS have Dips & Dippers. For simple dippers- carrots, runner beans and celery sticks will do the trick if your dips are tasty enough, but it's always good to add some flaxseed crackers to the mix. For the Dips- I made extra Pesto while doing the stuffed mushrooms, extra Creamy Cheesy Sauce while making the pizza sauce and Guacamole.
|These mushroom nut balls and tomato ketchup are a delicious idea, possibly best kept for a more intimate dinner occasion. They take quite a long time to first soak and marinate, then process, then roll into balls and then dehydrate, but disappear in record time. Serve them with toothpicks to pin and dip or over courgette noodles if you are having them as a main meal.
Like any host will know- there is always something to do last minute, there is always something that gets overlooked and there is usually something that doesn't get done at all. However the great thing about it all is: nobody knows, but you!
I mean, just look at these guys... does anyone look like they know I may have forgotten a thing or two?
BRING ON THE WEDDING
Our engagement do was sooooo much fun, although I reckon that was as much practice for the actual event as I will want to handle for the time being. I'm only grateful that the wedding isn't for another few months! But when the time does come, it will be the best day I am sure...
Just the thought of my whole family being back in New Zealand together for the first time in nearly six years, makes me emotional, but both of our families coming together for the second time since Elliot and I met, all while we have our closest friends by our side and in the same part of the world, while we say our 'I do's' -my heart may just explode.
Is it normal to even feel these nerves this far ahead? I will endeavour to calm them down by looking at our 'Save the Dates' and share one with you to make you smile too...