Ah, pumpkin patch season has passed and if you’re like us, you’ve probably begun to notice that in addition to the cold and the rain of early winter, the sun has begun setting at, oh, noon or so. It’s tough to find ways to have fun when it’s not quite wintry enough for snowy play but definitely not summery enough for much of anything else.
‘Tis the season… to bring our recreation indoors.
But what to do? We have a few ideas (and the snacks that go with them) to keep the late autumn/early winter blues at bay.
Make It A Movie Night
This is the oldest trick in the book. What beats cozying up and marathoning your favorite trilogy? In our humble opinion, not much. However, a low-key night-in like this can really be transformed with a little planning. Plus, nothing breathes excitement into a cold winter week like gathering a few friends and making some (movie) magic happen.
Really, you can pick any theme for your evening that you want. Will you go with action? Romance? Or perhaps a season of your favorite television series? Whatever you choose, add an element of the unexpected with a game before or after each installment. Use IMDB to draw up a list of trivia questions if it’s something you’ve seen before. Or, if you’re watching something new, have each guest write down what they think will happen at the end and award a prize for the best guess!
Some great snacks will also add pizzazz to your party. Try building a simple popcorn bar with a variety of toppings for people to choose some. Real Simple has a few recipes for creative popcorn flavorings that are pretty easy to execute. We also love the variety of bite-size ideas featured here.
Want to take your movie viewing outside the house? Sometimes you just have to get out. Be prepared to hit the cinema with this list of verified gluten-free movie snacks or, if you feel like saving a little money (and a few calories), toss one of our individual bags of granola in your purse. And that theater popcorn? The Savvy Celiac did a little digging to see if it was safe. See what she discovered right here.
Tailgating At Home
If you haven’t learned to love sports yet, now is the season to try. It’s basically a guarantee that there will be a game to look forward to each week, and it’s the perfect opportunity to gather a few friends to wile away the day eating, drinking, and cheering on the team.
Want to make it interesting? Introduce a bracket or fantasy league! Or have guests bet on the outcome of the game and let winners pick the snacks for next week’s party.
And of course, speaking of snacks, you can never have too many. Our gluten-free tortillas make it unbelievably easy to throw together some quesadillas or a platter of pinwheels filled with your favorite deli fixings. Additionally, The Huffington Post shared some of their favorite gluten-free tailgating recipes (buffalo cauliflower, please) while we discovered a few more of our own over on Celiac Central’s page full of important tummy-friendly tips.
Been meaning to fit in a little quality time? This is your chance! Not only is an indoor date night at home more affordable, but it’s got loads of potential in terms of creativity. We love The Nest’s 11 Creative Ways to Enjoy Date Night at Home, with everything from games to wine tasting and DIY. You can supplement their suggestions with a few dinner recipes off our own database of more than 5,000 or snag a few of our gluten-free flatbreads and make a game of gathering unique toppings and each creating a pizza you think the other would love!
A great dinner party is one of those things that can be thrown together in a relatively short amount of time if you have all the recipes and ideas you need close at hand. Luckily, you savvy reader you, that’s now the case!
Before you get started planning, take a quick look at our previous post on Thanksgiving. Although it’s holiday themed, it features loads of fall and winter recipes as well as great information on how to safely serve both gluten-free and wheat-eating diners.
Thinking of pre-dinner mingling? Having a “cocktail hour” before dinner doesn’t just sound oh-so-classy, but it’s a fantastic way to draw out the evening, give you time to put the final touches on dinner, and allow your guests to break the ice in case they don’t all know each other. For bites, we love The Kitchn’s delicious ideas for gluten-free party snacks. Pair them with a creative seasonal cocktail like this marzipan-infused Delightful Dede martini to really get the ball rolling! Should you decide to craft your own festive spirit for the occasion, Glutenista did a quick write-up on gluten-free alcohols that are safe to mix.
And just for fun, get inspired by the elegantly autumnal style of this Cozy Fall Fête. Hello, candlesticks and tartan blankets… It’s really too perfect.
We hope this has helped! If you and your friends or family have a favorite cold weather tradition, please share it in the comments below so your gluten-free brethren may benefit from your festive genius. Go forth and make the most of it!