I’m so excited to share the first of our 12 Feasts in 12 Months for our Year of Feasting Challenge! You can read all about the challenge here, where I committed to host 12 parties this year, in an effort to up the fun factor around here, and foster real connections with people over fabulous food -and you’re invited to join in too. Our first party was The Toast Party and it was amazing!
We invited 4 other couples, for a no-kids party for a total of 10, which was a nice size. We sent a custom evite –get it and see the toast party inspiration board here. We asked all the guests to bring along their toaster and their favourite kind of bread. The whole menu for the party was toast -think fondue party but better. We set up the toasters and all the amazing toppings down the centre of the dining room table, and everyone helped themselves and ate and ate toast, toast, and more toast.
Since our motto for Year of Feasting is “It’s supposed to be fun. If it’s not fun, we’re not interested.” I wanted to keep the table setting pretty simple.
I decided it would be cute and practical to use mini cutting boards as plates. This worked out really well, since lots of the breads that people brought wasn’t sliced and this meant we could all slice our own.
I used simple brown kraft paper on the table as a cloth, and picked up a few tulips.
We ended up having 4 toasters, once the guests brought theirs, and I spaced them out down the centre of the table. We had grabbed a few extension cords, but hadn’t thought too much about the amount of power that toasters use. On our first round of toast we blew the fuse. It was a simple fix. We switched the fuse, and then re-routed the extension cords to different rooms, so they were all then able to work on different fuses. No biggie, but a heads up for you to have some longer extensions cords on hand if you’re doing a toast party. Since we were all seated around the table there was no tripping hazards -just undo them when your done so no one trips over the cords.
We also picked up a toaster oven -since we didn’t have one. It isn’t really necessary, but it was a nice addition. My husband loves toaster ovens. I kind of don’t get it. He came with one when we got married, but when it died, I wasn’t too keen on replacing it. I mean we have a toaster, and we have an oven….you know. Anyway when I dreamed up the toast party, he thought this was his big chance to secure a replacement toaster oven. And since I love to make him happy, I sent him to Walmart with a $30 budget. The toaster oven gives you the option of melting the cheese on the toast, which a few of our guests really loved. We set it up on this little cart, which we pulled over to the table and it worked out really well.
Before the party, I set up all the sweet toast toppings on this great stand. We had a ton of options for people to choose from, and the table was very full of toasters, bread, and savoury toppings. This tray helped keep the sweet options out of the way until the end, when most people switched to sweet for dessert.
On the table, I also included a menu of House Recommendations. I didn’t want my guests to feel overwhelmed by all the options, so this gave people a great place to start. After a few rounds and chatting about what was really good, lots of our guests ventured out to make their own creations, but the menu worked really well for getting us all started, and giving everyone a good idea of the savoury ingredients we were offering.
The toast was certainly the highlight of the evening. I have to say I had a wonderful time at the party, since all I had to do was put everything on the table and then everyone just helped themselves.
My very fav. was the mushroom -with boursin cheese and mushrooms. I sautéed the mushrooms ahead of time in some oil with garlic, salt and pepper, a little worchestire sauce, and some dried thyme. Right before we ate I just re-heated them.
Probably the most popular toast topping of the night was the steak. People loved it, and tried it in many different combinations.
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 canola oil
- 1/4 honey
- 1/4 water
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 18 oz. flank steak
- In a large ziplock bag combine all the ingredients for the marinate and then add in the steak -taking care to squeeze out all the air when you seal the bag.
- Marinate for at least 2 hours, or even overnight. (Or make ahead and freeze in the marinade, and then thaw before cooking).
- To cook, remove the steak from the marinade and grill to desired doneness.
- To serve, slice steak thinly, across the grain.
In addition to cooking the steak when our guests arrived, we also made a batch of scrambled eggs and fried up some bacon. I cut the bacon slices into thirds before we fried it, which made it a nice size for the toast.
Here’s a list of all the savoury toppings we put out for our guests: (We may have gone a little bit overboard, but I’d rather wow them, and the leftovers were all things we will use up anyway). I didn’t bother putting things from jars into pretty bowls since we needed the labels to see what things were anyway. I just put them out in their own jars, and this definitely made things easier to prep and clean-up after).
- Cheddar Cheese
- Irish Cheddar
- Goat’s Cheese
- Boursin Cheese
- Steak slices
- Shaved Ham
- Scrabbled Eggs
- Bruschetta Topping (my recipe here)
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Roasted Tomatoes
- Sliced Tomatoes
- Fresh Basil Leaves
- Avocado Slices
- Olive Tapenade
- Truffle Aioli
- Mustard Dijon, Pineapple Mustard, Honey Mustard
- Red Onion Chutney
- Red Pepper Jelly
- Balsamic Reduction
- Garlic Butter
The sweet options, which were on the tiered tray, were:
- Peanut Butter
- Almond Butter
- Cookie Butter
- Maple Syrup
- Cinnamon Sugar
- Flaked Coconut
- Sliced Almonds
- Ricotta Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Apple Butter (my recipe here)
- Assorted Jams
I didn’t make a menu of sweet suggestions because I thought they were more straight forward. I made the apple butter in the slow cooker that day, and it smelt great. I think because it was homemade it was a really popular choice.
I highly, highly recommend this party idea. It was so much fun. A little bit unusual and quirky…my guests didn’t know exactly what to expect, but the toast was so well received by all, in fact they all seemed to have a ball, and so did I. I’ve hosted a lot of parties in my day, and I have to say that I don’t always have a great time (always good, but not always great since sometimes you’re so busy as the host). This time I did have a great time. It’s the kind of party that you get to be a guest at too, which is really the best kind of party. It was a great way to kick off The Year of Feasting!
Next month is Valentine’s Day, so I’ll be putting together an inspiration board and sharing it with you right away. If you’re playing along and taking The Year of Feasting Challenge with us (in anyway that suits you -all, some, your own spin, whatever) we’d love to see some pics, so share with the hashtag #AYearOfFeasting on Instagram or post something on our Facebook page.
With gourmet toast shared with great friends, life really is a party!