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Showing posts with label party food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label party food. Show all posts

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Jungle Party!

Good evening
Well today Theo had his jungle themed party and while I'm waiting for the little monkey and his friend to go to sleep (it could take some time!!!) I thought I'd share a few photos from the party. My dad came over before we got started and got some professional photos of the deserts so I'll share them later in the week.
Firstly, here's the birthday monkey himself in our homemade photo booth! I got the inflatable banana and monkey from Amazon (the banana was only 50p!) The kids had lots of fun with both of these and as 10 year old boys tend to do spent the afternoon bashing each other with the banana!
As Theo is autistic, he struggles with large groups of people so the party was very small - we invited 3 guests but only two could make it on the day. He had a meltdown free day (the day before was a different matter but hey ho, that's life in our house!!).

I made this sign using decoupatch to hand over the desert table.
As I said before it was a small party so a huge desert would have been a waste. So, instead of a large table I used a set of shelves (easier on space in a small living room too). I made cake pops which looked (I hope!) like monkeys and some in a plain green. We also had chocolate marshmallows and slices of banana coated in chocolate. The large round brown thing is Theo's birthday cake! More of that later...
I really wanted to have a sweetie pick and mix at the party too and I think that my little food trays worked really well to keep the quantity of sweets right for the number of children.
This part of the party was a huge success! One of Theo's friend's comments was "it's like you have your own sweetie shop". The sweets were bought mostly from Poundland or on special offer from supermarkets. The green apple laces (or jungle vines!) went down a treat and the children were very kind and let me have the last jelly cherry!
The main food was burgers (all home made of course). I also served crisps and fruit and these cute little pots of veggie sticks.
I saw the idea whilst browsing for inspiration. I think it was on Kara's Party Ideas but can't remember for sure! They're made by wrapping a strip of crepe paper round little plastic shot glasses and then tying some green garden string round it. That garden string was an amazing buy! Only £1 and as you'll see it featured quite a bit! Pop a teaspoon of dip into the glass and then add a couple of veggie sticks.
Here's the full spread partly obscured by a late appearance of the sun!

 Plates and cutlery wrapped in napkins.

 Some of the food trays for crisps and fruit.

 Ketchup with more of the garden string wrapped round the top to obscure the label and a napkin ring round the middle.

 Bottles of juice with my bottle wraps to match the theme.

 I used these lovely bright yellow flowers in two small vases to brighten the table up a little bit.

Oooh, look! There's that sunshine again!
And my monkey cake pops. I won't be giving up the day job any time soon but I really enjoyed making these and I think they do kind of look like monkeys!
And lastly, the birthday cake! I was so worried about how this would turn out and half expected a gooey mess but this is what we got when we cut into it....
Here's a link to a tutorial to make a cake like this. I only looked at it briefly to get an idea on what to do then did it my way! I filled this cake with M&M's as I thought it would easier to cut into but you could use whatever sweets you prefer.
Well, I hope this has given you some helpful ideas for your own parties and shown that you can still have a cool party on a budget and for only a small number of guests. Parties don't have to be lavish, huge bank busting affairs - with planning and the willingness to do a bit of DIY craft and baking (and a ball of garden string!!) you can create a fun party which your guests will remember for a long time.
I'm off to see what all the giggling is about and see if I can settle these two monkey's down! Wish me luck...
Good night
Hugs
Suz

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Chocolate Marshmallows & Chocolate Bananas

Good Morning!
Today I have another tutorial for you to show you how to make chocolate covered marshmallows and bananas. It's a really easy tutorial and a great one to do with the children.
OK, so the list of ingredients you'll need: a bag of marshmallows, chocolate (I prefer using supermarket value chocolate rather than cooking chocolate), sprinkles, banana, cake pop sticks (or you could use kabab skewers) and lollipop sticks. I also used my cake pop stand and the end of some polystyrene packaging to stand the finished articles in to set.
First thing is to melt the chocolate.
The best way to do this is in a glass bowl over a pan of hot water. I'm sure you're all familiar with this technique. I used my microwave but you need to be careful and hot heat in 10 second bursts as the chocolate will burn otherwise.
For the marshmallows you can simply push the cake pop sticks into the bottom. They are pretty sticky on the inside and this holds the sticks in place well. I'll talk you through the banana pops later.
Now you can start dipping your marshmallows. You can just dip the tops or you can cover them entirely in chocolate - it's really up to you (or the kids!).

Before adding sprinkles, it's best to allow the chocolate to set a little to avoid them running off. After a few minutes, add your chosen sprinkles.
You could also use writing icing to decorate once the chocolate has set completely.
Now to the bananas. I used cake pop sticks but these didn't work very well. I have made chocolate bananas before and used lollipop sticks which worked much better. So my top tip - if you can, have a trial run before your party so you can identify any problems beforehand - you'll have enough to think about on the day of the party!
So firstly, dip the lollipop stick into the chocolate and then push into the bottom of the banana. Allow the chocolate to set.
Once set you can carefully dip the bananas. I strongly advise you to cover the entire banana or it will start to go brown very quickly. Another couple of tips here - add a teaspoon of oil to the chocolate before dipping - it will make the chocolate easier to work with and will coat the bananas more evenly. Second, make sure you have plenty of chocolate so it's nice a deep and you can submerge the banana entirely and coat in one go. Do be careful as the bananas are very slippery and may slide off the stick. Once coated, hold the banana over the bowl and gently twirl the stick. This will help to avoid drips and give a smooth finish. You can now add sprinkles if you wish in the same way as you did the marshmallows and allow to set completely before serving.
And finally.... Enjoy!!
I hope you have found this tutorial helpful. Please feel free to contact me with any other tips or ideas you may have (ardacards@gmail.com)
Take Care
Suz x








Saturday, 4 May 2013

Pirate Tea as easy as 1, 2, 3!!

Avast me Hearties! Come join me in an adventure on the highs seas!
I do love a pirate theme so we had lots of fun last night when the kids had a couple of friends round for tea. I have some tips for the most easy party ever and even a recipe to share with you today!

At the beginning of the week, I decided to add a pirate them to tea for the kids, so I sat down and thought of  what food I could do and some piratey names! I didn't want party type food so decided on baked potatoes with beans (Treasure chests filled with rubies!), carrot sticks (peg legs!), sweetcorn (pirate teeth!) and chicken dippers (Golden nuggets!). I also included potato waffles (pirate rafts) and spaghetti hoops (pirate hoop ear-rings) as my son doesn't like baked potatoes! So , really easy and nothing I wouldn't normally make but livened up with cool names!
 I used the circle tags from my kit to make little picks for the treasure chests.
 Food trays are great for serving and labelling food so the golden nuggets, peg legs, rafts and treasure chests  were served up in these.

 The gold teeth and pirate ear-rings were served in some plastic serving bowls and I used some menu cards to label these.
 My trusty mini milk bottles were brought out and labelled with each child's name (no more wondering who's cup is whose) and of course a pirate straw flag was added to each! I also re-labelled some water bottles with Salty Brine labels. A popcorn treat box was filled with some large chocolate jazzies and sweetie necklaces as treasure for after the main food.
As an activity to keep the kids busy, they made and decorated their own cupcakes. These were then popped into cupcake wrappers and a cupcake topper was added.
Everything was served up on the table with a treasure chest and jewels (this was from a treasure hunt game my son has which we played before eating). The kids really enjoyed it and it was pretty easy to prepare and clean up afterwards.

The Golden Nuggets were home made and you can get a free recipe sheet here.
So, I hope this has helped to give you some inspiration for any pirate themed party you have and also show you that entertaining can be easy! And don't forget that once you have your printable package you can use them over and over again!
Take care
Suz x

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Easter Lunch

Well, I hope you are all having a lovely weekend and enjoying the Chocolate!! Apologies to any of you on diets who are managing to be good (a big well done to you as well!!).

I organised a little last minute Easter lunch and treasure hunt for my two youngest and their friend who stayed for a sleepover last night. Luckily I had a few bits and pieces left over from last year - cups, plates and napkins but most of it was designed, printed cut and assembled this morning!!

First up, and idea I've been waiting to show you for a couple of weeks now! A few weeks back I posted about my new mini milk bottles. Now these are really cute and I love them but at about £12 for 6 they're not cheap and being glass there is always a risk that one or more will get broken at some point. So one day as I was washing out jars for recycling an idea struck me that the right sized jar would make lovely little bottle glasses for parties. The jars I've used are sandwich paste jars (luckily Theo has an obsession with sandwich paste at the moment so I've got quite a few!!). These jars are only slightly smaller than the milk bottles and the kids thought they were the milk bottles so an excellent result there!

I tied circle tags onto the necks of the jars using green and yellow curling ribbon (from Hobbycraft's Easter range) and popped in a green straw with a straw flag on. 
Next up, I made up some popcorn boxes and emptied a packet of crisps into each.
These little boxes have now been secreted away to the den in the wardrobe where things are just a little too quiet!!
I simply added a sandwich pick (circle tag taped to a cocktail stick) to a plate of sandwiches and added some tomatoes and cucumber at the side. Very easy but effective.
And to finish off, some cupcakes with toppers. These are shop bought cakes which I had in (99p from Home Bargains and great for lunch boxes too!). 
So a lovely little lunch and very easy to do. I'll be completing some more items in this kit for a more substantial and better planned party and they will available from the website in time for next year. 
I hope this post has given you more ideas for planning parties or even just special lunches and teas for when the kids have friends round! With this in mind, I think I'll design some mini tea party kits in a few different themes that can be used any time of the year. 
So for now, it's a goodbye from me and I hope you enjoy the rest of the Easter weekend.
Hugs, Suz x

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Mouth Watering Melon Lollies!

Make these really simple and healthy lollies to bring a touch of summer to your parties!! They're really easy to make and might even entice fussy eaters to try some fruit.
Step 1. Slice the melon into strips. For the larger slices in the middle, cut in half down the middle.
Step 2. make a slit in the bottom of each melon slice with a sharp knife.
Step 3. Insert a lolly stick into the slit and hey presto, fabulously mouthwatering lollies!

Why not try it with different types of melon, bananas and large strawberries. You could even drizzle some chocolate over them (especially the banana and strawberry ones!).

Remember to keep checking back for more inspiring party ideas!
Suz x

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Red Nose Day Fundraising Set

I had a little idea yesterday afternoon of making a party set for anyone who is planning a Red Nose Day Party and donating the proceeds to Comic Relief. I set to work straight away and designed a set with some party basics in it.
I wanted to get some photos of the set in action so Theo and I spent the day baking, cutting and glueing to create a yummy dinner for the family! I'm afraid the photos are not that brilliant as I have quite low lighting in the living room and it gets dark pretty early at this time of year up in the frozen North!!


Above you can see the full spread of goodies!
We made two sizes of cupcakes. The larger ones were decorated with butter cream and half a strawberry (see they are healthy!) and the smaller ones with a circle of red icing (to look a bit like a red nose) and then topped with a mini tag on a cocktail stick. Theo wanted something to take into school on Monday so there are lots of little ones!
I taped a mini tag onto soufflĂ© pots to serve ketchup and mayonnaise and the food trays from the set were filled with crisps and homemade jam donuts!! Oh, and they taste so yummy!! You can find the recipe we used here.
I used my mini milk bottles to serve juice and water. They look great with a mini tag tied on with red ribbon and the straw flags on black straws. This was a very last minute idea and so I made do with what I had in - you could obviously use red straws, plates, napkins etc but I hope this shows you that you can make your party great without spending a fortune!
As a main savoury dish I made homemade popcorn chicken and popped them into the popcorn boxes!
I must say I had lots of fun and the hubby said the donuts tasted like they were from a bakery!! The kids were over the moon and Theo is looking forward to taking some cakes into school.

So.... want to help raise some money for Comic Relief and have a fantastic party at the same time? Maybe you help with Guides, Brownies, Cubs, youth club or school? This set is really easy to use so you can get the kids involved and don't need to be an experienced crafter.
You can download the set for £3 from here, by contacting me on my Facebook page here or email me at sales@ardacards.com. All except the paypal fees (20p) will go to Comic Relief and for every 10 sets sold I will donate an extra £1.
Oh, please do share any photos of your parties and fundraising with us!
Hugs Suz x