Saturday, November 19, 2011

Kids' Birthday Party

For LittleGrouch's birthday party, I wanted to something different from the "cake-with-ice-cream-and-delivered-pizza" routine that happens at' I knew it would have been the easy way out but I love to plan and execute menus. There was a cake, of course, some colorful fruits & veggies, plus a meat and a vegetarian option for the main course. So here is what we had:

Birthday Buffet

Creamy Chocolate Layer Cake
Dinosaur Cookies
Veggie Sticks with Hummus &
Avocado Dip (recipe see below)
Fruity Cheese Bites
("recipe" see below)
Turkey & Beef Hamburger Patties
Hamburger Buns
Whole Wheat Rolls (recipe see below)

Lettuce, Tomato Slices & Ketchup (for the burgers)
Pasta with Simple Tomato Sauce
Fruit Salad Served in a Pineapple Bowl
(recipe see below)


Veggie Sticks with Hummus & Avocado Dip
Vegetables of your choice, cut into sticks
Hummus (the one thing I decided not to prepare from scratch)

250 g soft cream cheese
2 ripe avocados
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp onion powder

Mash avocado flesh and mix with remaining ingredients. Season to taste with cayenne pepper.

Fruity Cheese Bites
Cheeses of your choice (e.g. mozzarella, monterey jack, munster), cut into 3/4" cubes
red & green grapes
canned tangerine
cocktail picks

For each bite, skewer one cheese cube and one piece of fruit. Arrange cheese bites on a plate.

Whole Wheat Rolls
400 ml lukewarm water
2 tsp salt
3/4 tbsp active dry yeast
270 g all-purpose flour
200 g whole wheat flour
10 g vital wheat gluten

In a 5-6 liter container, dissolve the salt and yeast in the water. (They don't have to dissolve completely at this point.) Add remaining ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until just incorporated. Cover container with a lid (not air-tight) or a piece of plastic wrap (make some holes with a toothpick). Let dough rise for 2 hours, then chill dough in the fridge for at least three hours (or several days) in the fridge. Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust dough with flour and take out of the container. Sprinkle with more flour as needed, so that the dough doesn't stick to your fingers. Shape dough quickly into a ball by gently stretching the surface of the around to the bottom on all four sides. Divide the ball into 15-20 equal portions, shape each one into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheets. Let rest for 40-60 minutes before baking. Thirty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450F, with one rack placed in the middle of the oven and a second one, holding a small empty tray, on any other shelf that doesn't interfere with the baking process. Just before baking, with a serrated knife, slash a 1/4" deep cut across each roll. Put the rolls in the oven and quickly pour 1 cup hot water into the empty tray. Bake the rolls for 15-20 minutes until nicely browned and crusty, and sounding hollow when tapped in the bottom. Let cool on a wire rack.

(adapted from "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois)

Fruit Salad Served in a Pineapple Bowl
1 pineapple
mixed fruits of different colors (e.g. strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, melon, blueberries)

Cut the pineapple (including the green leaves) in half lengthwise. Cutting carefully along the edges, remove the flesh, leaving an about 1/4"-1/2" thick shell. Cut the pineapple and other fruits in bite-size pieces. Mix everything together and fill the pineapple shells with the fruit salad.


2-3 Days before the Party
- make the dinosaur cookies and keep in an airtight container
- prepare the tomato sauce and keep in the fridge
- bake the hamburger buns and freeze
- make the dough for the whole wheat rolls

1 day before the Party
- make the beef & turkey patties and keep in the fridge
- bake the chocolate cake (don't cut, just cover with plastic wrap)
- cut cheeses into cubes

Day of the Party
- bake the whole wheat rolls
- finish the chocolate cake and keep refrigerated until ready to serve
- cut the veggies and arrange on a platter
- prepare the avocado dip
- finish the cheese bites
- prepare the fruit salad
- cook the paste
- 1 hour before eating, take hamburger buns out of the freezer and let thaw at room temperature
- just before serving heat the patties, tomato sauce, and pasta


  1. Fantastic job.Mostly kids don,t like fruits but your idea is great that if in Birthday part we use fruits after converting them into shapes then it will be favourite item for kids.Thanks for great tip.
    Birthday parties for kids in Miami
    Birthday parties for kids in Broward

  2. Great buffet. Bet the kids loved it. Fruit balls in a carved out watermelon are also a great idea or fruit skewers. For a twist with younger kids...try sliders too!

  3. Very well executed,it looks awesome!