In case you missed the last few posts I’ll give you an update: I made an awesome chili and announced we’re moving to Seattle! I also joined a health challenge and made some homemade baby food! Check out the previous posts if you want to learn more!
So a few weeks ago I threw a cooking party for my little sweetie who turned 3 and her friends. My daughter’s birthday is two days after Christmas so I’ve decided that we will celebrate with friends ~1 month after her birthday. Not only is it more convenient, it just makes sense to space it out a little, plus when she is older most of her friends will be busy with their families.
Here she is just two weeks old (don’t you just love a picture of a picture?)! My how time flies.
She got a darling little wooden kitchen for Christmas this year so it inspired me to throw her a casual, at home cooking party! Not to mention she loves to be in the kitchen cooking with me- like mother, like daughter! Right now she has mastered putting cream cheese and jelly own her toasted bagel. Love this girl! My goal for the party was for it to be simple and not too big. We invited her closest friends and it was perfect. So before getting into the details, let me warn you that I am NOT a super-crafty, over-the-top party planner. I am semi-crafty and throw a decent kid’s party, but I am sure that others have done something like this even better. Nevertheless, I was very proud of myself for keeping it affordable, cute and fun.
Here are my 5 year old and newly 3 year old waiting for the guests to arrive! Nice fake smiles, eh?
We’ll start with the decor: an easy balloon bouquet that hangs upside down…eliminating the need for helium. Score! Then I laid out aprons at each seat and the color theme was red and white- with polka dots (although the aprons only came in a multi-color pack). I was inspired by Valentine’s Day re the color theme, plus I had just scored some adorable Valentine’s cupcake decorations from our monthly Bunco group.
I think having a picture of your child somewhere at the party is such a nice touch. I especially loved this baby photo because it RANDOMLY matched the color scheme I chose AND the hat she is wearing matches the red and white polka dot napkins I had already pick out. Too fun! Plus my BFF took the picture.
So on the menu (all gluten-free):
Snack Mix (rice chex, honey peanuts and craisins)
Decorating Sugar Cookies
Making Mini Pizzas
Veggie Cups with Ranch
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting
One family that attended has allergies to gluten so I wanted to make sure to accommodate the everyone so I planned a simple gluten-free menu. I decided to make it super easy on myself and get a little help from the store, by using some of the gluten-free mixes. Now wasn’t the time to experiment from scratch gluten-free baking!
I started with searching online and found an easy sugar cookie recipe using Betty Crocker’s Vanilla Cake mix. You basically add less liquid and it forms more of a dough. They weren’t the kind you could roll out but I just flattened the balls of dough and made circular cookies. These were already baked and ready to be decorated once the kids arrived (they are on the table as shown in photo three above).
After the kids did that, we moved onto pizza! My friend recommended the Gluten-Free Pantry mix she uses for pizza crust so I used that (it’s actually for french bread and/or pizza). It is basically like making crust from scratch because you add the yeast, eggs, oil, milk/water, etc. just like you’d make any other dough. She informed me of how sticky and different the texture would be so I went ahead and made all the individual crusts before hand. Then the kids just put on their own sauce, cheese and toppings and into the oven they went to warm-up and let the cheese melt. Let me tell you, not one kid would ever suspect they were eating a gluten-free crust.
While the pizza was in the oven, the kids munched on their veggies. Isn’t this a great way to present them? I found the cups at a bake shop online and it took all of 1 minute to put raw carrots and tomatoes in the cup. Served up with ranch!
Then we finished the party with these cupcakes. Now, I always make the kids cupcakes from scratch so this was an exception. I just had too much going on to figure out a recipe for a good gluten-free cupcake so I tried the Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix. They were amazing. I would go as far to say that they were better than regular chocolate cupcakes. I don’t know why- they were just so dense, yet moist and yummy. I used store-bought frosting and piped them right onto the cupcakes….and used the adorable Wilton Valentine’s decorations.
It was a great party and I’d love to do something similar again. Hope you enjoyed the sneak peak! What has been your favorite kid’s party theme?
Oh and in case you’re wondering why there are no kids in the shots, I don’t like posting pics of other people’s kids on my blog without permission. I just plan on putting them on my personal family blog which is more protected. I promise there were other kids there.