Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Food: Birthday Party and Father's Day (review on what I did)

If you have been following my posts lately, you can tell that this past weekend was a BUSY one for me. And it was also one where I needed to provide food for 4 "events": a Young People's Fellowship, a Cub Scout themed birthday party, breakfast for a bunch of tent sleepers, and Father's Day BBQ. Because I was so busy, I wasn't able to really come up with my concoctions of wonderfulness, but I was able to find some great recipes and ideas (thanks Pinterest) that made me look like I knew what I was doing. Since I did so much, I'm just going to break down what I made, pass on the source where I got my inspiration, and then review. So here goes:

Young People's Fellowship:
Menu: Lasagna, Caesar Salad, French Bread with Pesto, and Angel Food Ice Cream Cake


  • Honestly, I got the recipe off the back of the box from the Wal-Mart brand lasagna noodles. The only thing I did differently was I nixed the meat, my sauce was leftover from spaghetti sauce I had made (a LOT of) the day before that had fresh chunks of my garden's squash and zucchini in, added more cheese, a little garlic powder, and a sprinkle of home-dried rosemary in between layers. Okay, so I guess I didn't really follow the recipe, but I followed the gist of it. 
  • Review:  It turned out great! They had seconds (and some had thirds)...a true sign they liked it.
Caesar Salad and French Bread
  • Both were store-bought. I know, I know. I was going to make bread, but it just didn't happen. I didn't have time (see yesterday's post if you really want to know why) 
  • Earlier in the week I had made some fresh Pesto. See here for the recipe. 
  • Review: I was really nervous about this one. My husband is so sweet, and will tell my begging eyes that it tasted lovely. The true test, in my belief, is testing it on young people. Two of them had never had pesto before. Did they like it? YES!! They did!! I was so excited (and nervous) for them to try it, but they kept going back for more. 
Angel Food Ice Cream Cake
  • This is a GREAT last minute recipe that my Nana taught me years ago. I'm not sure where she got it from, but I do know that this is one of my favorite summer desserts. (Hmm...now that I think about it. I might do this as one of my mason jar recipes for the 4th of July!! What a great idea, Jana!!) Ingredients: Angel food cake, sherbet ice cream, 1 small container of whipped topping. Directions: cut the Cake in half. Take one half and tear it to pieces. Put on the bottom of your trifle bowl (or whatever container). Spread about 1 1/2 cups of sherbet ice cream on top. Spread about 1/2 container of whipped topping on top of ice cream. REPEAT. Put in the freezer for a minimum of an hour. You want the ice cream and the whipped topping to harden before serving. 
  • Review: Again, this was some good stuff. It's very light and refreshing, and as far as desserts go, it's really not all that fattening, if you use the reduced fat ice cream and whipped topping. (Sorry I don't have a picture of it. It went faster than I had a chance to take one. :( 
Cub Scout Themed Birthday Party (for a bunch of 7 year olds) 
Menu: Hot dogs, chips, veggies and watermelon, homemade ice cream, and mason jar cupcakes 

Hot dogs
  • So I happened to see (on my favorite website for crockpot recipes) a recipe for hot dogs. She said it was super duper easy and that they turned out great. Soooo, I bought all the hot dogs my little BOGO free heart could get, shoved them in my crockpot, turned them on LOW for 4 hours, and ended up with juicy hot dogs. No water was needed! 
  • Review: I don't like hot dogs. Nope. Do not, Sam I Am! Buuut these were actually good. Just as the website promised, all the moms were "oohs" and "ahhs" over this. For my next little get together, I'm doing this again, especially if it's a summertime get together or one where there are going to be tons of kids. This was too easy
Chips, veggies, and watermelon
  • So no review here. I just bought them and then set them out. Done. Easy peasy. 
Homemade Ice Cream
  • Found this recipe on Pinterest about 2 months ago. I decided that this would be great as something to do at a kid's party. Have the kids add fruit or chocolate candy to the bags, pass them around while they mash, knead, and roll around, then voila! Ice cream for the party. Since my son's birthday party was Cub Scout themed, all the guests earned "badges" for each little event we did. The last "event" was the "Chef's Badge" where they made their own ice cream to go with their cake. I added blueberries to one, strawberries to another, and left one vanilla to add M&Ms to at the end (didn't want the colors of the candy to melt in the making process). 
  • Review: I had the boys sit around a circle and every other boy had 30-45 seconds to "churn" the ice cream before they passed it on. That way all their little hands would not freeze. It was a fun little game, and took about 10 minutes (total) to do. The moms (again) were in awe of how well this worked. And the ice cream was good, too! 

Mason Jar Cupcakes
  • Since I was having the party off site and at a park and all day, I wanted something easy to do with the cake. I began searching for ideas. And since I love mason jars so much, I decided that would be a great way to store and transport the cupcakes AND it would be easy to pass out without having to have another plate. I ended up seeing posts about freezing cupcakes to add icing on the day of the party. So I did that. I found this recipe for homemade cake and icing (since I wanted to save money and not buy a box and stuff...I wanted to use what I already had at the house), froze the cupcakes about 2 days before the party. The morning of the party I pulled them out of the freezer, sliced the cupcakes in half, and then began layering them in little mason jars (cupcake bottoms, icing, cupcake top, icing, mason jar lid). I packed all the jars back into their case and transported them to the park. 
  • Review: YUM! They were cool looking, and the kids liked it with their ice cream. The only thing I would change is next time I would put them in the new plastic mason jars instead. That way if one gets dropped on a concrete patio, I wouldn't be so worried glass got into the icing..or if someone had to leave early, I could send them home with a cupcake and not worry about if they are going to return the well-loved jar. 

Father's Day
Menu: BBQ and French Bread Rolls (well, that was my contribution. We had a pretty good amount of good stuff). 

  • Ingredients: BBQ Meat Rub (my favorite AND I had enough leftover to give as little gifts...in mason jars, of course...to my dad, my uncles, and my granddaddy), a LARGE pork roast, and just a little olive oil. I rubbed the meat down and put it in the crockpot Saturday night on LOW. When I got up in the morning, I shredded the meat, removed the bone, and set it on LOW for a few more hours (for a total of about 15 hours).
  • Review: YUUUM. I was seriously nervous about this. My uncle is known for his BBQ. And since it was Father's Day AND since he will be BBQing a HUGE pig for my dad's retirement in two weeks, he didn't make any for Father's Day. So I was super duper nervous to present my measly little BBQ to the man who is known for his food. He loved it, though. He kept asking how I did it...so I'm taking that as a compliment. 

French Bread Rolls:  
  • I use this recipe pretty regularly for my rolls. If you haven't tried it yet, you really, really should. I doubled the recipe to make sure I had enough for 20 people. And I did. :) 
  • Review: This is my family's favorite recipe for the bread I make. When I brought it the Father's Day meal, people kept going back for more. This stuff is GOOD. Try it. I mean it. You won't regret it. 

So that's it. I hope this helps if you are going to be making a lot of food in a short amount of time just like I did. 

Happy Cooking, everyone! 

1 comment:

  1. I love how you review each item to give further information about if it is good or not. The ice cream idea looked so fun, and those rolls look amazing! Looks like you've been a busy mama!! Keep up the good work. xx