Sunday, March 8, 2009

reader question of the week


I'm going to try something new this week, and we'll see if it works. I often get questions for party-planning ideas and tips- and while I would like to answer all of them, in detail- I simply don't have the time in addition to all my other (paying and nonpaying) duties. The blog is a labor of love- an unpaid internship, shall we say- and knowing that I have such a creative, smart bunch of readers I figure I might turn these questions to you. I'll publish one question a week and see how it goes. If it doesn't work, this little feature will go away quietly.

Question of the week: 
"I'm looking for creative food ideas for parties that work for both adults and kids alike. My daughter is celebrating her first birthday next month. Pre-kids, I used to have fancy gourmet dinner parties. But now I need to tone things down so that the food appeals to both kids and parents and doesn't take me all day to prepare. For my son's third birthday, we had a taco bar. I'd like to do something a bit more sophisticated/unique for my daughter's party. Any ideas? One thought I had was a noodle bar- can have all the fixings for asian noodles (shredded chicken, cilantro, peanuts, etc) plus Italian style with marinara or pesto. Would love to hear any other ideas or thoughts!  Thanks– Julia"

8 comments:

Abbey said...

I saw a similar idea to the noodle bar done as a soup bar, where there were a couple kinds of broth and then you add your own things, like rice, noodles, vegetables, meat, etc. It was fun for the kids and they ate their noodley soup, while we had more adult versions.

Glenn+Jenn+Owen+Ian said...

I did tapas for my son's first birthday - small bites that were good for small hands and mouths and pleasing for adults. I did a variety and planned some of the food in advance, as well as having a cheese plate that was easy to assemble. The noodle bar sounds fun - just make sure you don't have any peanut allergies present.

Bridget said...

I would definitely go with an ice cream sundae bar - you can have oodles of sprinkles and chocolate for the little kids, but also fancy fudges and toppings and things for the adults.

Other food options could be a chili tasting where each family brings a type of chili, with spaghettios or sloppy joes for the kids depending on how adventurous they are.

You could also try doing macaroni and cheese (the epic homemade kind) with make your own salads (and kraft mac and cheese if necessary)

mansionmogul said...

I had a "grilled cheese party". We had all kinds of cheese for people to assemble their sandwich, and you can class it up with fancy breads and cheeses and toppings. Ex: gouda, havarti, blue cheese, pesto, bacon, tomato and apple slices, etc to make it fancy.
More ideas here:
http://www.chow.com/stories/10785

amber said...

Remember that peanuts are a common allergy among the small set.

Maryann said...

How about a roll your own sushi party. You can have different stations with the ingredients and instructions on how to roll your own sushi. Also have some staples available like green tea, edamame, and tempura.

Cupcakes and Cutlery said...

I'm with Amber regarding peanuts. My son is allergic and going to a party is always anxiety ridden for me. I was just reading the March issue of Food & Wine Magazine and they had an article on meatballs which I think would be a perfect idea. Most kids love meatballs and you could make it a unique experience for them by putting a few on a skewer with a thicker pasta like taglietelle or even penne and then having some dipping sauces for them such as marinara or alfredo. For the adults you could do a somewhat basic meatball but provide different sauces for them to try such as italian standards but you could also do teriyaki or some sort of red wine sauce. The Food & Wine article put two meatballs, a cherry tomato half and a few basil leaves on a skewer and then sprinkled with parmigiano-reggiano. Yum. They also did them asian style in a lettuce wrap for a totally unique presentation. It's the March issue if anyone wants to look it up.

S-

Katrina said...

Find an electric pizza oven, buy some mini pizza bases or pita breads and have a pizza party. Put tomato sauce in a bowl, then have a selection of pizza toppings: shredded ham, salami, pepperoni, sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and lots of grated cheese. Everyone makes their own pizzas, takes turns cooking them throughout the party as appetites decree. Super-fun I promise. Xxxxx