Friends, we do not mess around over here when it comes to birthday parties.
Ever since my mom came to visit with her iPad, getting my son hooked on Angry Birds, I’ve been planning this Angry Bird-themed party. So, like 4-5 months of planning.
I don’t know what it is about kids’ parties that make me go a little nutty and start taking things beyond a normal level, but it’s just fun. Well, until it’s the week of the party and I’m swamped with things to make and get ready, and I can’t tone it down because I’m just too invested.
That being said, I did better than last year in that I wasn’t frantically frosting cupcakes as the guests arrived. I was plating the last of the appetizers as people got here, but other than that I was able to join the party from the get-go.
However, in similar fashion to last year, I was testing out recipes like a crazy person for months in advance. This year it was even more important because we had some food allergies to deal with. So I had to find and/or develop recipes that were gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. Woah. So I tested out a lot of recipes, a few of which were so bad they went straight into the trash. Anyway. More on that later.
My friend Emma of Frost on Flower Digital Photography brought her camera along unasked, which was fantastic because despite my best efforts, it’s difficult to play hostess and take all the pictures I wanted to take. So she’s letting me post some of her pictures along with mine on the blog so you can get the full feel of this party. (Seriously, check out her website. She’s awesome. And that’s her adorable daughter, Olive, also known as Little Man’s BFF.)
So here’s the lineup of the food we had. I know it’s not a requirement for a host/hostess to accommodate their guests food allergies, but it seems like common courtesy to me. That being said, I could have made sure there was at least something all my guests could eat. But maybe I’m more sensitive to it because my mom has several food allergies to contend with, but I wanted my guests to be able to eat what they wanted instead of being relegated to only one option that was safe for them. So of all the things I served, there was only one thing that was “off-limits” for my 2 guests with dietary restrictions.
First off: the appetizers.
Bacon-Wrapped Potatoes. This is one of the easiest and most delicious recipes I’ve ever made. It’s from Martha Stewart and you can find it here. The only thing I did differently was to throw on some fresh rosemary from the garden before baking.
This is sausage wrapped in puff pastry. You can find a lot of gluten-free bread options at health-food grocery stores, and you can find vegan ones as well. But finding one that is gluten-free, has no refined sugar, and also contains no dairy or eggs? Not that I could find. So I found a recipe for gluten-free puff pastry and substituted vegan buttery sticks for the butter. I think this recipe would definitely work better with real butter, as the vegan butter is softer and makes the dough a little wetter. It also doesn’t brown the same way as butter, so I had to experiment with how long to bake these since I couldn’t rely on browning to tell when they were done.
To make these, I wrapped the puff pastry around (fully cooked) sausages and then sliced them. I did this a few days ahead and then froze them on a baking sheet. Then I put them in a ziplock bag to store. When it was time to bake them, I put them on a baking sheet and baked them at 400˚ for 12 minutes.
Fruit skewers. Pretty self-explanatory. I also had a veggie platter with a bean dip I made by throwing 2 cans white beans, 1 head roasted garlic, and the juice of half a lemon in my food processor and blending it up until smooth. Then I seasoned with salt, pepper, and fresh herbs from the garden.
Angry Birds snack mix. This was the one item that was full of gluten, sugar, and some dairy products. But when I saw the Angry Birds graham crackers at the store, I had to figure out a way to use them. So I threw together a snack mix with pretzels, some fancy organic chocolate animal cookies and Raisinets. I laid everything out on waxed paper-lined cookie sheets, then melted chocolate, mixed in a little peanut butter and drizzled it over the mix.
And what’s an Angry Birds party without…
Birdseed bars! This is a recipe I made up based on some bars that I had at our local health foods store. Recipe coming soon!
And then the cupcakes! I’m actually going to save the details of the cupcakes for another post because this one is already getting long. But I think you (and the guests who ate them!) will be surprised by the ingredients in the layered brownie-chocolate chip cookie cupcake. You’d never know they’re actually pretty healthy!
Anyway, enough of the food.
So what’s an Angry Birds party without an Angry Birds game? Instead of trying to have everyone take turns on a computer, we made up our own Angry Birds Lawn Game.
We ordered a big set of Angry Birds plush toys from Amazon, and then Hubs cut up some scrap wood so we could build structures. Then we put the pigs on it and threw birds at it.
We had some Angry Birds disc shooters and propellers for everyone to play with outside.
As you can see, some people had to build a better propeller. Mostly Little Man just kept asking “fly! fly please!” (Little Man with my father- and brother-in-law.)
We also set up a photo booth with props. Angry Birds eyebrows and mustaches!
Little Man with my sister, making angry faces.
Olive. This picture cracks me up.
Me and my little birthday boy.
We also had Angry Birds tattoos for everyone.
Olive got some on her face.
I got some on my arm.
My sister got some on her wrists.
And Little Man? He got them… well…
Happy 2nd Birthday, Little Man.
I love you with all my heart!