Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Junior Masterchef party 2011

 Above - the calm before the storm! Some of the pizza toppings waiting for the kids arrival.....

 Assembling the pizzas

 The finished pizzas awaiting cooking

 Whipping the cream for the butterfly cakes

 Doing the honey joys

 Fruit kebab making

 It's always handy having a family pet to clean up spillages!

 Chowing down on sushi and butterfly cakes

 Taste testing time

Food quiz time (above)

My daughter Nellie had a brilliant idea a few weeks back, when faced with the prospect of entertaining Miss Eliza’s 7th birthday party guests. Eliza (she of previous Maccas poo fame here on Rita’s blog, in 2007!) had previously been sucked into the general hype surrounding Masterchef, and daily watched taped episodes of the previous night’s events over the duration of the series. She has also, since then, demonstrated a marked interest in helping/cooking with mum for meals, so it was an inspired idea to hold a Junior Masterchef party, guaranteed to provide the party guests with the maximum enjoyment and fun; give them some subliminal health messages; get them to cook their own party food and take-home treats, and entertain both parents and kids.

The invitations were sent out, tied rustically to a wooden spoon – hint number one for the excited kids! Nellie found sets of five kids chef aprons and hats, in assorted fluoro colours, at Habitat, and bought two sets.

The party was scheduled for 4 – 6 pm, which successfully covers the dinner period for kids. The menu was:
Individual mini pizzas, made up by each child onto the bases provided, with their choice of toppings.
Butterfly cakes
Honey joys
Fruit skewers
Hummus dip, with celery and/or biscuits

Nellie’s preparation for the party was elementary……she chopped, sliced or grated all the toppings for the pizzas, and popped them in separate bowls. Toppings included pineapple (the most favoured), olives, salami, ham, tomatoes, spring onions, capsicum, cheddar cheese and mini bocconcini cheese, plus the usual tomato pizza base in the squeeze pack.

She cooked up a dozen cupcakes (to be subsequently converted into butterfly cakes by the chefs of the day) and assembled all ingredients for the three separate activities of butterfly cake making, honey joy making and fruit skewer chopping (with a blunt bread and butter knife) and threading.

The first party activity, Invention Test Number 1, was everyone decorating their pizzas. When they had finished, Nellie placed each completed pizza on a sheet of baking paper, with each childs name on it, so they could eat their own pizza later.

The kids then were separated into three groups/teams with three children in each, for Invention Test Number 2. Team 1 decorated the butterfly cakes, Team 2 made the honey joys and Team 3 cut and threaded the fruit skewers.

Team 1 quickly established a production line. One person had to carefully cut a round bit from the top of the cupcake, and separate the butterfly ‘wings’. The second person popped a teaspoon of raspberry jam into the bottom of the dent/hole they had just cut into the top of the cupcake, then the third team member finished it off with some whipped cream (which one of the team members had previously whipped in the Kitchen Aid). They then dusted the finished product with some icing sugar. Ideally each butterfly cake would have had ‘wings’ added to the top of the whipped cream on each cupcake, but due to a general lack of dexterity, the ‘wings’ were more crumbs of cake than wing-shaped bits of cake, so after a few vain attempts to add the token ‘wings’, that particular aspect of the creation was abandoned.

Team 2 made up their honey joys, under adult supervision, which were then cooked.

Team 3 looked like the fun team to be in, because their jobs weren’t very onerous, you could eat what you cut up or threaded badly and wouldn’t stay on the skewer, and you produced very colourful and healthy looking party food!

All finished products were placed on the table for general nibbling and grazing whenever anyone felt like it. Two large platters of sushi were also on the table for adults and children alike, along with the hummus.

The teams then stayed in their groups for a Taste Test. One child in each team was blindfolded, and that child had to guess what it was they were tasting. They had three different tastes to guess at. Each team member had a go at this, and they all loved it! Some of the tastes were tomato sauce, honey, vegemite (which one of the children swore was blue vein cheese!!), maple syrup and orange juice.

Lastly was a general food quiz, which was conducted by one of the mums present who coincidentally happens to be their teacher! She managed to get them under control (they obviously were, at this stage, heavily ‘sugared up’ with honey joys, and very excited!) using means only available to a teacher (ie she didn’t have the emotional ties that parents tend to have). They sat in an orderly fashion on the floor in a circle around her, and put up their hands when they knew the answers to such questions as What goes into a banana smoothie? Is a tomato a vegetable or a fruit? What different animals can you get milk from? What are two things you can make with eggs?

The party was SO successful that Nellie only remembered after everyone had departed what, to some, is the most important part of a birthday party – the cake! Singing Happy Birthday, blowing out the candles and cutting the cake went by the wayside, with no one even noticing the distinct lack thereof!
Posted on by Rita


Anonymous said...

Sounds such fun Rita, remember my own kid's birthday parties. Most successful was a water party - bring a change of clothes and your Super Soaker (remember them?)Several drenched but such happy kids later !

lemon curd said...

Fun! I'd enjoy that for my birthday party!

Michelle said...

What a fabulous party idea! Well done!

Anonymous said...

Cygnet chocolates very average,much better in the North of the state imo sorry Rita

Anonymous said...

good one anonymous - kick a bit harder - Cygnet chocolates are anything but average - all crafted with imagination wicked flavours and skill. They are the chocolates made by Cygneture ------ what has the North of the state got to do with anything, how can you compare???why compare. YOUR comment is average wrong and useless.

Anonymous said...

My goodness Rita, say you like other hand made chocolates over someone elses and stand back and watch them explode-Get over yourself who ever you are, I stand by what I said, House of Anvers is a far superior product. Not kicking at all, just expressing a different opinion!

Anonymous said...

Wow so many jumping on the Cygnet bandwagon are now trying to cash in fisrt is Gormless farmer and now this copy of Anvers!!!