Monday, June 10, 2013

Simple party foods

Our family doesn't typically have big birthday parties because, well, there's just too many of us for that to be a practical option. I like small simple family dinners with a homemade cake and a few presents. 
But, seeing as how Kate is our last "baby", we thought a 1st birthday party was the thing to do. 
I immediately began to stalk pinterest for fun menu ideas and cute decorations... I formed some pretty lofty plans that in the end got whittled down to just the food, as is usually the case. 
Would the pompoms have been cute? 
Of course, but after 2 days of preparing food I was way too tired to be concerned with tissue paper. 
I decided I would attempt to recreate this butterfly cake. I am certainly not a professional baker but I thought I could come close enough using the muffin tins I already had. Below is the end result, and as I suspected, it was definitely close enough!

I made more regular cupcakes also. A good friend of mine thinks they're pretty tasty and calls them my "specialty cupcakes". Well, I have a confession... they're out of a box, and a pretty cheap box at that. This is not a fact I have ever denied. It's just proof that if they're cute enough, people will eat and love them. 

 The cake stand is something I made a while back out of terracotta pots and saucers that I bought at the craft store for a few dollars. I spray painted them white and then used a clear coat on them. I turned everything upside down and stacked it up and there you go. Simple, large, and inexpensive cake stand. It's easily stored because the pieces aren't connected so it all comes apart. I was looking for some color today so I added in the little pink pots last minute. 
Wonderful butterfly cookies from my mother in law which were much appreciated because I cannot make sugar cookies (as you might remember from this post).
The donut tower, or croquembouche if you're feeling fancy, was a pinterest find as well. Seriously, the easiest thing I have ever made and it turned out so cute! Might have been better had it not been 12am the night before but as with everything else, it was good enough. I saw the image here but there's no tutorial, though I'm sure you could google if need be. All I used was a styrofoam cone which I covered with a brown paper bag. I stuck toothpicks in it and stuck the donut holes on one by one. So so easy. I used the Entenmanns Pop'ems, 4 boxes...I bought 3 and at 12am was about 5 holes short. Luckily my husband was more than willing to make a donut run first thing in the morning. 

 Veggies, chips, and dips... nothing special there. 

We also served sandwiches, pasta salad, and this salad which was so good!
For anyone interested, I used apple for the salad instead of pears, for no other reason other than that's what I already had. 
The sandwiches are made from King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (a family favorite) and deli meat. A tray of these things bought pre-made from the grocery store is over $30 and doesn't taste nearly as fresh as when you make them yourself. Just slice the whole brick of rolls in half, layer on the meat (and cheese if you prefer), place the top half back on, and then cut in to individual sandwiches. Again, so easy and so much cheaper! I've seen similar sandwiches on pinterest as well. 
I love having parties, but I also love that it's a rarity because it sure is a lot of work. But if I'm going to exhaust myself, I think feeding good friends and family is certainly a worthy cause. 
Baby Kate agrees! 

See other cute ideas here!


  1. Oh my goodness, all of your food looks amazing. Love the cake, how cute is that and the tiered cake stand is a genius idea. Sounds like a great time. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  2. Oh MY! I will take a few notches of that donut hole tree...Such a great idea. I would love for you to share this at my linky party