Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Princess Party for my Princess

Last year was a very challenging year for our family. We lost 4 babies, and my 4 year old daughter had to learn to live life without mom because I was either immobilized from morning sickness, bed rest, hospitalization or physical restrictions. Then dealing with the idea that she lost 4 siblings. It kills me every time people say "she's young she doesn't understand it like you think she does". I KNOW it's not true, I see her understand it better than many adults.

Last year was the first time Donya was so excited to have a birthday party with her friends. Thankfully our loved ones helped make her b-day happen. Mommy was not too involved, because I physically was not suppose to move. I wanted to make it up to mostly myself. She was thankful with the party she had. Made me love her that much more.

As soon as I started walking after the we lost the triplets, I knew I wanted to do something for Donya. I love planning parties and what better than to plan a Princess Party to get my head busy from the darkness we had walked through to bring a smile in my little sunshine's heart. 

Ideas were endless, unlike time and resources. I had so many things I wanted to make. I just had to stop myself. Maybe a Princess Party II might happen just to be able to make the other things that were calling my name. 

So there was princess food planning! "What do princesses eat" asked one of the moms. I don't know! It must be relatively healthy, and yummy on top of the theme.

I came up with Magic wands. 

I made a thin Kabob Digi in 2  cookie sheet pans. Once cooked, I used a star cookie cutter and cut out meat stars to top my wands. On the sticks I made fresh tortellini (store bought) in home made pesto put on skewers. The kids were impressed and loved eating them. 

The night before Donya and I cut fresh bread with princess cookie cutters to prep them for grilled cheese sandwiches. Of course a hit!

I made Salad olovieh to be eaten with the bread cut outs that were left over. What wasn't eaten I dried and made bred crumbs with. No loss just cuteness!

I also made the orzo feta salad from the Salad swap, as well as the cabbage salad and the Summer Squash and carrot ribbon salad. The ribbon salad really takes a good hour to make so I threw it in the food processor and had IT Do my fine chopping! Done in 5 min! YAY!

For dessert. OH Dessert. :) I made princess cookies (with Sugarbelle's basic sugar cookie recipe and RI recipe)!

Rapunzel Cupcake ice-cream cones (I got the idea from an empty link on Pinterest). I used  Royal Icing to decorate the cones.  

As well as fruit princess wands. Watermelon w Concord grapes (seedless), raspberries, and local farmer's market organic strawberries. Basically anything in season that can be on a skewer. 

They loved it and indulged. 

Lastly their 2nd DIY activity: Cake decorating!  

I was lucky because each little girl had a different favorite princess. I went to the Disney Store and bought a princess figurine pack so I was very excited! Perhaps more than some of the kids! 

My original thought was to make mini cakes, to put the figurine in the cake (after baked) and make the cake the skirt of the princess. Then I would let the girls decorate their princess skirt. That was a bit much to prep 6 different colors and decorations to go with each princess.

So scratch that. 

Then I made it a LOT easier on myself. There were 2 little princes, and the rest princesses. The kids were all accompanied by their moms so we had supervision, motivation, and pretty good kids so it made it easy! 

The cake recipe was from Glorious Treats' Perfect Vanilla Cupcake Recipe. The only modification I made was add Chia seeds and cut back on the sugar a bit from .75 cup sugar to .5 cups.
I doubled the recipe and made 2 six inch pans of cake and 1 8 inch pan. Whenever I had some left over I would pour them into the icecream cones.

I made and froze the cakes about a week before the party. It made my work load easier as did it make it easier to ice on the party day. 

I had a mini tin of decorations mixed for each Princess. (to avoid germ sharing and any broken hearts). Then sprinkles were in the sprinkle shakers that were on the table and shared by everyone. 

There were heart decorations, pink anything would work, and some gummies are just yummy :) Any left over candy I put in a tiny bag and let them take home with them. I would have thrown it away anyway. 

As far as gifts for the royalty to take home with them were princess plastic cups. I had about double the quantity, so there were some for everyone to use at the party, then in a second cup I placed their goodies. I had a princess pencil, their princess, their princess cookie, stickers, sticker "earrings", princess rings… a few other things princessy.

During the beginning of the party, while the court gathered, I had a table set up with crafts to make their crowns. Anything shiny, with foam adjustable crowns I found at the dollar store. YAY! They had fun. 

The big adventurous day ended with moms and munchkins watching Tangled. It was fun, relaxing, and a blast. 

I hope this inspires you to cook up your own princess party for your little princess. 


Monday, August 26, 2013

Salad Swap 2013

I am hoping to start a tradition. Last year was the first Salad Swap. It's fabulous, fun, and efficient! the concept: Each guest brings a HUGE batch of salad (about double the serving size of the number of guests). We all eat dinner together, then we split the leftovers! :) A lot of fun for everyone! 

I of course had planned a little more than just salad for my contribution. I wanted to give something edible to my girly gang as their favor. An exfoliating Scrub! Now like I told one of my guests on her way out, if she choses not to use it as a scrub she can always put it on a pot and bring it to a boil with some water and make it into a simple syrup and add it to some vodka to make it a girly drink for a different sort of fun ;)

I made 3 "scents"

A pink one that was 

olive oil
dried ground edible rose petals (edible because they are not sprayed with as much/any pesticides that could be harmful for you)
pink sprinkles or a tiny tiny bit of food coloring to make it pink

Ginger powder
Ground fresh ginger
Lemon juice
Coconut oil
Orange extract
Orange sprinkles

Fresh lime juice
Coconut oil
Ground dried ginger
Green sprinkles

I added a square of ribbon to the back to make it cute

Today a few hours before everyone arrived, I made these bites and left them in the fridge with a wet paper towel over them. I saw them on Pinterest as an empty link. But the photo was self explanitory. 

The only thing I did was soak the feta in water (without salt.. so out of its brine) for 24 hours and it was a little less salty making it less of a punch and more of a tickle on your tongue. It also changes the texture a bit. 

I seriously thought they were pretty.The girls seemed to like the flavor combo. I'd say a hit! 

*HINT Make sure your cubes are big enough so that they don't break (see the far right) because putting it into the skewer makes them crack.

Of course there were the decorations

I thought I'd use the pre-salad snacks as decorations

It was fun

I also made some Quinoa fritters. I'll post the recipies in another blog post in detail. They were quite the hit surprisingly. My hubby and daughter don't consider it their favorites, but I love them and every time I serve them at parties, they are very much appreciated. 

I made a couple other "flower arrangements" :D

This year was lots of fun. The girls came over with HUGE batches of salad one more delicious than the other!

Lucie brought her Brussle Sprout Salad. 

Genviève got creative with her salad:


I had my ribbon salad.

Summer Ribbon Salad
Yellow zuccini
green zuccini

olive oil
apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper
fresh dill
lime juice
a yummy mustard

I made a second salad (being the host and all)

Feta Orzo Chickpea Salad
Red oinons
Feta (add feta when pasta is cooled)
fresh mint
salt and pepper

Red wine vinegar
Grated/crushed garlic
Olive oil

Yasi Brought her Quinoa veggie salad

Bell peppers gren, orange, red, yellow
Shreded carrot
Fresh lemon juice
Olive OIl
Salt and Pepper

She usually adds black beans but left it out this time. 

Marilou brought her fabulous Strawberry Motzarella salald

Red peppercorns
Balsamic vinegar
Brocconccini balls
Olive oil

Emilie brought her Sweet Orange and Pomagranate Couscous Salad

Couscous cooked in Orange Juice
(sue used half regular couscous half orange colored couscous, SO pretty!)
Orange zest - Always use Organic because of the 
Olive oil
salt and pepper 

Melanie brought her Mediterainian orzo salad

Green onions
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper

I had a dessert challenge by Emilie and Marilou. Emilie wanted a copycat of some dessert she had at a Montreal restoraunt a while ago. And Marilou - brownies. I made them with my own twist.

I bought my own pound cake from my local bakery... I know  I cut myself a break!

Reduce your balsamic vinegar

Ricotta Cheese
maple syrup
crushed black pepper
olive oil

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
Fresh Lemon juice
A good amount of crushed black pepper (enough to taste it but not too much to make it spicy)

And the Brownie Bites

Use your favorite brownie recipe
add hzelnuts to the brownies
then as though you are making cake pops, use Nutella instead of frosting. 
Cover in your favorite melted chocolate
Add your favorite sprinkles and