View Full Version : Birthday Party Menu Help--Inspire Me Please!

03-19-2009, 05:13 PM
I am in serious need of inspiration! DD's 2nd birthday party is next weekend. With the exception of the dessert selection, I'm completely stuck: Barefoot Contessa's chocolate cupcakes with PB icing (no worries, there are no wee guests with peanut allergies) and strawberry pink lady cupcakes (adapted from the cake recipe on the smitten kitchen blog).

Here's the rub. The party is at 2 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon. I am caught between lunch and dinner. I'm in menu planning purgatory!

What to serve? We expect 17 adults (give or take) and 8 children (beteen 1 1/2 and 9 years). Deviled eggs, cheese and crackers, fruit, chicken nuggets (BJ's sells a mega-sized, dino-shaped all natural, antibiotic free brand). All good but a bit boring..a bit "vanilla". I have poured over countless kids birthday party threads on this board and I'm still caught in a muddle.

Please inspire me, friends! I'm the foodie friend of the bunch so when folks come over they expect a good spread. I know all of you can relate to that! Also, I want to keep things budget friendly (another thing that most of us can relate to these days).

Look forward to your replies! Thanks in advance! :)

03-19-2009, 06:41 PM
It looks to me like the kids are taken care of (they will probably only be interested in dessert anyway) but you need some sort of protein for the adults besides chicken nuggets. Maybe chicken salad on croissants? Or maybe make a big pot of white chicken chili?

03-19-2009, 06:51 PM
My first thought was kicking up the food that you mentioned. Fruit on skewers, chicken nuggets but with two or three kinds of homemade dipping sauce, several different kinds of cheese with fun shaped crackers. That way you please the kids, but still keep your foodie reputation. (think vanilla bean instead of just vanilla!)

03-19-2009, 08:16 PM
Wraps are another good idea - they can be as sophisticated as you want them and variations are infinite. You can even throw some pb and j wraps in the mix for the kids if desired! They are pretty sliced on the bias exposing swirls of vegetable color. And no need for green salad if using spinach, arugula, etc leaves.

They make a meal or a snack. They can be cut in 1 inch slices or in half.

Ummm, let's see: The obligatory fruit bowl (for guests monitoring cholesterol and fat), perhaps a batch of cookies instead of 2 batches of cupcakes? I like Whoopie Pies for parties. Pita chips and dip? Since sliced tomatoes in wraps don't work out well (wraps get soggy - I'd rather use sun-dried tomato in olive oil, julienned), perhaps sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzerella layered in a pretty plate drizzled with high quality evoo & vinegar and fresh basil?

Can't come up with anything else at the moment. I'm sure that with all our different ideas, you'll have a great spread!


03-21-2009, 06:50 AM
If the weather permits sliders would be a good choice for both grown-ups and kids, along with a nice pasta or potato salad, deviled eggs, beans. I love grilling.

03-21-2009, 07:07 AM
For a two o'clock birthday party, I wouldn't expect much more than cake and some punch, honestly.

But I understand the foodie reputation! I like Missi's idea of kicking up the usual, and maybe including some of the wraps, cut smaller so everyone can sample.

03-21-2009, 09:26 AM
Well, i like to keep things simple where i too can be a guest at an event. You can make an artichoke dip and put it in a bread bowl for the adults along with some vegetables that can be dipped.

For dinner keep it simple with garlic bread, a big ceasar salad and lasagna (or any baked pasta dish that can be made ahead of time and then just placed down for presentation)...i'm Italian so simple, yet sweet. If you are making your own sauce, make a bunch of meatballs, then you'll satisfy those that need a meat dish.

Or yet, since the time is at 2:00 (i missed that originally) then just make the salad and order in pizza for everyone...even easier!

Good luck.