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One of my favorite things to pin on Pinterest is party foods because they generally combine two categories I love: cute things and delicious things. Last weekend was my son’s fourth birthday party and I found myself catering around forty people, so I used the party as an opportunity to try out several things I had pinned to my party food board.
I varied these slightly from the original pin by using green grapes instead of olives for the eyes, simply because grapes were cheaper and the spares could be added to the buffet fruit bowl. Although the sandwiches turned out OK and made a lot of our guests smile I think they were much too big. I used whole slices of Milk Roll bread which seemed small enough at the time I was constructing the sandwiches but compared to the pin were enormous. This idea has some great potential for Halloween parties and I’m already envisaging a Monster Book of Monsters variation if I ever find myself hosting a Harry Potter themed party (please, please, please let my children become Potterheads). This is one to try again.
This was actually my second year making fruit skewers because they proved so incredibly popular at last year’s party. They need to be made fairly close to the time of the party, but a few hours out is fine. They are so easy to make (once the fruit has been peeled anyway) that they could be left in the hands of an older child. This year I bought pre-chopped pineapple chunks to save time and I also varied from the original pin as I did last year by using strawberries instead of raspberries which I think are a little too tart for most kids. The colors of these skewers are wonderful and they really brighten up a buffet table without needing to pile on more artificial produce. Parents seem to appreciate them too as they always disappear quickly.
I had a lot of leftover fruit from the skewers so I decided to give this design a go because it seemed like another pin that would be very easy to make. One problem, however, is that it needs to be made very close to the time you are serving food. This is because the banana will rapidly turn brown and unpleasant if left out so you need to consider your kitchen space and available time during the party itself. This is a great idea for using up leftover fruit and is easy to vary with other items such as green apple slices for the leaves or mango for the sand. It’s simple enough to work as a regular dessert too.
This is the only item I neglected to photograph. The octopus was very easy to make and he looked great on the table, the problems began when people started eating. The octopus sits in the hummus making it hard for people to actually get to it. I considered simply swiping a small amount of hummus over a plate and leaving the rest in a bowl to the side, but even that seemed wasteful. The octopus requires you to leave most of a pepper unchopped. Unless you leave a knife out for people to chop it themselves (and honestly, who’s going to be the parent who takes a knife to the octopus?) most of a pepper is going to go uneaten and probably wasted. This is a pin that looks great but fails on both practicality and wastage issues so I won’t be doing it again.
I got the idea for these not from Pinterest but from a local mum who was discussing making them at our women’s group a few weeks before the party. It was only after making them that my fellow GeekMom Amy tweeted me to say that her attempts are always a Pinterest Fail.
I wrapped my cones in foil before filling them with cake mix to around a third/three-quarters full because I was assured this prevents them from burning. The cakes are actually quite large and take longer than you might think in the oven, keep checking every few minutes until they’re cooked through. On removing the foil the cones were a little soft but as the cakes cooled they hardened back up to their pre-cooking state. I topped them with Betty Crocker Cream Cheese Icing and sprinkles and they looked great. I can’t speak to the taste myself as I personally cannot stand the taste of ice cream cones (which incidentally helped prevent me eating any before they made it to the party) but our guests all loved them. I was informed later by my niece that in contrast to what all the pins tell you, the cakes are very difficult to eat. Because they are large and the icing is packed right at the top, a lot of the smaller kids left the bottom of their cones—although these seemed to be consumed happily by the parents!