Thursday, July 14, 2011

Make-Ahead Party

this was my first time hosting an activity party for lots of little kids. I was a little nervous about keeping the pace moving along so I wanted to have as much done for lunch (the last "activity" of the party) as possible ahead of time. Before I get any farther I have to give a huge shout-out to my mom who was the kitchen manager for the duration of the party and helped me out so much by doing all the last minute food preparations while I was playing camp director outside with the kids. Thank you Mom!! I could not have pulled this off without you.

Grandma relaxing with Little Miss after lunch.
so here is what we ate at the pirate party: 
  • teriyaki chicken skewers with pineapple
    • I cooked all the meat and pineapple in the teriyaki sauce the day before and stored separately to free up fridge space. the morning of the party I skewered everything and laid them out on cookie sheets. then Mom brushed the skewers with fresh marinade and popped them in the oven to heat up. 
  • oriental slaw salad
    • to make this ahead, but keep crunch to the nuts and ramen, I prepped everything ahead of time but stored it in three separate containers (veggies, dry ingredients and dressing) so all Mom had to do to serve was dump it all together and stir. look for the recipe after the jump.
  • almond butter and jelly sandwiches
    • for kids not ready to handle food on a stick.
  • strawberries
    • some I left plan and on some I put some leftover frosting from the cake on the ends and dipped it in colored sugar. yummy and cute!
  • jello jigglers
    • used the blue color and cut it into star shapes
  • sandcastle cake
    • to see my inspiration for the cake, click here. I pretty much followed the directions exactly except I also frosted the cones and dipped them in the crumbs so the whole thing looked sandy. It was pretty messy to make, but so adorable. And the kids really loved eating the empty, frosted ice cream cones! who knew?
In addition to tons of help from my mom, Deputy Handsome was also an amazing co-host for the party! He cut jigglers, hung streamers, kept the kids occupied so I could cook the day before and got into character with the party guests. I am consistently blessed by my family and am beyond thankful. *Pause for reflection.* 
Ok, no more sappy stuff. I know you're anxious to get your hands on this salad recipe!
Oriental Slaw Salad (this recipe serves 4-6. I doubled it for the party and there were no leftovers!)

1 package broccoli slaw
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 package chicken flavor ramen noodle soup (noodles broken into small pieces and toasted, seasoning reserved)

to retain crunch, toss everything together with the dressing (recipe below), at the last possible moment before serving. For best make-ahead results, store in three separate containers: one for veggies, one for ramen, nuts and seeds and one for dressing. 

1/3 cup canola oil
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
package of seasoning from ramen (to taste. I probably use about 3/4 of the package. If you are someone who regularly adds more salt to her food, use the whole thing.)
4 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp soy sauce

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