Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekend Cooking -- Birthday Food!

On Saturday we had a birthday celebration / Halloween party for Atticus and Hope.  It was wonderful!  It took a great deal of pep work, but it really all paid off.  The guests were relaxed, we had plenty of food and the weather was glorious.  We sat up a few tables outside for the drinks and food to sit on, but then everyone just milled about -- indoors and outdoors -- enjoying the food and chatting.  Of the 34 people who RSVP'd we had about 25 people (including us). 

Today I'll talk about the food and tomorrow I'll detail some of the crafts and other aspects.

The Menu

Brown Sugar Chili
Wintertime Vegetable Chili
Fixins (sour cream, cilantro, chives, cheese)
"Mummy" dogs
Peanut Butter on Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Peanut Butter on Pumpkin Swirl Bread
Jack-o-Lantern Veggie tray with dip
Spooky Clementines

Applesauce Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
Funfetti Birthday Cake
Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

Coffee ~ Soda ~ Water ~ Apple Juice


My goal was to make food that was easy to prep somewhat in advance, crock-pot friendly, and something toddlers would like.  The chili was more for the adults, but the kids annihilated the sandwiches and mummy dogs. 

Brown Sugar Chili
(from Fix it and Forget it Lightly)

1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 medium onion
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. mustard (bottled or prepared, not dry)
2 cans kidney beans (15 oz.)
1 pint low-sodium tomato juice or V-8
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. chili powder 

1. Brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and mustard.
2. Combine all ingredients in a 3-4 quart slow cooker.
3. Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours

Wintertime Vegetable Chili
(from Fix it and Forget it Lightly)

1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed (I roasted the squash first at 350 for 45 minutes... I HATE cutting squash!)
2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium-sized onion, diced
1-4 Tbsp. chili powder, depending upon personal taste
2 14-oz cans diced low-sodium tomatoes
4-oz can  chopped mild green chilies
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
2 16-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup fat-free sour cream

1. In a slow-cooker, layer all ingredients in order given—except sour cream.
2. Cover. Cook on low 6-8 hours, or until vegetables are tender.
3. Stir before serving.
4. Top individual servings with dollops of sour cream

Folks went back for seconds and thirds of chili and I had maybe 2 cups left of the veg chili and 1 cup left of the brown sugar chili at the end of the night.

The sandwiches were easy, I bought the bread at Publix on sale and cut the crusts off. 

The mummy dogs, Jack-o-lantern veggie tray, and spooky clementines were all Pinterest inspired.

Impossible Pumpkin Pie cupcakes were also found on pinterest and they were my favorites.

Applesauce Cupcakes were from Martha Stewarts' Cupcake book (but I used store bought cream cheese frosting).

The birthday cake was from just a simple Halloween funfetti box cake (hey, it was on sale for less than $1)!


picky said...

Yum! Everything looks so good. Glad it was such a success. Those mummy dogs are adorable.

Can't wait to read about the rest of the festivities.

Amanda said...

Sounds like fun! I love the mummy dogs. We made something similar for Morrigan's 4th birthday. They were called "Halloweenies," and basically involved wrapping a row of bread dough around a hot dog, splitting open the "mouth" of the dough, making eyes out of raisins, and putting in a tongue after the dough cooked. It was kinda awesome. :D Halloween time has the best food crafts, I think.

Beth F said...

The mummy dogs are fab! And I hate cutting squash too -- I try to con my husband into doing it for me. LOL.

What a feast!!

Zonia Cruz said...

Congratulations on a successful event. I'm curious if you have found the opportunity to cater since and if so, did you find it easier the second time around?

Hizons Catering