Saturday, November 23, 2013

MasterChef Birthday Party

Last Saturday we celebrated Builder Boy's 7th birthday with a MasterChef themed birthday party. Builder Boy is a big fan of the MasterChef and MasterChef Junior shows and lately has been very interested in learning how to cook. For his birthday presents I talked with his relatives and together they got him a bunch of his own cooking supplies including an awesome Fruit and Veggie Prep Kit specifically made for kids. Looking at all the presents he said that it was a "dream come true!" I asked for some recommendations from other parents for teaching to cook cookbooks for kids and from that he was given Elliot's Extraordinary Cookbook and Clueless in the Kitchen: A Cookbook for Teens. Elliot's Extraordinary Cookbook teaches kids about cooking and food through a story with a few, simple recipes while Clueless in the Kitchen is more instructive and has more recipes. We're going to cook our way though one and then the other.

So proud of his cheesecake with blueberries on top!

This spring when Builder Boy watched the cheesecake pressure test on MasterChef Builder Boy asked if he could make a cheesecake for his birthday. Not would I make one, but could he make one. I told him if he still remembered and wanted to do it then, he could. He remembered and all he could talk about when his birthday came up was that he was going to make his own cheesecake all by himself! I found an easy Bisquick recipe and while it's not perfect, it was easy enough for him to make without me touching anything and he loved it. And he was so very proud of it. He ended up making two; one for his birthday during the week and one for the party.

I had big plans for the birthday party. Those plans half way fell apart, however, when Principal Daddy got sick and I ran out of time. The things that did turn out: customized aprons for the party favor, kid chefs making their own pizza dough and learning how to toss it, and a blind folded taste test. The things that did not turn out: photo booth and pin the mustache on the chef. Because Daddy stayed in bed to keep from infecting our guests and my friend was helping with Lady Bug, I did not get many pictures. But the kids still had a good time, and that's what counts.

The aprons I got at Walmart and Joanne's Fabric. They were 3 aprons/$11. The Walmart ones were bigger and I found them in the craft section. Those I gave to the older boys. The smaller ones (for the same price) I found at Joanne's. I used red puffy fabric paint and painted on each person's name and the MasterChef logo. Same price (or less) than what you would normally spend on a bag of party favor toys and these will probably last longer.

Before the party started Builder Boy sliced olives with an egg slicer and pineapple rings, mushrooms, and bell peppers with his kid safe knife from the veggie prep kit. Principal Daddy searched youtube and picked some pizza tossing videos to show the kids so they could try it themselves. The kids had a lot of fun trying it out, and I was prepared for dropped dough. Everyone was a chef and made their own pizzas. For drinks we made the chose your own flavor drinks that we discovered from Pinterest last year.

When the pizzas were in the oven we did a blindfolded taste test with two kids at a time. They were pretty quick to pick up that we were using leftover pizza toppings as the ingredients so I pulled some other random veggies and such from the fridge. Builder Boy had really wanted a competitive component to his party and while it was informal with no "winner," he loved it.

I had wanted to make a photo booth with fun cut outs as another thing to do at the party. I purchased a roll of wrapping paper for the background and some cupcake boarder at the dollar store. Learn from my mistake: one roll is not wide enough. You have to double it to make it wide enough so you're not too close to take a picture. I did not figure this out until the night before the party. I know better now for next time.

The boys ended up playing with all the balloons from the birthday morning surprise plus some other ones I added and that was plenty to keep them occupied for the rest of the party.
I made a MasterChef Pinterest Board with some other ideas that I had considered doing if you're interested in throwing your own MasterChef party.

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