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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Flamingo Friday: Birthday Party Part 2: Food & More!


Last week I shared the first part of our Flamingo Birthday Party for Hazel's fifth birthday. That post was more about the decorations and activities as well as what we did on her actual birthday. Today I am going to share the food we had and one other extra for the party I did. 
First our menu:
Appetizers
Chips and Salsa mixed with Sour Cream (it turns pinkish) and plain salsa
Vegetables and Dip (in particular carrots)
Shrimp
Edible Arrangement of Fruit

Lunch
Ginger Carrot Soup
Sandwiches (make your own ordered platters from grocery store)
Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Raspberry Balsamic Vingarette

Dessert
Strawberry Birthday Cake
Pink Flamingo Rice Krispie Treats

Beverages
Pink Flamingo Punch
Spiced Warm Cranberry Apple Cider
Coffee
Bottled Water with diy labels

The appetizers were fairly easy. For the salsa mixed with sour cream, I did two parts salsa to one part sour cream. My goal was to make it pinkish. I bought a pre-cut vegetable platter that came with ranch dip, but added more vegetables and divided it all into two plates. I also found a red pepper dip that was pink, so we served that as well. My mother brought the shrimp and prepared them (Steve and I do not eat shrimp) and my mother-in-law brought the fruit. I was going to use my flamingo cookie cutter and cut out some flamingo watermelon to add to it, but the watermelon looked awful at the store the day of the party, so we skipped it. I made signs for all the food. The most intriguing ones were the shrimp and carrot items. This also gave me a way to mark the salad with the nuts. Shrimp is what turns flamingos pink and carrots have the same beta carotene (it makes the carrots orange).



For the ginger carrot soup, I combined recipes I found at Fine Cooking and Simply Recipes. I tripled the recipe and used 3 pounds of carrots. I liked the Roasted Carrot Soup recipe since it also had celery in it. I thought the portions were better in the other one. I used vegetable broth so it would be a vegetarian option. My mother is now eating vegetarian mostly, so I wanted her to have options. It turned out fine, but was not the best ginger carrot soup I have ever had. The main meal I order a deli platter and roll platters from the grocery store that is five minutes from our house. The Rite Aid is next door and the manager always gives Hazel balloons for her party as a gift. It makes it all easy to pick up and much easier to put together. Then I adapted the recipe I found on Closet Cooking for the salad. I liked that it has avocado in it. I did not put the bacon in and since I do not like blue cheese, I used goat cheese. My mother helped me make the salad. I had made the dressing the day before using frozen raspberries.

Hazel and I had big plans to make pink rice krispie treats. We used brown krisped rice instead of the Kellogg's brand. I added some red food coloring to the melted marshmallows. Then we let it sit while we went out. Then I tried to cut the flamingos out of them with the cookie cutter. I put pink frosting (which I bought) on them and pink sugar to make them sparkle. Since Hazel was sick (she has been since Christmas night), I did this by myself. I also made the cake myself even though she talked about making it with me all year.

For the cake, I adapted the recipe I found on  Confections of a Foodie Bride. Since we used the same recipe last year, I knew how it turned out. I roughly doubled the strawberry puree used in the cake. I also added some red food coloring since Hazel wanted the cake to be pink like a flamingo. I made it into a 9" by 11" sheet cake so it could be the water the flamingo (lollipops) live on. I used store bought blue frosting and then used a sparkle frosting gel to write on it. Hazel shares her birthday with a good friend of ours and she wanted her name on the cake as well to honor her. Then I used the flamingo lollipops I got from Oriental Trading to finish our cake. 

For our beverages, I peeled the labels of a pack of 24 water bottles and printed out my own with something about Hazel's party and flamingos on it. For the pink flamingo punch, I was inspired by the recipe I found on Kathryn's Kloset. When I went to buy pink lemonade I found strawberry lemonade that was bright pink and used that. The punch was a huge hit and was finished at the party. I left the short plastic cups for the punch but also had tall thin ones for the kids to use with the flamingo straws and had the covered ones with straws (Hefty Zoo Pals) for the younger kids. For the Spiced Cranberry Apple Cider I used the recipe I found at Betty Crocker to cook it in my slow cooker. I did not look at it carefully and did not get whole allspice. I used about a teaspoon of ground though. It was delicious!! Steve or his mother made the coffee. Since I don't drink it, I don't make it well.


The final personal touches were Flamingo Trivia at the various tables and in the bathroom. (You can get a copy without the Hazel line on it.) Then I took some of our leftover wedding favors (votive candles in glass holders) and replaced the wedding stickers with flamingo birthday stickers. I wrapped them in pink tulle and tied a pink feather to them. I left them on a table in Hazel's bedroom where we were putting coats with a sign telling people to take one when they got their coats to leave.

For more ideas for flamingo parties, check out my Pinterest Board! For more on flamingos (books, crafts and info) check out all of our Flamingo Fridays!