Girls birthday party ideas: cooking party

This article discusses some ideas to have a cooking-themed birthday party for girls.

Moms are always looking for new ideas for birthday parties for their daughters. When she's too old for fashion doll parties, and too young for sleepovers, what's left? What about a cooking party? Have the guests help prepare the snacks, and send everyone home with something tasty, or a cooking gadget of some kind. This is a fun idea that will also help a girl learn some valuable planning and cooking skills.

A cooking party will be limited by the amount of space in the kitchen, unless a larger facility is available, such as a church kitchen. However, more than five guests would create confusion, even in a large area. For a home, two or three guests may be more comfortable.

The menu for the party will depend on the guests' ages and preferences. Mom should call parents beforehand to ask about any food allergies, so she and her daughter can plan accordingly. The daughter should certainly be in on every discussion concerning the party, and should help with the shopping, too.

A couple of savory snacks and something sweet should be enough for most parties, and these should be snacks that anyone can help prepare. Good savory snacks include sausage pinwheels or cocktail roll-ups.

Sausage pinwheels are very easy. Simply take one can of crescent rolls and unroll the dough, sealing the perforations. Spread half a package of sausage over the dough and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese. Roll the dough from the long end. Refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes, then slice. Place the pinwheels on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350.

Cocktail roll-ups are easy, as well. Again, using crescent roll dough, separate each crescent roll and slice each piece in half. Starting at the small end, roll a cocktail sausage up into the dough and bake for 20 minutes at 400.

Tiny cheese toasts are also easy and popular. Mom can cut a narrow baguette loaf into slices about 1/4- inch thick and can place them on a cookie sheet. The guests can sprinkle cheese on the little bread rounds. Pop them under the broiler until the cheese has melted.

Another savory crunchy snack is a shake-n-snack. In a large plastic bag, combine 3 cups oyster crackers, 3 cups square cheese crackers, 3 cups bite-sized pretzels, 1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix, 1/2 teaspoon dill weed and 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil. Mix the dry ingredients in the bag, close tightly and shake! Add the oil, close and shake again. Kids will have a blast with this snack. The recipe makes a lot, so guests can put some in small disposable containers to take home.

Something sweet is necessary for a birthday party, but for a cooking party, cake is probably not the best answer. Cookies, however, are a great item. Mom can either make a batch of sugar cookie dough beforehand, or buy the refrigerated kind that can be cut or rolled out. Provide cookie cutters, some canned frosting, colored sugar, etc., and allow the girls to design their own cookies. Leftovers can be wrapped in colorful plastic wrap to take home as favors.

Brownies are another good sweet item for a cooking party. The girls can help mix up a batch from a box, and frost them when they're done.

The whole point of a cooking party is to make sure each guest gets to help with the snacks. These snacks offer skills that most girls eight years of age and up and master. For the younger set, Mom will want to be around for any slicing, but older girls can handle this chore, too. An older crowd might like pizza bites on English muffins, or ice cream sundaes, sodas or shakes instead of cookies. There are a lot of possibilities.

Part of the cooking process is cleaning up, so these chores should be distributed equally, and can be done while the sweet stuff is baking.

Little kitchen gadgets like timers, small measuring cups, measuring spoons, refrigerator magnets in the shape of kitchen appliances, or even a homemade spice blend, like for pizza, that the girls make themselves, are great party favors.

Turn on the CD player while the cooking is going on and encourage the guests to sing along to their favorite tunes.

When the food is ready, bring out the party serving platters, matching plates and napkins and eat up! The party is a success, and everyone has learned some good life skills. It's a winning combination.

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