Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ratatouille Birthday Party for Little Chef

As you regular readers will know, Little Chef is all about the cooking. Any time one of us is in the kitchen he demands a chair so he can be at the counter with us, no matter how small the task. So it was really a no brainer to have a Ratatouille themed birthday party for him this year! I'd be lying if I told you it wasn't a lot of work, but it was so much fun and Little Chef could not have been happier! It was worth every bit of time and effort putting this party together.

I had plans to use this adorable rolling pin invitation, but as it turns out, this busy mom just couldn't get it done. So instead I went with my old stand-by, Red Stamp. If you've never used this amazing app, I highly recommend it. It makes keeping up with birthdays and holidays a snap! We sent electronic invitations to keep it simple.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much Ratatouille themed party decor was available on Amazon. After all, it's been seven years since Ratatouille was released. (Can you believe it's been that long?) But we were able to find party hats (toques), balloons (which you can see in the photo above) and a backdrop with Linguini and Remy for our party. Perfect for those photo ops!

And remember these Gusteau's take out sacks from our back to school posts? Of course I printed them up and used them for goody bags!

The cooking part was a lot more like decorating, but the toddlers didn't seem to mind! I decided to have two different stations. Our table is pretty big, and we have a rule of thumb that we only invite as many kids as the age you are turning (in this case 3). So I set up each end of the table with "cooking stations."

The first thing we did was make chocolate fondue fruit kabobs. We had lots of fruit cut up (whatever looked fresh at the market) and I whipped up a chocolate sauce. This is so easy and a real hit with the kids!

The second station was a decorating station. I decided to make homemade marshmallows so we could decorate them, along with brownies. I had never made marshmallows from scratch, but I had heard they were to die for. I was shocked at how easy they were to make! Of course Little Chef helped me make them and the sensory experience and transformation was enough to make both of us giddy! I used Alton Brown's recipe to make them. If you try it, make sure you watch the video first. I was so glad I knew what to expect as I was working in the kitchen. I love the way these turned out. They were delicious and decorating them was new and different! I was concerned that the marshmallows would melt in the chocolate and frosting, but they held up beautifully! I used cake pop sticks to make them easy to handle.

I wanted everyone to have individual decorating supplies. I know the sorts of arguments that can break out over shared equipment! These mini muffin tins were the perfect solution. I filled each section with all natural colored sugars from India Tree. I would never have dreamed how much fun the kids had with these!

And see those aprons? I made one for each guest to take home as party favors. They were so easy I was able to whip up all three of them in one quick afternoon. I figured the mom's would appreciate it too! I made them from old pillowcases that needed repurposing. You can read all about them in Tuesday's post.

And then we sat around playing with all the great toys that Little Chef received for his birthday! It was a great party and so fun catching up with good friends! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

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