• Kid-Friendly Party Recipes

    Kid-Friendly Party Recipes

    The hardest part of planning a party for kids isn’t the cleaning or the decorating – it’s the menu! While it’s easy to fall back on the good old standbys of chips, dips, and pigs in a blanket, we’ve scoured the internet for delicious, kid-friendly snacks that are guaranteed to liven things up. These party snacks pass the kid approval test with flying colors.

    Baked Macaroni & Cheese Cupcakes

    This delicious recipe from Food Network combines two things kids love: cheesy macaroni and cupcakes! It’s a perfect bite-sized snack that’s sure to be the hit of the party. If you don’t have time to blanch the veggies, frozen ones will work just fine.

    baked-macaroni-and-cheese cupcakes
    Photo Credit: Food Network

    What You’ll Need

    Vegetable cooking spray
    2 cups dried bread crumbs, divided
    1 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
    8 oz. ground turkey or chicken, preferably dark meat
    1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
    1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
    8 oz. small pasta, such as pennette, shells, or elbows
    2 cups grated Parmesan
    1 1/2 cups grated white Cheddar
    1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
    2 cups chopped broccoli, blanched,* see Cook’s Note
    1 lb. asparagus, cut into 3/4-inch pieces, blanched

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 2 (12-cup) muffin or cupcake pans with vegetable cooking spray. Using 1 cup of the bread crumbs, coat the inside of each muffin cup with bread crumbs, shaking off any excess.

    2. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey or chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Cook, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

    3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and add to a large bowl. Stir in the cooked turkey and the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

    4. Spoon the prepared pasta mixture into the cupcake molds, filling evenly to about 2/3 full. Arrange a few pieces of tomato, broccoli and asparagus into each cup. Top with a thin layer of the remaining bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.

    5. Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and carefully unmold with a spoon onto a serving platter.

    Crispy Carrot Fries with Lemon-Mint Dip

    This recipe, from Food Network’s Giada de Laurentiis, is full of flavor. The crispy panko crust is the key, so make sure the oil is at the right temperature for a perfect fry!

    crispy-carrot-fries-with-lemon-mint-dip
    Photo Credit: Food Network

    What You’ll Need

    5 cups safflower or vegetable oil
    6 large egg whites, beaten
    3 cups panko breadcrumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs)
    4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch long sticks, each about 1/2-inch thick
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, for sprinkling

    For the dip:
    1 cup sour cream
    1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
    1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    2 teaspoons sugar
    1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Directions

    1. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 350 degrees F. (If you don’t have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 3 minutes.)
    2. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl. Place the panko breadcrumbs in another medium bowl. Working in batches, drop the carrot sticks into the egg whites and turn to coat. Remove the carrot sticks, allowing any excess egg white to drip back into the bowl. Drop the carrot sticks in the panko; toss gently to coat.
    3. Working in batches, fry the carrot sticks until deep brown, 3 to 4 minutes, turning and separating with a wooden spoon and adjusting the temperature to maintain 350 degrees F. Drain on paper towels.
    4. Place a bowl of the dip in the center of a platter. Sprinkle the fries with salt and pepper. Arrange the fries around the dip, and serve.

     

    To make the dip:

    In a medium bowl, mix the sour cream, mint, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper together until blended. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.

    Creamy Spinach & Avocado Dip

    Spinach dip is a delicious party snack, but it’s definitely not the healthiest thing around. This recipe swaps out the cream cheese for mashed avocado and yogurt so you won’t worry every time kids load up their plate.

    Photo Credit: Sweet as Honey

    What You’ll Need

    1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes, squeezed, drained – about 20 large leaves of fresh spinach
    2 large ripe avocado about 2 cup of mashed avocado
    1 garlic cloves crushed
    1/4 cup fresh coriander chopped
    3/4 cup yogurt
    1 tbsp. lime juice
    3 tbsp. vegetable oil of your choice
    1/2 tsp. sea salt
    1 tbsp. oil to drizzle on top

    Directions

    1. Trim the fresh spinach leaves. Place them onto a large mixing bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover. Set aside for 2 minutes.
    2. Drain the spinach, rinse with cold water and using your hands squeeze the cooked/blanched spinach leaves to remove all the extra water. Eventually, pat dry onto two sheets of absorbent paper to remove all the extra water.
    3. In a food processor, with S blade attachment, add the spinach, mashed ripe avocado, crushed garlic, coriander, coconut yogurt, lime juice,avocado oil, salt and pepper.
    4. Process until smooth – about 2 minutes on high speed.
    5. Transfer into a bowl. Drizzle extra virgin oil on top if you like.
    6. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.

    Cheesy Muffin Pizzas

    This elegant update on the humble pizza from Food Network is sure to give kids a thrill. Using pre-made dough speeds things up, while the blend of mascarpone and fresh herbs give it extra pizzazz.

    Photo Credit: Food Network

    What You’ll Need

    One 4-ounce chicken breast cut into 1/4-inch cubes
    1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella
    2/3 cup chopped baby spinach
    1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone
    1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan (about 1 ounce)
    1/3 cup purchased tomato-basil sauce
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a small lemon)
    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    Nonstick vegetable oil spray
    All-purpose flour, for dusting
    1 pound ball fresh pizza dough

    Directions

    1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, mozzarella, spinach, mascarpone, Parmesan, tomato-basil sauce, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
    2. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Spray a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
    3. Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the pizza dough to a thin large round, about 1/8-inch thick. Using a 3 1/2- to 4-inch-diameter round cutter, cut out 12 rounds for pizza crusts. Working with 1 crust at a time, settle 1 dough round into the prepared muffin pan. Press and pull the dough up the sides of the cup. Rotate the pan and repeat until the dough covers the bottom and sides. Pack in 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds and filling.
    4. Bake the pizzas until the crusts are golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 16 to 18 minutes. Let stand 1 minute. Then use a small knife to loosen the pizzas. Arrange on a platter and serve.

    Honey Joys

    This sweet and crunchy snack is a bite-sized dessert with big-time flavor.

    honey-potato-chips
    Photo Credit: Kidspot

    What You’ll Need

    3 oz. butter or margarine
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 tbsp. honey
    4 cups cornflakes

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Line 24 hole patty pan with paper cases. Place butter, sugar and honey in a small saucepan.
    2. Heat over a medium heat until all ingredients are frothy.
    3. Place cornflakes in a large bowl.
    4. Pour over honey mixture and stir well to coat. Working quickly spoon into paper patty cases. Bake in a slow oven 150°C for 10 minutes. Cool and eat.

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