Usually when I have parties it’s a cheese plate and chips kind of affair. It’s always perfectly yummy and dependable yet also a little bit boring. However, last week was a little different. I was hosting a welcome back party for my friends Shelley and Joel. They live in Melbourne now but they used to live here. I hosted their farewell party so it only made sense to host the party for their return.
I wasn’t originally planning to go all out for this one but Tanie volunteered to make the decorations and it all went from there. We went for a summer camp type theme and I think we nailed it. In fact, I think Tanie and I could take our party planning skills on the road (as long as she does the decor and I do the food).
(ahem – I also ganked most of these photos from her blog. So props to Taylor for the photography!)
Your party planners!
The guests of honour
Tanie & the beautiful little Gwen
In addition to the wood print photo backdrop pictured above we had:
Campfire LED candle holders. (Tanie has the directions here.)
Pretty bark print paper straws.
Beautiful green woodsy garland. Some of the paper had sparkles. SO GOOD!
Once we had the camp theme, the food menu came together quickly. Who doesn’t love this kind of stuff? Even though it was a room full of adults, this menu would work at a kids birthday party.
– mini hot dogs
– mac’n’cheese cups
– corn cups
– curry ketchup
– s’more douerves
– bug juice (aka. fruit juice with rum)
Corn in a Cup
(recipe adapted from here)
– 5 ears of corn
– 1/4 cup Vegenaise
– 1 tsp of paprika
– 1 tsp chili powder (sometimes we like it chili powder heavy)
– 1 tsp cayenne
– about 1/2 a lime worth of juice
– the rest of lime cut into thin slices
Shuck corn, cut off kernels and place in bowl. I microwaved mine for about 4 minutes but you can boil the shucks first if you like.
Mix everything together. Scoop into cups and add a lime wedge for garnish. Adjust the seasonings to taste if necessary. Voila!
(recipe adapted from here)
– 1 lb can of whole tomatoes (in juice)
– 2 T of vegetable oil
– 1 large yellow onion, chopped
– 3 cloves fresh garlic (I always use my Microplane zester but you can just chop it)
– 2.5 T of curry powder
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1 T paprika
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent. It should take about 10 minutes. Add your spices and stir to coat.
Throw in the full can of tomatoes. Squish down the tomatoes with your wooden spoon. Add in the sugar and vinegar. Bring everything to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let it all mingle together for about half an hour.
Use an immersion blender to whizz everything together. Then it’s time to thicken it up by running it through the strainer.