This is Olivia, the pig. Not to be confused with Olivia, the girl. The one who invited me to cook with her friends at her 5th birthday party.
I couldn’t resist the challenge. Well, the challenges. You know, it’s not the easiest thing to wrangle 25 excited 5-year olds and persuade them all to cook at the same time. Or to come up with a kid and family pleasing menu that was fun, fancy and pig-themed. But, I am happy to announce that we succeeded!
Before I share our Olivia-themed menu, you should know that Olivia’s (the girl, not the pig) mom and I talked about what was important for their party. She wanted recipes that would involve the children, give them lots of hands on activity, and that would feature healthy ingredients. She had plans for a fantastic Olivia themed cake, so it was up to me to work with the kids on making some “growing food.”
Unfortunately, I was too busy herding cats teaching to take any photos of our food. But if you make any of these recipes with your kids, please feel free to upload and share your photos with our Facebook community!
Stuffed Baby Red Potato Bites
by Michelle Stern, What’s Cooking with Kids
Everyone who knows Olivia knows that she loves the color red. And that she’s fancy. I was inspired by the beautiful red potatoes I saw at the farmer’s market this week, and thought they would make an ideal fancy-schmancy appetizer for the children at this Olivia-themed cooking birthday party.
24 small red potatoes (about 2-1/2 pounds)
2/3 cup sour cream, organic if possible
1/3 cup cotija cheese, crumbled or cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper, to taste
paprika, optional garnish for the top
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Scrub potatoes.
- Place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain.
- If your potatoes are very small, cut a slice off the top of the potato and scoop out the pulp. Be sure to leave enough potato behind so that the skin acts like a bowl.
- If your potatoes are a bit larger, cut them in half, and scoop out the pulp from each half in the same fashion.
- If the bottoms are wobbly, cut a very thin slice from the bottom, so that it sits flat on your baking tray without toppling over.
- In a large bowl, mash the scooped out potato with the sour cream.
- Grate or crumble the cheese and add to the mixture.
- Add the salt and pepper, to taste.
- Scoop the mixture back into the potato shells.
- You can top with additional cheese, if desired, and then sprinkle with paprika.
- Nestle the potato bites into a baking dish.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.
Olivia in a Cardigan (aka Pigs in a Blanket)
By Michelle Stern, What’s Cooking with Kids
I couldn’t resist doing pigs in a blanket with the children at this party. But since we were being fancy, we had to offer this oldie-but-goodie a new name and a bit of a makeover.
1-1.5 pounds chicken apple sausage, or other sausage of your choice
1 large egg
All-purpose flour, for work surface
1 box puff pastry, thawed
poppy seeds, optional
Ketchup and Mustard, for serving
- Cut sausages into 2-inch long segments.
- Cut them again lengthwise 3/4 of the way through.
- On a lightly floured work surface, work with one sheet of puff pastry at a time and roll into a 14-by-11-inch rectangle.
- Cut lengthwise into seven 1 1/2-inch wide strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 rectangles, each about 3 1/2 inches long.
- In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water; set aside. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
- Place a sausage on the narrow end of one piece of pastry.
- Roll to enclose, brushing with some of the beaten egg to adhere; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining hot dogs and pastry.
- Brush the tops of puff pastry with egg and sprinkle with seeds, if using.
- Transfer to refrigerator and let chill for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450℉.
- Transfer baking sheets to oven and bake until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.
- Let cool briefly before serving with mustard and ketchup.
We also made some fancy cocktails, complete with bendy-straws with built-in paper umbrellas. The children combined pomegranate and cherry juice with carbonated water – healthy, naturally sweet and delicious.
If you were doing an Olivia-themed party, what would you have prepared?
Get a FREE Cook & Learn Activity!
As a subscriber, you'll get free Cook and Learn Activities with kids, simple recipes and special offers delivered right to your inbox!