Monday, May 24, 2010

30th Birthday Party Ideas

This weekend I hosted a surprise 30th birthday party. Even though it's hard for me to imagine the day I'll turn 30, (wink, wink) I thought I could still pull off a fun party for my friend!

As you know, I'm into the details, so I'll share some of my party food tips/secrets/ideas in this post ... and some of the decor/gift ideas next time.

First, I realized the party – a lunch/pool party – was on the same weekend as my daughter's preschool graduation, first dance performances and my wedding anniversary. Not wanting to overextend myself, I decided to commission another friend to make the cake:
My friend, Anna, came through with this gorgeous 2-tier cake that wowed the birthday girl and guests. I think every 10 years, we deserve a really special treat, right?! I'm not one for "regular" store-bought cakes, yet didn't want to be up all night trying to create my own "masterpiece." Tip - when in doubt, have others do!  :-)  Thank you, Anna!

Just for fun (and in case there was an abundance of kids) I made this purple "3-0" rice crispy dessert:
The two large numbers were made using 1 batch of the typical recipe:
6 cups cereal,
3 T butter,
1 bag marshmallows.
I added purple food color to compliment our purple, green and pink color scheme, then covered my hands with greased sandwich bags to shape the "30."

The main course: Hosting a party for up to 30 adults and assorted munchkins usually requires someone to man the grill for extended amounts of time. And someone to watch the kids by the pool. And someone to play hostess... I served a make-ahead entree – pulled BBQ chicken... Something I've never made before!   :-)
I trimmed and slow-cooked 16 large chicken breasts in the oven for 6 hours on 250 degrees. With what, you ask? Just S & P and a big bottle of Sweet Baby Rays barbecue sauce! I looked up a lot of BBQ recipes before I got started and thought "why spend precious minutes following a recipe that may or may not turn out, when I could use a recipe (in a bottle) that someone else has already spent untold minutes perfecting?"  :-)  If time is an issue for you, buy a bottled BBQ sauce brand you like and go for it!  Don't hate me 'cause I'm not southern!  :-)

After 6 hours, I removed the chicken from the sauce and shredded using two forks. Returned to the sauce for another hour in the oven. Then the fridge overnight. Popped the pan back into the oven with more sauce the next day, 2 hours before the party. Result: deeeelish!!   (serve with whole wheat buns - large for adults and smaller ones for the kids.)

Punch is always a good beverage choice for parties! It's colorful, festive and tasty:
Raspberry Lime Punch:
1 half gallon lime-ade,
1 L ginger ale (optional: raspberry ginger ale,)
raspberry sherbet (that you've softened and squished into a ring mold and frozen; use lime flavor for an all green punch,)
1 sliced lime.

Tip: offer covered cups with straws for the little ones; extra ice in a bucket; and a liter of Coke and water for alternatives.

More party pics next time!  :-)

9 comments:

Brenda said...

I couldn't agree with you more on the BBQ sauce! For dinner tonight, we had BBQ chicken from the crock pot, it was a big hit with my kids!
I added some seasonings and soy sauce and cooked it for 8 hours, it was great!

I love the cake--so pretty!
Thanks for sharing your fun party ideas!

Christina said...

First, my mom makes pulled chicken sandwiches just like that, and they are sooooo yummy that I wouldn't dream of making them any other way. : )

Second, wow! Your thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and organization skills/efficiency never cease to impress me.

Third, I think I'll use a variation on your punch recipe for my parent's 25th wedding anniversary celebration which I'm planning for August.

Fourth (are you tired of my comments yet?), my two-year-old who is "reading" blogs with me saw the cake and wondered if it was a birthday. When I told him that yes, it was, he wondered where the candles were. : ) I think he's pretty cute.

Laura said...

Oh, my goodness. This looks wonderful. I'm all about the make ahead party meal.

I bet you even got to enjoy your guests, right? I'm taking notes!

Lora said...

I love Sweet Baby Ray's bbq sauce, too!!

What a wonderful party! This definitely gives me some ideas for my sister's 30th b-day which is coming up soon:)

Carrie said...

Great party ideas! Looks like a great time! I LOVE the punch recipe and beautiful cake!

Rafahi Family said...

I am going to try making that chicken today, for tomorrow's dinner! Thanks for sharing.

Livin' the Yeh Life! said...

Looks SO beautiful and yummy! Can't wait to see more :)

birthday party theme said...

Creating a party theme is not that difficult, and one should never get too worried about overdoing it since achieving the right atmosphere is of great importance if you are planning a s party that shall be an event to remember.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Very cute!

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