Monday, May 23, 2016

A Birthday Party By An Unpinteresting Mum

One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was all about what an "unpinteresting" Mum I am. Here's the link if you haven't read it: When I wrote that, we were still living in Japan and I was still called Mom - but now, we're in New Zealand and I am Mum. Anyway, I digress.

While I admire all those crafty and organised Mums and Moms out there, I have to say, I am not very strong in either of those departments. We just threw my son his tenth birthday party yesterday, and I have to say, it went well. I was happy with it. I mean, it wasn't perfect, but the kids had a blast and it was easy for us. We had it at Inflatable World, a magical (I am being generous with my adjectives here) place where you can reserve a table for your party and the kids can literally go bounce off the walls for two hours. 

First things first, we've thrown parties like this before at bowling alleys and playland type places and one thing I noticed was that kids do not want to tear themselves away from the excitement to sit down for food. I thought about ordering pizzas, or having some sandwiches or something, but knew that the kids would probably randomly swing by, take a bite and toss the rest. Not providing food, of course, is not an option, so I made little snack packs. 

Nothing fancy - I just bought some little containers from the $2 Store (have I told you how much I love the $2 store?) and put snacks in there. I wanted to make it relatively "healthy," so I put raisins, granola bars, Grain Waves and one Chocolate Fish. I know that those things aren't 100% healthy and still contain sugar, but better than packs of m&ms, donuts, fizzy drinks - you get the idea. I wrote the child's name on the lid and that was that. This worked out perfectly - the kids stopped by the table, ate a little snack, had some water and went back to going bonkers in the play area. Half an hour before the end of party time, we did the cake, but the kids wanted to keep playing so they chose the takeaway (takeout, if you're American) option for the cake. By this time, their snack packs were empty - yay, instant takeaway boxes. I can't say that the cakes made it home, though. The kids gobbled their pieces up while waiting for their parents to pick them up.

We did have twelve kids to feed at the party and I knew the snack packs wouldn't cut it on their own, so I whipped up these awesome pizza scrolls. Now, I'm no Nigella Lawson or Martha Stewart, okay and I've never attempted to make anything with pastry, thinking it would be too complicated. It's not! These pizza scrolls were so easy to make! 
This is everything you need. 

1) Spread some flour over a clean surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the pastry out into a rectangular shape, be careful not to make it too thin. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C, approximately 300 degrees F.

2) Spread an even layer of tomato paste on the pastry, right to the edges. Load it up with toppings of your choice. I kept it simple and only used cheese, mixed herbs and baby spinach leaves. 

3) Roll the whole thing up evenly, and slice thinly. 

4) Lay slices on an oven tray lined with baking paper, grill for about 10 minutes or so. Check frequently and take them out when it reaches the colour you like.

This recipe makes about 30, so I made two batches for the party. They were a total hit!
Now that I know how to make this, I am so going to go nuts with variations - including a sweet version using fruit. 

Feel free to comment or send me a PM with suggestions on how to milk this recipe for all it's worth!

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