Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Naturally Fun Parties for Kids:: A Review
It's certainly not because I want to slight my boy, or because I am cheap.
It's because I have just come to dislike what birthdays have become to the upcoming generations. They seem to be a one-up-ing celebration of gifts, gimee-gimee-gimee and over the top expensive parties. Seriously, just seeing a preview on TV for My Super Sweet 16 is enough to make me want to hide in a closet.
I remember getting a phone call from my sweet friend Heather telling me that she had been asked to co-write a book on creative, handmade celebrations with Anni Daulter. Listening to her tell me what the book was about, I became encouraged to reevaluate birthday parties as I knew them. The goal of creating not only a beautiful day, but to do it in a do-able, economical, earth-friendly way.
The book recently arrived and now that I have paged through it's beautiful photos and words, I am excited to think of ways to incorporate their wonderful ideas into not only a party, but into our life.
First off, the photography in the book is beautiful. It not only makes you feel as if you are a part of the party, but as if you can taste the amazing food pictured. Its 128 pages are filled with 12 seasonal parties for kids ages 5 to 12. Complete with instructions on making decorations, games to play, and delicious recipes to make. The instructions are extremely clear, which I love. My favorite part though, is that everything is mix and match-able. You can take a recipe or a craft from one party idea and incorporate it into another party with ease.
(photo courtesy Heather Fontenot)
Heather and Anni have ingeniously come up with party planning timelines, which I am sure will help to decrease the stress of planning and also give a wonderful guideline for getting things together as the party gets closer.
(photo courtesy Heather Fontenot)
I have already earmarked several pages with recipes that I want to try or crafts that I want to work on.
I am in love with the "Upcycled Wool Sweater Dream Pillows" I have so much extra sweater scraps from past projects, this is just right for using them up.
I also look forward to visiting the local markets and buying oodles of strawberries to try out a few of the yummy berry recipes in the book. Plus these " Wheat Turkey Wraps" look amazing and perfect for bringing to the park or beach.
Speaking of berries...
The "Dutch Oven Apple-Berry Cobbler" is to die for and Heather and Anni have granted me permission to share the recipe with you all here.
Enjoy. It really is as amazing as it looks.
8 Gala apples chopped
1/2 tbs each nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice
1 tsp salt
2 cups fresh berries
juice of 1 lemon
3 cups of quick oats
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup diced dates
1tsp baking powder
1 stick of unsalted softened butter
Preheat oven to 350' F
In a large bowl mix the apples, spices and salt. Add the berries and lemon juice and mix together with your hands.
In a separate large bowl mix the oats, sugar, dates, baking powder and butter together to form a loose dough or crumble
Press most of the dough into the bottom of a Dutch oven to form a nice base, reserving some to crumble on the top. Pour the apple and berry mixture over the crust and top with the remaining crumble mixture.
* I do not have a dutch oven, so I used a glass baking dish and this cobbler came out very, very nicely just as written.
Bake covered for 40-45 minutes until nicely browned. Serve warm, directly from the Dutch oven. You may want to top with vanilla bean ice cream.
I received this book for review, but my words are from my heart. I have loved reading this book and recommend it to anyone who is looking for spirited, beautiful ways to throw parties or just to live life with little ones in general.
I am beyond proud of my girlie Heather for all of the amazing work and time that she put into this book at such short notice. She is a wonderful friend and to see her work in print makes my heart swell.