Monday, July 31, 2017

Dinosaur Themed Food for a Dinosaur Birthday Party

Rowdy is now 18 months old.  Can you believe it?  I am still playing catch up when it comes to blog posts because, well, I'm home full time with an 18 month old.  It is hard to find the time to set down and write when Rowdy wants to sit in my lap, read books, or open and close Lego suitcases for 30 minutes straight.  In the Fall Rowdy will start preschool with Lucky so I should have some time to dedicate to writing and filming again.  Nevertheless, I'm happy to finally share some of the fun Dinosaur themed foods I created for Rowdy's first birthday party.

Fossil Cookies

I thought it would be fun to take sugar cookies up a notch and make some fossil cookies.  After a lot of experimentation, I settled on the following technique:

  1. Make sugar cookie dough according to the package directions for shaped cookies (or use your favorite recipe from scratch)
  2. Roll the dough out
  3. Have a blast with your toddler making footprints on the dough and pressing imprints of the dinosaurs.

  4. Cut the dough into cookie sized pieces with a knife.  I tried to to irregular shapes so it would look like cracks.
  5. Bake according to your recipe directions.

If you want to make an imprint of the side of a dinosaur, make sure that you press it into the dough REALLY hard so it will show up after baking.

I spent a lot of time looking for dinosaur figurines that had different foot shapes, and then Lucky was gifted a Terra Container of Mini Dinosaurs for Christmas.  These were the perfect scale to fit many different footprint shapes into the dough.

Candy Dinosaur Nests

I love making chocolate covered crunchy snacks for parties.  Chocolate covered chow mein noodles have become spiders and crabs, chocolate covered pretzels have turned into pumpkins, so why not do something similar to make little dinosaur nests?  I happened to have a huge box of Rice Krispies on hand so I decided to mix these with some melted chocolate chips to create Dinosaur nests.  Ultimately I decided to add marshmallows the mix and create some Chocolate Rice Krispies Treats for the nests.  First, I used  my dinosaur candy mold and colored candy wafers to create some dinosaur shaped candy to sit on the nests.

I microwaved the wafers in a ziplock bag in 30 second increments until it was melted.  I mixed the colors together with my hands and then clipped off a corner to fill the molds.  I mixed yellow and dark green candy wafers to get a gradient of green dinos.  For the middle green I used a ratio of 7 green: 3 yellow.  I found that 40 melted wafers filled 9 of the dinosaur shapes.  For the yellow-green, I used 38 yellow and 12 green dinosaurs.  For the deepest green I used only dark green wafers.

I made the chocolate Rice Krispies Treats and then added balls to a greased muffin tin.  I made sure there was an indentation in the center to form a little cup for the "nest."   Then I added my candy dinosaurs to the center of each nest while they were still warm.  

The dinosaur candy melted just a little bit.  Not enough for the dinosaurs to lose their shape but enough to secure them to their chocolate nests.  These were DELICIOUS and super cute.

Baked Dinosaur Tortilla Chips

I've made my own pita chips before, but I've never tried to make my own tortilla chips. When I found this idea on Pinterest I knew it was a fun project that I could make in advance for Rowdy's party.  I used a Dinosaur sandwich cookie cutter to cut dinosaurs out of some Spinach, Garlic and pesto tortillas. Since I didn't have an oil spritzer, I brushed some olive oil on top of the cutouts and sprinkled them with coarse salt.  I baked the chips at 275 degrees F for 15 minutes.

I hand cut some triangles out of the excess tortillas.  I knew that I would want some small triangles to use to make some dinosaur dip!

There were a lot of extra pieces after cutting out the dinosaurs.  I turned these into chips, too and the boys had them as a crunchy, tasty snack.

Guacasaurus and Hummusaurus

I wish I could take credit for the Guacasaurus and Hummusaurus, but I found the inspiration for these fun dips in a blog post from a 4 year old's dinosaur birthday party.  This was also the inspiration for Rowdy's cake.)  

I used some of the triangle tortilla chips that I made above to create the spines and horns of these fun little creatures.  I forgot to get sour cream so I used some plain Greek yogurt to help make the eyes.  

Dinosaur Cakes

When Rowdy was an itty baby, I found that Wilton had some adorable dinosaur cupcake kits.  These came with legs and tails on the cupcake wrapper, edible sprinkle spines and the heads on toothpicks.

I made some funfetti cupcakes for these little dino cupcakes.  I was afraid that the legs and the tail wouldn't show up if I used chocolate.  

I think that if I were going to design these cupcakes myself, I might make a tail out of candy or something to make that more obvious.  After baking the cupcakes, the wrapper decorations were pretty subtle.

Triceratops Cake

I did a lot of research on my dinosaur party Pinterest page before settling on a cake design.  When I found this Triceratops cake tutorial I knew that it was something I could attempt to re-create myself.

I baked two round cakes plus an extra square cake in a Brownie pan.  Unlike the tutorial, I wanted to use cake for the dinosaur's crest on top of the head.  I cut the triangles such that the side attached to the head was from the edge of the pan.  This meant that the points were thicker and raised up a bit.  

I think it was really brilliant how the tail and the head are cut from one round cake.  (I forgot to take a picture of how they fit together.)  

Icing this cake was... hard.  I don't think I appreciated how hard it would be to frost cut pieces of cake without them falling apart.  I was able to "make it work" and I think that I ended up with a darling homemade cake for my little one.  

I didn't have a backup cake baked if this failed.  I think my backup would have been to quickly make a sheet cake and put my kid's name on it.  Look how cute this Triceratops came out, though!  

In addition to these fun dino themed foods I shared in this post, I turned a lot of other "normal" party foods into dinosaur foods.  I can't wait to show you the spread that I put out at the table!  

I just asked Lucky what kind of birthday party he wants this October.  Lucky has officially requested a Dinosaur themed birthday party, too!  We are gently suggesting other ideas, but I am happy that my kids have picked up my love for dinosaurs. We'll see if Lucky changes his mind as we get closer to October, but I might have to come back to these ideas.

This post contains Amazon affiliate links but I was not paid to feature any specific product.  All product selections and thoughts are my own.