I thought the easiest way to break down my details of Ezekiel’s Very Hungry Caterpillar first birthday party was to break it into two posts: food and decor. Food up first.
I struggled with the menu for a long while. Like the whole month that I planned. The Wednesday before the party, my awesome friend Jess came up to help me get some stuff ready. She is a party planning expert so I asked her advice, and together we narrowed it down. Unfortunately, at the end, I wasn’t able to do exactly all that I wanted because I ran out of time. As in, my whole living room was filling up with people at 3:03 (and the party started at 3…what punctual friends I have!), and I was still in the kitchen putting food on the table…*shame on me*. (What can you do when the birthday boy refuses a nap and you struggle with getting him down for an entire hour… and he still doesn’t nap!!?)
I found a lot of idea’s on (where else) Pinterest and also used the book as a guide for the food. Unfortunately, many of the food items in the book are sweets – cake, cupcake, pie, ice cream, lollipop…so I had to pick and choose.
I just made a funfetti cake mix in my spring form pan. The frosting is just a cream cheese frosting. I made the leaves out of marshmallow fondant using this recipe and this fondant leaf press, which I picked up at Jo-Ann’s. I originally had made a fondant caterpillar like this:
It really did turn out super cute, and even Skyler thought it looked great…However, come birthday party morning, my caterpillar was still not totally dried I guess, because it fell apart in little caterpillar pieces….so I used one of the little caterpillar printouts that I had left over (printed on nice photo paper) and taped to toothpicks…and thought, “duh. That was so much easier, still looks cute…why didn’t I do that originally?!”
I was going to make one of these little apple cakes for Ezekiel:
But when it came down to it, I opted not to because of two things: 1.) being health nuts (especially Skyler), we just really didn’t feel good about the idea of giving our little one sugar. 2.) Zeek doesn’t know how to feed himself yet, and that’s the whole “fun” of giving a baby cake, right? Oh, and let’s add a 3.) I didn’t feel like spending the 2nd half of his birthday party giving him a bath.
Also using the marshmallow fondant, I cut leaves out with this Wilton Fondant Leaves press and used the tip of my icing decorator to cut the holes in the leaves, like the caterpillar ate through it.
Just used another box cake (*gasp* I know, I know… :D), Devil’s Food, with chocolate frosting. Saw this picture from Pinterest for my inspiration:
Yeah, in my rush to greet guests, I forgot to take a picture of my lovely little pies. This is the best I’ve got…
See them hanging out in the background there?? (Look closer, they’re there.) They are little cherry pies made in a muffin tin. No, the filling isn’t made from scratch, it’s a can. The crust, however, is! And, it is the bomb. It is seriously such a great pie crust. At the party, I was telling my friend Maria that I never used to save pie crust recipes; I always just used to find and try out a new one each time. I never really found one that I liked all that well or thought was anything special. Then I found this recipe during this past holiday season. It was SO good that I pinned it to my “For Eating” board on Pinterest so I wouldn’t ever have to search for a new one again. It’s so quick, easy and simple. I think that even if the filling isn’t homemade, the pie will seem and taste homemade with an awesome homemade crust! You really have no excuse not to make your own with how quick and simple this one is.
I got the idea from this cherry pie in mason jars pic from Pinterest:
My brilliant friend Jess suggested making them in the muffin tins. I hadn’t ever thought of that before, but with the help of a little Pam, they baked perfectly and popped out of the muffin tin with ease! Definitely will be doing this again.
I made a leafy green spinach salad with strawberries and oranges in it, in honor of the story.
I found this recipe and knew it was perfect! I adapted it a little and made it with spinach, strawberries, mandarin oranges, pecans and dried cranberries, and mixed with the Annie’s Poppyseed dressing. It was super good! Skyler is still raving about the dressing. I wish I could say I made that too.
This is what I ran out of time on, but really wasn’t a big deal. I had found this recipe for a fruit salad dressing, and really had wanted to make it with the fruits from the book: apples, oranges, strawberries, pears and (maybe) plums. Because it was made with lemon juice, it would’ve kept the fruits from browning…and it just sounded good! I ran out of time though, so
we Skyler cut up honeydew, cantaloupe and strawberries for a fruit salad sans dressing.
(Yes, I still left the fruit cards by the fruit salad, even though none of those fruits were in the salad! haha). I had found the perfect matching cups for the fruit at the Party Store here. They were on sale after Christmas for a dollar per 10 pack, so I felt like I scored.
Pickles, Salami, Swiss Cheese and Crackers:
These all are foods from the book (except the crackers). I had seen the crackers from this Pinterest picture:
I search ALL over town to try to find these. Because it’s so close to holiday season, all the stores only seemed to carry the “holiday cracker” assortment, which had 4 different types of crackers per box – the butterfly’s being one of them. I finally settled on that, even though I would’ve really wanted just the butterflies.
Also from the book. I used this recipe for little smokies. I didn’t taste any of them (actually…I didn’t eat any of the food! I was too busy talking with people and chasing the birthday boy around! :)), but they disappeared quickly, so I’m guessing they tasted alright!?
I normally think smokies are gross, but Skyler requested them. Since he had minimal input in this party, I thought I’d respect his request.
These little crock pot’s that I had worked perfectly for them!
I found the big butterfly gummies at Winco and the small ones at Candy Time. I thought they were so pretty with their bright colors in the glass jar.
For drinks, I served Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino in a big glass pitcher, with vanilla ice cream floating in it. People loved it and asked me for the recipe…I told them it was easy…Just go to Costco and put a box of the Starbucks Mocha Frapp in your cart…
I also made strawberry lemonade and served it in my mason jar pitcher from World Market (which I love!):
We also had water bottles available…with a cute personalized label on them. I was feeling very clever when I made these…for the Very “Thirsty” Caterpillar. *Smug look of pride*. I’m so smart.
The idea for making my own labels came from here:
Have I mentioned my awesome friend Jess? Yeah, she helped me make these. They were easy, but definitely easier with an extra set of hands.
These are made from Pirouline wafer cookies (instead of the normal pretzel rod’s..because I personally am NOT a fan of sweet and salty!). We just dipped them in white chocolate and used red and two shades of green m&m’s for the caterpillar. I found the “Pick your color” m&m’s at Candy Time. They were really very quick and easy and TASTY!
The inspiration came from this picture:
And THAT wraps up the food details from Ezekiel’s Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday party! What would I have done without Pinterest for all the great inspiration?! Seriously.
P.S. Check out the decor details here.