If you are one of those moms (or super dads) who like to cook everything for the birthday celebrations of their child, then this is one article you need to read. This is coming from someone who has been making everything for their children (4 of them) on many separate occasions. So I have all the experience in the world.
I know where things go wrong, so I will tell you how to plan efficiently, then how you can execute and some evergreen dishes that will leave everyone licking their fingers.
So let us first about the planning. If you are having a small gathering of close friends (which is highly recommended), then you don’t need to cook more than 4-5 dishes. Mostly we recommend you to go for birthday themed dishes like cakes, waffles and for savory you can go for dishes like pasta or chicken pie.
Anyway here is what you need to do first. Ask your friends who will be coming to the party if they are allergic to something or not, mostly try avoiding peanuts. Then based on the information you can zero down to the dishes you need to cook.
Oh yes, there is one that I forgot. The cake flavor totally depends on your child, if he likes chocolate go for that if he likes hazelnut or vanilla go for that. Your child will be the star, and the cake should resonate with what he likes.
Next step related to planning is getting the ingredients. Here is the exact process I follow so that I don’t forget anything: –
Write down all the dishes.
- Go to your favorite recipe site, or google to jot down all the ingredients you need for a particular dish. Even if you are sure about it, just note down all the ingredients. Remember it is a for a special day and you can’t mess anything up.
- For desserts, you can get the ingredients, a week before the special day also. Just make sure you cross everything down.
- For main course dishes, you can get vegetables or meat two days before the birthday. Fresh vegetables taste better.
Now the primary task is execution. This is where you are most likely to mess up, but meticulous planning can save you sweat.
If you are cooking any meat related dishes, it is recommended that you marinate the chicken or pork overnight. Add a tinge of lemon too. (Every time ;))
Next, if you’ll be making pasta, get most of the work down at night. Because on the day of the birthday, you will be occupied with a lot of other things too.
Also, for the initial few years, I had a lot of appliances, a separate hand mixer, a waffle iron and even a pasta maker. Handing too many appliances can get exhausting and increases the chances of messing it up.
Now I use the best stand mixer with attachment, the Kitchen Aid Professional 600, which has attachments like pasta maker and waffle iron, it simplifies the process and also gives you the much-needed kitchen real estate.
Also, if you are doing this for the first time, it is advised if you get some help. A second hand relieves some pressure and will also ease your workload. Go for a friend who has already done this. You can even ask your spouse if he/she is not busy handling other tasks.
So overall, these are the top tips you can follow. Again you are free to make some changes according to your needs. There is no copy-paste method which will work for everyone. However, if you enjoy the process you will not only make stunning dishes, but the whole experience will be memorable for you. And trust me when you see your child smiling, you would want to do this again and again.