Monday, September 27, 2010
Last weekend we travelled home to Indiana and threw a big birthday party for our daughter-a pizza party with her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all in attendance. She loved her birthday party and had a wonderful time, but she was still a little bummed on the way home. "I wanted a party with my friends at home too." She pouted as we drove across the state line and into Ohio. Being the occasional over-indulgent parent that I am, I caved. "Well, maybe we can have a couple of your friends over for cake and ice cream next weekend." Tough negotiator that she is, she came back with, "No cake. Just ice cream." The kid despises birthday cake. Why? She can't stand frosting. (Who is this kid?!) "Okay, just ice cream" I agreed. Hey-no need to spend hours constructing another Ariel birthday cake. Like I was going to argue. So, at the after school pick-up this week, I mentioned to some of the neighborhood moms that we'd be having a little ice cream social at our house on Saturday in honor of my daughter's birthday. I'm glad I indulged her this time. It turns out that a couple of her friends were a little miffed that they'd been excluded from the out-of-state birthday celebration she'd talked about all week AND it gave me the opportunity to try out 2 wonderful ice cream topping recipes!
If you're looking for a fun birthday party on a budget, then try this! We'd already spent more that we budgeted on the weekend festivities back in Indiana. So, for this party, I picked up a big bucket of ice cream at ALDI ($4.99), a bunch of paper bowls at Walgreen's ($1.50) and 2 rolls of streamers ($2). Napkins are also a good idea (Luckily I keep an abundance of those on hand). I already had most of the sundae topping ingredients in my kitchen: Oreos, candy, whipped cream, and the ingredients for peanut butter and hot fudge sauce. With little time for planning games, I set out my daughter's favorite board games around the house (Candyland, Operation, Chutes and Ladders, and Ned's Head). At school they call them stations or centers. My daughter quickly pointed out this comparison. The kids were thrilled. Of course, we put up the bounce house in the lawn too. Oh, and favors? I just poured the leftover candies from the sundae bar into clear plastic cups and sent them home with the happy kiddos as they departed.
In order to save time before the party, I dished out the ice cream the night before, then covered it and put the bowl-filled trays into our basement freezer.
This afternoon before the guests arrived, I set out all of the toppings: homemade hot fudge and peanut butter sauce (recipe below),chopped or crushed Oreos, M & M's, bananas, chopped peanuts, whipped cream, cherries, and sprinkles.
Then I put those 2 rolls of streamers to work!
Gather a group of your favorite kiddos (or adults) around a table,
then supervise as they build their sundaes! This is the creation of one of my daughter's friends.
Once the kids were served, I moved the toppings into the kitchen and the adults went to town!
Here's my creation. Lots of hot fudge, peanut butter sauce, and whipped cream, sprinkled with peanuts, and topped with a cherry. It was perfection! It's pretty safe to say that the adults enjoyed the sundae bar even more than the kiddos.
Let's talk about the seriously delicious Peanut Butter Sauce.
It's easy to make...in the microwave no less!
Just combine a cup of brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a microwaveable dish.
Then heat to boiling in the microwave, for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, stirring twice.
Stir in a cup of peanut butter until smooth.
And finally, stir in 1/2 cup of evaporated milk until completely combined. That's it! Easy as pie! Actually easier....
The sauce was great on ice cream and you can store the leftovers in your fridge for later. Today I pulled out the leftovers and dished up a couple spoonfuls to reheat...
for another snack. It was pretty amazing on apples too! The perfect discovery just in time for apple season.
Here's the recipe from the Taste of Home website:
Peanut Butter Sauce
22 Servings Prep/Total Time: 10 min.
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk
Vanilla ice cream
•In a 1-1/2-qt. microwave-safe dish, combine the brown sugar, corn
syrup, butter and salt. Cover and microwave on high for 2-1/2
minutes or until mixture boils, stirring twice. Add peanut butter;
stir until smooth. Stir in evaporated milk.
•Serve warm over ice cream. Sprinkle with peanuts if desired. Cover
and store in the refrigerator. To reheat, microwave at 50% power for
30-60 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 2-3/4 cups.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (2 tablespoons) equals 149 calories, 8 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 6 mg cholesterol, 95 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.
The hot fudge sauce also came together quickly and is oh-so-decadent. I had to stash the leftovers at the back of the top shelf of my fridge because every time my daughters walk past, they beg for another spoonful!
Just melt 3/4 cup of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup of butter in a small saucepan.
Then stir in 2/3 cup of sugar.
And gradually add 2/3 cup of evaporated milk, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and boil over low heat for 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
Here's the recipe:
Mad for Plaid Hot Fudge Sauce from Better Homes and Gardens
Start to Finish: 15 minutes
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 5-oz. can evaporated milk (2/3 cup)
1. In a small heavy saucepan melt the chocolate and butter over medium heat. Add the sugar; gradually stir in the evaporated milk; stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently over low heat for 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Serve warm over ice cream. (Cover and chill any leftovers for up to 3 days.) Makes 1-1/2 cups.
Calories145, Total Fat (g)8, Saturated Fat (g)5, Monounsaturated Fat (g)2, Cholesterol (mg)14, Sodium (mg)41, Carbohydrate (g)19, Total Sugar (g)18, Fiber (g)1, Protein (g)1, Calcium (DV%)4, Iron (DV%)2, Other Carbohydrates (d.e.)1, Fat (d.e.)1.5, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet