Parties and Entertaining

Hosting A Birthday Celebration

So you’ve got a birthday coming up? We’ve got you covered with a few simple tips and tricks, to take the stress out of it. We’ve even got a few easy recipes to get you on the right track. So you’ll be free to kick back and enjoy the celebrations.

A birthday celebration need not cost you a fortune. Our number 1 tip is to keep it simple. Unless you’re hosting a sit down dinner, stick to finger foods. Pies, sausage rolls and pastries are always a hit. For a super simple solution buy them frozen and use a Microwave Crispy Tray – that way you can’t forget about them and be left with burnt pies!

Create an interactive meal – like tacos – it will make for a fun time for your guests, and cut the work in half for you!

CHICKEN TACOS 

Ingredients (serves 16)

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 medium red onion, finely chopped (Handy Hint: Try a Chop Wizard – just pop in the onion and press down the lid. You’ll have finely chopped onions, minus the teary eyes!)
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1kg chicken mince (Handy Hint: Save money on pre-packaged mince and try the meat mincer  at home. Simply add whole chicken fillets and turn the handle. You can also substitute for beef)
  • 4 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 4 cans kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  • 4 cans corn kernels, drained, rinsed
  • 4 teaspoons Mexican chilli powder
  • 4 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 48 taco shells (Allows for 3 each)
  • 4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 4 carrots, grated (Handy Hint: Try the Easy Twist Grater – it’s a time and mess saver and is easy and safe to use. Plus you can grate the cheese at the same time!)
  • 8 small fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 cups  low-fat grated tasty cheese

Method 

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. (Handy Hint: Try the Slimmer’s Fry Pan to impress your guests with a yummy, healthy meal) Add onion and garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Increase heat to medium-high. Add mince. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up mince, for 5 to 6 minutes or until browned.
  2. 2. Add canned tomatoes, beans, corn, chilli powder and sugar. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 10 minutes or until mixture has thickened.
  3. 3. Bake taco shells for 5 minutes or until browned. (Leave this step until just before you serve so they are fresh)
  4. 4. Place the lettuce, carrots, fresh tomatoes and cheese in containers for serving.

The best idea for birthday foods is to choose a menu which can be prepared ahead of time. Simply prepare and place in sealable containers until you are ready to serve. Why not look for storing bowls that can double as serving bowls? Like this bowl set which is microwave safe, so you can reheat the mince mix when you are ready to serve.

You don’t have to go all out decorating for an adult birthday. Instead add some quirky touches, like this Cat Paper Towel Holder. And why not create an eye-catching centre piece? Try the Delights Tree – it displays snacks like lollies or cheese and crackers in a creative way and will delight your guests and surely be a talking point.

For a fun twist on the traditional birthday cake, serve cupcakes instead. Plus if you don’t want everyone to know your age you can get away with not putting candles on it! Serve the cupcakes in a cupcake stand – an easy way to wow your guests.


 

CUPCAKES

Ingredients (Makes 40)

  • 5 cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 375g butter, melted, cooled
  • 2 cups milk
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For Icing:

  • 2 x 500g packets pure icing sugar
  • red food colouring
  • 2 passionfruit, pulp removed
  • 1 orange, rind finely grated, juiced
  • sugar flowers to decorate

Method

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Line two 12-hole muffin pans with paper cases.
  2. 2. Combine flour and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
  3. 3. Using a fork, beat butter, milk, egg and vanilla in a jug. Pour into the well. Try an Easy-Pour Measuring Jug for no-fuss and no-spill pouring. Stir gently with a metal spoon to combine. Two-thirds fill paper cases with mixture. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, swapping trays after 8 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining mixture to make 40 cupcakes.
  4. Tip: Bake the night before and store in airtight container, then move onto the below steps on the morning of the birthday.
  5. 1. Make pink icing: Sift 1 1/2 cups icing sugar into a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons warm water and 1 drop red food colouring. Mix well. Spread onto 14 cupcakes. Top with flowers. Allow to set.
  6. 2. Make passionfruit icing: Sift 1 1/2 cups icing sugar into a bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons passionfruit pulp. Mix well. Spread onto 1/2 of remaining cupcakes. Top with flowers. Allow to set.
  7. 3. Make orange icing: Sift 1 1/2 cups icing sugar into a bowl. Add orange rind and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Mix well. Spread onto remaining cupcakes. Top with flowers. Allow to set.

Birthday celebrations should be fun and shouldn’t leave you stressed out if you’re playing host. Keep it simple and most importantly have fun with it!

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