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Will kids (8 and 10) like this menu?

I'm having some family over for a morning pool party next week. My cousin is visiting from England w/ her kids. It's hot as hell here, we will eat out by the pool, so:

grilled chicken skewers w/ thai peanut sauce (on the side)
cold soba noodle salad (hopefully in cute take-out containers)
green papaya salad
slices of watermelon
some sort of ice cream concoction for dessert

I know the green papaya is mostly for the adults, but does everything else sound good for kids?

Do you think kids would be more excited over a multi-layered ice cream cake creation, or would they like ice cream sandwish cookies better? What are the chances kids will eat coffee ice cream in a layer if I do the cake? Any recipes?

Thanks in advance

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  1. I think the chicken skewers will go over fine w/the kids - peanut sauce included. Watermelon is a no brainer for kids too as is any kind of ice cream - I don't think kids are picky about how that is served although coffee ice cream might not be their first choice for flavor. If you're doing the layered desert, I'd make sure there are other flavors which are more familiar and kid-friendly - but I'm sure you already know that :-)

    2 Replies
    1. re: sivyaleah

      Eh...you're giving me too much credit. I thought perhaps the ubiquitous Starbucks Frappucino had the kiddies craving coffee as well.

      Which reminds me...I better put some whipped cream and chocolate sauce on whatever I serve them, no?

      1. re: sivyaleah

        I loved coffee ice cream, coffee milk and just about anything with coffee as a kid. Sort of the forbidden treat. Sadly since moving to t he midwest coffee desserts are not the norm or as regular as in the east. Some of that has changed but I can recall being in a grocery store and there was no coffee ice cream to be had. Shocking!

      2. I'd go with the ice cream sandwiches...no utensils, using your fingers is fun for all ages.

        1. I think the menu if fine, but the kids might not like the skewers if they also have vegetables on them. Chicken on a stick w/o the vegetables would go over better w/ many kids. You might consider adding a chopped or tossed salad to the menu. As far as coffee ice cream, I wouldn't give it to kids, just for the caffiene factor.

          1. Anything the kids can eat with their hands while sitting on the top pool step will be a hit! Put wooden plates or trays on the pool coping and watch the food disappear. I fed young visitors fried chicken legs, pork spareribs & corn on the cob in the pool and they've never gotten over it. Watermelon wedges would have been a "plus"! Add extras for the grownups and you'll be a smash hit. Have fun!

            1. It sounds like a great menu that a child as old as 8 could easily enjoy. Out of courtesy to the parents I would avoid coffee ice cream because they might consider it inappropriate. But I will tell you that it's my five year old's favorite flavor!

              Because you're concerned that the children may not enjoy the papaya salad, I think it's important to add another vegetable to the mix. Depending on your recipe you can also boost the vegetable content of the cold noodle dish.

              How about a broccoli salad? Even children who haven't been taught to eat vegetables tend to like broccoli! If you steam it and dress it with sesame oil, lite soy, grated ginger, scallions and chopped peanuts it should go nicely with the rest of the menu.

              I hope it works well and you all have a wonderful time.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Kater

                Yes, PLEASE avoid the coffee ice cream. I would never have allowed my children to eat it. Your milage may differ, but why give your guests the potential tension?

              2. fwiw, I loved coffee ice cream as a kid ... that and pistachio were my favorites ... I also fondly remember Hudsonville chocolate and cashew ice cream. Still love (or would love, if I could get it!) all of these today.

                PS Coffee had this delicious forbidden quality then ... my mother said it would stunt my growth and I was allowed only a teaspoon of Sanka and cream ;) I guess it all worked because I'm taller than she is :)

                1. My (almost) five year old would like it and would love the coffee icecream!

                  1. I'm curious about the comments about coffee ice cream....why would parents not allow their kids to eat it? Caffeine? or something else. Do those same parents never allow their kids to eat chocolate or cola (both of which contain caffeine)? I wouldn't think the amount of caffeine in a dish of coffee ice cream is that much...am I wrong?

                    For the OP:
                    I like the chicken skewers and separate grilled veggie skewers. Watermelon wedges are always popular. That and the chicken and the noodles and desert is more than enough for the kiddies anyway....you don't have to overdo it for their sake. You don't even necessarily need a veggie for them; they might not eat it anyway. And remember, its your party.
                    Also, I just noted that the kids are visiting from England. Maybe they would like some good old-fashioned American-themed summer food: grilled corn on the cob, hot dogs, banana splits, and of course the watermelon.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: janetofreno

                      The off topic tangent about caffeine and coffee ice cream has been moved to the Not About Food board


                      1. re: janetofreno

                        I'm curious about your position on the veggies. Actually, I'm a bit of an evangelist when it comes to feeding kids and I'm always curious to understand why people believe that children won't eat vegetables. Do you mind elaborating? I'd be curious to know if you have children, if they eat vegetables and if you think it's a problem when children don't eat vegetables.

                        My son is five and eats very well. Even before I became a mother I was often shocked to see people choose to feed their children chicken nuggets and french fries and actually teach them not to eat vegetables. Children are extremely impressionable, particularly when it comes to food. I'm also all in a lather about children's menus. We eat in a lot of ethnic restaurants and other places that don't have children's menus but I've had occasion recently to join friends in traditional family restaurant chains. I could not believe what they were offering to children for supper. Nothing but starch, fat, sugar without a vegetable in sight. I don't know why parents accept this from any restaurant. My son's supper came with a free dessert but I had to pay extra so that he could have some broccoli and carrots!

                        Anyway, I'm curious to know what you think of all this -

                        1. re: Kater

                          I promise:

                          The soba noodles will have at least carrot and snow peas in it, maybe bean sprouts. However, the chicken skewers are veggie-free.

                          I will avoid the coffee ice cream. Those kids practically drowned me the last time they came swimming, so I have no desire to give them any more energy than they have already.

                          1. re: Kater

                            Actually, I didn't mean to imply that kids won't eat veggies. I had one who ate a lot, and ate a lot of salads too. Its just that there was a lot already, including watermelon, and I think veggies would have been guilding the lily, so to speak.

                            1. re: janetofreno

                              My kids eat and like vegetables but would NEVER eat them at a party...

                          2. re: janetofreno

                            I haven't made them in a long time, but here is a link to an article that gives a recipe and general advice. Note that you want a cake-like cookie so that when they freeze you can still bite into them. Personally, I would make them ahead because setting up a make-your-own sandwich bar could be a pain while you're trying to enjoy your guests. But it might be fun to set out a few toppings (nuts, sprinkles, mini m&ms) that the children could roll onto the edges of their ice cream sandwich!


                            1. re: janetofreno

                              chocolate has negligable caffeine compared to coffee or cola. Nevertheless as parent of a 2 yo I limit the amt of chocolate she consumes partly because of the cafeine. I would not like it if someone fed my kid coffee ice cream.

                            2. Totally do the ice cream sandwiches. Make up some cookies the night before, put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on an upside-down one, top with another cookie, squish down, wrap it in plastic, and put it back in the freezer.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                Have you done this before? I see some recipes out there, but I'm wondering if just any favorite cookie recipe will work. Do you think there is a certain type of cookie that lends itself to not getting too hard in the freezer? I can remember buying ice cream cookies I couldn't bite. Thanks.

                                1. re: danna

                                  I've made homemade ice cream sandwiches before from a Martha Stewart recipe, and you're right--the texture of the cookies is very different for the reason you mentioned so you do need a special recipe. The ones I made had a chocolate cookie and coffee ice cream filling ;) I have fluted rectangular cookie cutters that made very cute sandwiches.

                                  1. re: foiegras

                                    Ok maybe this is a bit silly, but you could make ice cream sandwiches in the shape of animals. I have been contemplating buying this set from Sur La Table.

                                    1. re: virtualfrolic

                                      I saw the exact same molds at Williams-Sonoma. Too adorable for its own good! I'd get them, if I didn't know that 364 days a year, they'd be gathering dust in my cupboard. Interestingly, WS tied in the product with its brownie mix, suggesting you make the cookie part out of flat brownies. When you think of traditional, supermarket ice cream sandwiches, the 'cookie' part does seem more like a brownie than a cookie. Although, I often find the skin of the brownie clings to my fingers in a sticky kind of way...

                                  2. re: danna

                                    Yes, I have. It's a good idea to let the cookies stand at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes (5 for regular ice cream, 10 for premium) so that things have a chance to soften up. I do have a cookie recipe from Cook's Illustrated which I have used with great success; it makes a thin chocolate cookie sort of like the ones on store-bought ice cream sandwiches, but much much better. The recipe makes eight sandwiches, but is very easily doubled.

                                    1 c. flour
                                    1/2 c. Dutch-processed cocoa
                                    1/4 tsp salt
                                    1/8 tsp baking soda
                                    2 large eggs
                                    2/3 c. sugar
                                    1/4 c. chocolate syrup
                                    1/2 c. melted butter

                                    2 pints ice cream in pint containers (or if you're doubling the recipe, ice cream packaged in one of the rectangular containers)

                                    Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with the rack in the middle position. Spray a 17x11 jelly roll pan (or a half sheet pan) with cooking spray, and line with parchment. Seft the dry ingredients together, and whisk to combine. Beat the eggs, sugar, and chocolate syrup until light brown, then add melted butter and mix well. Pour the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients, and gently stir to combine until no dry streaks remain. Pour into the pan, spread it out evenly using an offset spatula, and bake for 10-12 minutes, until it springs back when touched.

                                    Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then run the offset spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen it up. Turn the cookie out onto a cutting board (or the counter), and let it cool for half an hour. Cut out sixteen round pieces from the cookie using a 3-inch (or slightly smaller) biscuit cutter.

                                    Slice the ice cream into 3/4 inch thick pieces using a serrated knife. Use the same biscuit cutter that you used for cutting out the cookies to make eight rounds of ice cream. Put the sandwiches together. You can either serve the cookies right away, put the sandwiches on a foil lined baking sheet, cover with a second piece of foil, and freeze for up to three hours, or wrap individual sandwiches in wax paper and then foil, and freeze for up to a week.

                                    For the ice cream, use a flavor that doesn't have chunks in it; classic chocolate and vanilla both work perfectly well. If you would like to jazz the sandwiches up a bit, put some mini checolate chips, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or crushed candy bars (Heath bars rock) in a small plate, then dip the edges of the sandwich into the topping. Press down so that the topping sticks.

                                    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                      Awesome. Thanks so much. I now have a use for my flower cookie cutters my husband bought me ages ago. They come in several sizes, so I can vary them. Maybe I'll vary the ice cream flavors too.