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Pesedik, easy birthday party for 3 year old

  • j

My daughter's 3rd b'day is coming up, and we were planning on just having family over (which is, as it turns out, between 15 & 20 people) for an easy pizza and cupcake party. Until I realized it's in the middle of Passover, and 1/2 my family keep kosher for passover (although they're happy to eat shrimp cocktail, ham hocks, and cheeseburgers...), so pizza and cupcakes aren't really going to cut it. Even the ice cream cake (just ice cream, no cake) we always get for b'days has corn syrup in it and so won't work for most of them (interestingly, the rabbi among them is the only one who's not fussed by corn...)

I've got dessert sorted with some (pricey!) passover cupcakes from Sprinkles, but am somewhat stymied on what to do for the dinner portion of it. I want something easy and cheap, along the lines of pizza, but passover friendly.

Thoughts we've had have included a bbq (although what would we do about buns?); brisket (maybe too complicated and/or expensive, and at least 3 of the guests don't eat red meat); turkey chili (but beans are off limits); turkey meatballs and mashed potatoes (again, perhaps too complicated, and also not so exciting); and matzah pizza (how complicated would this end up being? any thoughts? any good recipes?).

I've also thought about ordering something from a kosher deli (I live in the East Bay of the SF area), but I hear not such great things about Oakland Kosher, and Saul's in Berkeley was less than helpful when I called them (they suggested I come by their "Passover tent" when it opened, 2 days before the party--and said that they didn't really know what they'd have). Of course, catering also might rack up the dollars.

I feel like I'm spending way too much energy on this, but I just can't figure out anything that seems like a good solution. Any thoughts???


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  1. IMO, BBQ is the way to go. There are pesadich buns but when our girls were three they didn't eat buns anyhow. Just chopped up meat or chicken.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DeisCane

      Well, it's not my daughter I'm worried about--it's my adult relatives. I'll look for those buns. Any idea where to get them or who makes them?

      1. re: jks71

        Here are the hot dog buns: http://www.allinkosher.com/p-49065-un...

        I've seen rolls in a few supermarkets but don't remember the brand.

    2. we make matzah pizza all the time. recipe? a matzah, marinara sauce, kosher mozzarella or muenster cheese, kosher olive oil an oven and you've got pizza (you can microwave it for a couple minutes to get the cheese melted before putting it in the oven)

      1. If it's causing you that much stress, why don't you postpone the party until the weekend after Passover? The almost-three-year-old probably won't know the difference, and if she will, you can have a small celebration that day (maybe those expensive cupcakes for dessert, with a candle), then the bigger party later.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GilaB

          oh, believe you me, this will be our tactic for all future situations of this kind--she was born on the first night of Passover in 2006, and it looks like we'll be up against this situation just about every 3 years. The problem this year is that she has some aunts from WI that will only be in town that week.

        2. I would go for BBQ. You can include hamburgers, london broil, hot dogs, turkey burgers (plain and flavored) and lots of vegetables. The vegetables can be done in advance and plated and served room temp. Instead of mashed potatoes, buy some small red potatoes and cook them in a disposable pan on the grill. Or just wrap some idaho potatoes in foil and cook on the grill. If you eat rice, a rice pilaf.

          If you don't want to buy the K-for-P buns, you can make them. Much cheaper and you can make them small or large. I remember making them years ago for my younger cousins- they liked them, I was indifferent.

          For dessert, make a tiramisu or chocolate mousse. If there's a lot of kids around, you can make cupcakes.

          1. Why not have a light dairy meal -- tuna salad, potato salad, egg salad, green salad, fruit salad, matzo, matzo crackers, maybe a quinoa salad, etc. You could make this yourself in just a couple of hours, and it doesn't need to expensive at all. You could get ice cream (at Oakland Kosher if they need a heksher, or Haagen Daazs and some other brands are really "pure" and have no kitniyot) and serve your cupcakes (which I am quite curious about, I must say).

            It sounds like your guests are flexible about whether or not things are prepared in a kosher for passover kitchen (or whether or not meat has a heksher). At a similar family party, I ended up ordering from Asqew (several locations in the Bay Area) catering -- we got grilled fish and chicken, rice, potatoes, salad, asparagus, etc. All kosher for passover style, but not hekshered, and that went over very well.

            11 Replies
            1. re: milklady

              no, they're not concerned about preparation, just ingredients, and kind of in an ad hoc way--some will eat corn but not pork; some are okay with pork, but not corn; etc. Like I hinted at, they're pretty eclectic in their kashrut observances--I think cheeseburgers on matzah would be fine for some & not others; corn syrup ice cream similarly doesn't hit all bases. makes my job just that little bit more complicated...

              Sprinkles is the place that has pesedik cupcakes: http://www.sprinkles.com. There's a shop in the Stanford Shopping Center, and I think one in SF maybe. I've not tried anything from there yet, but they've got some kind of crazy following.

              Askew's not a bad idea, either... is rice okay for passover? I can't remember now--but seem to think it's on the banned list. But Askew also has mashed potatoes, right?


              1. re: jks71

                Ashkenazim typically don't eat rice while Sephardim usually do.

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  from what I hear it's no simple job for sephradim to eat rice on Pesach as they have to check every grain of rice

                  1. re: berel

                    at pomegranate they have rice checked 3 times so people do not have to it is $35 for 5 lbs

                    1. re: berel

                      it's not simple.. the rice has to be checked 3 times. but i guess once you know what you're doing and you sit down to check the rice it's not so difficult

                  2. re: jks71

                    People who don't eat corn don't eat rice. I don't eat rice, but I think that I got it for others. Potatoes both work...

                    1. re: jks71

                      I checked out the sprinkles link. Cute that they have flourless cupcakes. FYI the frosting is "vanilla bean" and people who won't eat corn syrup probably won't eat vanilla either.

                      1. re: milklady

                        What's wrong with vanilla? Vanilla beans are not kitniyiot. As I understand it, the problem with regular vanilla extract is the alcohol in it, not the vanilla. I even have a bottle of Kosher l'Pesach vanilla from Israel with a vanilla bean in the bottle, and aside from the Israel hashgacha, it also has the Kof-K. Now whether I'd be eating even flourless cupcakes made at a regular bakery on Pesach, when eating even a tiny amount of chametz is a big problem, is another story, but the vanilla itself is not an issue.

                        1. re: queenscook

                          Point well taken. I must have been mixing up vanilla extract and the vanilla bean itself.

                          1. re: milklady

                            The vanilla 'bean' is not a legume (it's the seedpod of an orchid), and while vanilla extract is made from vanilla beans, the 'beans' aren't kitniyot, and are eaten by everybody on Pesach.

                  3. If people aren't fancy, how about a "make your own" matza pizza bar? Put out cookie sheets with matza, then have tomato sauce, cheeses, and cut up vegetables. Another option: grilled salmon, baked potatoes, salad or some other vegetable. Not exciting, but then pizza isn't too exciting, either. You might also try to convince your relatives to join those of us who have gone over to the kitniyot dark side :-)

                    You could make your own cupcakes from pesadik cake mixes to save some $$$, or, better yet, get a recipe for a good flourless chocolate cake. The best pesadik cake I ever made was a raspberry-chocolate marjolaine from Bon Appetit, layers of hazelnut meringue with a chocolate/raspberry ganache. Nontrivial effort, but the most amazingly rich and wonderful dessert ever.

                    Make sure that your daughter's bat mitzvah does NOT take place during Pesach! :-)

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: Kochav

                      I love the pizza idea.. but you'd need quite a large oven to bake all the pizzas at once.

                      1. re: Kochav

                        I'm also digging the pizza idea. I'm thinking I'll get regular pizza for the non-pasedik half of the crowd, and set out a "matzah pizza bar" as you describe. Hopefully my oven & 1/2 will be enough for those, and perhaps in rotation...

                        that marjolaine sounds amazing--if I have the time & energy, I may just look into it. I also make a Lemon Curd Pesedik Trifle every year for seder that is pretty awesome. And I was thinking of a cheesecake with a chocolate-matzah crust.

                        Luckily, in 2019, the year of my daugher's 13th b'day, passover is late--so hopefully no undue complications for the bat mitzvah!

                        1. re: jks71

                          When your daughter is in her 20s (not to rush you), you can have a nice wine and cheese party. My wife's birthday is also Passover-season. A few years ago, before she was my wife, I threw a wine and cheese party in my apt with tim-tam size pizzas (ah... the good ole days of tim tams) and some other hors d'oevres and lots of cheese and wine. And found some K for P vodka and some Slivovitz to boot. But that's all for another time...

                          1. re: jks71

                            My daughter's Jewish birthday is erev Pesach, she's turning 7 this week, and I'm already stressing about the bat mitzvah! My husband says age 13, I say age 12. We're from different backgrounds, but Pesach is still Pesach. Also, I want to do the bat mitzvah in Israel. Pesach in Israel? Paying for the gantze mishpocheh? I'm not that insane. I'm thinking it can be a few weeks later, maybe even right after school lets out for the year. My dad's bar mitzvah in the '30's consisted on herring and schnaps in shul on Shabbat HaGadol. Can't we go back to those nice, simple days again?

                            1. re: rockycat

                              My dad used to love to sit in front of the football games on a Sunday and eat pickled herring in sour cream right out of the jar, on Stoned Wheat Thin crackers. Disgusting, but loveable. Perhaps I should just resurrect the tradition for my daughter's party...

                            2. re: jks71

                              jks71 can you share your lemon curd trifle recipe? That sounds amazing!!

                              1. re: serenarobin

                                Will do. It's at home, but I'll post it later tonight.

                            3. re: Kochav

                              My son who is now 32 and I often celebrate our birthdays during Pesach. We always make the Queen Mother's Cake from Maida Heatter for the birthday celebrations. Just substitute Matzah cake meal for the bread crumbs and you are all set. It is one of our family's favorite cakes for any time of the year.

                            4. This may seem like a radical idea, but since the child is 3 years old, she won’t know any better. Why not just make it after pesach and avoid all the headaches. If anyone complains simply say, her birthday fell out on Pesach so we moved the celebration to after the holidays. I usually celebrate birthdays the Sunday before or after, it doesn't have to be on the day itself. Another option is to see when her hebrew birthday is, and if it is not on Pesach, use that as the day to celebrate on.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: MartyB

                                Thanks for the thoughts. In future years, I plan on doing this. This year, however, she's got 2 aunts in from WI who will only be there for the week. And she was actually born on the 1st night of Passover 2006, so her hebrew b'day date will always be on the 1st night of pesach...

                                1. re: jks71

                                  A couple of things that work... Eggplant Parmesan, Meatloaf (you could do a turkey meatloaf and avoid the issues some might have), roasted chicken and potatoes.

                                  No need to make something that has to be "faked" for Pesach. There are lots of naturally kosher for pesach foods out tthere.

                                  1. re: doc_k55

                                    I like the eggplant parm idea. Eggplant parm and a nice salad. I also have a Passover baby (now almost 26) and over the years have served many Passover birthday cakes. The child will be fine with it. After all a cake with candles.... What could be bad. As for the adults... Well it's Passover.........

                              2. Pass on the matzah pizza. Yech.