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Mar 24, 2009 10:18 AM

Pesedik, easy birthday party for 3 year old

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:

        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: 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.