Tween birthday Party Menu??
My daughters is having a tween birthday...we will have a sit down dinner and are mulling some options...thought about sliders with add ons, but there will be a vegetarian so have to think of her too. My daughter likes all kinds of food (she initially asked for Indian food) but her friends I think are less adventurous.
I love these kind of parties. I have girls and I cater so I always do very elaborate birthday parties. I love a theme so I would choose one and go for it. Indian is fun and you can tone the spices down and go easy on the cilantro. I would serve:
Samosas, onion bhaji, saladhttp://www.finecooking.com/recipes/spinach-salad-apple-apricot-pappadam-croutons.aspx
Butter chicken, rice, naan, vegetarian dish(chickpeas, lentils, cauliflower etc...
)Chai chocolate cake for dessert! I have made it and everyone loved it.
My daughter did make your own pizzas for her 11th birthday party and they were a big hit. I bought plain white aprons and fabric markers from Michaels. When the girls arrived, they started decorating their aprons. I had a variety of pizza toppings and we had a lesson on how to stretch and form the dough. Everyone prepared their own crust and topped them. I cooked them. It was a lot of fun.
As the mom of a barely teen girl, I would say don't do Indian for the party because it is such an individual thing. Make Indian on her actual birthday or for a family celebration.
If you decide to do sliders there are plenty of meatless options now for veggie burgers, or for the smaller slider you could do a meatless meatball.
They're also beyond easy to make- i loved this recipe, and they freeze really well:
Indian would be really fun! Maybe keep the spicing mild with a hot chutney on the side for those who like it. Kids may cave to peer pressure here and realize if their friend birthday girl likes it maybe they're missing out.
If not then they can have naan.
You could even have mango lassis and chai tea for beverages.
The menu could include dal, purchased samosas and naan, a spinach paneer, chaana masala, etc- whatever your daughter loves!
agree with debbiel...
plus, you can do a theme: since it's a girls tween party, they might have fun getting henna tattoos, trying to dress in a sari (if you can find one) and dancing to bollywood music! and you can get bangles for party favors.
and, if you can't find samosas in your area, trader joe's are perfectly acceptable for something like this.
Even if her friends are less adventurous, I think you should go with Indian - it's what the birthday girl wants and it'll give her friends an opportunity to expand their horizons. If all else fails, mom and dad can take their kids through the drive through at McDonalds when they pick their kids up after the party. Plus, Indian cuisine is very veg friendly.
I have never met anyone who wasn't swayed by samosas - fried dough stuffed with potatoes and other yummy stuff, what's not to love? Same with naan. Aloo gobi is vegetarian and a good introductory dish. Some tandoori-style chicken is also a good introduction and not too challenging to the palate. Biryani isn't all that different conceptually from your Americanized Chinese fried rice (though biryani is way better). Gulab jamun and kheer are also good deserts that aren't too challenging for the unadventurous. I've had wonderful luck introducing Indian fare to my very unadventurous family with the above dishes (we're talking strictly meat and potatoes, corn the only acceptable veggie and black pepper as spicy as they'll go and they all ended up gobbling it up). Once they realized it wasn't all beans and spicy curries, I was able to get them to try some other things.
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Just wanted to second amishangst's suggestions on the tandoori chicken and samosas. Samosas should be vegetarian, so everyone can enjoy them.
Also plenty of naan and maybe a turmeric yellow rice with some veg in it.
As someone who is 1/4 Indian but has never particularly liked Indian food, I might suggest you also serve a big green salad with veggies in it, and some "plain" roasted potatoes on the side in case any picky eaters are attending. It will provide them with something to munch on, but isn't an entirely different menu.
I adored tandoori chicken and naan as a kid, but always felt many other Indian dishes were just too much spice or too heavy for one sitting. So mom would always make sure I had some plain rice, potatoes, or salad to eat with my meal. I think that would be perfect for the party.
It's not as formal sit down dinner, but make your own pizzas could be lots of fun. Make and parbake dough ahead of time to speed up cooking, then let everyone top as he/she likes. Fun, age appropriate, and could get some of the picker friends interested in food. Cause most Tween's like pizza.