Recipe Test Nest » 5 Star » Mad Hatter Party
Mad Hatter Party

While in Michigan I was able to do a kid TEST NEST with my nephew Jason and niece Camille and her friends. When I proposed the idea to my sis-in-law I was only thinking of food, but mom’s always know best. Tammy suggested we do something around Alice in Wonderland with fun “zany” activities. We spent five days preparing for our Mad Hatter party, making this the most time extensive TEST NEST yet, but truly a one-of-a-kind. The weather kept away a few friends, and the games were inside, but we all had a blast.

  • Upon arriving to MI we started shopping; Goodwill for “dress the old lady” relay race.
  • We stopped at a few stores to find straw hats for decorating.
  • Cami and JJ helped me cook EVERYTHING and I loved spending time with them in the kitchen. We made the butter cream frosting, a chocolate double layer cake, and vanilla mini cupcakes.
  • We made paper cones for the chicken strips.
  • We made homemade cheddar buns for the hotdogs; homemade ranch dip and honey mustard sauce; finally, we made simple ham and cheese sandwiches more glamorous by waffling them. Little kids don’t understand my rating system (you should have heard me trying to explain merchandising), so the stars are based on Tammy and my opinions as well as, “this is so yummy” from the kids.

Punch: even mixture of orange and strawberry juice, we used concentrate. (5 star)

The kids loved the punch and my nephew asked me to make more when it was all gone.

Party food: Veggies straws with Ranch Dip (4 stars)

The dip is light and the presentation of the veggie straws in the cups was fun for the kids.

Cheddar Hot Dogs (4 stars)

The recipe is easy and fun and the cheddar buns are light and puff-pastry like. Serving with mustard really makes a difference on the taste, but I left it off for those little ones who are picky.

Oven-fried Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce (5 Star)

We bought frozen chicken strips which cuts the prep time down. Every kid loved these and asked for more. Definitely a win recipe for kids! The butter cornflake mixture kept them moist while baking in the oven and is healthier than frying.

Dessert: Chocolate Cake (3 star)

The cake was good but didn’t stand out as more than just a basic chocolate cake.

Vanilla Buttercream (4 star)

I liked the buttercream frosting, but it was a little more difficult and temperamental than other buttercreams I’ve made. We had to make two batches since the cake was 10” vs. 9” and the second batch turned out right, the first one wasn’t as smooth. I think I put the butter in too quickly rather than letting each chunk be incorporated as directed in the recipe. Cami and JJ were fascinated by the food coloring and loved mixing into the frosting. JJ wanted to make sure everyone knew they all tasted the same, just different colors. He was also concerned with how healthy food coloring might be.

Mini Vanilla Cupcakes (5 Star)

The cupcake batter is thick and resulted in the mini cakes tasting more like a cookie. They were still moist, but the flavor was unique and absolutely a hit.


6 Comments (Leave a Reply)

  1. Tammy Henrie (April 9, 2010)

    Great post Ains! It was fun and you gotta love those hats.

  2. Heather Nader (April 9, 2010)

    love the blog Amber! Can't wait to buy the cookbook :) I'm excited to try some of your 5*'s!

  3. Jamila (April 10, 2010)

    You've outdown yourself again Amber! I wonder–do you do a test nest for 2 year olds? :-)

  4. The Harts (April 10, 2010)

    Go Amber!! Going to try a few of those… Braden's favorite thing these days are hotdogs so this sounds like a yummy version! BTW are your auntie services coming to Charlotte anytime soon!!

  5. mom (April 11, 2010)

    Wow! wish I could have been there. Love the pictures and the food looks absolutely yummy.

  6. Big Brother (April 12, 2010)

    Way to go Ains, thanks for being such a fun aunt. Love the view in your hat picture…



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