Oh No! My Little Monster Wants a Dinosaur Themed Party
It is a nightmare scenario for every parent. Your little monster has set his/her heart on having a dinosaur themed party and the day is rapidly approaching and you don’t know quite what to do. We have written a number of helpful articles on this very subject, this piece will provide further information about how to tackle that difficult issue of the party food. Many parents and guardians that we talk to, simply rush out on the morning of the party and buy as much pre-packaged and ready-made party food as they can. This can be very expensive and whilst this may be one option, in this article we provide a simple and cheap idea for a savoury dinosaur themed dish so that you can create your own delightful dinosaur feast.
Planning – The Key to Creative Dinosaur Party Food
You don’t have to be a Jamie Oliver or Heston Blumenthal to create an imaginative spread for a dinosaur themed party such as a child’s birthday party or some other event. The key to successful party food is planning, a few minutes thinking about and jotting down what you intend to do and what type of food you want to present can help to lower stress levels considerably. More importantly, in these difficult times, it can help you to stick to a budget and not go overboard in terms of expense. For young dinosaur fans at a birthday party, remember you are in control when it comes to the catering, as the parent or guardian you want to do you best for your young palaeontologist and you will come up trumps with a little thought about what you will do prior to the big day.
Firstly, you have total control over how much food you are going to need as you control the invites. Invitations can be produced cheaply by making them yourself, or by purchasing some party invites from a shop. If you are having a dinosaur themed party you can “theme up” plain invitations by simply purchasing a pack of dinosaur stickers and putting them on. Remember to have an RSVP element to your invite, this way you can keep tabs on numbers. With an idea of how many children are going to attend, this gives you a handle on how much food you are going to need. Remember to always make a little extra, just in case you get one or two extras coming along, and don’t forget that your guests may have a little sister or brother that might want something to eat as well. Best to put some light bites to one side for the parents too.
A Savoury Dinosaur Themed Dish – Hatching Dinos (Baked Potatoes Dinosaur Nests)
Impress your guests (and the mums and dads) with this simple, fool-proof recipe for making a dish that resembles a nest of hatching dinosaurs – just like you see on the dinosaur themed documentaries and in the films at the cinema. Surprisingly, there are no eggs in this particular recipe, we use baked potatoes and hot dog sausages instead.
This recipe requires the following ingredients:
* Small, white potatoes (try to get even sized potatoes, roughly oval in shape
* Hot-dog sausages, the sort that you can buy in a tin and boil to cook, although most pork sausages seem to work fine
* Salad cream or mayonnaise
* Tomato sauce
* One red and one green pepper
* Butter and a little salt
* A little lettuce/salad
Total time – ninety minutes (including cooking time)
Aim to use one potato for each guest with a 10-20% surplus to cover second helpings and such like. A successful dinosaur themed party means preparing a range of food (don’t forget to check nut allergies) and this dish is designed to provide each guest with their own dinosaur hatchling to consume with one or two other hatching dinos prepared to cater for second helpings and so on. For example, with twelve party guests I have made sixteen potato dinosaur eggs and this seems to work well.
First turn the oven on to 180 degrees Celsius or gas mark 6 to allow it to warm up. Then wash the potatoes, give them a scrub with a small scrubbing-brush to remove all signs of dirt and blemishes. When washed, wipe dry and then smear on a little butter or butter-like spread and give them a quick dash of salt. This will help the skins crisp up nice and crunchy. Then wrap each one in a small piece of tin foil, if you have any metal skewers, stick a skewer into each potato, through the foil so that the skewer penetrates right through the potato. The metal skewer will conduct heat right to the centre of the baked potato and it will cook much quicker.
Place the potatoes onto a metal baking tray and place onto the middle shelf of your hot oven. Remember to use oven gloves, it does not bode well if the party host has burnt fingers.
Small potatoes will take about sixty to seventy minutes to bake. You can check that they are cooked by picking them up (with the oven gloves of course), then should feel soft and the skewer can be removed easily from the baked spud.
Before the baked potatoes are finished, start the hot dog sausages, cook them in a pan of boiling water, or if using port sausages simply grill them. You will need one sausage for every two baked potatoes. When the sausages are cooked, cut a wedge shape out of each end of a sausage to make a mouth. Using the red pepper and a sharp knife cut a sliver of pepper to resemble a tongue push it inside the dinosaur’s “mouth”, do this at both ends of the sausage. Then cut the sausage in half to make two baby dinosaur heads. Cut tiny slits, above the mouth, slightly further back and to the side. These are going to be the eyes, cut out slivers of green peppers and put these in the slits, we found that little diamond-shaped pieces looked the best.
Now it is simply a case of putting the baby dinosaurs into their potato nests. Cut a cross in the top of each baked potato, make it large enough to stuff in a hot dog sausage. Open up the potatoes using a fork and place some mayonnaise (light mayonnaise is healthier) in the middle, add a squeeze of tomato sauce.
To finish your dinosaur nest, push a sausage half into each baked potato cross, place these “eggs” onto a serving platter, a plate covered in foil will suffice. Surround these hatching dinosaurs with some nesting materials, add some salad leaves and there you have it, your completed dinosaur nest ready for the young palaeontologists to tuck in.
This dish is easy to make, looks great and provides a relatively healthy alternative to pies and baked pastries.