I really like having my food match the theme of my party. Sometimes it takes a lot of creativity to make it work. Luckily there are a lot of character's in Cars so I was able to name foods based on characters as needed. We served deli sandwiches because Jake doesn't like pizza which we called "Sarge's Sandwiches." I also made "Piston Cup PB & Js" for the kids who don't like deli meat. These were super easy to make. I just made a whole bunch of PB & J's the day before and then used race car and "Piston Cup" (trophy) cookie cutters to cut them out. A few layers of plastic wrap and they were still super fresh the next day.
For veggies we had out celery and carrot sticks with hummus to dip called "Dip Sticks."
The last thing we served for lunch was "Pit Stop Pasta Salad" using tire shaped pasta. This salad was super popular and I got lots of requests for the recipe. I'll post it for you guys soon.
For dessert I am a big believer in cupcakes for birthday parties. That way you can have chocolate and vanilla so everyone gets what they want. More importantly, you don't have a bunch of preschoolers having to wait while you cut the cake. I find the under 6 set to be all about instant gratification. That being said, my mom always made me beautiful, from scratch birthday cakes and that is one thing about my birthdays that really stands out to me so I wanted to do the same for my kids (well, not always from scratch, but always homemade). So, how do I do cupcakes for the guests but a homemade cake for Jake? I make a mini-cake. He loves this because he feels really special and then he usually shares his mini cake with his cousins or BFF.
For the cupcakes, as I mentioned I made one batch of vanilla and one of chocolate. Then I just did a simple swirl of vanilla icing and stuck on a cute cupcake topper from The Party Animal.
Before this party my cake decorating (and cupcake icing swirl) skills were really terrible so I signed up for a Wilton class at Joann Fabrics. The perfectionist side of me takes over sometimes. At that class I learned about sugar sheets which are pretty much the greatest invention ever. They are basically like a sheet of paper made out of sugar and they come in a bunch of colors.
For Jake's mini cake, I took inspiration from a few different cakes I found on pinterest. To make the number 3, I printed a large number 3, traced it on the plastic backing of a black sugar sheet and then cut it out with my kitchen scissors. This was a million times easier than making black frosting and it really looked like asphalt because it wasn't shiny like frosting can be. The mini cars were from one of those Busy Book sets they sell at Barnes & Noble that Jake had gotten for the holidays and then I printed up that little banner and taped it to a couple of the straws I had from making the race cars. For those of you looking at the number 3, counting four candles and feeling confused, this was a tradition for me growing up. We always got 1 extra candle "to grow on."
For our table decor, we just had a few Cars tablecloths, a checkered flag table runner made by my amazingly skilled mother-in-law, and a Flo's V8 Cafe sign. Now for the free goodies. Click below for the Flo's V8 Cafe sign and the food label tent cards. Enjoy!
*FYI: The formatting is off when you preview the documents, but when you download them to your computer, they are correct.
Flo's V8 Cafe sign
Happy Birthday cake sign and Food Tent Cards
I'm linking up with Tatertots and Jello for the Link Party Palooza, Suburbs Mama, and Thrifty Thursday