Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Caramel Apples and QOD #8

Well, with my son's birthday rapidly approaching, I have been spending much of my free time planning and wondering. I have the bounce house ordered and will be getting a pinata. I hope and pray that will keep the kidlets entertained. But then, I have to focus on the serious side of any party: what food to make.

The parents and other adults will probably be satisfied with anything I make, it's the kids I have to worry about. Yes, children can be difficult to please. Most of the difficulty comes from the fact that I refuse to be one of those parents who order 15 pizzas from the cheapest pizza store around. I have been to many birthday parties like that and I am now practiced enough to completely hide my disappointment. It's like a pizza-poker-face.

I think that my son should grow up remembering all the great food at his parties. Food that I prepared, recipes that he'll want to make when he's throwing a party for his own kids. At least, that's what I hope will happen.

That said, the question remains: what do kids want to eat? More importantly, what do kids not want to eat?! Well, sometimes I go too overboard for kids this young (about 5-ish), so this year, I decided to go simple. I am going to provide a selection of cold cuts, breads, and assorted other items (pickles, pepperoncinis, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.) and let them make their own sandwiches. For the parents, however, I am making a pot of chili with lots of toppings to choose from: sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, green onions, and avocado.

But I think that the hit of the party will be the caramel apples. I made a sample this weekend, just to see how they would turn out, and it was beautiful! I could've killed myself making caramel from scratch, but instead, remembered that the kids weren't going to critique the apples, they were going to gobble them down!

I used squares of caramel candies and a little half and half in a double boiler, gently stirring until melted completely. I used a spoon to help pour the caramel over the apple, then quickly rolled in chopped peanuts. Next, I drizzed some melted dark chocolate on the top. I did this the simple way. I took my good dark chocolate and put it in a ziploc bag. Then, I microwaved it on a reduced power setting until melted. Then, I snipped the tiniest corner off the ziploc and used it like a piping bag. It was so fast and easy!

Oh, and just to make them cute, I used baby Granny Smith apples!

Foodie Quote #8
Even though this quote is for Christmas, I think that it is more appropriate for Thanksgiving:

A three-year-old gave this reaction to her Christmas dinner: "I don't like the turkey, but I like the bread he ate."

-Author Unknown


Stephanie said...

That apple looks delicious! I had my first caramel apple (ever!) after Halloween this year, and I'm disappointed that I had never decided to eat one sooner! I can't wait. I will definitely gobble one down!! Maybe you could do a variation with almonds... yummy...

Dawn said...

Well, I should be making a BUNCH for the party, so I'm sure there will be one with your name on it. I might experiment a little with almonds, mini M&Ms, or colored sprinkles. We'll see!

vlb5757 said...

Carmel apples are one of my fall favorites. I have to have the nuts too! I am not fond of candied apples. I keep hearing the dentist say, "Don't eat hard candy or you will be putting my kid through college!"

I am sure that the party will be a huge memory maker for your son. He will remember that you made it special and that's the most important thing.

vlb5757 said...

Opps, forgot! Have a Happy Thankgiving!!

michelle said...

Wow, Dawn! They're adoreable! And just imagining them as little baby granny smiths makes them even cuter! You should be one proud mom - and I really like your philosophy on food at kid's parties. I hope it carries on through your son's memories. Have a happy thanksgiving tomorrow!

Kristi said...

Looks delicious. And I like your idea of making homemade treats instead of relying on storebought stuff. I remember the birthday cakes my mom made for my sister and I growing up, and each one was a work of art. Your son will have similar memories, and that's really wonderful.

Dawn said...

Vickie, I recently converted from candy to caramel apples! I hadn't eaten many of either since I was a kid, and when I recently had a chance to compare the two, the caramel (with nuts) won, hands down! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Michelle, Ok, aren't they cute!!? I hope my son remembers the parties well (especially because I work really hard on them). Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, too!

Kristi, I'm glad you have those memories. I don't really remember too much about the food, but I do remember that we always had homemade cakes. One year I made my son a cake that was a hockey rink, with all the lines drawn (in the appropriate colors) and little hockey sticks with pucks attached as the candles. Lots of fun!

Happy Thanksgiving to everybody!

Amy said...

Those apples look amazing! I bet they'll be a big hit. One of my favorite things to cook for my girls' parties is chicken teriyaki sticks. Adults and kids love the flavor and I don't have to worry about providing forks. It works great every time.

Dawn said...

Good idea, Amy! I'll keep that in mind for future parties. I'm really looking forward to doing chili because I think that it will be cold enough and I can keep it warm in my crock pot. I wonder if you can do the teriyaki sticks and keep them in a little sauce in a crock pot?