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Are you looking for an easy and effective way to engage your kids for a birthday party or just a fun get together? Why don’t you capitalize on the success of the Food Network, and host a Super Chef Party? There are a multitude of commercial venues that can organize and implement this type of kids party for you, but if you’re game to open up your kitchen to a bevy of junior Betty Crockers, follow the simple directions below.
Turn your kitchen into a professional kitchen (or a junior high school home economics kitchen) and teach tweens and pre-teens kids to bake. Select a relatively easy cookie recipe, and resize the recipe so that it only produces a couple dozen cookies. That way, you will be able to bake all of the cooks’ goodies during the party time.
Use a recipe card for the basis of the invitation. You can fill in the details so that the invitation looks like a real recipe, and hole punch the top corner of the recipe card. Tie the card to a wooden mixing spoon with a perky red ribbon. You can hand deliver the invitations or mail them inside of a cardboard tube.
Simplicity is the key here. Clean your kitchen of all but the essentials. The counters should be cleared and wiped. Provide a complete set of necessary utensils for each cook or set of cooks (if baking in teams). You can check out the best baking set for kids. Conversely, you could borrow additional sets of measuring spoons and cups from your neighbors. Simple, white aprons (inexpensive at Sam’s) will outfit your guests, put them in the right frame of mind, and protect their clothes all at the same time. You may also want to give each guest a kitchen towel to tuck into their apron strings — an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to kitchen spills!
Guests arrive. Greet them, distribute aprons, describe the upcoming activity to them. Make sure to outline the safety procedures that you follow in your kitchen when dealing with raw eggs, knives, glass, etc. Give them a short demonstration on the correct way to measure dry ingredients, how to use egg beaters, a whisk, a hand mixer or stand mixer, how to drop cookies onto a cookie sheet or whatever else your recipe demands.
Let the baking begin! Make sure that each baker or baking team has a work space. This could be part of the kitchen counter, a free standing kitchen island, kitchen cart, butcher chopping block, microwave cart, or even the kitchen table. You can have all of the ingredients in one central location, and each cook would need to “requisition” the ingredients from that location (think “Iron Chef”). As Master Chef, you will need to circulate amongst the bakers and assist or teach as needed.
Bake the cookies as the sheets are filled. During the baking time, teach the young cooks about cleaning up after themselves.
Celebrate the end of the party with a feast of all the goodies that were created. Serve cold milk, apple cider or hot chocolate to your guests, depending upon the cookie recipe used. Make sure to have inexpensive plastic take home containers in which your guests can carry the remaining goodies home. You can also create a photocopied booklet of your favorite recipes, so that the new bakers can continue their craft at their own homes.
While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!