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Thursday, October 9, 2014

learning how to become masterchefs (the junior edition)

i'm really loving this whole idea of not having parties at the house thing.  actually, i'd tried to talk the bean into just picking seven friends (because she was turning seven, of course) and taking them out to do something fun together instead of having a party.  but she was rather crestfallen at the notion, and because i'm a sucker, i started researching ideas.  local ideas that i came up with included a school that does kiddie karaoke parties, one of those pottery painting joints, and a bowling alley.  but then i remembered that i'd seen a cooking school that offered kids' classes and birthday party packages.  when i presented my findings to the birthday girl, she waffled for days between bowling and cooking, and i was excited when the latter won out.  after mulling over the various choices, we settled on the easiest and most popular:  a pizza making party.

we'd actually booked the place just based on the pictures and descriptions on their website and didn't even visit it until the day before the party.  happily, it was just as cute and fun-looking as it looked, and i was super thrilled not to have to do a single bit of decorating.

 the turnout was great - out of the 15 kids we invited, only one wasn't able to join us and then another had to bail at the last minute.  and they all seemed pretty excited to see what was in store for them at this party.

they spent some time coloring and decorating some paper chef's hats as they waited for everyone to arrive.

the two instructors were really funny and entertaining, and although it was obvious that they'd done this a frajillion times before, they were fantastic with the kids.  they did a cute little skit to teach the kids about how NOT to do things in the kitchen, and moved on to a little lesson about making dough and how yeast works.

 of course, since yeast dough takes a couple of hours to rise and be ready for use, the stuff they'd mixed up was just for fun.  magically, the chef produced a bowl full of dough that they then portioned out for each kid, and they got to work on flattening it out, shaping it and then assembling their pizzas.

 i didn't get pictures, but a lot of kids got really creative.  there was a mickey-shaped pizza, one decorated like an angry bird, and several hearts.  and then while they baked in the oven, they headed outside to play a game of statues.

when an appropriate amount of time had passed, they formed a conga line and cha-cha-cha'd their way back into the kitchen.

who doesn't love pizza?  especially when you get to make it yourself.

up next:  who wants milkshakes?

well, we kinda did.  but we settled for a selfie instead.

fabulous cupcakes came courtesy of the best place ever - dots, of course.

happy birthday, sweet girl.

her faces crack me up.

also at the party?   my friend joey fatone, just hanging out.  kinda random, but whatever.

we didn't even have to ask for a group picture.  the chefs clearly knew what was up and wrangled all the kids in front of the chalkboard for us.  perfect.

we even managed to sneak in a family photo.

and a few with some of her party guests.

of course, i had to have one too.

after we'd said goodbye to everyone, all there was left to do was pack up the leftovers from the snacks we'd set out for the adults.  oh, and this:

i'd call this shindig a smashing success.


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