Monday, August 15, 2011

Think pink for birthday parties

Pink Princess Punch by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

It seems like every little girl dreams of a pink princess birthday party, at least for the few years, between Elmo and Phineas & Ferb. Kids Cooking Shop owner and cookbook author Barbara Beery knows this because for 20 years, she has produced countless Pink Princess Parties for families in Austin, Texas.

Simon and Schuster just published Beery's 12th cookbook, “Pink Princess Party Cookbook," in which the party planner shares 34 of her time-tested recipes for making the perfect little girl's birthday party.

Barbara Beery, author of "The Pink Princess Party Cookbook" (Simon and Schuster, 2011)

“Every little girl dreams about being a princess for her birthday,” Beery said by phone last week from her Austin home. “It’s very American, very Disney. It’s that dreamy, Cinderella thing.”

In the book, Beery's recipes are arranged by themes that will delight parents and young birthday girls: Snowflake, Spa, Garden Fairy, Mermaid, Enchanted Pony and the ultimate Pink Princess Party. Each theme includes a craft and recipes for punch, cookies, cakes, sandwiches and treats.

Follow Beery’s advice to make a memorable birthday party: Keep it simple, limit the number of kids to 12 or fewer, and let the children participate in the party. “Kids can easily frost a cupcake at the party,” Beery said. “That saves time for you to work on the party and lets the kids have fun.” Beery recommends her Donut Sundaes, a clever birthday presentation of a scoop of ice cream centered on a frosted donut base.

The cookbook is packed with useful tips and recipes, all using easy-to-find ingredients. “I use simple ingredients, with just a few steps. You’ll probably find that you have most of the ingredients on hand to turn out these parties,” Beery said.

Each theme party in the book includes a fun drink, such as this Snow Princess Punch, brimming with blueberries and frozen mini-marshmallows. Use fresh blueberries and delight the princesses in your house. Serve it with a kid-friendly sushi made of nutritious carrots and apples and flattened sandwich bread.

Pink Princess Punch with frozen marshmallows and blueberries by Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

Snow Princess Punch

Serves 10 to 12

1 cup mini marshmallows

½ cup white decorating sugar

½ lemon or orange

1 (2 liter) bottle fruit-flavored sparkling water, chilled

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1. Place mini marshmallows on a cookie sheet. Freeze for two hours or until you are ready to add to the punch.

2. Pour the sugar onto a small plate. Dampen the rim of a large punch bowl and small decorative glasses by rubbing them with a lemon or orange half. Dip the dampened rims into the sugar and set aside until you are ready to serve the punch.

3. Pour the sparkling water into the punch bowl. Add the blueberries and marshmallows. Stir. Serve in the garnished punch cups.

Recipe from "Pink Princess Party Cookbook" by Barbara Beery. (Simon and Schuster, 2011). Spiral bound, 64 pages, list price $15.99. A review copy was provided by the publisher. I did not receive compensation for this post. My opinions are my own. And I happen to think they're spot-on.


Angela said...

That is such a perfectly sweet-looking punch! Love the review.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucy, A timely post for me-- kids just started back in school yesterday and I need to plan my little one's 7th in a few weeks. I'm planning a tea party and maybe having everyone decorate hats (if I can figure out how to do this in an easy way). What's your take on who/how many to invite? All the girls in her new class? Just a handful? I hate to exclude but I am also easily overwhelmed by kiddie masses.

Lucy@acookandherbooks said...

Thanks for reading, Angela!

Lucy@acookandherbooks said...

Hi Linda! Barbara has great, no-pressure ideas for birthday parties. She suggests inviting (approximately) the number of children as years (7 yrs old = 7 little girls). I would add sibs of the invitees to the 7. Fewer girls means more money can be spent per child, at least that's the rationale I've always used. I think decorating hats with flowers would be adorable. I've done a princess tea party where we decorated plastic tiaras with rhinestones. A friend's variation that I love is a hairband decorated with flowers and assorted trims - we still use that hairband 8 years later!