Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Luau Party Recipes and How to Make Pinatas!

So this was Luau weekend!!  We ended up with 59 people including us.  32 of those were kids.  More kids than adults, not good odds.

Check out those cupcakes above! I made about 100 mini cupcakes.  1/2 of them were white cake, separated into bowls with different colored food coloring to make them different colors. I put 2 - 3 colors in each cupcake.  Then the other half were just chocolate. 

I had 5 kid helpers along with my 3 and they all got to decorate the cupcakes.  They did the same thing with the frosting, they separated them and colored them to make colored frosting. That, some decorating icing and lots of sprinkles = some unique looking cupcakes!  They all disappeared though!

As a food blogger, my goal was to take some attractive pictures but for the most part, I completely forgot.  I did make some new things that I wanted to share with you. Most were NOT healthy so they don't exactly belong on this blog but think we can agree that this blog isn't about ONLY healthy items now is it. 

So above, is a BLT salad that I found from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.  This was good, it was essentially pasta (I used rotini), ranch dressing, bacon, lettuce and tomato. How easy is that?  I used light ranch and added some green onion to it. It was fantastic. Everyone loved it. I would have liked more veggies and less pasta but it was good. I would totally make it again.

We had the typical burgers and hot dogs.  I bought pre-made sirloin burgers from Costco and that was TOTALLY the way to go. In the past, I have made my own patties and this was much simpler.  I had my roaster pan with 3 individual trays inside, one for hamburgers, one for hot dogs and one for sweet and sour meatballs. 

Yes, I finally decided on a sweet and sour sauce for meatballs after a lot of taste testing!  We decided to go with this sweet and sour sauce but I added more sugar, a bit more soy sauce and more of the pineapple concentrate and didn't use the MSG.  I didn't make my meatballs, I used 2 bags of the Simiks meatballs and then I added a couple cups of pineapple chunks.  They all went, they were a total hit.  I doubled the sauce and there was plenty. Of course, I didn't get a picture of these wonderful, fantastic meatballs. You'll just have to take my word.

We had chips, potato salad and chicken salad as well.  The potato salad went well but the chicken salad, not so much. It think we had enough meat.  

Plus watermelon, pineapple veggies and a mixed fruit bowl. The fruit was super popular. The mixed fruit bowl of strawberries, grapes and blueberries completely disappeared. 

Then we had desserts.

Lots of desserts.

First up is my trifle. I love this and could eat it daily for the rest of my life.  I HAVE parties so I can make this.  It is pretty and super tasty.  I wish I had a picture of it before it was half eaten but it was so crazy around here that I just didn't think of it. 

I take a regular round store bought angel food cake. Cut it into cubes.  Turn the top of the plastic lid of the angel food cake upside down and assemble the trifle inside of the lid.  That way you can see how pretty it is from the outside. 

Mix 2 cans crushed pineapple, undrained, 2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding and a small container of cool whip together. 

Start with a layer of cake cubes on the bottom. Then a layer of pudding mix. Then a layer of blueberries and cut strawberries. Keep layering until you've used it all. Decorate the sides and top with the prettier cut strawberries. I usually add raspberries to the top too. 

Next we have a really gross picture of a delicious no bake cookie, Choc-oat-nut Cookies from Crazy Daisy

I should have taken a picture when I had them nice and neat on a baking tray.  Once I put them on the cute fish tray, they started to look like a giant chocolate blob.  Go to her blog, much better pictures.

These were incredibly easy and SOOOOO good!  The only problem was, they didn't hold up in the heat.  At all.  It was like 90 and humid and they just turned to goo. I kept rotating the desserts and putting some back in the freezer but as soon as you took them out, they got really soft.  So, I totally recommend these but they aren't the best picnic or outside cookies. Save these for the inside parties and chill until just ready to serve.  You'll love them! 

I had to snap this picture quick as I forgot to take pictures of them before they were all eaten.  First I made regular rice crispy treats with a 1/2 bag of butterscotch melted in them. Then I drizzled chocolate over the top.  These disappeared quickly. 

Then I tried a new recipe that I have been drooling over for a long time.  They are Chocolate Caramel Cracker Bars. Otherwise known as Twix Bars.  I have this recipe printed from the pillsbury website but you may need to have an account to get it. Annoying.  If you can't get it and want it, let me know.

Oh, and just so you know. You DO want this recipe because these ROCK!  Seriously, I ate WAYYYYYY too many of them. My scale was not happy.

Now, I know one of my blogging friends JUST posted this recipe for the Twix bars within the last month or so but I can't remember who it was and I tried to find it but wasn't able to. So, let me know if this is on your blog and I'll link up to you. I saw it on a blog, didn't bookmark it and then Pillsbury sent me the same recipe like that same week and I decided to make it. I would much rather give bragging rights to one of my bloggy friends than Pillsbury. No offense.  


Enough about food.  My kids and helpers had a blast decorating the deck, backyard and the garage with luau decorations. 

We also had a on of lei's and flowers for the girls hair. Everyone loved dressing up and getting creative with the leis. 

Then we had a contest for Guess How Many? Skittles and M&M's.  Everyone put their name and their guesses and whoever came the closest, won the candy.  A dad won the skittles and he was 12 away and the girl who won the M&M's was only 3 away!  There were 888 skittles and 654 M&M's.  Personally counted by me while I watched Star Trek Insurrection. Useless information that I just felt like sharing.

I love seeing the varied guesses. Especially from the little ones who would guess 8000 or 40 or something off the wall like that.

Then we had the big bouncy house in the backyard.  This is pretty much the main attraction.  The kids bounced until they were red in the face and sweaty beyond belief.  It was 90 and humid so it didn't take long.  I should have had a table with anti-perspirant for people to freshen up because boy was it HOT!

My daughter also had her paint and swirl out but I didn't get a picture.  The kids had fun making little swirls of painted pictures. 

Next came the goody bags. I buy the large totes from Oriental Trading along with a ton of novelty junk for the kids to enjoy.  They often have coupons and good deals so I order a lot from them.  I get a lot of off season crafts from there too, you can get some great deals!  They aren't paying me to say good things about them, I just like them and recommend them.

Pinatas.  Every year, we buy pinatas and I am always disappointed with them. Either too cheesy, too breakable, too small or too ugly. And ALWAYS too expensive!  Last year we had 3 of them because we always have a TON of kids and even the big ones really want to whack the pinata. 

So this year we MADE pinatas.  I am not, repeat NOT, a crafty person. At all.  I debated and procrastinated for a long time about making these and then finally just decided to do it.  This is where I learned how to make a pinata. I watched this video like 3 times. It really proved to be easy. Messy, but easy. We also made 6 of them. Yes, 6.  I figured if we were going to trash the kitchen for the weekend, we'd do a lot. I had NO idea what kind of strength these would have or how they would turn out.

Above is Beth's Sun.  They all started out round like a balloon but she used cereal boxes to make the star shapes and tissue paper to decorate. So much better than I would have done.

Above is Danielle's yellow star and Jory's volcano with the red lava pouring out. 

We did 4 layers of newspaper on these.  They held up pretty well. Next year, for my last layer, I will use white computer paper. When the kids were decorating, they had to use darker colors or several layers so they wouldn't see the newspaper.

Above is Emily's Ninja.  Again, this was awesome. I so could not have come up with that!  It was even cuter in person! 

One recommendation I have if you are going to make your own pinatas, reinforce the top. You know where you have to poke holes to put a string to attach to the rope?  That part tends to break first when they whack at it and then your pinata is on the ground. So next year we are going to put WAY more layers on the very top so that part is super strong. 

Above is Kaleb's TV.  He is younger and didn't get to decorate one of the round "real" pinatas.  He felt left out so he found this rice crispy bar box, it was pretty sturdy cardboard and he made this awesome TV.  This is actually my favorite because he did it very fast and for a little guy was very creative!!  It held up really well too!

And what would a Luau be without a Darth Vader pinata right??  Above is Maylinn's Darth Vader pinata.  We saved this one for the next day so just the sleepover kids got to whack Vader.  It's hard to tell from my stinky picture but she did an AWESOME job on this and it looked JUST like Darth Vader. When she first started, I was afraid she would be disappointed as it is hard to make a character look right but she did a fantastic job.  It seriously rocked! 

Towards the end of the evening, after most of the guests had gone, we did some fireworks. The kids were impressed.

6 of the kids ended up spending the night so with my 3, I had 9 kids in the house which resulted in the watching of Camp Rock and then mass amounts of giggling until about 1 am.

It was a good weekend. 


  1. Oh, yum!! Everything looks delicious... especially that desert!! I love all the decorations too :)

  2. Wow! What a great party! Thanks for all the links to the yummy looking recipes, toO!

  3. What a fun, fun party. Love all of the food, especially the desserts :). I am impressed with all those people you were able to get any pics. I am always too busy to get pictures.

    We're heading your way this weekend. My husband is originally from a small town in SW MN. We're going to see the TWINS on Saturday. :)

  4. Wow! You did an amazing job on everything! I love the pinatas. I love the idea of usingthe angel food cake top for your trifle! All the food looks great, but SO not on my diet. That's a good reason to have a party, huh? Then I can't eat it all myself! LOL

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog :) That berry trifle looks amazing!

  6. Oh my! That's a great weekend, a lot of fun and yummy food too! Have a nice day!

  7. Sounds like it was a great party with lots of tasty food. Nice work!

  8. Sounds like a fun time! :)

  9. Good to hear that you had helpers on all of those cupcakes. You really did go all out and make a ton of yummy looking food. Just let me know if you need help with any of the leftovers and I will be right over. :o)

  10. Looks like such a fun party! Great food and great people is a wonderful combo!

  11. It sounds like a fabulous weekend. You cooked your little heart out, but everything sounded wonderful. I hope you had some time to enjoy the highjinks as well. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  12. What a great party. The food looked fantastic. I am sure everyone was stuffed!

  13. you got me at the cupcakes girl! what a great event.......

  14. WOW! I love you! Will you be my mommy?
    Seriously,you know how to make kids happy. And are master-organizer too! What was the occasion for this party? That was a really fun post to read!

  15. That's quite a crowd! It looks like you had a great time.

  16. What a big undertaking. Those cupcakes look good.

  17. WOW!! Looks like such a fun party! You were a busy woman!! All the food looked very delicious and the decorations were darling.

  18. The food in this post has made me so hungry. I have such a sweet tooth and everything looks fabulous!!!! Now I have to go have a little something sweet(and then count it of course). :)


  19. Your party looks like it was so much fun! And the food looks absolutey delicious!!!


  20. Wow! What an amazing party. It is so hard to remember to take pictures while you're entertaining. But I can't imagine why you had half that berry trifle left. Oh well, more for you!

  21. A lot of food and people and fun! This post was packed full! The pinatas looked great! You had a lot of good standby recipes there! Great job even remembering to take some photos!

  22. Great post!! Lovin the cupcakes!!!

  23. Sounds like you guys have been having a lot of fun!

  24. Wow! Your whole work is so nice and you have made this article beautiful and very interesting. I have enjoyed your whole post and the recipe you have shared over here for making pinata is delicious.

  25. Sounds like a wonderful party!

    Great idea to make your own pinatas - they are very difficult to find over here.

  26. I am your new follower. Great blog you have here. Come visit me at http://showmemama.blogspot.com

    Happy Friday!

  27. Wow, Debi, you really outdid yourself! I noticed trifle doesn't go over well at parties too! I like yours. The only one I've made is a lemon blueberry one (sugar-free) and it was good. I wasn't the one who posted the Twix bars recently but I do have the recipe on my blog if you need it: http://reciperhapsody.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/cookie-mondays-millionaire-bars/