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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Ain’t no party like a Star Wars party (Episode I)

(Wow – it HAS been a long time between blogs – apologies. Full time work (plus a study course for a few months) AND an awesome hubby who cooks most of my meals, doesn’t leave much time to blog and space for inspiration! But stay tuned, ".....there is another")

 I’m always a fan of a themed party; whether its Yule (see here and here), Christmas, or age appropriate birthday themes. Thus, I always have sleepless nights get excited when I have a kids birthday party coming up. Son 2’s birthday was in October, so I started dropping hints early September about what type of theme he would like (It's always a delicate dance between what HE wants and what I think I can work with). His first suggestion was Jurassic World, which had me envisioning lots of fossil and dinosaur related treats (which I had seen around the Interweb). Not a bad start, BUT with the new Star Wars movie (Episode VII:The Force Awakens) coming out a few months later (and us being a house of huge Star Wars fans), I easily steered him in that direction.
 We have always been fans of Star Wars. Husband and I have had several occasions where we watched the original trilogy back to back (one time with special blue colored milk). We went and saw all of the remastered movies when they came out, as well as all of the prequels on opening night. We have shelves of books, boxes of toys, cups and plates,  and even had a large film poster dominating our lounge room for many years. With the newer cartoons of the last few years, I had done a previous Star Wars:The Clone Wars party for Son 1.  We had that party in a park, which did impact on my creativity as I had to be able to transport everything there and back. I was able to have a few Star Wars touches (like lightsaber breadsticks, and we made Stormtrooper masks), but not the whole shebang like I would have with a party at home.

 Now was my chance.

 As with most themed parties I throw, it becomes more about what I DON'T end up making than what I do. With Pintrest and many many Star Wars fans on the internet, there are A LOT of party ideas around! After my Minecraft party (....which I didn't actually blog about), Son 2 liked the idea of cool food labels, so it was also what I could get a good pun name for. 
I did see some great labels online, but some of them made NO sense....

 Han Burgers?? **
 No – much more sensible to do Han SOLO! And his friend, Luke Sky-Water!

Printed labels to the rescue

 (In their defense, Americans don’t have Solo as a drink. Hooray for us)

 I did my breadstick lightsabers again - small pieces of aluminium foil wrapped around grissini-style breadsticks. (I even still had the on-off switch colored stickers I had used from Son 1’s party; I kept them “just in case”. Because that's what I do).

   We also had A.T-C.H.I.P.S and Death Star Bites – not very pun-worthy but it was then best I could come up with for potato chips and cheezels (two party staples)!

 Another party staple is fairy bread, which has made it into several parties by way of cookie cutters to cut the bread. Luckily for me, my brother (who lives in Canada) had sent me some Star Wars sandwich cutters (as well as some pancake moulds – if only I could have incorporated them!).
 So that made it easy to have Galaxy bread (as in “… a galaxy far, far away).

TIE fighters on the left, Millennium Falcons on the right 

 For hot food, we had mini Hutt Dogs (straight from Pintrest) and X-wing bites. 

 The X-Wing bites came from trying to think of something to do with chicken nuggets (One of Son 2's favorite foods)! I ended up using chicken fingers (rather than nuggets), and joining them in an X-shape with toothpicks: very low tech but very well received.

 I also made a batch of Wookie cookies (thanks to Ro for the idea). I used a slightly different recipe (its quite tricky to find "tofffee bits"); the Neiman-Marcus oatmeal cookie recipe (I didn't blend the oats to give them more of a textured look). I also attempted to make elongated cookies (more Chewbacca-esque shape) than Ro's round ones; but as you can see, they did that anyway as I didn't space them our enough on the tray (seriously, I was not going to dirty another tray for ONE cookie!). The most misshapen ones were the "quality control" cookies.

Looking more like Adipose from Doctor Who rather than a warrior from Kashyyyk. But still yum.

I also did a a variation on the s’mores that I had been making.
 I had seen a few variations on TIE fighter snacks on Pintrest – usually with cheese biscuits and a piece of cheese in between

Thankyou random Star Wars fan

But by this stage of planning I needed a few more sweet things, so decided to make my own s’mores TIE cookies!   A batch of chocolate cookies cut in a hexagon (very hard to find a hexagonal cookie cutter!), with a marshmallow in-between, held in place by melted chocolate. Yum!

Again with the too-closely spaced cookies! You'd think I'd have learnt....

TIE assembly line: cookies, chocolate, marshmallow, chocolate, cookie

 If I was making them again, I would make the biscuits a bit smaller, like this...
Thankyou other random Star Wars Fan
 (wait, is that peanut butter they've used to stick them together?? Yum!!!)
 I was trying to do them to scale (yes, I did get out a TIE fighter toy and measure it. Beacause that's what I do), but they ended up being about 7cm long which made them quite ungainly to stick together and store. Delicious, just awkward, and the cookie-to-marhsmallow ratio was all wrong.)

  And to offset all that sugar, I also made FruiTIE fighters as well – (smaller) hexagons of melon with a grape or strawberry in between.

 AND in the just-because-its-cool category, I had marshmallow Storm trooper helmets. This one mainly came about because I had been suckered into buying a bag of Jumbo marshmallows from Costco. Which look great, but are quite difficult to toast over a fire, so I still had ¾ of a bag-full! This was fun as I could use the helmet design for the newest trooper from “The Force Awakens” as well as Clone Troopers. The trick with this was tracking down a black food pen, as well as drawing precisely on a spongy surface!

Not terribly drawn, just not super well drawn.
In easy Grab-and-Eat appropriately themed cups.

 And you can’t just eat at a party, you need activities (especially with boys!!). Husband has amassed quite a collection of Star Wars figures over the years, so they got pulled out. And being 7 year old boys, I knew that if I could incorporate shooting things, it would be a bigger hit. So I set up a Star Wars shooting gallery – Nerf guns aimed at different size figurines. We found that Jabba the Hutt was quite difficult to knock over due to his wide base. As was the super sized Qui Gon Jinn.

 Sticking with the idea of Use What You Have , I also organized Trooper Bowling (another Pintrest idea) – I printed out a few Stormtrooper masks and stuck them to the pins on our bowling set. The we could roll our “Death Star” bowling ball to it and see how many troopers got knocked over (and for the Fans out there – yes, I know the Stormtroopers were on the same side as the Death Star, but it worked better that way!).

Definitely too short to be Stormtroopers

 And finally some combat practice. A popular Star Wars party idea was to make your own lightsabers; some parties even made this as an activity. I knew from previous years that the kids didn’t want to MAKE things so much as PLAY with them, so I pre-made these. Super complicated: Step one – purchase pool noodle from shop (in appropriate colours – I had blue and green as I didn’t want any red Dark Side sabers). Step 2 – cut pool noodle in half to make a suitable blade for 7-year-olds. Step 3 – sticky tape “Lightsaber hilts” (printed out from the internet) around the base and voila!
Looks effective, super easy. My favorite
 But make sure to set some rules before you unleash them on each other, or it would be chaos (ours were No Hitting on the Head and only Two people fighting each other at a time).

Working up an appetite AND burning off sugar
 Last but not least, we had the cake. If I had the time I would have made something awesome like this  or even this!!! (I would have loved making the X-wing and TIE Fighters. The oodles and oodles of Death Star building bits not so much). But as I had the kids party as well as a family party in three days I decided to be sensible and go the cake topper route.
Family Party cake

Kids party Cake. Two toppers = better value postage


 The kids had a ball, the food was a hit and all went home happy.

 The Force was indeed with us.

** I did eventually get this - it was a pun worthy twist on HAMburgers.....

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