Back to School Party

by Cate on September 8, 2009

Back to School Rainbow Cake

It was a semi-last minute idea, but I decided to have a small Back to School party for Nick.  I quickly fired off an email to a few friends before I could change my mind and start to worry about all the boxes still left to unpack.  Considering we only moved three weeks ago, I think the house is in pretty good shape … and what better way to kick it into high gear than to entertain?

While making an effort to keep the shindig small, I also wanted to keep it simple.  There are still kitchen items I have yet to uncover, so I didn’t want to go crazy with an all-out affair.  Definitely not ready for that yet.  The first thing decided was dessert (but of course!).  After all, if I think Rainbow Cake is the perfect way to end the school year, it stands to reason that it’s the perfect way to begin it as well, no?  (Hence the pretty stack of dirty dishes in last night’s photo round-up)  To both serve as an activity and make sure the kids had something fun to eat, I went with make-your-own pizzas for dinner.  Menu aside, I think the biggest surprise for everyone was the fact that I don’t have a rolling pin.  No, it’s not lost.  Not still in an unpacked box.  Just.don’  When it comes to kitchen things, I don’t like having a lot of extra things in terms of tools, gadgets, machines and what-not.  The main uses for a rolling pin (aside from the need for it last night with the pizza dough) is for making bread and rolling out cookie dough for cut-out cookies, neither of which I really do.  A plastic cylindrical cup did the trick nicely for the pizza dough and was really easy for the kids to handle. A little tomato sauce, heaps of mozzarella and a smattering of mini pieces of pepperoni and into the oven it went.  For the grown-ups, I made a version with pesto and fresh mozzarella from the farmer’s market.  By the end of the night, every last speck was gone.  My kind of clean-up!

I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that tomorrow Nick is heading off to the second grade.  Where the heck did time go?  I still remember when he took his first steps… it’s like the first picture of Madeline from last night’s post – all the sudden she doesn’t look like a baby anymore.  They’re both growing up too fast!  Someone actually asked me today when she is going to go to school – ack!  I am all for savoring every little bit of their childhood as long as I possibly can.

These days, with everyone being more and more conscience of spending money, this Back to School party is the perfect way to entertain.  Very easy, fun, ideal for the celebration and affordable.  All told, between using what I had on hand, combined with a few simple things from the store, we fed four adults and 5 kids for under ten bucks.  The kids had fun, the grown-ups got adult conversation and it was the perfect way to kick-off the new school year.  Priceless.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Starnesfam September 8, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Yes, indeed. Money smart and fun!


Joanne September 9, 2009 at 6:13 am

Sounds like a fun time for everyone! I’ve been toying with the idea of having a make-your-own-pizza party for my 22+ year old friends. It’s the kind of thing that is enjoyed by people of all ages!

Time definitely flies so enjoy every second of it while you can.


Kris #40 September 9, 2009 at 8:40 am

I still love that cake the second time around!

I’m now off to search your archives for some brunch recipes. We are having an “inlaws are leaving to go back to Florida” brunch on Sunday. My sister is doing most of the items, but I want to throw in a few.


Cate September 9, 2009 at 9:06 am

Starnesfam – money smart and fun – perfect combination. :)

Joanne – I love make-your-own pizza parties – perfect for any age, and the end results were really delicious.

Kris – me too! Oooh brunch … Barefoot Contessa has a great Smoked Salmon Fritatta and there is a delish Overnight French Toast from Paula Deen – yum!


Debbie September 9, 2009 at 11:11 am

I love that cake and what a fantastic idea!!!!


Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen September 9, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Wow, that is one intense looking cake! I am sure the kids loved all the rainbow colors!


Ramona September 9, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Sounds like everything turned out great, wasn’t expensive and everybody enjoyed the food. Good deal.


Sarah Caron September 9, 2009 at 6:32 pm

That sounds like a great way to kick off the school year. What a fantastic mom you are for doing things like that!


Patsy Kreitman September 9, 2009 at 9:00 pm

great way to start off the new school year! I love that cake, and one of these days will have to give it a try. I’m in the process of trying to plan a Halloween party, so any simple tips for that kind of party are very welcome!


Pamela September 11, 2009 at 11:21 pm

What a beautiful cake! i have made one with jello packets mixed in for color, but the texture was off. i’ll have to try your version.

**thanks for your nice comment on In My Shoes.


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