I had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate our niece’s 1st birthday over the weekend.
My sweet sister-in-law, Amy, and I had fun one evening in September planning Andrea’s party. You can find my Pinterest board for the party here. The theme was a veggie garden party because Andrea LOVES vegetables. As we pinned lots of adorable ideas, Amy thought having Andrea be the ladybug of the garden would be fun. We quickly found lots of ideas for ladybugs and there are some really cute ones. However, we narrowed it down to a couple recipes that looked as yummy as they did adorable.
The night before the party we celebrated Micah’s 3rd birthday and then Amy I set to work on party prep. Amy created these fun and delicious cupcakes from another pinterest recipe. She molded each vegetable by hand from flavored tootsie rolls. I think they turned out so well!
The cupcakes were chocolate and white, chocolate icing and oreo cookie crushed for the “dirt” the veggies sat on. Simple and delicious! I recommend double bagging the oreos while crushing to prevent a mess, or use a food processor.
After crushing cookies to create dirt, I was able to help create the lovely little ladies of the garden party. After some trial, error, and tasting we figured out the best way to make the Strawberry Ladybugs and the Ladybug Cracker Appetizers.
The Original Ladybug recipe is located at the National Wildlife website. We made a few changes to save time.
For these lovelies you need washed and sliced strawberries, blueberries, mini-chocolate chips, and chocolate icing. Slice the strawberries in half length-wise and place on a paper-towel to help absorb the juice. It helps if you put the bag of chocolate-chips in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to help prevent melting while you assemble the bugs. Push the chips into the strawberries, pointy side in, arranged in the number and pattern you desire. We did about 7 per strawberry. The original recipe used toothpicks to assemble the berries, but we didn’t want anyone accidentally biting or swallowing one (especially with kids present), so we opted to “glue” our bug heads on. We tried marshmallow cream first, but it gave the ladybugs a weird white collar. We ended up using the chocolate icing and it worked pretty well, though some heads did get left behind the bodies during consumption! Using a butter knife to apply a small dab on the blueberry, you can then place the head on the ladybug body and place on the serving platter. You can try different berries as well if you aren’t a blueberry fan. We also opted out of the licorice legs. We tried original tootsie rolls instead but they would not stick in the strawberries and it was a bit time consuming. We figured they looked cute enough legless!
The Ladybug Crackers took a few steps to assemble as well. You can find the original recipe here at Taste of Home’s website.
We prepped the cherry tomatoes, olives, and dip the night before the party and assembled them the next morning.
Wash and slice the tomatoes in half, twice so you have two sets of “wings” from each tomato. Slice the black olives in half width-wise. The larger end with the hole works best as the heads. Lay the tomatoes and olives on a paper towel to absorb the juices and avoid soggy crackers.
Mix the dip and let chill in the fridge until ready to assemble the crackers. Taste of Home has the dip recipe here
It is easier to assemble the crackers and then put the spots on the tomato wings. We used black gel icing and it was easiest to dot the wings using the tip of a plastic fork. Using the tip of the icing tube created spiked dots. You could also use a toothpick or actual decorator tip if very small. This was by far the most time consuming, but worth it. Very tasty and sooooo cute! (We also opted out of the chive antennas. Who needs them?!)
Such a fun party for our precious niece. Well done Amy! We love you Andrea and look forward to seeing you continue to spread your lovely wings!