January 18th, 2010

Easy Kids Party Menu (Part 1): Corn Pudding

corn pudding

Photo: Stabroek News

My oldest Hungry Baby turned 3 (!!!) and we recently hosted a construction themed birthday party in his honor. I’m amazed that we pulled anything off seeing that his birthday is at the end of the always busy holiday season, just days after new years. And this year, we had a little baby, too. But we did. And with style.

To keep things easy, I had first planned on ordering pizza and buying cupcakes from BabyCakes. Then I thought better of it—I had to cook. No. I wanted to cook! So, instead or ordering in, I capped the shindig to 5 of my ChowBaby’s closest playmates to make cooking, hosting and cleaning manageable, even with an infant in the house.

The menu was simple, wholesome, and easy to make ahead:
mama made chicken fingers
corn pudding
carrot sticks (which never made it out… oops)
guacamole
black bean dip
tortilla chips and
chocolate chip & devil’s food cupcakes with chocolate chip buttercream

The idea was to offer comfort food that would appeal equally to kids and parents, and this menu worked perfectly!

Check out the menu plan, my low-impact cooking schedule and recipes after the jump.

One week before the party
1. Prep chicken fingers; freeze

Two nights before the party
1. Make buttercream; store in an airtight container in fridge

The day before the party
1. Bake cupcakes; store in an airtight container at room temp

2. Prep and bake corn pudding; let cool completely, cover, store in fridge over night

Day of the party
1. Take buttercream out of the fridge first thing or, if the party is later in the day, several hours before the party; allow to come back to room temp

2. Reserve an hour sometime before the party to make guacamole, prep carrot sticks, put bean dip and chips into serving bowls; if you do this earlier than an hour before the party, store the guac, bean dip and carrot sticks (in a little bit of water) in the fridge until people arrive

3. About an hour before guests arrive, ice cupcakes and keep at room temp

4. 60 minutes before serving time, preheat oven to 350 degrees

5. 50 minutes before serving time, put corn pudding in the oven; heat through, for about 30 min; set aside

6. As soon as pudding comes out of the oven, put frozen chicken fingers in; cook for about 20 min

This corn pudding was, by far, the hit of the party. It’s SO, SO, SO yummy and only ONE STEP! I considered a lot of recipes before landing on this one, by far the simplest of them all. In the end, I decided that we didn’t need green chiles, parmesan, or any of the other ingredients that seem to be common in corn pudding. Though I’d never had corn pudding before, I had a strong sense that it is all about perfection in simplicity. Plus, this recipe calls for you to put all of the ingredient in the food processor and then pour into a buttered baking dish. That’s it. You can’t beat that, especially if you’re making this for a crowd (or on a busy weeknight).

I doubled this recipe and ended up having to use two different sized baking dishes, which meant that I had to wing the cooking time. It turned out to be no problem at all. The recipe is very forgiving—bake until it’s golden brown around the edges and just firm in the middle. Perfection.

Simple Corn Pudding
From Bon Appetit
(can be served to kids 10+ mos)

4 c organic frozen corn kernels (about 19 ounces), thawed
4 large organic eggs
1 c organic heavy cream
1/2 c organic milk
6 tbsp organic sugar
1/4 c organic butter, room temperature
2 tbsp organic flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 8x8x2-inch baking dish. Blend all ingredients in processor until almost smooth. Pour batter into prepared dish. Bake pudding until brown and center is just set, about 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; serve.

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE RECIPES & MENU DETAILS IN PARTS TWO (chicken fingers) & THREE (the cupcakes!)

9 Responses

  1. Rosie says:

    This recipe looks too easy to be this good. I must try it! And, I love the timeline. I’ll have to bookmark this for future reference.

  2. [...] for party food (but also great for any weeknight meal or packed lunch food). As you read in yesterday’s post, these chicken fingers can be prepped more than a week ahead of time. Simply make them as directed [...]

  3. [...] get freezer burn. So, if you do this, package carefully! Don’t forget to bookmark the entire menu and planning timeline for your next kids party! Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, makes about 25 (from Martha Stewart) (can be [...]

  4. [...] lemon zest to dried mint). Simple as that. Remember the carrot sticks that never made it into my ChowBaby’s birthday spread? Well, they were aging in my fridge when I most recently decided to make risotto. Since carrots [...]

  5. Pepper says:

    Can you make this with fresh corn instead of frozen? I’ve got a bunch from last weeks farmers market…

  6. [...] the corn pudding I made as part of my easy kids party menu? I made it again tonight as part of a quick meal with a tropical [...]

  7. [...] down, rolled up my sleeves, cleaned up the holiday mess and started over, making everything from corn pudding to baked chicken fingers to chocolate chip cupcakes with chocolate chip buttercream from scratch. [...]

  8. [...] but that’s another story.) So, every year I push myself to do it up with homemade treats like corn pudding, baked chicken fingers and chocolate chip cupcakes with chocolate chip buttercream. But this year [...]

  9. [...] are attending, too—you don’t need to be feeding 40 people) and the menu simple. This Easy Kids Party Menu is a [...]

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