Saturday, July 30, 2011

Monkey Bread is the Devil

Bookworm turns 11 tomorrow.  After a lengthy discussion we decided she would NOT have a slumber party...She would only invite one friend over in order to avoid the "girl drama" that sometimes comes with such things as sleepovers.  Plus, after Popcorn's last slumber party, I had vowed I was never doing another slumber party again.  So I may have tried to manipulate my oldest into believing slumber parties aren't all they're cracked up to be...

Only we had to invite two friends.  Oh, and she hadn't seen Morgan since last summer's party, so we really needed to see if she could come.  Oh, and what about the girl next door, we don't want her to feel left out.

And OF COURSE Popcorn should invite a friend for her to play with, so she wouldn't be hogging the scene from her sister.

So, five invitations later we had a non-slumber party birthday party that somehow did involve seven little girls at my house.

But again, this was not a slumber party. Those are too much stress and work.  I hate stress.  I'm not a big fan of work.  Unless it's making my kids work, and I'm all about that.  They have to learn a work ethic somewhere, right?

I have some great tips on how to have a stress free NONslumber party.  I know you are all just dying to learn them, so here goes.  Complete with picture tutorials.

1.  Go to the store to buy a present from her sister and a yellow cake mix for chocolate/vanilla swirl cupcakes. Run by Braum's for ice and milk for homemade ice cream.  Homemade ice cream may sound hard for those who've never made it.  But it's not.  It is divine.  You will love it.  Your kids will love it.  You will be lauded hero of the day simply for serving it.  I recommend it.  Truly, I do.

2.  While you are at the store have the birthday girl clean the bathroom and dust.  If she happens to finish before you return you can have her dig decorations out from previous parties and decorate.  I would even recommend she plan any activities they are going to do.  After all, it's her party right?  If she wants them to be entertained, she should make sure it happens!  This time the birthday girl drew treasure maps for each girl to find her goodie bag.  She dipped the paper in coffee and let it dry in the sun, then waded it up so it appeared old.  This year's goodie was a $5 gift card to Sonic.  I decided nobody really keeps the junk from goodie bags anyway, so at least this was something useful!  Again, we've removed some stress.  Not making pointless goodie bags, and making the kid clean for her own party!  Woohoo! 

3.  Keep it simple.  Don't stress with cleaning.  The kids will trash the house anyway.  Any cleaning that needs to be done should be done by the children in the house.  It will keep them occupied so they aren't constantly nipping at your heels wondering when everyone is going to show up for the NONslumber party.

4.  Stock up on party supplies with coupons leading up to the party.  Have a designated, "don't touch this, it's for the party that is not a party next week."  Sure, it made the hutch area junky.  To be honest my hutch area is ALWAYS cluttered, and this just gave me an excuse to leave it that way.  It's a good thing.  I'm sure Martha Stewart would agree...

5.  I recommend grilling hot dogs and providing chips.  You can crumble and make homemade Butterfinger ice cream along with the cupcakes.  But only if you are feeling generous.  Resist making fruit salad and cute little watermelon baskets.  Yes, they will look cute and the kids will admire them.  Your daughter will probably even feel extra loved if you do this.  However, if you DON'T do it, will she even realize she missed out?  Nope.  She will be too busy chasing kittens and splashing in the pool and running around yelling for no apparent reason.  So, save yourself the headache and keep it simple.

Plus, if you have hot dogs you have an excuse to use these super cute plastic hot dog holders you got for a hole dollar at Dollar General!  Fun!

6.  Have your husband help out as much as possible.  Mine helped with the ice for the ice cream maker, grilled the hot dogs and carted stuff outside so the kids weren't dripping all over the floor.  But, then again, my husband is the best, so you may not have this step up and take action sort of man.  But I do.  Sorry about your luck.

7.  As I mentioned, carry everything outside.  I love this big red plastic wash tub I got several years ago.  Again, at Dollar General.  Dollar General is also to thank for that cute orange wire picnic organizer.  Too handy!  Throw the two liters in the ice chest along with the ice and carry it all outside in three little trips.  Again, simple, simple, simple.  Notice there is no fancy table cloth that will have to be washed off and put back away.  There aren't even cute little lawn chairs arranged  in convenient circles.  Just let them fill their plates and park where they may.  Simple, simple, simple!!!

8.  Save old party decorations.  We have had these parasol picks for three parties now.  I bought them in a package of 100, I think they turned out pretty slick with the cute twisty candles.  Oh, and see that tray?  That is also from Dollar General.  I love Dollar General in the summer.  I just can't resist their patriotic summer ware!  Please excuse my over exposed hand.  This was the only picture Studmuffin took that didn't include me bent over lighting candles in my swimsuit and I wasn't even holding in my stomach!  Seriously.  The man should know to prompt me that I'm in a photo, so I can at least attempt to hide my post partum pudge!  Please, no comments about the age of my children.  Thank you.

9.  Be sure to provide plenty of entertainment.  Scratch that.  I planned nothing.  They seemed to find plenty to keep them occupied.  Here they are sumo wrestling.  At 11pm.  I had pointed out that Studmuffin had been up since 3am, and he might like them to play quietly.  "You can stay up, but please no screaming."  I can assure you that I did NOT have to come in at 1:07am with one eye open, staggering down the hall, curls sticking up all over to say, "STOP SCREAMING.  It is after 1am.  I am trying to sleep."  Total silence descended.  I did not hear another peep out of them.  Strangely, my darling husband never uttered one word of complaint.  He was happily sleeping away.  Of course he is never the bad guy.  Hmpf. 

The thing to remember about this step is you just go to bed.  Ignore what they are doing.  Do NOT go check if they are spilling or fighting or sleeping, or whatever.  Go to bed.  I have found that there is less drama and spillage when I'm not around.  Either that, or I just don't know about it.  Either way, I'm less stressed, so I really don't care, so there ya go.  Mission accomplished.

The next morning one girl had to be picked up by 8:30am to get ready for family pictures.  This was the sight that greeted me as I got up.  Apparently, they eventually crashed.  Hard.

10.  So, my final tip to you is this delicious monkey bread.  It's easy to make and super yummy.

Of course, you will find yourself going and snitching a little bite every time you walk by.  Regardless of the dimples in your thighs, or the bloated feeling in your tummy from two big bowls of Butterfinger ice cream the night before.  It's kind of like having the devil sitting on your kitchen counter.  Tempting you to just have one more nibble.

But, it will be a delicious nibble!  And it will have been simple to make!  Ten minutes prep time, I kid you not.  So here you go.  A new recipe for your edification and added dimples.  Everyone loves dimples, right?

Monkey Bread
1/3 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 sticks butter
4 cans biscuits (I use the cheap small biscuits over the Grands.)
Mix together: 
2/3 c sugar
1 1/2  tsp cinnamon

Place the first three in a saucepan.  Bring to boil and stir for two minutes. 
Confession:  I always ignore this step and just melt it in the microwave for two minutes.  But, I'm lazy like that.
Cut the biscuits into four pieces each and toss pieces in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. 
Place coated biscuits in a greased bundt pan. Pour butter mixture over top and bake at 350 for thirty minutes.  Let set a few minutes to set up caramelized sauce.  Dump over onto a cute platter that you may have confiscated from a relative's attic and enjoy!

Now how easy was that?


Dawn said...

Studmuffin is never the bad guy to the kids cause he is too busy being too nice to you and helping out! :) I love the treasure map--the coffee was a great idea!

Caitlin said...

Way to go Andi! It looked like the girls had an awesome time, and minimal work - sign me up! Although it looks like you did just enough work to make it special for your girl. Loved the sumo shot! Too cute!

Deanne said...

Wow you survived. I can't believe Boolworm is 11!! Time flies.