Johnny Appleseed Party

Hi there! I just wanted to share a few pictures and recipes from the Johnny Appleseed Birthday Party-Playdate Lauren and I hosted a couple weeks ago. With ten kids in the house it was a  busy morning, so I wasn’t able to get a ton of great photos, but we sure had fun! Pictured above is the gingham-apple pennant banner I made.  You can download the DIY PDF here if you’d like to make your own for any upcoming fall birthdays you’re planning on celebrating. (Just print, cut, hole punch, and string together.)

Of course, you can’t have a birthday party, or playdate, without snacks so here’s what was on the menu:

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins:

My sweet friend Erin made these delicious muffins.  Not only are they good, but they’re good for you too. Every single muffin was eaten, and I didn’t get a picture of them (boo!), but you can download her recipe here.

Homemade Applesauce:

Another sweet friend, Jen, went apple picking over the weekend, so she made homemade applesauce.  Yum! It was a huge hit with the adults and kids alike.  I served up the applesauce in individual cups that I embellished with a printable apple party circle. I printed them on sticker paper and cut them out with a round punch.  You can download the party circles here and print them on either sticker paper or cardstock. Note: Use party circles to make muffin or cupcake toppers. (Again, sorry-no picture!) Just sandwich a toothpick between back-to-back circles.  (I find hot glue works great for holding these together.)

Apple Slices & Fruit Dip:

This dip is great with apples and other fruit (especially strawberries).  It’s delicious, addicting, and super easy to make.  It’s so easy I’m not even sure you can call this a recipe, but here’s how you make it:

Fruit Dip

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (regular, reduced fat, or fat free)

1 8 ounce jar marshmallow cream/ fluff

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place all ingredients in a bowl, and combine using an electric mixer.  Chill and enjoy!

Click here for a PDF copy of the Fruit Dip recipe.

Apple Cupcakes:

I had a hard time deciding on a sweet to make.  You might recall I was between apple shaped cookies, apple rice krispy treats, and apple cupcakes.  I fought the strong urge to make all three (I’m really working on being realistic and not doing too much.), and settled on cupcakes. It’s not a birthday party without cupcakes, right? To make things easy for myself (Again, working on that.) I used a box cake mix and canned frosting.  I used gel food coloring to tent the white frosting, and I piped the leaves on using a Ziplock bag.  The kids loved the pretzel “stems.”

Snacks alone don’t make a playdate.  Now that Lauren and her friends are getting a little bigger crafts are a fun addition to our gatherings.  I had so many great apple craft ideas to choose from.  Unfortunately, it seemed like many of them involved paint, and we’re not quite ready for that yet.  I’m becoming obsessed with hand-print crafts, so I decided on a project using paper handprints.  Lauren wasn’t too keen on me tracing her hands. She was even less excited about me tracing her foot, but it was actually the perfect proportion for her tree’s trunk. We used a small apple craft punch and apple stickers for the fruit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think the final product was worth the struggle to keep her still.  I glued her finished tree to a piece of 12×12 scrapbook paper and left spaces to add photos of her and her friends from the party. I think I’m going to start of scrapbook for all Lauren’s little crafts and other playdate mementos.  On the companion page I included Lauren’s apple coloring sheet (coloring is bigt-ime fun for 1 year olds) and some extra paper hands that I couldn’t bring myself to throw away. I also left space for one more picture.

 

The Apple of My Eye

I’ve got another great reason to celebrate! September 26th is Johnny Appleseed’s birthday.  Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman, is the American folk hero and tall tale legend who is know for traveling the country planting apple orchards.  Born in 1774, Johnny would be 237 this year, and I think that definitely calls for a celebration.

Lauren and I are planning to host a playdate to celebrate the day with some of our friends.  We’re going to make an apple-themed craft or two and have some apple-icious snacks.  Here are some of the many ideas I’ve found (thank you Pinterest).  I’m having a hard time choosing.

First, apple crafts.  There are so many cute, creative ideas out there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Projects using finger paints, or construction paper hands…

 

 

 

 

 

 

How about an apple collage or a paper plate painted to look like an apple core-so precious!

 

 

I love this wreath made from apple stamps and real twigs.

 

 

 

After all that crafting we’re going to need some refreshments, and there’s no shortage of choices here either.

To start things off my sweet mommy-friend Erin is going to make her Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins.  She made them for a playdate last fall and they are delicious.  What’s even better is that they’re under 100 calories each and almost fat free.  She was sweet enough to share her recipe with me (click link above), please enjoy! I’m planning on making some homemade applesauce, and of course, I’ll have some hot apple cider for the mommies and apple juice boxes for the kids, but I want to make at least one other apple treat. 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t decide between these adorable apple cupcakes or these equally cute apple Rice Krispy Treats (full instructions here).

By the way, if you’re looking for a great picture book about Johnny Appleseed I recommend Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale Retold and Illustrated by Stephen Kellogg.  Over the years I’ve read several Johnny Appleseed books to my classes, but this is my all-time favorite!

I’ve been looking forward to this celebration for a while now, and I can’t wait! I always loved these types of fun crafts and treats when I was teaching, and I couldn’t be more happy to have Lauren to share them with now! Don’t worry, if you don’t have a little one to share the fun with you can still celebrate.  I have a few grow-up ideas too.

Why not celebrate by mixing-up an appletini? With dinner you could try out my Autumn Salad recipe.  It’s loaded with seasonal goodies like walnuts, cranberries, and apples (of course). Or maybe just make a good old fashioned apple pie for dessert. Have fun!