It is no secret that I LOVE holidays but did you know how much the lesser known holidays? We all know that in March we usually celebrate Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day, but did you know that March is also National Peanut Month?
Fun Fact: According to the National Peanut Board the average American eats over 6 pounds of peanuts each year – 6 pounds! Clearly that is reason for celebration. Just to be clear, I do not recommend that you sit down and eat 6 pounds of peanuts or you’ll turn into a peanut ;-)
So how should you celebrate National Peanut Month? With a Peanut Party of course.
Special Note: Peanut allergies are nothing to mess around with. If you have friends or family with a peanut allergies, be sure to substitute Almond or Sunbutter for any recipe that calls for peanut butter. It is a very simple way to still enjoy your favorite peanut-ish recipes!
When you are prepping your party, or just getting ready to make a PB&J for lunch, don’t forget my favorite peanut butter tip:
A Jar Filled with Love. Each time you open a new jar of peanut butter, before you take the first scoop of peanut butter fill the jar with love by using your knife to draw a heart in the peanut butter. This is a simple a fun way to put a smile on everyone’s face :-)
A Peanut Party can be as simple as serving PB&Js and buckets of peanuts or you can have a little more fun with it.
If there is one MUST have at your Peanut party, it is the PB&J. You can keep it simple and make your favorite childhood PB&Js or have a little fun with it (you know how much I like a twist on the traditional!). You will definitely want to make your PB&Js appetizer size so that your guests can enjoy all of your treats. Here are a few fun options for your Mini PB&Js:
- Use a mini loaf of bread or baguette slices
- Make traditional PB&Js and use a cookie cutter to turn them into fun shapes
- Ladyfinger cookies as bread for extra sweet PB&Js
- Add a few strawberry slices to your traditional PB&J and cut them into fourths
- Instead of bread use hot dog buns to make sub sandwich style PB&Js
Pail of Peanuts
What could be better than a bucket full of peanuts at your Peanut Party? Nothing! A small galvanized bucket, glass vase or flower pot make for fun centerpieces for the buffet or coffee table. Don’t worry; there is no shame in serving the lazy man’s shelled peanut especially if your worried about the mess peanut shells may make.
TIP: If you are serving your bucket of peanuts inside be sure to use a tablecloth, and a drop cloth to make cleanup a breeze.
PB&J Thumbprint Cookies
A fun and easy way to put a spin on your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe is to add a jelly twist. Simply skip the step to make cross marks on your peanut butter cookies, take them out of the oven half way through the baking cycle, make a small indentation in the center of the cookie using your clean thumb or the back of a measuring spoon and pop them back in the oven. Once the cookies are fully baked, remove them from the oven and drop a dollop of your favorite jelly in the center.
TIP: A fun way to serve your PB&J Thumbprint Cookies is on top of a small glass of milk! Plastic shot glasses or champagne flutes work best and look the cutest.
Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
If you ask me, the worlds most perfect food combination is chocolate and peanut putter, period. So why not add peanut butter to your favorite brownies? All you need is your favorite brownie mix, ½ cup of chocolate chips and a few dollops of peanut butter and you’ve got yourself Triple Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies. Prepare brownie mix as directed, add chocolate chips, pour into a pan, drop on a few dollops of peanut butter on top and cut in with a knife in a zigzag pattern to make a marbled effect. Bake as directed, cool, cut with a plastic knife and try not to eat the entire pan in one sitting, unless it is a brownie emergency.
Nutty Mix Bar
A fun and interactive attraction at your Peanut Party is a Nutty Mix Bar where guest can make their own peanut trail mix. All you need are a few bowl or fun food safe containers for your mix ins and cups or small bags and your imagination is your only limit (well, that and your budget – some nuts can be pricey). Here are some of my favorite mix in ideas:
- Peanuts (duh!) and any other nut your love
- Chocolate Chips
- Peanut Butter Chips
- Peanut or Chocolate Flavored Cereal
- Peanut M&Ms
- Dried Banana Chips
- Grape or Strawberry flavored Jelly Beans
- Mini Marshmallows
TIP: Your favorite Nutty Mix also makes the perfect party! Simply mix a big batch and pour it into small bags or cute takeout boxes.
My favorite part of planning such a fun and silly themed party is that your imagination is your only limit!
Until next time,
aka Chick #1
As seen in Carolina Parent Magazine