Anyone play the game, Temple Run? You know, the video game for phones and tablets where this great big, manic, hybrid gorilla-vulture creature chases your character as you dodge fire, rushing waterfalls, and treacherous cliffs at the same time as trying to collect shiny medallions and green gems? That’s the one. We’re big fans of that game around here, bordering on obsession, to the point that I had to give it up for Lent to prevent myself from spending every second of my already minimal free time dodging fire and escaping gorilla beasts.
Well, when my oldest son requested a Temple Run themed birthday party for his 6th birthday, I promptly replied, “No, they don’t make Temple Run party supplies. I’m not even sure how we’d do that. Think of another theme. How about pirates or rock ‘n’ roll or superheroes?” But, my son is not easily dissuaded once he’s stuck on an idea, so he persisted with his request. And I persisted with offering alternate ideas. Construction trucks, a luau, dinosaurs???
But after a bit of brainstorming with some friends, a vision for a Temple Run themed party started to evolve. We’d construct a Temple Run obstacle course in the backyard. There’d be fire and waterfalls and a cave. There’d be green gems and monkeys and tropical birds. There’d be a terrifying gorilla chasing our young party guests through the course, as they attempted to gather gold medallions and green gems to redeem for goody bag treats. Perhaps we’d need to ask parents to sign a waiver as they arrived with the party guests, sort of like those waivers of death they merrily hand you as you arrive at a bounce house party. (Kidding, sort of.) My husband was skeptical about this insane plan, but I’m just about as hard to dissuade as our six year old, once I’m set on an idea.
As if by fate, in the early stages of my party planning, I received an email from a party supply company, Shindigz, offering to send me a gift certificate to sample their products and services, in order to share my experience with all of you. It was kismet. It only took a few minutes of browsing their site to spark a million ideas. During a quick search for jungle party supplies, my plan for a Temple Run obstacle course became clear. I found green festooning in three different colors to use to as tropical vines framing the perimeter of our course. Rolls of sheer gossamer fabric printed in a water pattern would create the perfect waterfall obstacle. A shimmery foil banner printed with flames would become our fire obstacle. Plastic gold medallions became the coins we needed to entice our temple runners – coins which they could later redeem for goody bag treats. Tropical birds and monkeys lent an exotic feel to my run of the mill backyard. We added tiki lantern garland and a hanging fiery pot to complete the atmosphere. The hardest part was narrowing down my wish list from Shindigz’ extensive collection of party supplies. I was so happy with everything I received and how fast it got to me, that I actually placed a second order for more festooning and a variety of streamers, which arrived just as quickly.
Once the vision for our ‘Temple Run’ course was in place, all that was left to do was plan an appropriately themed menu. Admittedly, I was stuck for quite a while. I even tried researching the supposed setting for the Temple Run game, but came up empty handed. Then, I started thinking about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I certainly wasn’t about to go down the monkey brains and snake-stuffed snakes route for our menu, but then it occurred to me that Temple of Doom took place in India, which just happens to serve up some of my family’s favorite food. In fact, chicken tikka masala with naan is high on the list of the birthday boy’s favorite foods.
An Indian-themed buffet it would be. From that point, it was just a matter of selecting dishes that would appeal to both children and adults, as well as people who might not be so adventurous when it comes to trying new foods. The other top priority was ease of reheating during the party.
This was the Indian-themed ‘Temple Run’ menu we settled on:Chicken Tikka Masala Naan* Basmati Rice with Cinnamon, Cardamon, and Peas Indian-Spiced Meatballs with Raita Beef and Potato Samosas with Mango Chutney Indian Chickpeas Mango Lassis (Mango Yogurt Smoothies)
We also served a large platter of fresh fruit as well as a plate full of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, for anyone craving something a bit less adventurous. The PB&Js went largely untouched, as our Temple Run menu was enjoyed by most of our guests, big and small. I’ve linked to the recipes for the chicken tikka masala and naan in the menu above. (Rather than grill the naan, as in the linked recipe, I cooked them on a baking sheet, several inches under the broiler for about two minutes on the first side, a minute on the second. Worked like a charm!) I’ll be sharing the recipes for the Indian Chickpeas and Mango Lassis in the near future.
Today, I’m sharing the recipe for the Indian-spiced meatballs and raita. Raita is a refreshing yogurt dip, not too different from a Greek tzatziki sauce. It’s frequently served as a cooling counterbalance to spicy Indian dishes, and while these meatballs are not overly spicy, the raita makes a perfect dip. (Kids love to dip stuff. Trust me.) I added these meatballs to the menu mostly to appeal to our younger guests, but they were a notable hit with the bigger guests too!
A GIVEAWAY!!! My friends at Shindigz are offering a $50 gift card to one lucky reader, to give you a chance to enjoy their wide variety of part supplies. With graduation and summer barbecue season just around the corner, I’m sure that gift card would come in handy! To enter the drawing for the gift card, simply leave a comment below sharing what you think is the #1 factor which makes a memorable party! The winner will be selected using Random.org on Friday, May 31, 2013 at 12:00pm EST. One entry per person. 18 years or older. US mailing addresses only, please. Good luck!!
- 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, very finely diced
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 pound ground beef
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wipe a baking sheet with a little oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, garam masala, salt, cayenne pepper, eggs and bread crumbs (everything except the meat) in a large bowl, until evenly blended. Add the meat. Use your hands to combine the mixture, just enough to evenly disperse the ingredients.
Form the mixture into balls, about 1 1/2″ in diameter. Place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, until cooked through.
Makes about 24 small meatballs
Cucumber Mint Raita
- 1 large seedless cucumber
- 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
- 1/8 cup fresh mint leaves, finely diced
- Salt and pepper
Use a box grater to finely grate the cucumber. Squeeze the cucumber gratings to remove as much liquid as possible. (If you have a piece of cheesecloth available, it’s useful to place the cucumber gratings inside the cheesecloth, then squeeze to remove the excess liquid.) Combine the cucumber, yogurt, and chopped fresh mint. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Disclaimer – Shindigz provided me with $100 gift card to sample their products and services in order to share my experience with you. All opinions expressed in this post are completely my own.
The number #1 party essential is great friends. Are you also going to post the recipes for the rice and samosas? I love this idea – my boys love that game too!
The #1 factor for a memorable party is a comfortable setting for everyone to enjoy. I love this idea and can’t wait to check out Shindigz.
The #1 factor which makes a memorable party is great party supplies, especially with a large scale theme such as this one, to really show them off! Beautiful and creative! Great food helps, too and you have done an amazing job with that!
I think the #1 factor for a great party is food, food, food (oh and good weather). Thank you for all the great ideas!
The number one factor for me that makes the party is the guests. If you have people who are not that sociable or only came to eat, then you party will definitely be a stop and go or shortlived. If you have those who come to be sociable and mingle, then it will be a good party
I think relaxed hosts are the most memorable part. I strive to always be relaxed when having people over, but am not always successful. Looks like this was a great party!
The #1 factor for myself and my family will always be the guests. If we have our family and friends surrounding us, then nothing else truly matters. The food, decorations, venue, etc are all just added bonuses!
Having a theme makes the best party. Its fun for everyone even the host.
Adorable! What a wonderful bunch of ideas!!!
I think the people make it memorable. And lots of laughter.
The #1 factor for a memorable party is party supplies and decorations that set a theme, get people mingling and talking about the great job you did!!
The #1 factor is the guest list! Unless you’re cooking… I’d go to a party and chat with septuagenarian train enthusiasts to get at your food.
The #1 factor is a personal touch to make the people feel special. Even little things like favorite foods, favors, special desserts.
Wow! Looks like fun. I’d say the most imortant element is the hosts’ attitude during the party. I’m surprised everyone seems to think the same way I do, I thought it would be an original answer! Oh, and of course being organized enough when the first guest arrives… That almost never happens 🙂
the 1# factor to a great party is that you have as much fun as your guests .
I like going to small intimate parties..even for the kids, a few friends and some yummy foods..thanks!
I agree with most…the #1 best thing about a party is definitely the people, but good food comes in a very close 2nd! Thanks, Amy for a great blog with wonderful ideas!
Oooh, the best part of a party is of course the people, but even more so is having it at a place where the little people can be put to bed somewhere inside and let the big people relax and enjoy without constantly counting heads and baby-proofing!! Your party looks like so much fun! I wish we lived closer!