Getting older isn’t always fun, so I always try to make my birthday parties a bit of a blast for all involved. This year I decided to theme my party after Dr. Who to celebrate 50 years. It also helped me to work with the fact that I had to have my birthday a week late. If you see my previous post here you will know that we repainted the front door TARDIS blue and set up that we’d travel led back in time via the TARDIS to my actual birthday.
Of course this also begged for a great menu of Dr. Who themed items, which I naturally gave party participants:
and now you can get all the awesome recipes and make your very own Who themed party goods. 😉
Fish Fingers and Chips:
I totally cheated and got these from Costco. They’re Trident brand Panko Crusted Atlantic Cod. I’ve used them before for parties (namely St. Patrick’s Day) and had great success. I bought two boxes and they were GONE almost as soon as I could get them out. Seriously, 8 of them were gone before I could get a picture (as you can see).
Guests said “they don’t have a heavy batter”, “you can actually taste the fish and it’s nice and flaky”, “this tastes like something I would get from a restaurant”.
The chips were just frozen steak fries. I had originally planned to cut up some russet potatoes and make my own baked fries, but there were LOTS of food and drink products I made by hand for this party so I went with frozen. They were OK but not great so I’m not even going to bother to drop the brand name I used.
Honey Mustard Custard:
It’s in no way custard, but by calling it that I got the tie in with 11’s Fish Fingers and Custard from his first episode.
I modified an Alton Brown recipe because I can’t consume vinegar (to make the Alton Brown version add 2 TBS white vinegar to the mix)
3 TBS medium body honey
2 TBS smooth dijon mustard
Basically, it’s more honey than mustard and because I didn’t add the vinegar, even I could eat it with my fish. It *did* come out looking a lot like the peanut butter (you can see it as the corner brown substance by the fish). However, guests enjoyed it even without the vinegar.
Mediterranean Bowtie Pasta
I wanted to incorporate the bowtie, which strangely enough has been worn by more doctors than not (that’s right, it’s not just an 11 thing). I also wanted to make sure I had a main portion offering that was vegetarian. When hosting always make sure you do so JIC. You could also serve grilled chicken on the side for guests to put in their pasta if they chose.
1 box Barilla whole wheat plus
.5 cups olive oil
1.5 cups Vinagrette of your choice
20ish Globe tomatoes, halved
10ish Kalamata olives, pitted, halved
6ish Artichoke Hearts, quartered
a liberal dash of lemon juice
a liberal dash of Mediterranean Thyme
a liberal dash of Italian Seasoning
Cook up your pasta, then throw in the other ingredients and season to taste.
These are simple enough, and a variant on authentically British Bangers.
1 Pack Bratwurst, Traditional Bangers, or Sausage that isn’t seasoned
1 Med Pack Baby Bella Mushrooms (can also use Cremini, or any other meaty mushroom)
1/2 Med Red Onion, sliced
Better than Bouillon-Beef
Corn Starch or Potato Flakes (Instant Mashed Potatoes)
Put half your pack of sausages in a skillet with half the mushrooms and onion and about 1TBS of the Better than Bouillon Beef, add about 2 cups of water. Cook on medium high heat until sausages turn greyish (or brownish depending on what kind of sausage you went with) flip the sausages to cook both sides.
Add corn starch or potato flakes to thicken watery broth into a gravy. Toss into glass casserole dish with the gravy. Repeat with other half.
They’re just masked potatoes, and when paired with the bangers you just made they become cleverly renamed Bangers and Mash.
5 lbs Red Potatoes
1 Container Philadelphia Whipped Cream Cheese with Chives
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Garlic
Quarter your potatoes
Boil until soft
Add cream cheese and stir/mash
Add butter and seasonings to taste
I used a pre-made whipped herbed butter I made with the mixer a few weeks back. Basically you just take a liberal amount of butter (in my case Smart Balance) and the seasonings desired and then mix on 2 or 4 for 5 minutes to create a whipped herbed butter. You can then apply it anywhere to really class things up. Bread, pasta, potatoes, poptarts, what have you.
No, I did not make them from scratch. I just grabbed about a pound of Jelly Bellies from my local HEB. I used a liberal amount of Pomegranate, sassy sours, and a touch of Island Punch. Quit being annoyed I don’t have a recipe and have a jelly baby, these cupcakes and drinks in a sec get very complicated.
TARDIS Blue Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
I’m going to level with you, blue velvet is the exact same recipe as red velvet but you use blue food coloring. However, the recipe I followed doesn’t use a box mix so it wasn’t quite as easy as it could have been.
Here’s the exact recipe I used from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Note that I didn’t make the Vanilla Icing, but opted for the Martha Stewart Cream Cheese Icing suggested here.
Here’s some fabulous pics and pro tips:
I used the Wilton Royal Blue gel icing and added a touch of Wilton Violet Gel Icing to get my coloring.
Each batch as written makes about a dozen cupcakes. I was able to make an extra 3 or so cupcakes with each batch.
The cake consistency is rather thick, but that’s because you did it right.
Here you can see how far up I filled my cups and I was able to get well rounded cupcakes.
These take 15 or 20 minutes to bake but they set up well by 10 minutes, don’t let that fool you.
Here is my cooling TARDIS army being watched over by an inflatable Dalek.
After I iced them, I used a handy dandy TARDIS cupcake printable I found on the internet. If you resize the file to standard sheet size, be sure and cut about an extra inch of white on one side of the strip to allow enough space to fit around a standard cupcake.
Print your very own here. With special thanks to Flickr user seelensturm for making these up.
This recipe got good marks with guests but the banana pudding was the total star of the sweets show, I’ll get to it in a minute. You might think about making the icing blue, too. I used so much Wilton gel icing, I just did not have enough left to do it to all the icing. Plan ahead and get 2 Royal Blue gel icings if you want to do it that way. 🙂
Chocolate Dalek Sec Cupcakes
I like chocolate, I love mint and I went to my party as a Dalek. These were my favorite sweets for the night, but I’m telling you the banana pudding I made was really quite fantastic and we will get to it in a minute.
I used a Duncan Hines Devil’s Food cake mix. It makes roughly 2 dozen cupcakes. I added 2 TBS pure peppermint extract to get my minty flavor.
I used a Duncan Hines whipped chocolate frosting, to which I also added 2 TBS of pure peppermint extract.
I then dressed them up in the Dalek printables from the same place I got the TARDIS ones.
NOTE: If you resize this printable to a standard page, the wraps will NOT be long enough, you must cut to the edge of the page on both sides to allow full girth or you end up with my mildly goofy Dalek cupcakes where the original wrapper sticks out.
These were really rather amazing.
This was far and away the best rated food of the night. I made an enormous batch and it was GONE. People couldn’t wait to attack it. I had people add it to the chocolate cupcakes. I had people eat more banana pudding than anything else. THANK YOU 9 for loving bananas.
I found the original recipe here but then I played with it so I am actually going to type out the ingredients I used and then the changes to the instructions.
1 8oz package Neufchatel cheese (or 1/3 fat cream cheese)
1 14oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 regular packages of Jell-O Banana Cream Pudding Mix
4 cups cold milk
1 TBS vanilla extract
6 Bananas, 4 over ripe (gummy) bananas for flavor that go IN, 2 fresh to go ON
2 12 oz packages of Nilla brand vanilla wafers
1 large tub of Cool Whip
Beat the cream cheese in a Kitchenaid or similar blender on 4 for about 2 minutes
Slow to 2 and add condensed milk, pudding mixes, cold milk, vanilla extract
Fold in half of the Cool Whip
Beat on 4 for 4-5 minutes, scraping sides as needed.
Line a standard glass casserole dish with Nilla wafers on the bottom and sides
Slice up and add 4 mushy bananas (older bananas have stronger banana flavor and are also the best ones to use for banana nut bread) atop the Nilla wafer layer in the casserole. Do not put on sides.
Pour mix into dish, using a spatula to even out
Top with remaining Cool Whip, using spatula to even out
Top Cool Whip with alternating pattern of Nilla Wafers and Banana slices from ripe bananas.
Place in fridge to cool for 30 minutes.
Place on table
GET AWAY BECAUSE PEOPLE COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK FOR THIS CREAMY, COOKIE FILLED AWESOMENESS.
And now, pics of the pudding:
The dish got high marks for presentation as it looks gorgeous with the alternating pattern. It also got high marks for liberal usage of the wafers, everyone’s actual favorite part of banana pudding, and its creamy flavor thanks to the cream cheese and banana cream pudding used.
Banana pudding is all about the details. Carefully put the wafers up the sides and make sure your top looks grand to get high marks.
I had all the stuff but no one actually made the adipose I had as a food craft option (along with the cookies) because everyone was busy gorging on everything else. However, here is a guide on how to make them for your party as they are really rather cute and would go great with a s’mores station. I picked that guide as the entire thing is edible as opposed to the ones that use toothpicks that I would think could be possibly harmful to guests.
Decorate Your Own Cookies
My birthday is Christmas in July, and this was a Dr. Who Christmas Special Party, so there naturally had to be cookies. I wanted cookies that guests could decorate and we the sciency at ETSY has just the thing. Real handmade metal Dr. Who cookie cutters. I got the Dalek/Tardis/Bowtie pack which as a bonus was on sale for $10. The goods arrived quickly and I totally suggest everyone buys everything this ETSY seller has because they were a pleasure to deal with.
Guests simply used some of my leftover cream cheese icing (I did a survey before the party and they overwhelmingly loved cream cheese icing) to deco the cookies and had a blast.
I just used Pillsbury sugar cookie rolls. If you’ve never rolled cookie dough before:
Use baking flour to liberally powder your rolling surface, hands, and pin. (if you don’t have a pin, use plastic wrap on a cylindrical item-I used a cake vodka bottle in this case because it was handy). Use segments of dough-between a quarter and half a tube at a time. Roll it into a ball, then flatten it out with your hands, then roll it out with the pin. Cool dough sticks less so if you’re having sticking problems, slap the dough in the fridge for 10-20 minutes. The thinner the dough is, the more like the shape your cookies will be. The thicker it is, the more the cookie will expand and the shape will likely be lost. Cook for 5 minutes then check the cookies, because they are thin they should cook in 5-10 minutes. For chewier cookies take them out at 5 minutes. For crunchier cookies, longer. Be sure and let your cookies air dry completely before you ice them or the icing will melt.
Here’s a look at some of the cookies:
Doctor 5 used celery as a fashion statement, so can you. I always love to have a veggie tray at my parties, especially when you make dips so that people have an alternative to chips. I used celery, carrots, globe tomatoes, and apples. I used the bottom of the celery to make a Rose, and the ends to mimic the celery brooch the doctor wore. The veggie tray was utterly and totally consumed by the end of the night and I got reports that the celery went well with the Spinach Artichoke Dip.
American Chips and Dips
Since I’d done British Chips, it only seemed fair to do American chips.
I grabbed some pita chips and tortilla strips to go with the veggies and then whipped up two quick and easy double boiler dips. If you don’t have a double boiler you can put a glass bowl in a pot, or you can stack 2 similarly sized pots on one another or buy a double boiler.
My Famous Spinach Artichoke Dip:
1 8oz pack Neufchatel Cheese (or cream cheese)
1 can Spinach
1 can Artichoke Hearts
8 oz shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
8 oz shredded Mozzarella
Melt the cream cheese in the double boiler
Add other cheeses until they melt
Add spinach and artichoke hearts, add small amount of liquid from each to enhance flavor and help liquify the dip
You may add the following items to add different flavors: Cilantro, Feta cheese, Real Parmesan, Shrimp (I love doing the shrimp because the saltiness it adds really enhances the dip, I puree the shrimp in a blender and then just stir it in)
Real Texas Queso
Half a Package of Velveeta White Cheese
1 can Green Chili peppers
1 bottle Salsa of choice
4 oz Mexican blend cheese
4 oz Queso Fresco or Cojita cheese
Dried minced garlic
sliced Jalapenos (and jalapeno juice)
Slap all that in a double boiler, stir until it melts, eat.
You may also add one can of vegetarian re-fried beans to the mix to thicken it up.
The Doctor, along with everyone else, likes peanut butter PLUS it goes with most of your fruit tray.
I used Jif Whipped, you can use whatever you want.
Aztecs Street Corn
I love street corn, The Aztecs is the quintessential Doctor 1 episode, a match made in heaven.
Corn on the Cob (can use small “nibblets” or whole corn)
Regular Mayo with Olive Oil
My recipe is a modified version from Food Network Magazine July 2013’s 50 Roasted Corn pullout:
Roast your corn by wrapping it tightly with foil and throwing it on the grill for 10-15 minutes.
Allow to cool so that the corn can be handled.
Create Aioli by mixing 1 part regular mayo to 2 parts Miracle Whip, add liberal amounts of paprika and cayenne pepper (end result should be pink in color) to taste
Using a knife apply aioli to the roasted corn and spread evenly all around the ear.
Grate Cojita cheese on top
And now the beverages:
There are plenty of recipes out there for one of these. Strangely enough I made mine out of a modified whiskey sour because my other main drink was vodka based. However, this beverage also disappeared and got plenty of praise.
2 cans frozen lemonade concentrate
2 liters 7up
Whiskey or Burbon Whiskey to desired potency
Rose’s Drink Mixers Blue Raspberry until it turns green
This has a totally pleasant fruity taste and with the green color matches the most recent sonic screwdriver.
1 6 pack vanilla cream soda
1 L 7up
Cake Vodka to desired potency
Garnish with Sweedish Fish
This one got high marks for actually tasting like custard. The Swedish Fish become gummy which some found as a negative, so I suggest dropping them into the drink as you serve it and not in the pitcher beforehand.
2 L Dr. Pepper
This comes off of the varietal of Schnapps that’s Dr. Something or another’s. NO one cared, they liked the beverage. I might also in the future cut up an orange to lay on top like Dr. Pepper hot to add one more flavor. This one was simple but effective and also quite cheap.
1 part Captain Morgan
1 part Jack Daniels
(if not taken as a shot, add 7up or another soft mixer and ice)
1 L Pom brand Pomegrante Juice
1 L 7up
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
Peach Schnapps to desired potency
Vodka to desired potency
Basically, I am allergic to orange juice and love pomegranates. It’s the color of a fez, and got high marks for flavor.
Kohna Joe’s Macadamia Nut Liqueur
Barenjeager Honey Liquor
or use and alcohol density chart and make your very own combo. I’ve seen this with Kahlua for the Macadamia Nut I used and that didn’t sound like it could possibly be good.
Well, get out there and enjoy some Dr. Who along with some top tier food and drinks.