In true hawaiian luau fashion we had hawaiian food for dinner, which consists of Kalua Pig (pork cooked in a underground oven called an IMU), Lomi Salmon (tomatos, onions, green onion & salmon like a fresh salad), Rice(hawaii's starch), Poi(taro pounded into a paste, very HAWAIIAN), Squid Luau(luau leaves cooked down, mix'd w/ coconut milk & octopus cooked into it), Chicken Long Rice(chicken cooked with cellophone rice noodles in a broth) & Poke(fresh, raw seafood: fish, squid, opihi, & crabs).
This may all sound kind of weird but everyone here loves it & looks forward to having LUAU food cause it takes lots of hard work making & cooking the food, but everything is made with love so it all works out. PUPUs: we also had pupus which are like snacks or ordouver's(i think that might be spelled ir wrong!OOPS). We had chips: taco, clam & kamaboko (steam'd fish) dip, toss salad, chow mein, more POKE, kim chee(korean spicy cabbage), fruit salad(pineapples), fried fresh, carrots & broccoli with homemade ranch.
Aloha Bar & Grill
Aloha Bar and Grill: Guests next proceeded to the Bar where the drink menu was printed on a large Magenta poster again decorated with silk flowers like previously described. There was also another tissue Aloha sign that decorated a large "Bar and Grill" sign. On the drink menu poster, the items to each drink were printed so people could make their own drink or use the bartender if they wanted. Three blenders were set up along with all the ingredients and garnishes. Party ice was in the freezer and ice chests adjoining the table. The drinks were served in plastic bamboo glasses with Hibiscus topped straws.
Appetizers were also on this table with Tiki decorated napkins and plates. The 'Pu pu platter" (appetizer in Hawaiian) had rolled meats and cheese cubes with the fish and umbrella picks. We also had sushi rolls, and vegetables and dip trays.
Corona's with lime - In a mini fridge at the side of the table Mixed Sodas – In a large blue plastic tub with ice (flowers could be added)
Pina Colada: 6 oz Pineapple juice 2 oz Coconut milk ½ -1cup ice 2 oz light rum (omit for virgin) Garnish with pineapple, juice from lime, and cherry.
Strawberry Colada: 8 strawberries 5 oz pineapple juice 2 oz coconut cream ½ - 1cup ice 2 oz light rum (omit for virgin) Garnish with pineapple and cherry
Banana Colada: 1 banana 6 oz pineapple juice 1.5 oz coconut mile ½ - 1 cup ice 2 oz light rum (omit for virgin) Garnish with pineapple and cherry
Tropical Smoothie: 1 cup fruit of choice 1/2 cup ice 6 oz pineapple or orange juice
Blue Hawaiian: 1 oz Light Rum 1 oz Blue Curacao 2 oz Pineapple juice 1 oz Coconut milk 1 cup ice Garnish with pineapple, lime and /or cherry.
Virgin Blue Hawaiian: Over cup of crushed ice pour ½ pineapple juice ½ 7up 2 drops of blue food color garnish with lime or pineapple
Background Entertainment: We had Ocean wave sounds playing behind the mural.
We had a mix of Hawaiian music and beach boys playing on the large portable CD player. We had a small area set up for the kids on the deck with Lilo and Stitch playing on a TV/DVD player on a small outdoor coffee table with 6 little kid chairs (rented).
Photo Opportunity: Each guest or family was encouraged to have a picture taken in front of the mural. (these photos were used for thank you cards afterwards). After all the guests arrived, we had a panoramic group photo in front of the mural as well. Hawaiian name game: We then announced the start of using their Hawaiian name only game or lose a pin to the person who caught you using an English name.
Aloha Grill Menu: Guests then were encouraged to get their meal and relax a bit. The Grill table had the menu printed on a brilliant blue poster board again decorated with silk flowers. This menu hung over the table. Each dish also had a place card on the table. I tried to give the dishes Hawaiian themed titles if possible.
Appetizers – on Bar table Sushi rolls – on wooden dish Pu pu platter - Meat and cheese Veges chips and dip – on covered trays
Salads Watermelon Falls - Fresh tropical fruit salad served in a watermelon and cascading out on to the large silver serving tray Ocean in Motion –Blue Jell-o with Swedish Fish in a real fish bowl Meal Maui Lime Chicken and Shrimp – lime marinated and grilled then served on Tiki party trays
Tropical Shish kabobs with rice – Tri tip marinated in ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil with red bell peppers, pineapple, onions, and mushrooms served on a foil covered broiler pan. We also did a vegetarian version of this using "chickettes" instead of tri tip.
Hawaiian baked beans with pineapple – Maple sugar beans with BBQ sauce, brown sugar and pineapple served in a slow cooker Desert Hula Ula Ula Lemon mousse cake – decorated with my dashboard dancing hula girl from Hawaii
Next, we opened the coconuts (also got the directions for this from the web.) Each boy tasted the "milk" and had a piece of coconut meat. I froze two kiwi fruits and we passed the kiwi, under the chin.
Punch, Daiquiris & Coladas
Drinks were Hawaiian Punch, Non-Alcoholic Pina Colada and Strawberry Daiquiris with umbrellas. I went to the library and took out some cds with Hawaiian music.
Instead of cake, we served Key Lime Pie and Pineapple upside down cake. Snacks of pretzel and cheese fish were served in sand buckets. I made blue Jell-O with sea creature pineapple shapes and served it in a fish bowl!
BBQ and Pineapples
For this huge event, I have chosen foods that are traditional, easy to prepare and guaranteed to be a hit; hot dogs, hot links, hamburgers, spaghetti (pasta and sauce already combined), garlic bread, watermelon, fruit trays, BBQ baked beans, grilled corn on the cob, chili and all the fixins!
If this party were for a less amount of people, I would highly recommend luau food (easy to find on the net)
-Hawaiian Punch and fruit iced teas. Opt for cans because they are just less work for your guests and yourself!
-DESSERTS: Anything prepared with tropical fruits, coconut, pineapple, etc. With any search engine, go to "Hawaii"…look for recipes!
Food/Refreshments: Tropical Punch (Blue in color) - a mini island scene was added to the punch bowl. (Freeze a small bowl of water, add small Hawaiian Figures to top of ice, then re-freeze with a new layer of water. Figures should be frozen into ice about half an inch.) Allow ice block to float in punch bowl.
Island Jell-O - Graham crackers crumpled in the bottom of a clear bowl. Allow "blue" Jell-O to get "semi-set" then add to the bowl, on top of the crumbled graham crackers. While Jell-O is still "semi-set", add gummy fish, sharks, dolphins to Jell-O -This is the ocean. You can even have the gummy creatures sticking half way out of the Jell-O - a real nice effect for the dolphins. (Plastic toys could be substituted if needed.)
After the creatures have been added and the Jell-O has firmly set, use crumbled graham crackers sprinkled on the top to form an island in the middle of the bowl. Add mini Hawaiian decorations to complete the island scene. Other refreshments include lots of fruit, chips & pretzels, sodas, frozen drinks for adults, etc….
Pizza and Snow Cones
As for food, this was easy because we had kids only (except for grandparents) so we ordered pizzas, served drinks with hula girl straws, made snow cones with a snow cone maker (purchased from Bed Bath & Beyond), served cut-up fruit (including pineapple, of course), with long monkey/palm tree toothpicks. We also had fortune cookies with luau-type fortunes purchased from Oriental Trading.
I could not find a luau/Hawaiian type cake at our supermarket, but they did have an island cake with a Donald duck toy on top. I told the bakery to make the cake and nix the Donald duck toy, and luckily I found a hula girl candle (without much looking) at Claire's which I placed on the cake.
I also made a volcano ice-cream sundae with a recipe found in familyfun.com. It was very easy - just buy a half-gallon round tub of ice cream, let it soften 5 or 10 minutes, turn it over, cut off the box, shape into a volcano by scooping away from the top and adding to the bottom, sticking on Oreo cookie crumbs, and pouring strawberry sauce (or strawberry pie-filling) and chocolate sauce down the sides.
Fruit, Chips, Crackers & Snacks
Keep a supply of goldfish crackers, potato chips, pretzels, donuts, and cookies on hand for anytime snacking. But for the dinner buffet, we go a little above that. Include fresh fruit platters- pineapple rings, dainty bunches of grapes, halved strawberries, wedges of melons and mango, and cantaloupe slices are some fruits that are colorful and savory together. Tortilla chips and a spicy, savory, colorful avocado dip can really dress up a buffet as well.
Chocolate covered pretzels, cheese balls, buttery crackers with choice of toppings, Oreos, and Jell-O are also definite must-haves too. This wide range of eats is vibrant and irresistible. A coordinated and exotic main course would pineapple bacon baked beans, and a couple of bacon pineapple pizzas to really top things off! Breakfast is a simple biscuit, sausage, toast, and grape juice affair. And beverages should include fruity drinks and shakes.
The birthday cake should be pineapple upside down cake. This is a really savory and delicious classic cake that has many variations, but is basically simple to make. It really doesn't require frosting. But top each serving with a dollop of fluffy marshmallow crème flavored to your taste; banana or vanilla bean essence can be added, for example. And banana cupcakes are a favorite party luau treat too.
Next came dinner: we had pigs in blankets, chicken nuggets, Funyons, popcorn, Cheetos, potato chips, party meatballs in the chili sauce/grape jelly mixture (recipe is on the back of the Heinz Chili Sauce jar), lemon and cherry Jell-O jigglers, spinach dip with bread and crackers and tortilla chips with mild salsa.
In addition I made a fruit platter consisting of fresh pineapple cubes, fresh strawberries, mandarin orange segments, mini marshmallows and red grapes. There were parasol picks, flamingo picks and palm tree picks sticking out of about 1/3 of the fruits and it looked really cute.
There was also a little bowl of fresh coconut that I had chopped up so the kids could try some if they wanted to. Drink options were root beer floats, virgin pina coladas (the frozen Bacardi mix) and watermelon-kiwi Kool-Aid.
We had bought those cute plastic coconut cups from Oriental Trading Co. (OTC) along with the straws with hibiscus flowers on them. The plates were again those Tiki plates (the same as the invitations).
Dinner was buffet style and all the kids had fun with the food. There's something so refreshing about eating fresh strawberries and pineapple in the middle of winter!
To make the Volcano Punch I Poured some Hawaiian Punch into a Punch bowl. Added some sherbet, and then Ginger Ale and it tasted great.
Drinks and Snowballs
Had several clear buckets for the drinks, which were decorated with floral Hawaiian leis on the exterior top. One bucket for ice, one for Hawaiian punch with fruit cocktail, one with Starbucks ice coffee, one with 48 small bottles of water, one with Kool aid burst drinks in turquoise and red to match colors, soft drinks and hospitality punch in an ice chest for the adults which was a hit as well.
We also went ahead and got a snowball machine for the kids. It was a hot day so knew this would be well received. The snowball machine was a big hit. I also had placed some cup plastic charms that you could put on the outside of your cup like we use to do when growing up when buying icees.
Food: Since going with the Luau theme, decided to serve Cuban food. Typical Cuban dishes included roasted pork, congri (black beans with rice), yuca (root family like a potato) and sweet plantains.
The Cuban food was catered and was really enjoyed by all. I made a sign that said Cuban cuisine and labeled with menu cards each food item so everyone knew what they were eating. I just thought this would be a good opportunity to introduce Cuban food to those that may have not had it and those that had love it! Figured that Hawaiian food consist of different ethnic backgrounds so this would also work.
Besides the Cuban cuisine, we served a cheese torte (cream cheese, feta cheese) with pita chips that was wonderful. We also had chicken cabbage salad, tray of Meringues a la kiss (meringue with chocolate kiss inside), watermelon boat with cut fruit in it decorated with fruit kabobs and Hawaiian paper umbrellas, another fruit salad made with cool whip, customized almond cookies cut out in Hawaiian theme shapes and decorated in party colors to match theme (#7, Hawaiian skirt, palm tree, pineapple, sail boat and fish).
We also had a delicious crawfish dip that my friend that was managing the tattoo station made. In the kid sand buckets we had all the kid oriented snacks such as gummy bears, fruit loops (my 3 yr. old loves these), Ghiradella covered macadamia nuts with toffee on the interior, rainbow color fish crackers, chex mix mixed with bag of mm's, tropical nut mix and curly cheetos.
Melons and Berries
Throughout the evening, we made very brief appearances as they brought out bowls of canteloupe, watermelon, strawberries, and grapes. The melons were cut crossway and scooped out (rinds were cut in a zig-zag and the fruit had been placed back inside). The girls had told me earlier that they didn't think that fruit salad idea was a good one and that pieces of fruit would be popular with everyone. They were right!
Later in the evening, the kids had pizzas that were purchased whoesale, heated and served in the shape of rectangles instead of the traditional triangles. This worked out well because it was easy for the kids to pick up and they pieces were smaller and not so awkward.