Cook-a-Book Party

Let a beloved storybook inspire your menu: Try these recipes based on Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.




1. Max's Monster Mash in a Private Pineapple Boat

What you need:

  • 1 large pineapple
  • 4 avocados
  • 3⁄4 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1⁄3 cup finely diced pineapple
  • 1 finely diced jalapeño, seeds discarded (optional; kids should not handle)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (to taste)
  • Salt (to taste) 
  • 1 jar mild salsa
  • 1 large bag triangle tortilla chips

What to do:

  1. Prep the pineapple by cutting one side off, removing about 1⁄3 of the fruit from top to bottom.
  2. Tip over the pineapple, so it resembles a flat-topped "boat" with leafy stern. Remove the core by cutting a "V" lengthwise, then cutting the top and bottom of the "V" to loosen and remove the cut piece.
  3. Using a curved, serrated knife or a spoon, remove the rest of the fruit from the pineapple shell. Retain all fruit for the rest of the recipes.
  4. Cut avocados in half and remove the pits. Give each child a large spoon to scoop the avocado out of the skin and into a bowl, mashing and mushing it along the way.
  5. Add the onion, tomato, cilantro, pineapple, and jalapeño (optional). Mix thoroughly.
  6. Add lemon juice and salt to taste.
  7. Scoop this mixture into the pineapple boat and add a triangle tortilla chip sail. Serve with salsa and tortilla chips. Serves 6.

2. Wild Thing Island Smoothies

What you need:

  • 3 cups ice
  • 1 1⁄2 cups pineapple
  • 1⁄2 cup apple juice
  • 1⁄2 cup orange juice
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt

What to do:

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender and let it ROAR!
  2. For added fun, after pouring into glasses, make beastly faces with cherry eyes, blueberry noses, and a lemon slice mouth. Serves 6.

3. Beastly Burgers with Carrot Claws

What you need:

  • 6 whole-wheat hamburger buns
  • 6 natural beef, turkey, or veggie burger patties (cooked to taste)
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 6 slices Cheddar cheese
  • 1 small can of sliced olives
  • 1 jar sandwich-sliced dill pickles
  • 24 baby carrots, halved lengthwise
  • Squeeze-bottle ketchup and mustard

What to do:

  1. Shred spinach leaves into 1⁄8" strips for beast-like "hair."
  2. Using the cap of an olive-oil bottle or something similar, cut 12 small circles from the cheese slices, pairing these with the olives to create the Wild Things' staring yellow eyes (use leftover cheese on burgers as desired).
  3. Place a burger patty on the bun open-faced.
  4. Place all the remaining ingredients out buffet-style so everybody can decorate their burgers. Cut pickles to create hanging monster tongues or big protruding noses. Ketchup and mustard can be used to draw facial features. Once finished, tuck 4 carrot sticks under each side of the bun for the claws. Serves 6.
Raising Kids
Age 5
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Hobbies, Play, Recreation
Creativity and Imagination