February 2019

(Dinner) Party On!

Here at ChopChop, we love a party and we especially love a dinner party. Gathering friends and family around a table with homemade food is our favorite way to celebrate any occasion. We’ve found that throwing a dinner party doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, and kids can help--or even throw their own. This month we’re sharing tips and tricks to help your family plan, cook, and serve dinner. If you’re local to our headquarters in Massachusetts, we’re hosting a February break class called “What’s For Dinner?” where kids in grades 2-5 will learn different dinner recipes each day. If you can’t visit us in person, read below for tips to find a theme, plan a menu, and more. Share pictures of your party with us at so we can see what’s cooking in your kitchen.


The ChopChop Family

Let’s Party

To turn any party into a dinner party--or lunch party or breakfast party--you just need to feed your guests! Our fun party-food themes range from super simple to a little bit fancier. And, they’re ideas that any kids can make happen with a little (or a lot) of support from an adult. Check out our blog for ideas from the one-color party to a celebration full of tasty treats on a stick.
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Great Recipes for Groups

From appetizers to desserts, we have lots of recipes that are great for groups, no matter the size of your party. Starters like these Zucchini Bites, Any Bean Dip, Crunchy Rosemary-Lemon Chickpeas, and Deviled Eggs are great to have ready before guests arrive. Big pots of soup or chili can serve a lot of people and can be prepped ahead of dinnertime and reheated. Pizza and frittatas can be easily customized to your guest’s preferences, are easy to prep ahead and put in the oven right before dinner, and also serve lots of slices. Make things a little fancier by infusing your water with fruit and herbs, like this Cucumber-Mint Water. And for dessert bake Black Cocoa Banana Mini-Breads or pumpkin loaf, both of which are crowd favorites.
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Dinner Party Tips   

For a fun-casual vibe, cover the table with plain paper (buy a roll of white paper at a craft shop or a roll of brown paper at a store like Home Depot) and put out little buckets or jars of markers and crayons for drawing, writing, and games.

Do you know how to set the table? You can Google “table setting” to see a picture, but these are the general rules:
  • The plate goes in the center
  • The fork goes to the left of the plate.
  • The folded napkin goes to the left of the fork.
  • The knife and spoon go to the right of the plate.
  • The glass goes above the knife and spoon.
  • And why not make it extra fancy with a little name card for each guest? Simply write the names on folded squares or rectangles of paper, and decorate each one however you like.
To make a simple edible centerpiece, put a pillar candle in the center of an aluminum pie plate, then fill the pie plate with whatever looks pretty and fits the season: citrus fruit, grapes, cherries, apples, pears, or even (not edible) miniature gourds.

February Cooking Workshops

It’s a busy February in the ChopChop Test Kitchen, especially during the February break from our local schools. Our weeklong series for grades 2-5 and 6-9 will cover the fundamentals of the kitchen, including different cooking methods and knife skills, with a different dinner menu each day. Kids who want to make something tasty for Valentine’s Day can join one of our edible gifts workshops for grades 3-5 or grades K-2. We’re also hosting our first class for high schoolers: a fajita-themed knife skills class for grades 9-12. Want to see what’s coming up this year? We’ve listed our classes through June so you can get a head start on planning your visit to our Test Kitchen. Learn about all of our upcoming classes.
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Test Kitchen Recap

Last month we finished off the first go-round of our new toddler-and-grownup cooking series, The Edible Alphabet. Kids ages 2-5 finished learning about the alphabet while, together with their grownups, engaging in sensory food activities and simple recipes. 

We also had a pajama-jammin’ time during our popular Pajama Brunch cooking class. Kids grades K-5 made sweet and savory favorites like frittatas, french toast, and smoothies--all while wearing their PJs!

The Greater Boston Jewish Community Center joined us in the ChopChop Test Kitchen for a private toddler-and-grownup class of their own. The families enjoyed participating in taste tests and making ChopChop Jr. recipes.

Warm Up With ChopChop

Have you seen our winter issue yet? It’s in mailboxes and kitchens all over! Donate here to receive your winter issue along with a year of ChopChop. (Spoiler: We’re working on a great issue for spring!)

Hungry for more? Follow us between issues for behind the scenes photos, recipes, events, and more on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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ChopChop Family is an innovative non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and teach children and families to cook real food together. We believe that cooking and eating together as a family is a vital step in resolving the obesity and hunger epidemics.

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