Our party on Saturday was actually the most expensive party we’ve ever thrown. The only rival would be our housewarming party a year ago, which had just as many people, but the costs were offest by all the gifts of liquor people brought!
We specified no gifts this time, but a lot of people brought food to share and a few baby presents anyway =).
So the bulk of our cost was liquor, just over $100 for inexpensive beer and wine, plenty for up to 40 people with no danger of running out. (Boxes of Franzia go a long way!) Then other than food, the only things we bought were ice, plastic forks, and a dozen pink & blue balloons.
The only food I made was the cake and hummus with carrots and celery sticks.
I chose the basic vanilla cake recipe from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton because it called for all common ingredients I had on hand or wouldn’t be wasted if I had to buy: flour, sugar, applesauce, soymilk, canola oil, vanilla, baking soda, etc. I also spent $4 on food coloring, sort of key to the theme of the party!
The only pic we remembered to take of the cake before it got demolished. That’s a pink frosting question mark surrounded by blue candles…
I used this recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen for the frosting, but without the almond extract because I have no other use for it and also they only had “imitation” almond extract which I thought might taste fake.
Both recipes were great both times I made them (I did a test run the week before to see how the food coloring worked). The cake held together really well and didn’t show any signs of falling apart when I stacked the layers. Be sure to keep the frosted cake in a cool place though, it’ll melt off if you try to transport it in a warm car!! (Lesson luckily learned during test run when bringing some to my parents.)
The hummus is something I make for every party, it’s so cheap and easy and I’m continually amazed at how impressed people are that I made it myself. Storebought hummus is one of the biggest ripoffs ever, you can make ten times as much for that cost, and with no preservatives.
Here’s my tried and true recipe:
-2 cups chickpeas
-4 T lemon juice
-2 T tahini (If you don’t normally use this and don’t want to buy a $7 jar, they sell it in bulk at most co-ops)
-2 T olive oil
-1 medium garlic clove
-1/2 t toasted sesame oil (optional, but we had it on hand and people seem to love it)
-1/2 t sea salt
-5-6 T water or until desired consistency
Blend everything in food processor or Vita-Mix (not sure if a regular blender would be strong enough) until smooth.
I made a huge batch with 2 large cans of chickpeas ($1.79 each) and the rest of the ingredients are minimal so we’ll say $5 tops for about ten times as much as the little grocery store containers.
Total party cost estimate, under $175. Not completely frugal, but totally worth it to tell everyone in person that it’s a girl!