Recently I was approached by Crust Gourmet Pizzas with a very exciting opportunity to host a themed dinner party serving food from Crust Gourmet Pizzas. Thinking of a theme turned out to be the most challenging part because here was a chance to do something different, something that I'd probably never go all out to do for a dinner with friends. This also became a personal challenge to be creative. So there we were going through ideas, first the seasons - spring, summer, autumn, winter, then Christmas in May??? (didn't make sense), then Super Mario because pizza = Italian = Mario except Mario eats pasta. I wanted something to do with pizza so then we went down the track of Italy, Chicago and New York. Lo and behold, who lives in the sewers of New York? Come on 80's kids! These guys are making a comeback now but the 80's version is way better. I mean, the original! None other than the heroes in a half shell - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
We got excited about the nostalgic idea for about 10 minutes then it dawned on us how the heck are we supposed to pull this off without looking like a complete kid's party. It got worse when we realized it wasn't easy to find Ninja Turtles stuff. But, we did it anyway because sometimes, the best stuff doesn't have to be bought. So here is my Ninja Turtle Themed Crust Dinner Party!
Turtle colours? Green. Turtles live in sewers. Need sewer lid and pipes. Turtles have shells. Mr. Foodie likes spray painting. Put them all together, we had a fun afternoon keeping the dog away from the spray painting area.
First we got the lid off an old bathroom exhaust fan (dusty donation thanks to my elecitrician Mr. Foodie). With the grids we could make it look like a sewer lid. What was white then got spray painted black followed by a light mist of silver paint to create a gun metal like look. All I had to do now was write NYC in the middle.
We did the same with tins! Suddenly I had to eat baked beans and diced tomatoes, luckily there are only four turtles so we kept the lids and peels the paper of the tin and sprayed it the same way to make them look like sewer pipes.
I managed to pick up a couple of BBQ aluminium foil trays of which the back of it kind of looked like a turtle shell. We got some dark green spray paint and tube of light green acrylic paint and went to work. First, the back of the tray was sprayed with two coats of dark green.
After it has dried, you can use a brush if you like, Mr. Foodie finger painted the raised bumps with the light green acrylic paint and blended a few light streaks in around the sides. We have two swords in a sword plaque which we hung on the wall and stuck a "turtle shell" on it for the ninja and turtle theme.
Being in New York, I managed to get some New York canvases to bring the theme together. We also hunted around for second hand figurines because it ain't Ninja Turtles without the turtles. We found this guy who was selling all his figurines with the baddies and side characters as well - perfect! I decided to set a mini scene in the corner just to add to the theme.
For some reason it was hard to get green lanterns so I only managed to get one which was hidden at the bottom of the pile and unwanted because the light was broken on it. Oh well, one will do. I haven't got a big dining room anyway. Got the green lantern and purple streamers (you can also use crepe paper in any of the ninja turtle colours) to make Donatello! Just wrap a strip of coloured crepe paper around the lantern and cut out two pieces of paper in the shape of eyes and stick them on. We got trigger happy and made a mouth too. Wonders of paper, scissors and texta!
Shopping is always fun for a girl. I bought green napkins, green plates, a green pizza cutter, green table cover, black table cover, ceramic mugs with silicone green holders, traffic cones and then list goes on. I decided on a black and green theme because I thought the green would stand out more plus, sewers, grungy dark, so black. I used a black table cover and the green one as a runner down the middle for strategic placement of my decorative items. At the end of the day, it was a pizza party so we went for a bit more casual but fun and not too kiddy.
I managed to get some bright orange traffic cones to place with the sprayed tins to make it look like the roads of New York with turtles coming out of the sewers with Master Splinter, April O'Neil, Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady placed near the cones.
I also got some green sashes for the chairs and when I set the cutlery down I decided to place them in an X position to look like ninja weapons. It was quite fun once all the work was finished. I even bought Mountain Dew and Appletiser because they were green!
|The final reveal|
Guests were arriving soon so I got some popcorn out in a green pail I found at the op shop for them to snack on before we got the lovely pizzas.
My nearest store was on Brighton Road, Brighton. Off we went to collect our dinner. I had been to Crust in Norwood before and loved it so I was excited to try new flavours this time. The lovely staff at the Brighton store were friendly and promptly prepared my order.
|Hard at work|
Our order was four large pizzas, one pasta, one salad and dessert. We decided to try one of each meat group because we are such carnivours. Crust Gourmet Pizza prides themselves in using healthy and fresh ingredients, not leaving your feeling greasy and guilty. They produce restaurant quality gourmet pizzas with a fast food service. Their ingredients are of quality and the flavour combinations are interesting, gourmet and delicious.
|The Turtles would have gone crazy for this!|
Tandoori Chicken - Chicken breast fillets marinated in Tandoori spices, shallots and crushed cashews on a tomato base, topped with mint yoghurt.
Seafood Pizza - Marinated tiger prawns, scallops, mussels, sundried tomatoes and bocconcini on a tomato base, garnished with fresh herbs and lemon
A lot of seafood pizzas end up being dry with shriveled seafood but this particular one was fresh and still succulent. Their ingredients are definitely of a certain quality.
Mediterranean Lamb Pizza - Slow cooked marinated lamb, tomatoes, green capsicum, Spanish onions, feta and oregano on a garlic infused base, garnished with mint yoghurt and lemon.
Philly Steak - 4+ Marble score Wagyu beef, roasted and fresh capsicum, caramelised onions and mushrooms on a tomato base, garnished with Dijon mustard and wild rocket.
The meat pizzas were a lovely balance of flavour with juicy lamb and steak and well complimented toppings. It definitely wasn't too much or too rich. Just the right amount of gourmet ingredients.
I love anything spicy so the pasta was a nice spice and biting into the chorizo gave me a bit of a kick! The chilli infused extra virgin olive oil was a nice touch.
Vietnamese Salad with Wagyu - 4+ Marble score Wagyu beef, roasted red capsicum, mixed leaf, Spanish onions, fresh herbs, snow pea sprouts tossed in sweet chilli servied with chilli infused extra virgin olive oil
My awesome friends who came to play with us! It's pizza time!
Everyone really enjoyed the pizzas and we had a good time reminiscing about Ninja Turtles and childhood cartoons and weekend TV time. Mr. Foodie even managed to get some episodes of the original Ninja Turtles cartoons to play on TV in the background - just to set the scene, because there's no stone left un-turned in this house!
Pizzas, popcorn, crisps and Appletisers later, it was time for dessert! Yes, a dessert pizza is always a gamble but this one was good.
Black Forest Crumble - Dessert pizza layered with custard, mud cake, black cherries, topped with baked crumble, drizzled with berry coulis and dusted with icing sugar.
Seriously, how can you get this stuff at a takeaway joint! It's madness. The dessert pizza was everybody's favourite. Delicious, not overpowering, well balanced with all the favourite elements in a dessert. It was a fantastic end to our dinner party. Easily the best dessert pizza I've had.
Everyone had a really good time and we all enjoyed a delicious dinner. It was a fun experience for all with the theme and definitely fun for me to decorate. Thank you to Crust Gourmet Pizza for this great opportunity to bring out the inner kid in me.
For more information on Crust, check out their website here.
Check out my previous post on Crust Pizza Bar Norwood