Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Playing with my food is hard work!

Once a year, I play with my food - the rest of the year is serious business. And if you believed that then I sure April Fooled you! I must admit, today was a rough day to be taking on the April Fools Food challenge but we did it! It wasn't a total success but it ended up being very fun. This year I added "Appeteasers" to the menu, so now that we've finished our feast, it is your turn to feast your eyes upon this year's fun food:

Appeteaser #1: Ladybugs. I got this recipe from my Taste of Home's 2003 Quick Cooking Annual Recipes. I haven't used this cookbook much but they have a kids/theme section that featured these critters. I actually made these a couple years ago for a halloween party but since Aedan gets excited about bugs now, I thought these would be fun for him. This is just a cream cheese + sour cream + chopped parsley and chives + garlic salt mixture spread on Ritz crackers, with half a cherry tomato split down the middle for the wings with food colored spread piped on to dot the wings. The head is a diagonally slice olive with two chives for antennae. Easy-peasy.

I went to a bookstore today to let Aedan play and this recipe caught my eye. It is from What's Cooking? A Cookbook for Kids featuring the Ratatouille movie gang. I thought it would make the perfect Appeteaser #2. Take a flour tortilla, spread it w/cream cheese, or in my case, the leftover from #1, and spread it on the tortilla. Layer fresh spinach leaves, deli meat, and thin slice cheese on top. Roll it up tight, trim off the ends so you get a nice flat spiral, refrigerate until ready to use. When you assemble it, cut the rolled tortilla wraps into maybe 1 inch thick spirals. Cut some baby pickles diagonally (I am a dill fan) to make the body and using a toothpick, poke some holes in the 'head' and then add some chives. Slip the body under the shell and you have yourself some "Easy Faux Escargots"! I used cajun turkey deli meat with pepper jack cheese for one wrap and roast beef with sharp cheddar for another wrap.

So for the "dessert" I was thinking of ice cream cones and so off the top of my head, I made up these ice cram taco cones. For the cone, I used corn tortillas and rolled them up (had to microwave for a few secs to soften them up so they didn't break) and to hold them together, I sort of had to wrap the base with a strip of aluminum foil and stuff a foil ball inside to hold the shape. Then bake in oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, turn over, them bake another 15 mins or until they are golden.

I stuffed them with fresh spinach leaves and some ground beef cooked with onions, some Bold Penzey's taco seasoning, some chopped cilantro, and a splash of lime juice. Now this is where I failed but could improve on - the 'ice cream' was pureed canned beans, a mixture of red beans and black beans, to give a nice chocolatey look. Also added in some garlic salt The problem was that the mixture was too droopy. Maybe if I would have thrown some potato flakes in there or pureed some cooked rice in there, I don't know, something to stiffen it up a bit. This was topped with some melted cheese and a cherry tomato.

Aaahhh, but the 'main course' I am very excited to tell you about! We had Swedish Meatballs! These are chocolate cream puffs with a whip cream filling and covered in carmel sauce. I have never had chocolate cream puffs but they were easy to make, just follow the puff part of this recipe. I will put in another plug for Penzey's spices here, I used their Dutch Process Cocoa Powder which is magnificent stuff! Make the puff, using a small scooper for the dough, and you could do just about any cream puff filling but I just did the whipped cream (from scratch) because it wasn't too sweet so we didn't get too overwhelmed by all of the carmel. You can use any carmel sauce but I would recommend something on the runny side so it drizzles nicely. Print yourself a flag of Sweden and stick it on a toothpick for effect - I don't know if I've ever had a platter of Swedish Meatballs without the flag, isn't that funny?

This is what he thought of the ice cream cone...

I didn't fool anyone here - Aedan could tell there was something wrong with his ice cream. He did like the snails, nibbling on the pickles yelling "I like it! I like it!", and he of course, loved the meatballs.

After I had planned the meal, I noticed many more ideas on the web, namely on Family Fun. They look better than mine so maybe next year!

Happy April Fools Day everyone! I can't wait to see all of the event entries!


  1. Jackie - You are SO creative! I loved these ideas. How cute!!! When I read about your challenge I absolutely came up with nothing worth attempting. I look forward to seeing what other things people did. Maybe I'll get on the ball next year!

  2. I love the food! Can I come to your house next year for April 1st?

  3. I'm not worthy... I'll post mine this afternoon- shameful really compared to yours. You'll see.

  4. AMAZING. Once again you have amazed me. Seriously become my neighbor and teach me all you know!

  5. OM!!! I'm just rolling over and playing dead right now. All prizes go to Jackie. Seriously.

  6. you need to get yourself another kid! you have too much energy!!! I'm tired just looking at the pictures. :) They look great!!!

  7. I am totally stealing some of your ideas (if you don't care). We are doing an enrichment at the end of this month about being prepared. So, our theme is going to be "Survivor". (Example: Can you survive a medical emergency? Can you survive an earthquake? etc.) So, for refreshments, we need to have some "survivor" type foods. I think I may use your lady bugs & snails! So cute!

  8. Linz, go ahead, afterall they are not my ideas in the first place. I look forward to reading about this Survivor event!

  9. I can't believe all of the work that you went into to make that food. It looks amazing! I completely abandoned all of my april fools goals. Oh well...keep up the good work :) Thanks for the inspiration.


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