So as I told you, this is a food blog. As of yet, I actually haven't actually talked about food, but that is going to change today. I'm sure after viewing all my party pictures you are all in a tizzy to make your own olive penguins and red velvet lobster cakes. I want to help you live that dream. Read on to make fantasy a reality! You don't have to be a carnivore to eat all of these tasty little critters!
I've had the most requests for details on the olive penguins, which are quite easy to make. Here is an excellent step by step courtesy of Paper Capers!
My only addition, is to buy the nice tooth pics. Of course I am a cheapskate and bought the crappy flat kind which are not strong or long enough. The circular ones work better. As you can see (the penguin with the blue pom pom sticking out of his head), I resorted to cutting the tops off the decorative ones i bought for the cheese bowl.
I made my arctic army three days ahead,
and they kept well in an air tight bowl. I didn't find it necessary to include olive brine as Paper Capers recommends. (I know I already displayed this pic in a previous post, but come on, so cute!)
For the Red Velvet Lobster cake, I worked off the Food Network's Southern Red Velvet cake recipe, which I found to be very straight forward. I didn't manipulate this recipe since with baking you have a little less flexibility. As the recipe is enough for three cake pans, I was able to make two lobster cakes. This was perfect because, as we all know, lobsters mate for life! I only had one tin, so I devided the batter in two halves and mixed right before cooking. I did this so the vinegar-baking soda mixture (which adds the fluffiness to the cake by bubbling up) reacted upon contact right before being put into the oven.
I had to snicker because the undecorated cake reminded me of a link my sister had sent me. Te he!
I used the cream cheese frosting recipe included with the cake and colored it with a little red frosting for the decoration.
Moving on; Octopus Wieners and the Squidogs are both really easy to make. You just cut a hot dog in half leaving space at the top for a head. You continue to cut each "tentacle" in half until you have 8. Super easy! Although there are products you can purchase to do this for you if you want. To make a squid, I just cut triangles out of each side of the head. Whole cloves for the eyes add some spice! About.com has a step by step with pics.
Although this may not be an edible animal, it sure is fantastical! Even you can have an easy-to-make strawberry topiary for your next party. OK, so its not a topiary, but I was planning it to be.
I was tyring to recreate a strawberry topiary pictured in the "French Connection" section of Thelma Neil's 1970 Foods with a Foreign Flair. I cut down bamboo skewers so they weren't too long. I then stuck them through the strawberries and then anchored them into cabbage. I didn't have time to figure out how to anchor it to stick out of a pot so I cut the cabbage in half plopped the monster on a plate. Also, I planned this object as a way to present skewered strawberries for a chocolate fondue, but again at the last minute I cancelled this because I had a lot of food already, and didn't have time to put the fondue together (even though it is super easy to do, just melt some chocolate with some cream!) I decided to put the strawberries out on their own, because strawberries are yummy no matter what.
Why am I giving you all this information about what I was planning with the topiary and what I edited out? Because when you run out of time to get things together, sometimes it is best to cut out unnecessary steps. No one knew the wiser about my no-show chocolate fondue or missed the pot and stem necessary for recreating a real topiary. They just thought, "yum, strawberries, munch munch."
It's good to have a theme and a plan to work around, but it is also good to be flexible and edit things out. This way you don't go crazy and can attempt to appear somewhat calm and collected in front of all your early arriving guests!