Solar Eclipse Celebration – May 20, 2012

Simulated Solar Eclipse in Stellarium

Looks like we’re going to have a partial solar eclipse on Sunday, May 20, 2012 that will be visible in Los Angeles from about 6:26 pm to 6:30 pm !

I haven’t really decided what to make, but I am definitely going to make a day of it. I think that Star Party Sandwiches are a good candidate, and maybe Stellar Salad to go with them. Maybe I can make something with Sun Dried tomatoes, and find a recipe for Moon pies.

The picture you see is a screen shot I took when I was using Stellarium, a Windows-based planetarium program. It’s a lot of fun and Spane really enjoys using it. Stellarium is available at Stellarium.org.

I am really excited about this, and I’ll be adding to this post in the days to come. Stay tuned!

Food Art – Teacher’s Garden No Bake Lemon Wafer Cake

Recipes in this Post

Teacher's Garden Cake

The PTA at John Muir Elementary School puts on a staff luncheon every year. Parents are asked to bring in their best dish. Our teachers and staff are very lucky, as a lot of our parents are very good cooks. This year, in fact, the recipes are going to be collected and the PTA is publishing a cookbook. The luncheon was going to take place in the newly planted Teachers’ Garden. I decided to make a cake and decorate it as a garden.

The cake looked lovely tilted up on the dessert station. In fact, it looked so lovely, and so real, that no one ate it. Some guests thought it was too pretty to cut, a few thought it was art, and a few didn’t think it was really edible. I wound up taking it home and will share it with family and friends.

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Children’s Cookie Bags

Crafts in This Post
Cookie Bag

Goody bag with Valentine card

Every year, I have made cookies for Spane’s class for Valentines day. When Spane was in preschool, I bought bags at Michael’s to put the cookies in. When he got to Kindergarten, there were more kids, so I put the cookies on a plate, and Spane gave out the standard Valentine cards you get at the Dollar store. I didn’t really like the cards, they just didn’t go with my homemade cookies, so I decided to start making my own cards to go with the cookies. I did that in 2010, and again this year.

These cards are very simple to make and really make a great presentation. You might already have everything you need, or can pick up what you don’t have at the local dollar store.

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Pirate Party Appetizers

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Fruit Boats

Here, for your pleasure and review are pictures of some of the food served at Spane’s eighth birthday party. There will be pictures of the actual Birthday Boy soon.

Pirate's Balls with Sauce


These Caribbean meatballs were quite the hit. Spane asked me to make them again. Recipe for Caribbean Pirate Meat Balls

Fruit Boats

These just looked so lovely. My original intent was just to have the banana slice and orange quarter, and Douglas came back from the store with these lovely red grapes. They made the dish!

Recipe: Fruit Boats

Ingredients

  • 4 oranges
  • 2 Bananas
  • 12 grapes
  • Toothpicks

Instructions

  1. Cut the oranges into quarters. Make twelve banana slices, each about 1/2 inch thick. Put a toothpick into the top of each orange quarter. Put a banana slice, and top with a grape. Serve on a nice, festive plate.

Quick notes

Red grapes look best.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Diet type: Vegan

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Skull Cheese Ball

This cheese ball was very simple to make. It’s a good way to get rid of little bits of cheese, nuts and dried fruit you might have laying about.

Pirate Cheese Ball

Ingredients

  • 1 package Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 lb Gorgonzola
  • 2 tablespoons Shredded Parmesan 1
  • 2 tablespoons Shaved Parmesan 1
  • Dried cranberries
  • Walnuts
  • Black Sesame Seeds
  • Pringles 2

Instructions

  1. Reserve 2 walnuts to make the skulls teeth.
  2. In a stand mixer, combine the cheeses, cranberries and remaining walnuts. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Cheeses in the mixer

  4. Put strips of wax paper on a nice serving dish to keep the dish clean. You will be removing it after decorating the skull.
  5. Shape the cheese ball into a skull, making impressions for the eyes and mouth.
  6. Pour black sesame seeds carefully into the eye sockets. Use the remaining walnuts for teeth.
  7. Remove the wax paper. Stick toothpicks about a quarter of the way into the cheese and cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then remove the toothpicks and put Pringles around the skull to look like waves.

Quick notes

This is a great way to use up bits of cheese in your refrigerator.

Variations

2Plain Pringles look like waves when placed around the skull. They are optional. The chips are not sturdy enough to be used for the cheese, but are there for decoration only.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 12

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.

Rum (Cannon) Ball

These were a take off on the Oreo Rum Balls I made, only these used white creme cookies, and had spice flavorings. Here is the recipe.

Cucumber Boats

This is probably my favorite. In all the time I was thinking to myself, what could I stuff those cucumbers with, and then I thought egg salad would be good. As I removed the egg yolks from the whites, I realized that the whites would make proper sails, and the black olives were the Jolly Rogers.

Jolly Roger of Rack Rachham

I have a whole post about making this cake. It was really fun and everyone loved it!

Jolly Roger Cake of the Pirate Rack Rachham with Cannon Balls

Recipes in This Post
Jolly Roger Pirate Chocolate Cake

Jolly Roger of Rack Rachham

I just love marzipan. It is so forgiving, easy to work with, and delicious. As a child living in Germany, I remember every year at Christmas time, the bakeries would put out a nativity scene made from marzipan, with the structures made from gingerbread. These were true artisans. So, when I decided to make a Jolly Roger cake, I wanted to do something in that tradition.

Originally, I was going to make large cannon (rum) balls for Spane’s pirate themed party, but I soon realized that I could not put a candle on them the same way I could a cake. I still made the rum balls, and they turned out wonderful as well.

Making the cake was easy. I used my standard chocolate cake recipe, using Hershey’s Dark Cocoa, with the addition of a little Chipotle powder and Saigon cinnamon. Black food coloring made for an intensely dark chocolate.

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Halloween 2011 – Pee Wee Herman Vampire, Obelisk, Decapitated Woman

Halloween lawn 2011

Halloween lawn 2011

We had a great time this year, 2011, at Halloween, and I wanted to share our spooky lawn with you. This project was very inexpensive, and fun to do, if not a little messy.

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