Monday, December 15, 2014
"Kids' Table" Christmas Cottage
There are bits and pieces of Christmas coming together over here now, and I am pleased and excited. Our tree is up, wreaths are hung, and wrapping paper has been "borrowed." (How do you "borrow" a consumable like wrapping paper, you wonder? Well I dunno either. You might ask my daughters. They do very well in that category every year!)
I have several menus planned too. Not only for our family dinner, but for Grandma's Cookie Baking Party as well. And, there's another in the works - one that serves up the most fun for me and all six grandkids - the kids' table on Christmas Day!
It makes perfect sense to "cutesy up" the healthy food you feed your grandchildren. Candy and cookies go down the hatch without a pause. But veggies? Meat? Not so much! I anticipate that might change when the kids find little cottages built of deli bread and stuffed with warm turkey salad at their places on Christmas Day! Standing at sentry is a mini cheese ball snowman, just waiting to be poked with pretzel sticks and gobbled down as an appetizer. While the presentation looks appealing, I'm delighted to say there's not a single grain of sugar on this plate. Even the iced detail is tinted cream cheese, not frosting!
Here's how to make a deli bread Christmas cottage to delight the occupants of your own "kids' table!"
1. Cut patterns from paper: 2" square for sides, triangle with 2" base, and 2" x 3" rectangle for roof.
From deli rye bread with a firm texture, cut 4 sides, 2 triangles and 2 roof pieces.
2. Blend a few ounces of room temperature cream cheese with water until it is the consistency of Royal Icing. Spoon the cheese into a pastry bag with a small hole tip. Construct a 4 wall building base on a 7" salad plate by running lines of cream cheese along sides of each 2" square and fitting them together. Press to hold.
3. Run a line of cream cheese along the 2" base of each triangle and press them to front and back walls. (See photo) Decorate roof pieces as desired with piped cream cheese.
4. Fill house with turkey, chicken, egg, or seafood salad. Pipe cream cheese along top edges of triangles and carefully place roof pieces in position.
5. Use small pretzel sticks to outline house as shown in photo. Use cream cheese as "glue."
6. Tint small amounts of cream cheese green and red with gel food coloring. Pipe a wreath and bow to center front of house.
7. Make snowman by mixing remaining cream cheese (directly out of the package) with grated mozzarella cheese. Form 3 small balls and roll them in shredded cheese. Stack them in front of house. Use tiny snips of black olive for eyes and a tiny slice of carrot for nose. Pipe red cream cheese for scarf.
8. Complete the scene with blanched broccoli crowns for bushes, a stack of pretzel sticks for "firewood," small circles or squares cut from bread scraps for stepping stones and a final sprinkling of cheese "snow."