Play with your food! Artsy, craftsy fun! July 26-Aug 1, 2019

Hosted by Barbara J Nosek

& Misty the FoodieCat

CS friends, help yourself to tasty resources!

  CatChat –  Misty previews this week’s salon  

Well, my kitty-loving friends, my job was easy this week, because it was all about just one thing – making food pretty {why??????}. One bummer, with all the stuff mom found to “paint,” don’t you think bacon could have been in there somewhere??? But, nooooo 😼

Misty’s History  ♦  Misty’s Gallery

TIDBITS / MARKETPLACE / RECIPE / TIP / MY WEEK 

Yes, dear CS friends, it takes all five “conversation pits” to cover this artsy chat 

In our 04.05.19 Salon we talked about how to decorate baked potatoes with food color pens.  Since that time, all kinds of “canvases” in the fridge and pantry have become fair game for “enhancement.”

And some new pens with thick and thin tips plus a trio of sparkle gels have now joined the arsenal, the latter especially good when you have a surface that might not work well with a food pen. Note that, as the tube says, this stuff doesn’t dry completely – something you want to keep in mind when storing or transporting the decorated item.

For any designs, be sure the area is dry, and the harder the surface the better. More tips follow the decorating section below. It’s especially fun for the holidays, though of course you could have at it whenever the muse might move you.

Here are just some of the ways you can play with your food . . .

New Year’s, midnight snack on NYE, or lazy brunch on NYD – star studded bagel or a pastry that has a similarly smooth surface. Or glitter gel on muffin, donuts, croissants, sweet rolls.

Valentine’s – what fun when you watch the polite smile you get as you hand over a box of candy transform into a big grin when the cover is lifted to reveal a sweet message. Just turn over however many candies you need to write your note on the bottoms. This worked best with the side of the tips.

          

St Patrick’s Day – shamrocks on Irish scones. Need a fabulous scone recipe? Our Tasting Panel approved version is now on our Recipe Page.

Easter – in addition to our previous egg design on a baked potato in the April 15 Salon, you could of course just use the pens to color right on hard cooked eggs. The egg shells must be dry when you decorate them. Now even so, the colors may slightly run in the fridge so what you want to do is create designs where they’ll still look good. Also, decorate just one display side.

{Note that colors might run onto fingers and eggs during peeling. Too much fuss – there’s always the taters.}

Mother’s Day – sugar cookies with flowers. Use store-bought or homemade. Again, easiest to paint on the bottoms.

Memorial Day – apples on apple pie. Or if you’re going with another filling, echo that on the top crust. Here, it’s best to “dot” the design onto the crust rather than trying to draw lines. You also want to be careful not to lean on the rim and break the crust – you can help avoid this be cutting the pie first and decorating the individual pieces.

           

Father’s Day – “Love You Dad” in sparkle gel on a candy bar. This was the “Hershey’s Gold” which provided a nice light colored surface. Be sure to then keep the finished bar in a container deep enough that you can cover it without anything touching the gel design.

4th of July – starry watermelon. Love this way to serve a mini, cut into easy-eat spears. First, though, cut a small slice off a rounded end and set it aside. Then cut the melon in half and using the half with the missing slice, cut into vertical spears. Dry the rind of the cut piece you’ve set aside, decorate with the sparkle gels, and replace it onto the melon spears. At serving time, remove the top and set elsewhere as a decoration. In case any of the gel gets on the melon, no problem since it is of course edible.

{A totally different way to play – since regular food pens don’t show up very well on watermelon rind, and you may regard the gels even in this application as too messy, here’s another idea. Put the pens back in the pantry and instead use small stickers showing flags, stars, Uncle Sam, etc. – from the craft store or even the ones that sometimes are included with return address labels – on each of the spear tops. You’ll still want to make sure the surface is dry.}

Labor Day – turns out s’mores actually can be even more fun. With fireworks. Edible fireworks. Decorate as many squares as there will be s’mores and set them aside as tops. I smooshed the mallow down with a pancake turner so avoid the possibility of the top cracker breaking.

              

Halloween – the trick for this treat starts with orange bell peppers. Carefully cut around the stem and remove it, then cut the pepper in half vertically and remove the seeds without cutting through to the outside. Lay the halves cut-side down on a work surface and use the black or brown pen to draw pumpkin faces. When the colors are fully dry, move the pieces to a flat serving platter and carefully cut the pepper halves into serving size strips – it’s a good idea to dry the knife after each cut. Add strips of green pepper as stems. It’s best to do this close to serving time so they don’t have to be refrigerated.

{If no orange peppers available, you could probably use an orange or tangerine. Then just cut each half in half again and serve the assembled quarters as  part of dessert.}

Thanksgiving – classic holiday decs on baked sweet potatoes. Decide how many pieces each potato will yield and then place the designs so that there will be one on each serving. Photo shows them after baking. Btw, for anything going right onto an oven or toaster oven rack, design side up.

Christmas – Well {darn it} no one has yet figured out how to grow pizza on trees, but you can “grow” a tree on pizza. Your “canvas” is a pizza bottom. Here’s how – bake a round pizza and chill completely in the fridge. Then cut into wedges, as much as possible all the same size. Turn half of the slices face down on a work surface. Cut small pieces out of the bottom corners {your snack!} to create the tree trunks. Pat the crusts dry if necessary, then decorate – easiest with the dotting method. Place the decorated wedges on the other slices, and then reheat the “sandwiches.”

{For our feature on decorating baked potatoes on April 15, we designed one with a Christmas tree on it {see above.}

Anytime – Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, reunions, baby showers, bridal showers, any festive occasion. Maybe marshmallows decorated to become baby “birthday cakes” {see photo}. And remember you can always “paint” anything you want on a potato going into the oven. See details for this in our 04.05.19 Salon. Also, hard cooked eggs can be your artsy friend as well.

Some things to note. Always work on dry surfaces. And then keep the finished design away from moisture. Also, be sure the food pen designs are dry before coming into contact with anything else. Remember the gels never dry completely.

Keep paper towels nearby, both to test colors and to wipe the tips when crumbs are involved. It’s a really good idea to practice whatever you want to do prior to party eve, so you know how the colors look and work on the chosen surface, and as well how they do in the oven or the fridge where that’s applicable.

Most of all have a ball with this, use your own considerable creativity to go beyond what’s above, and don’t worry about mistakes. Well, there is one you should worry about . . . be sure to store the food pens far away from regular markers – that’s a mixup you don’t want to make.

And don’t worry about your artistic skills. Look at the ones here that I did, not likely hanging in the Louvre any time soon. No worries, play, display, grin!

Food color pens The 1st ones I used The second ones with thick & thin tips

Gel food coloring Wilton sparkle gels and others

So far next week: bacon cookbook & others for kids, no bake cheesecake, Ina Garten, squash help, scones ps x 2, best Med diet products

Last week, just below: grilling gone wild, off for the coffee & bound for the beer, flex your diet muscles, everyday ways to lose weight, rockin’ sammies in a roll, hot & not, go Med, egg bonanza, ps x 3 for all-in bread pudding

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Looking for something in CS? – scroll and check Misty’s previews OR enter the item in the search box OR email me at bjnosek@gmail.com

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Photo credits – all are mine this week

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