Tuesday, February 22, 2011

FEED YOUR FACE: Penguin hors d'oeuvres

Jim's dad is having surgery today, so I'm posting in Jim's place. I'll try to not chase too many of you off.

Last time I got my haircut, I was explaining to my stylist my theory that if I got a giraffe-print purse, I would look taller! She asked if I collect giraffe stuff (I don't) and I asked if she had an animal she liked really well. She said she didn't really, but that she was currently thinking penguins were cute.

Then, this benefit for one of the stylists at the salon came up, and I thought we could make hors d'oeuvre penguins!

For 50 to 60 penguins you will need:
3 cans jumbo pitted black olives
1 can small pitted black olives
a container of whipped cream cheese or Rondelé cheese
a couple of carrots
pimento strips
tall, frilly toothpicks to hold them together

First, we peeled the carrots, and let the cream cheese sit out just a little to soften. We drained the olives. We (I) forgot to buy pimento strips. Oops. That's okay -- the weather was nice, so our penguins didn't need scarves anyway.

Jim filled our decorator set with the cream cheese. If you don't have one of those spiffy devices, don't stress; it's okay -- just use a baggie with a small hole cut out of the corner, or a pastry bag if you have one. If you go that route, use the long, pointier tip, 'cause you'll be inserting that into the olive hole. (Sorry if it sounds nasty when I say it.)

I sliced the carrots into little coin-pieces. Don't make them too thin 'cause these will become the penguin feet. Make them a little thick so the penguins stand up. There is nothing sadder than a downed penguin, ya know.

Then take the slices and cut a little notch out of them. That will form the V for the feet, and the little notch becomes a beak.

Then take the jumbo olives and make a slice down each one, from the pit-hole to the other end. This is what becomes the penguin body.

Then take your decorator/pastry bag/baggie, and pipe some of the cheese into the hole. It's even better if you overfill it a little, because then it makes the white chest of the penguin. Jim is an under-filler, so our penguins barely had any tummies. Maybe Jim is over-compensating, not wanting those penguins to have Isles of Belly.

Then, insert a beak into a small olive. Put the bigger end in first so the pointy end points out the front. I took a picture of that part, but it is blurry. Pretend it's in focus, okay?

Then, place the body (big olive filled with cheese) on the feet, and place the small olive with the beak on top of the body, then insert a long frilly toothpick into the whole thing from the top to hold it all together. This is also why you want the feet a little thick -- so the toothpick has something to grab in to.

Now you have a little penguin! If you remembered to buy pimentos, you could wrap one around the penguin's neck and it would look quite jaunty! I've always wanted to use the words "quite jaunty" in a sentence. (Be sure to use the British pronunciation when you say that.)

Here's a picture of what they looked like all together when they were finished. Kinda looks like a little choir, huh?

Anyway, they are cute as well as tasty.

To finish, as Jim would say, make some horse ovaries, eat 'em up, and FEED YOUR FACE!

(Horse ovaries = hors d'oeuvres in Jim-speak.)

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