As emotional as I got about Anna turning 2, I also had a great deal of fun planning her birthday party. I mean really, who doesn't get excited about cupcakes as cute as these?
And vegetable and fruit trays as fun as this?
All of these were fairly quick and easy to throw together, but your guests will be impressed with your artistry and think you've been spending days preparing food. And, I guess in all fairness, since I made something crazy like 36 cupcakes, the cupcake decorating did take a bit of time. But I enjoyed every second of it.
ELMO FRUIT TRAY
2 lbs strawberries, hulled and halved
2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup mango yogurt covered almonds (orange peanut M&Ms would work too)
Arrange the strawberries, cut side down, on a round 10" platter. Leave an empty space in the shape of Elmo's mouth and then fill with blueberries, reserving two small blueberries for the eyeballs. Add marshmallows where eyes should be and use a blueberry for the eyeballs. Arrange the mango almonds in the shape of Elmo's nose under the eyes. Eat it!
OSCAR VEGGIE TRAY
2 lbs broccoli florets, stems trimmed off
16 oz can whole black olives
Handful of baby carrots
Red bell pepper, cut to look like a tongue (a small tomato would work too)
2 tablespoons ranch (or other white) dressing
2 small condiment cups (available at craft and party stores)
Arrange the broccoli florets on a round 10" platter. Leave an empty space in the shape of Oscar's mouth and then fill with olives, reserving two for the eyeballs. Add bell pepper for the tongue. Nestle the condiment cups into the broccoli for the eyes, fill with ranch dressing and then add the two reserved olives to make eyeballs. Arrange carrots above the eyes to make a bushy unibrow. Eat it!
|An Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcake army!|
ELMO & COOKIE MONSTER CUPCAKES
12 cupcakes of your choice (I used this recipe)
12 marshmallows, cut in half crosswise
3 cups icing (this buttercream icing works great using the vanilla variation)
Red (Elmo) or Blue (Cookie) gel paste food coloring, mixed into icing (this is my favorite brand)
12 mango yogurt covered almonds (orange peanut M&Ms would work too) for Elmo
6 Oreos, cut in half for Elmo, OR 12 mini-chocolate chip cookies for Cookie Monster
1/8 cup black icing
Fit an icing bag with a multi-hole tip, and then fill with icing color of choice.
|This awesome decorating tip for hair is perfect for Sesame|
Now, the fun part! Go crazy icing the cupcakes. Since Elmo and Cookie Monster's fur is wild and unruly there is no need for precision here. Just grab your icing bag and cover the cupcake. I did eventually find a rhythm and found that starting from the center and icing outward in lines was the quickest way to do this, but this isn't necessary. You'll find your groove.
Immediately after icing, add two marshmallow halves for the eyes, an almond for the nose (if you're doing Elmo) and a cookie for the mouth. Then using a small tip, add two small dots on the marshmallow for the eyes. You're done!
Now go put one in front of your favorite child and let them go crazy!