Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's Day Means Fun: Octopus Hot Dogs and Rice Krispie Sushi

Happy April Fool's Day!  Have you fooled someone you love today?  I love to see the constant stream of joke ideas on Facebook.  I particularly liked the one where Mom and Dad moved everybody around after they fell asleep so that they would wake up in the wrong bed this morning.  Way to go Julia and Roger!  You two have more energy than I do.  I thought about it last night around midnight, but the idea of trying to carry my almost-14 year old son to another room dampened my spirits, so I watched a rerun of 30 Rock instead. 

My friend Kara offered her boys registration forms for a fake "chore camp" for the summer-  LOVE IT!  Can you really send them there?  I think this may be on my agenda for this evening.

This morning I did a little teasing of my own.  Nothing too exciting, just the old "the clocks are wrong- we missed the bus" mad scramble which due to the fairly good nature of my kids produced much laughter and only a few eye-rolls!

Since this is a food blog- and a kid blog- we have to find something silly to do with food.  These two ideas are standbys at home and in my cooking camps. 

Smiling Octopus Dogs!

Octopus Hot Dogs

Using a sharp knife, slice the hot dog n half lengthwise, leaving 2 inches connected at one end.  Roll the hot dog 90 degrees, and repeat, slicing lengthwise in half but leaving the 2 inches connected at one end. You should now have 4 legs for the octopus.  Of course, a real octopus has 8 legs, so if you want you can carefully cut each of the 4 hot dog legs in half. This is where a sharp knife is essential, because the legs will be thin and fragile with some hot dogs.  On the "head" of the octopus, make two tiny slots for eyes and a half moon shape incision underneath for a smile.  

Place the hot dogs into a pan of boiling water and boil for a few minutes. You will see the arms  get curly and the head will plump.  Don't leave them in too long or it will distort the features.  Serve on a bed of spinach "seaweed" and enjoy!

A tray of candy sushi is fun for the kids to make.

Crispy Candy Sushi Snack

1/4 cup butter
4 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups crisped rice cereal
20 to 25 gummy worms
1 to 2 boxes fruit leather

Grease a 12- by 17-inch baking sheet. Melt butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until smooth. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the rice cereal until it's evenly coated. Turn the baking sheet so that the shorter ends are at the top and bottom. Then press the marshmallow mixture onto the sheet, distributing it evenly.

Starting at one side an inch up from the lower edge, place gummy worms atop the mixture end to end in a horizontal line. Gently roll the lower edge of the marshmallow mixture over the gummy worms.  Then stop and cut the log away from the rest of the mixture. Use the same method to form 4 more logs. Slice each log into 1-inch-thick "sushi" rolls and wrap them individually with a strip of fruit leather.

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