Octopus Hot Dogs and Seaweed Zucchini

Everyone should want to have fun with food.

Personally, I think everyone should make an octopus-shaped hot dot at least once in their life.  And if you have kids, they – more than likely – love hot dogs.  So:  problem solved.  Go and make yourself some octopuses for dinner.  Or octopi.  Either way.

And to get extra creative, dab on some mustard eyes and throw them in a bed of zucchini seaweed:

octopus hot dogs with seaweed zucchini

Okay, I know:  my “seaweed” looks a little mushy.  That’s because I shredded the zucchini kinda small.  Looked a little more like angel hair than linguine.  Still, it gets the point across.

To make the hot dogs, I sliced through them before cooking them.  You could them boil or microwave them.

To make the zucchini, I shredded it, and then threw it in a frying pan with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder for a few minutes.

Granted, my kids were far too excited about the hot dogs to pay much attention to the zucchini, but they did eat a little.  If you’d prefer, you could always serve the dogs over some spaghetti that you cooked with a little green food coloring instead.

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Purple Pancakes

The weekend is almost here!  How are you going to celebrate it?

How about purple pancakes???

Now,  I do try to avoid adding a lot of food coloring into my kid’s diet, but every now and then, color just makes things fun.  Of course, these pancakes would also work without the color, if you prefer.

purple pancakes

purple pancake patterns

So, what you see in the photos is that I used Bisquick to make these pancakes.  I stirred in a little purple gel food coloring, and then poured the mix into a squeeze bottle.  To make this successful, you have to make the batter a little thin.  Otherwise, it will get stuck in the nozzle.  So use a small whisk or a fork to make sure there are no big clumps.

Then, heat up your pan or griddle and grease it like you normally would for pancakes.  And then:  the fun begins.

The squeeze bottles allow you to draw pretty much any shape you’d like.  As you can see above, I drew some hearts, but also some “swirls” in crazy patterns.  The swirls were especially fun to eat.  Especially with your hands.  :)

But, I also like to say that all food is finger food to toddlers.  Honestly, as long as my kids eat, I don’t care if they use their hands.  As long as they’re eating, they could use their toes.

Anyway, to achieve the best results for solid shapes (hearts, stars, etc), draw the outline first and then quickly fill it in.

And remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Your kids will love you anyway.  Plus, older kids will probably want to get in on it.

To spruce up the pancakes, add a little cinnamon to the batter.  Or sprinkle some chocolate chips or small blueberries over them after you’ve drawn your shape on the griddle, but before you flip them.

Have fun!  And if you tackle this food art, please let me know what you make!