Thursday, March 14, 2013

Party Animals (Zoo Dinner)

My kids acted like animals at dinner last night.  Well, we all did . . . it was the second annual Zoo Dinner at the Miser Mom household.

On the menu:

Baked Bears:  (hamburger shaped, via several balls, into a face, nose, and ears.  Sliced beets and halved olives made the nose and eyes).

Mice:  (small halved potatoes, with toothpicks for tails, hot dogs slices attached with toothpicks for ears, and capers for eyes.  I discovered after a bunch of trial-and-error that the strawberry de-stemmer I sprung for this summer did a great job of making eye sockets).  Extra fun:  asking the woman at market if she has any "potatoes shaped like mice".

(Before baking, flat sides down: we added ears and eyes after the potatoes were softer).

BoaConstrictors -- back by popular demand from last year!  Make regular bread dough, roll out like you're making pizza.  Add a filling of cottage cheese, lots of basil, nuts, garlic, grated cheese, and roll it up.  Add a tongue (beets), eyes (olives), and spine (nuts).  Bake like bread.
Octopus:  This was the surprise hit of the dinner, for which we owe a huge tip of the flowered hat to The Turkey Lady at our market.  We told her about the zoo dinner and our tentative plans to make turkey hot dog squids (see this cool site that my students showed me).  Even though she was out of hot dogs for the day, she loaned us her Octodog maker!  Here it is in action:

You start by inserting the hot dog into the Octodog slicer, and the remove it.  After you boil the result, you get this beauty!  Note the  mouse in the background.  Neither animal lasted very long with my kids salivating after them.

We decorated the table with calendar photos of cute animals, saved up just for this occasion.  We turned the chairs around, and then . . .

then . . .  we ate like animals!


  1. Wow, I might have to have an animal party of some kind myself now.

    One kind of dinner we used to like at summer camp was backwards dinner. Dessert first! Wear your clothes backwards (except shoes, though if you had flip flops, that might work). And say the opposite of what you mean. Do you want someone to pass you the potatoes? Say, "Whatever you do, please don't pass me the potatoes. Ever."

    1. That sounds great! Maybe we'll try that one on April 1st! --MM