About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Monday, April 02, 2007
Party Snacks
M turns seven later this week and as a consequence of the school holidays, we held her party yesterday. The birthday girl decided to hold a mermaid (in deference to her) and pirate (in deference to me) party at a lovely party centre in Malvern that is done up with a fairy theme throughout. We invited kids from both her autistic and mainstream schools and somewhat surprisingly it was the autistic kids that got straight into the spirit of things, but the mainstream kids eventually picked up the groove.

It was a fully catered party so there was no agonising over healthy versus junk food, the venue had already done that and junk won out convincingly. But having a bit of time on my hands, decided to make a few snacks for the parents. Nothing too tricky. The first one came together easily; stamped out a few rounds of dark rye bread, buttered them and placed a thin slice of cucumber on top, a small blob of sour cream, then a couple of shrimp and garnished with dill, all very easy and looked quite pretty. A little more difficult was the next, a disc of partly peeled zucchini with the centre hollowed out and filled with a spoon of ratatouille, garnished with shredded basil.

A punnet of cherry tomatoes were hollowed out and filled with a mixture of crumbled fetta, toasted pine nuts and finely chopped anchovies, bound with a little sour cream and a toothpick inserted for ease of grabbing. Lastly was a bowl of home made baba ganoush, served with corn chips.

I learned a very important lesson. If you want to sell an appetiser that is a little different, don't serve it alongside anything with a shrimp or prawn on it. It's like people are pre programmed to reach out for the seafood. All the little shrimp rounds went, hardly anyone touched the zucchini rounds, which I felt in all honesty had loads more flavour, but there you go.

Note to self: When making something a little challenging to eat, place a prawn on top.


  posted at 12:27 pm

At 2:19 pm, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Now that should make life a lot more simple...
prawn = success
prawn = gone!
Happy Birthday to M.

At 4:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awww, happy birthday to M, I'm glad to hear the party went well! I'm have to remember the prawn rule, am throwing a dinner party in a few weeks and I'm expecting a few fussy eaters...

At 11:42 pm, Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

Happy Birthday to M! (Did I tell you I used to teach that age?) Will remember the rule about the prawn on top for future reference!

At 9:14 am, Blogger Gigi said...

I think you're right ~ too many cocktail hours with predictable appetizers have programmed people to just automatically reach for the shrimp. Too bad ~ the zucchini rounds sound great.

Happy Birthday to little mermaid M!

At 5:04 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi tanna, simple equation but so true! Thanks for your wishes.

Hi ellie, thanks for that. It's a rule in beta, it's not tested properly, let me know how you go.

Hi kalyn, I think it is one of the best ages too. Just remember it's a beta rule!

Hi gigi, you know, I so wanted those zucchini rounds to go, I was really happy with them, virtually no fat and very tasty. Maybe they were too healthy! Thanks for your wishes.

At 11:57 pm, Blogger Jeanne said...

LOL - that's so true! People go through shellfish canapes like a swarm of locusts... I think the hollowed out cherry tomatoes sound like litle bites of heaven - may steal that idea for a future party ;-) Happy birthday M!

At 5:36 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi jeanne, steal away! I did have more thoughts about them later, like adding a little thyme and garlic. I'll pass your birthday wishes on, thanks.


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