Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Ladybugs' Picnic

Made by Ponytails for the Apprentice's "young ladies'" party this weekend: Taste of Home's Ladybug Appetizers. (Photo at that link.)

Notes from our experience making them:

1. Use sturdy crackers. We forgot to get round crackers and settled for saltines, but after even a couple of hours in the fridge, the crackers started to get a bit limp. They still tasted good but you had to pick them up carefully.

2. We didn't have any chives, so left them out of the cheese mixture and used bits of parsley stems for the antennae. (Somebody on the Taste of Home site commented that ladybugs don't have antennae anyway. But we thought they were cuter with them.)

3. Ponytails tried to follow the exact directions at first, but found that with our tomatoes (we had grape tomatoes, not cherry) she needed to use more than the half-tomato recommended to make a ladybug that looked like more than just a splotch of red on the cracker. Instead of cutting the half in half, she just put a slit in the back for "wings." Once you've done a couple, you'll see what we mean. Just cut them the way that makes sense to you.

4. Black food colouring added to white cream cheese and sour cream doesn't make black, it makes gray, as any kid who's ever painted can tell you. After adding quite a bit of food colouring and still getting somewhere between purple and gray, we experimented with adding a bit of brown and a bit of royal blue, and that did darken it a bit more; on the tomatoes, it did look pretty much black. I think another time I would just try for purple spots or whatever you think looks good on a ladybug. (Maybe yellow spots?)

5. In spite of all our little difficulties, Ponytails did a fantastic job decorating the bugs, and all the young ladies were Amazed.

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