Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tonight's Dinner Brought to You By Pinterest

Tomorrow is Trevor's birthday, but since the girls are going to their grandparents tomorrow, we did a mini-celebration tonight.  He's almost a St. Patrick's Day baby, so I went with that theme.  I'm just lucky that he happens to like the same foods I wanted to make.  Happy Coincidence.

I found everything I made on Pinterest.  The only alterations I made were either because I'm artistically challenged or because I had a recipe I preferred.  I'll link the originals as well as add my own spin just in case you're wondering.

We started with a rainbow fruit tray.  As you can see, mine wasn't as pretty as the original, but the kids ate it up. In fact, I think they enjoyed the fruit the most.

 My version
Then I made mini Shepherd's Pies.  I thought these were particularly awesome, because you could actually eat them like a cupcake. 
My version, which I dare say is much better than the original. By that I mean the taste, because mine looked like a hot mess but were oh so delicious.
And, finally we finished everything off with...I really don't know what to call these.  The kids kept asking me, and all I could think to say was peppermint balls.  And then I inexplicably kept throwing in the word "grasshopper", as if the kids would understand that some minty desserts and cookies were called grasshopper something or other and not immediately be horrified that I was serving them some sort of bug.  
Hey look at that.  The name is on the picture.  Whatever.  Without further adieu, I present my Peppermint Grasshopper Balls.
You'll notice off the bat that I am not gifted artistically, especially with food, but in all areas, really.  I like to think I add a childlike charm to my creations, since it basically looks like my kids created all of this.  The important thing is that everything tasted delicious, and the birthday boy was pleased.  Here's a breakdown of how and why my stuff differed:

Rainbow Fruit: For some reason, I'm challenged and not able to create arches with food.  This also happens when I'm trying to draw rainbows.  I don't know what the secret is, but it still turned out pretty.  I don't think it's as evident that the marshmallows are clouds, and the candy is the pot of gold, but they kids loved it.

Mini-Shepherd's Pie: I don't think the original from Taste of Home really qualifies as Shepherd's Pie, since there are no veggies mixed in.  I used my own recipe (see below) and stuffed it inside the biscuits, which is obviously not as pretty, since meat and veggies are much lumpier than just a meat mixture.  It was really good, though, and again, the cupcake aspect of it was awesome.

Peppermint Grasshopper Balls (the name is growing on me): I used the same recipe, except Publix didn't have mint chips, so I used white chocolate chips with peppermint extract and green food coloring mixed in.  The thing with white chocolate is when you start mixing in food coloring, it goes from being creamy and liquid to somewhat of a frosting consistency, which is not so good for dipping.  I know there are certain types of food coloring you can use to prevent that, but I didn't have them, so basically when it got all stiff, I mixed in oil to loosen it back up. It worked just fine.  Mine are obviously not anywhere near as pretty as the originals, but they were pretty tasty.  Next time, I would probably refrain from adding peppermint to the white chocolate, because it was a little too minty for my taste.

Mini-Shepherd's Pie Recipe
Makes 18-20 mini-pies
1 pound of ground beef
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
Bag of frozen mixed vegetables (I used the microwaveable steam in bag ones)
Bag of frozen microwaveable potatoes
1/2 C sour cream
1/4 C milk
2 Tbsp butter
1C shredded cheddar cheese
2 cans of 10 count biscuits
Salt, Pepper, Garlic powder, Onion powder as needed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brown the ground beef, and add can of soup.  Microwave or heat bag of vegetables on the stove top and then add vegetables to the beef mixture.  Season with salt, pepper, and spices as needed.
Heat potatoes and then mash them with milk, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper.
Grease muffin tins.  Place raw biscuits in muffin tins and create a divot in the middle of each one.
Scoop out beef mixture (an ice cream scooper works great for this), and place in the middle of each biscuit.
Top each one with a scoop of mashed potatoes.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle shredded cheddar on top and bake for 5 more minutes.

I have a ton of these left over, so these would probably be great hors d'oeuvres for a party.  Everything I made was super easy to do and probably took me an hour total. 

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