Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Food: Strawberry Mice

This one isn't so much a recipe as a way to make an ordinary bowl of fruit something special. At Lucas' preschool there was another birthday boy on his big day, and that boy's mom was already making cupcakes. The teacher suggested I bring in strawberries, but a pile of fruit didn't seem very celebratory to me. A quick internet search revealed the wonders of strawberry mice. I didn't have any of the decorations they suggested, so I improvise with raisins for ears, frosting for the nose & eyes, and a pretzel tail. I dropped each into a cupcake liner so they would be easy to serve at school.

As you might expect, they were a big hit with the 3-year-olds. All the kids were so excited to eat their mice. Three months later Lucas is still talking about them. Strawberry mice are a popular item at his play kitchen and whenever we play the drive-thru game. From now on I'll skip the baking and make fruit-based animals for special occasions.

Strawberry Mice

There are endless ways to construct your mice. Here are some ideas.

Body: Strawberries
Ears: Raisins or slivered almonds
Nose & eyes: Mini chocolate chips or dark icing in a tube
Tail: Thin shoestring licorice or sections of thin curved pretzels

Slice the top of the strawberry off at a shallow angle so their "noses" point more out than up. Add a nose at the tip of the strawberry, then add the eyes. Use a toothpick to carve out little dents to place the ears and tail in.

They look cutest if the eyes and ears are close to the nose. It takes a few tries to figure out how your mice will come together, but you'll find yourself with a batch of cute critters in no time.

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