Two wonderful features of many holidays are special foods and special memories. With April Fool’s day, the food and the memories can be a lot of fun and very, very memorable. This year in our home we’re planning to have a special “seafood dinner“.
A friend sent an email with a photo of this easy trick to make a hot dog far more interesting and I’ve been waiting for an excuse to use it! Simply cut the lower portion of the hot dog into 8ths (to make the legs) and leave the very end attached (to serve as the head). Carefully cut eyes and a mouth into the area reserved for the head,then cook in boiling water according to package instructions. As the hot dog boils, the tentacles will curl and separate so you end up with a far more realistic looking octopus.
Peanut Butter and Jellyfish Sandwiches
Just like the famous song, I’m planning to serve this interesting sandwich to my unsuspecting kindergartner. I actually enjoy “mochi”, a popular Japanese food made from glutinous rice flour (imagine the flavor of tapioca and the texture of gummy bears). I’ll admit, it isn’t for everyone, but it is simple to make, kids have fun playing with it, and in Hawaii they make amazing “mochi ice cream” (some gourmet stores and Asian groceries sell it here). Because my family enjoys this treat so much, I did a little research and learned how to make my own. In the process of learning to make mochi ice cream, I realized how fun the goop you start with would be for a practical joke in the kitchen. To make the Jellyfish Sandwiches, follow the standard mochi recipe below but place a blob of the mochi (without any of the powder coating) on a piece of bread with peanut butter. Top with another slice of bread and serve.
This traditional Japanese treat is fun to make and very versatile. You can roll the completed mochi around scoops of ice cream, pieces of fudge, or your favorite jelly. Try dying it different colors and cutting it in different shapes. You can also dip it in coconut, chocolate, toasted sesames seeds, or nuts.
1½ cups mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ cups water
1 tsp extract in flavor of choice
A few drops of food coloring if desired
½ cup corn starch
¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp salt
Combine first 4 ingredients (and food coloring if using) in microwave safe bowl, whisk together, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
In another bowl whisk together corn starch, powdered sugar, and salt. Shape mochi or cut with a plastic knife; use corn starch mixture to keep it from sticking.
If you want to make mochi ice cream, place prepared mochi in the refrigerator until completely cool. On a baking sheet scoop, shape, and re-freeze desired ice cream flavor (I recommend placing them in a muffin cup so you can removed and work with one or two at a time). Cut cool mochi into pieces that equal about 2 TBSP (depending on the size of the ice cream scoops). Roll then flatten a piece of mochi, wrap it around the outside of each ice cream ball, pinch closed and smooth mocha. Return to muffin cup and put into freezer to re-freeze. Enjoy!