Party Food as an Art Form

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So how cute are these appetizers?  Author Bob Blumer is the creator and host of the Food Network show The Surreal Gourmet.  He is called the surreal gourmet because he is an artist when it comes to food, as you can see.  His little masterpieces are as fun as a party itself.  Bob says his idea to create delicious and amusing food began with a coconut shrimp lollypop.  It’s a pinwheeled shrimp, dipped in batter, dredged in coconut shreds, deep fried and put on a stick which is pushed into a watermelon wedge alongside an apricot dipping sauce.  He received so much attention from them that the surreal gourmet concept was born.  His inspirations for ideas come from everywhere – billboards, traveling, and art from Warhol, Dali, Magritte, and even Dr. Seuss.  The key word here is whimsical – and of course, delicious.  Take the cauliflower popcorn; its’s deep-fried cauliflower served in a movie theatre popcorn container; or “Goose Mousse,” which is goose pate spread on bread and cut into goose shapes with a cookie cutter.  I love the Chinese snow cones on the cover.  Wonton wrappers are fried in a cone shape and filled with an Asian chicken filling and drizzled with a ginger vinaigrette.  Maple Salmon Suckers are a maple-glazed, pepper-crusted salmon fillet on a stick.  “Rings of Fire” are super-spicy onion rings held up in rings with a matchstick. 
The recipes may sound involved and difficult, but there is nothing to be apprehensive about to try for a New Year’s party this weekend.  Each recipe comes with an explanation of its level of difficulty, such as “Child’s Play,” “Requires basic caveman skills,” “Think Shake ‘n Bake,” or “Like a long straight staircase, there are many steps, but if you take them one at a time, there is nothing to trip you up.”  You could make a comedy routine out of this food.  Try and few and see how much fun you will have.  Your guests will be talking about the food all the way home, instead of who was wearing a lampshade on their head.  And for whoever needs it, make the “Hangover Helpers” the next day, which is a strawberry smoothie served in a Pepto-Bismol bottle with a straw.  Oh, and with a little raspberry liqueur added..


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