Crudites With Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Line three mini flower pots with plastic wrap. Fill two of the pots with vegetables, such as baby carrots, wax beans, and pepper strips. Fill remaining pot with roasted red pepper dip. To make it, slice 3 red bell peppers into 1" strips, and toss with 2 Tbs. olive oil on a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 300°F oven for 45 minutes; cool for 15 minutes. In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine roasted peppers, 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream, 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Refrigerate until party time.
Assorted Mini Flower Sandwiches
Using flower cookie cutters in two sizes, cut an equal number of large and small shapes from a loaf of bread. Cut thin slices of ham and cheese with the cutters, and assemble sandwiches, placing the ham on the larger bread slices and the cheese on the smaller slices. Secure with a drop of low-fat mayonnaise, and garnish with half a pitted black olive, if desired. A fruity variation: Spread low-fat cream cheese on one slice of bread and top with a dollop of apricot or strawberry fruit spread; top with a smaller flower layer and garnish with a raspberry or strawberry.
Flower Fruit Punch
In a large pitcher, combine 3 cups cranberry juice, 3 cups lemonade, 1 cup sliced strawberries, 1 cup raspberries, and 8 sprigs fresh mint. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish with 8 to 10 edible fresh flowers, such as pansies or nasturtiums.
Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes and Cucumbers
With a sharp knife, scoop out the top and center of a dozen cherry tomatoes. Fill with store-bought tabouli. Garnish with a chive sprig. Slice a washed, unpeeled cucumber diagonally, changing the angle with each slice. Scoop out flesh from slices, not going all the way to the bottom. Fill with a teaspoon of low-fat cream cheese and top with a dill sprig.
Copyright ? 2003. Reprinted with permission from the May 2003 issue of Child Magazine.