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Cheese Worms with Grasshopper Dip

Grasshopper Dip:

     1 large cucumber
     3/4 cup plain yogurt
     3/4 cup sour cream
     3 Tbsp. olive oil
     4 1/2 tsp. fresh dill, minced
     4 1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
     3 cloves garlic, minced
     1/4 tsp. salt

Grasshopper Dip Bowl:

     1 medium green pepper
     12 green onions
     2 pitted ripe olives

Cheese Worms:

     24 whole cloves
     12 mozzarella string cheese sticks
     2 cups flaked coconut
     green liquid food coloring
     pita wedges for serving

Grasshopper Dip:

Peel cucumber; cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Grate cucumber and squeeze between paper towels several times to remove excess moisture. Place cucumber in a small bowl; stir in yogurt, sour cream, oil, dill, vinegar, garlic and salt. Refrigerate until chilled. Sprinkle with additional dill.

Grasshopper Dip Bowl:

Cut green pepper in half lengthwise. Remove and discard stem and seeds and place cut-side up on working surface. Cut the white portion from the green onions. Bend the green portion of onions in half for grasshopper legs. Attach six legs to each pepper half with toothpicks. For eyes, cut olives widthwise in half; attach to grasshoppers with toothpicks. Fill pepper halves with Grasshopper Dip.

Cheese Worms:

Press two cloves into one end of each cheese stick for worm eyes. As cheese sticks reach room temperature, they can be positioned to appear worm-like. Remove cloves from worms before eating.

To serve, place coconut in a resealable plastic bag; add food coloring and shake until color is evenly distributed. Sprinkle onto a serving plate. Transfer both Grasshopper Bowls to plate and arrange Cheese Worms and pita wedges around them. Makes 12 Cheese Worms and 2 Grasshopper Bowls.

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Barbie Doll Cake

     *boxed cake mix / prepared frosting

Step 1 - Prepare batter for any flavor two-layer cake. Bake in 2 (8-inch) round cake pans according to package directions. Use boxed cake mix as a Supermarket Shortcut.

Step 2 - Cool cakes on wire racks according to package directions. Then slice each cake crosswise into three layers (total of six layers).

Step 3 - Put frosting between the layers so the finished cake is as tall as Barbie measures. You can do this in a deep cake pan so the layers line up well. Measure the Barbie you’re going to be using from her hips to her toes. That’s how high your finished cake will need to be. Use a frosting thick enough to stabilize the stacked layers.

Step 4 - Wrap outside of cake with a layer of wax paper, so that the layers are perfectly straight. Freeze the cake overnight or until it’s solid. When frozen, the cake can be manipulated without breaking.

Step 5 - Use a pair of tongs to cut a hole in the stacked layers from top to bottom. The hole should have the same diameter as the Barbie doll. If the hole is too small and you have to force Barbie into it, the cake will crack when it defrosts.

Step 6 - Remove cake from the pan if you used a pan for stacking the cake layers. Trim the top of the cake to create a skirt shape.

Step 7 - Wrap the doll in plastic. Insert Barbie so that the cake comes just up to her hips.

Step 8 - Remove the wax paper from the cake. Use a decorating spatula to spread frosting over the cake and create Barbie’s skirt. Use a pastry bag with a decorative tip to decorate further. Be creative. Use more than one color of frosting. Embellish it with colored sprinkles and candles. Use your imagination.

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     1 (12 oz.) tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
     1 cup chopped cooked ham
     2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
     2 Tbsp. butter, softened
     1-2 tsp. prepared mustard
     1 tsp. poppy seeds, with additional seeds for sprinkling
     5 slices American cheese
     2 Tbsp. sliced ripe olives
     5 whole canned mushrooms

Preheat oven to 375°. Pat 5 biscuits into 3 1/2-inch circles on a greased baking sheet. Combine ham, onion, butter, mustard, and 1 tsp. poppy seeds; spoon 2 tablespoonfuls onto each circle. Fold cheese into quarters and place on ham mixture. Top with remaining ham mixture. Pat remaining biscuits into 4-inch circles; place over filling (do not seal edges). Arrange olives on top and sprinkle with remaining poppy seeds. Insert 1 mushroom into the filling of each sandwich for the turtle’s head.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 5 sandwiches.