Looking for a fun Halloween party food? Think Olives. California Black Olives are fun food. One of my clearest memories as a kid is sitting at the Thanksgiving table with a big black olive on each of my ten fingers, waving them around happily as my mom tried to get me to eat anything else. (It didn’t work. I just ate black olives and the occasional slab of cranberry sauce.)
Now that I have kids, I am rarely without a can of black olives in my pantry. They’re a great kitchen staple because they keep a long time and fit into tons of recipes, but also because they can help add a creative touch to kids’ snacks and lunches. We’re usually too busy to get too off-the-wall with our lunch creations, but I’ve been known to do a pancake design now and then and I do rely on cookie cutters for sandwiches. So when I do pull together a fun bento or veggie plate, olives are one way to add fun touches quickly without using food dyes.
Zebra stripes, dalmation spots, ants…you can make them all with a few olives. You can make eyeballs for almost any animal or character just by slicing a black olive or punching one with a straw and popping out a little circle.
I had no idea until I started working on this post that California Ripe Olives are grown on over 1,000 multigenerational family farms that crisscross the valleys of California and are processed by two family-owned canneries. The different sizes come in handy for food artists, too – here you can see the difference between the small, large and jumbo sizes.
Black olives add great flavor to a lot of different meals, but we like them best with tacos and quesadillas. And since it’s almost time for Halloween, I decided to create something a little creepy to get my little ones into the holiday spirit.
Olive Halloween! (…see what I did there?)
Quesadillas are a great way to get some veggies in those little bellies, and what kid could resist a cheesy quesadilla with a giant black olive spider standing guard on top?
It’s super easy. I promise. I’m no Pinterest queen, and I know you don’t have time to be creating masterpieces on the average day, either.
First, make a simple quesadilla by heating cheese and your favorite fillings between 2 tortillas in a non-stick pan. Let it cool. Then, get a piping bag (or snip the corner off a ziplock bag), fill it with sour cream, and pipe on your spiderweb. You can slice the actual quesadilla before piping on the web, or after serving. Your call.
The spidey’s body is made with California Ripe Olives – one small and one jumbo – and the legs are a jumbo olive cut into thin slices.
Pop on two eyes with the same piping bag and add some eyeballs to finish up your spider. I have to confess that I laughed like a madwoman taking these photos (all by myself) because my spiders were just looking so darn cute.
So when I got to the end and discovered I had some salsa, too, I couldn’t resist. Ha! What do you think: too far, or just right for Halloween?
Do you get creative in the kitchen with food art? Do your kids like olives?
Follow California Ripe Olives on Facebook, visit the custom tab, and enter the California Ripe Olives Back-to-School Sweepstakes! You can enter once per day for the chance to win an Amazon Kindle Fire HDX. Sweepstakes runs 8/18 – 9/12/14.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.