keito potato

Hello Kitty Sandwiches
November 27, 2010, 10:44 pm
Filed under: recipes, starters | Tags: ,


A Hello Kitty Tea Party with Cute Nieces

You may or may not know that Hello Kitty’s birthday is November 1st.  I happen to know some geeky Kitty trivia because I used to be a Hello Kitty buyer for a store.  Hello Kitty is always 8 years old, but still has a birthday every November 1st.  One year I visited the fantastic Sanrio store in San Francisco on her birthday, (where I met Hello Kitty, was served a piece of birthday cake, and played games with other customers).  Otherwise, it’s not a day I would normally celebrate — until I had nieces who love Hello Kitty too.

Now I invite my little nieces over on November 1st to do something creative and fun together that celebrates the cuteness of Hello Kitty.  Last year I made a batch of buttermilk pancakes in the shape of Kitty’s face, with blueberries dropped into the batter for her eyes and nose.

This year I was inspired by my Japanese cookbook  Cute Yummy Time which teaches techniques for designing amazingly cute food, all carefully crafted out of healthful ingredients.  This cookbook doesn’t feature any official animals characters like Hello Kitty, but its techniques for making a variety of animals can be adapted limitlessly.  I decided to design Hello Kitty open-face sandwiches using oval-shaped slices of hard-boiled eggs for her white face.  Then I invited my nieces to a Kitty-themed tea party.

To assemble the Hello Kitty sandwich, I started by slicing a rosemary roll and topping it with a slice of cheddar cheese.  The orange of the cheese visually sets off the white egg slice from the white roll.  The eggs were easy to hardboil, peel and slice.  I cut little triangles for the ears.  Cute Yummy Time inspired me to use mustard seeds for the eyes and a cumin seed for the nose.  Now for the bow.  I slowly poked around the kitchen looking for something red to cut into a bow-shape.  Chilies were the right color, but not the best flavor-choice for little girls.  Aha!  I spied the giant bowl of pomegranates on the counter, fresh from the yard of my grandparents’ neighbor.  I cracked open a pomegranate and used 2 of the seeds to fashion a bow for each kitty.  Too perfect.

I garnished each plate with blossoms cut from a carrot.  I took vegetable-carving lessons from a chef when I lived in China, so carving a single carrot into 10 blossoms is a party trick I keep up my sleeve (and usually gets kids to eat vegetables without thinking twice).  Three carrot blossoms created a starburst shape to decorate the plate, and 5 tangerine slices made a little star or flower shape.

When my nieces arrived in the afternoon for the tea party, we started by designing our own Hello Kitty placemats using crayons.

Because it was a special occasion, we used pretty china cups and saucers.  We each picked our own cup and saucer from the collection in the china cabinet.  Liza and Nadia played rock-paper-scissors to decide on the teapot.

When healthy food is cute, little girls are more likely to eat it.  The philosophy of Cute Yummy Time works.  Nadia wouldn’t normally eat hardboiled eggs, but she ate Hello Kitty’s face.

After the Kitty sandwiches, we enjoyed delicate slices of pear tart with the rest of our tea, then played a few rounds of “Hello Kitty Uno.”

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