When it comes to the five emotions in young Riley Anderson’s head, it’s Joy who takes the lead. After all, she has quite a knack for spreading happiness. Inspired by the perky little blue-haired advocate, this colorful snack is guaranteed to prompt a smile.
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Joy Food Art
- Parchment paper
- Small plastic sandwich bag
- Kitchen knife
- 1-1½ tablespoons slivered almonds
- Blue gel food coloring
- Cantaloupe (a firm melon is preferable to one that is too ripe)
- 2-3 teaspoons whipped low-fat cream cheese
- 1 raisin
Cutting should be done by an adult.
Print out the template on paper, and place the sheet atop a piece of parchment paper cut to the same size. Hold the printout and parchment paper together, and cut out the hair and face shapes, snipping through both layers of paper at once. (You will need the parchment shapes later to cut similar shapes from the melon.)
Measure the almonds into a small plastic sandwich bag. Dip the end of a toothpick into the blue food coloring and then stir the coloring with 3-4 drops of water (you can do this right in a tablespoon). Add the diluted coloring to the bag of almonds. Gently massage the bag to tint the nuts as evenly as possible. Repeat this step if needed, but don’t tint the nuts too dark. Spread the almonds on a small plate and allow the dye to dry for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, cut off the rounded surface from one side of the cantaloupe to expose a large flat surface, as shown. Then, cut a ½-inch thick slice from the melon.
Place the parchment paper “hair” template atop the melon slice for a pattern and then use the tip of a sharp kitchen knife to cut out a matching piece from the cantaloupe. Use the “face” template in the same manner, additionally cutting out the eye openings. (Note: If there is not room enough on the original melon slice, you will need to cut a second ½-inch slice.) Finally, use the tip of the knife to score mouth and nose lines in the melon face, referring to the template for placement.
Place the melon face on a serving plate and fill the eye openings with 1 teaspoon of whipped cream cheese (½ teaspoon each). For the irises, use the toothpick to stir a very small bit of blue food coloring into ½ teaspoon of cream cheese. Use the toothpick to spread the blue cream cheese into oval iris shapes, about ½-inch long, positioning it close to the inner edge. For each pupil, snip a tiny piece from the raisin and set it atop the iris. Finally, use the clean end of the toothpick to add a small round “glint” of white cream cheese to the edge of each pupil.
Spread a thin layer of white cream cheese, about 1½ teaspoons, atop the melon hair shape. Then set the hair shape on the plate immediately above the face so that the two pieces fit together. Lightly press individual tinted almond slivers in place atop the cream cheese to complete your Joy treat.