Sunday, October 3, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday: Circus! (In a Roundabout Way)

This week's Muffin Tin Monday theme is Under the Big Top/Circus. I saw some interesting ideas, and got some inspirations, but I like to put my own twist on things, rather than just do what someone else is doing. So instead of a tent and clowns and whatnot, I chose to do "Because A Little Bug Went Ka-Choo!" by Rosetta Stone [Um. Yeah. I'm sure that's her real name! Actually, you might have heard of "her" other nom de plume. Dr. Seuss? Yeah. THAT Dr. Seuss!]

"That doesn't sound like a circus theme," you may be thinking. And you're mostly right. But at the end, they all run into a circus parade! So in a roundabout way, I get to the circus theme!              
...A little bug sneezed. And because of that sneeze, a little seed fell on a worm, who got mad. Because he got mad, he kicked a tree, which made a coconut drop. Because that nut dropped, a turtle got bopped. So he fell in a lake, which splashed a hen. That hen got mad and kicked a bucket. That bucket came down on the head of Farmer Brown. He called for help, and policemen came speeding (on a motorcycle with a sidecar.) Because they were speeding, they hit a big stone. And so one policeman flew up all alone (in the sidecar.) He crashed through the deck of the boat Mary Lou, which made the boat sink. So they called for more help and a helicopter came fast, and tied a strong rope to the Mary Lou's mast. The boat had to be fixed, so they started for town.  Where they ran right into a circus parade! [See? Circus!]
Because A Little Bug Went Ka-CHOO!
(Ignore the Christmas tablecloth. It's our painting tarp, which I set up for the food coloring.)
Cheese and apple bug with Ka-CHOO; gummy worm and PB celery tree; olive and cracker turtle; chicken cheese and nectarine man; cheese helicopter, sinking boat and motorcycle; painted circus animal biscuits; monkey with sprinkles and clown-face yogurt.
A Little Bug Sneezed: I sliced the side off an apple, then took a slice out of that and used a circle cutter to make the bug's body.
 Then I used the same cutter on some cheese, cut it in half and used a straw to make holes. I used a little oval cutter to make a head out of cheese. I toyed with using half an olive, but my laziness won out.
I just placed the cheese on the apple (after sloshing it in apple juice to prevent browning) and didn't bother using anything to 'glue' them on. I used mini letter cutters and a tiny car exhaust cutter to make a KA-CHOO! out of cheese as well.

A Worm Gets Hit And Kicks A Tree:  I used a gummy worm, but had toyed with using olives or peas to make a worm shaped body. For the tree, celery with PB. I used one from the center of the bunch with leaves still on it.

A Coconut Drops And A Turtle Gets Bopped: I used an olive as the coconut, and a Whole Grain Ritz as the turtle's body. I thawed some frozen green beans and a soy bean for the legs and head. I had planned on using hummus and peas on the turtle's 'shell,' but couldn't find a bag of peas and didn't really want to go to all that effort.

The Hen Gets Mad And Kicks A Bucket: I just found a set of mini barnyard animal cutters with a chicken!! Not a chick or a duck, but an actual chicken! [Okay, rooster. But This will be my hen/chicken from now on! You'll live.] I made a cheese hen, and used a little toy bucket from Z's Littlest Pet Shop horde. I also used one of my new chicken-footed muffin cups. I made the poor choice with the orange one, as the cheese is hard to see, but I chose it as the feet look more realistic in orange. And I had already contaminated it with the cheese before realizing my error, and I didn't want to have to wash another one.

Bucket Gets Stuck On Farmer Brown's Head: I swiped a slice of nectarine left over from breakfast and used a microscopically small person cutter from Little Z's play-doh collective. I'm glad I found the toothpicks, as it was needed a whole lot this muffin tin to get food out of the cutters.
Rather than putting the nectarine Farmer Brown into the bucket head-first, I just stood him up, so it would be more recognizable. Plus his legs got mushy.

Motorcycle Policemen Come To Help: I used the mini motorcycle cutter from a set and made a cheese-cycle. A little bit of the handle stayed in the cutter, but it's hardly noticeable. Ship it! [An inside joke. Unka Shawn will know.]

Boat Mary Lou Starts Sinking: I used a biscuit cutter to make a bread circle. I put on some home-made hummus (Yes. Made by me. That's right. ME! With my sister's recipe and ingredients. But I did it by myself!) I used a boat, water, and whale spout cutter from a bento cutter set I got at Daiso. The contrast is poor, but I didn't think blue sugar sprinkles or jelly would taste awesome with the cheese. Little Z might not have cared, but I have to eat the leftovers, so if I'm not positive she'll eat it, I gotta cater to my tastes.

Helicopter Carries Boat To Town: Cheese. Transportation cutter from set above with motorcycle. I had originally planned to use toffee licorice rope to show the heli towing the boat, but my meh-itude took over. Git 'er dun!

They Ran Right Into A Circus Parade!: My favorite part! I used refrigerated biscuit dough and smooshed several biscuits together to make a blob big enough for some full-sized cutters from a Martha Stewart Noah's Ark Set.

I made an elephant and a giraffe (they used all but 3 pre-formed biscuits, and I wadded the scraps together to make a 4th biscuit.) I used a drop of each of my 4 Spring Food Colors (pink, purple, turquoise and lime green) and as little as possible out of my prehistoric glass bottles of red and orange food coloring into an ice cube tray, and added a little water to each. (I used an old ruined ice cube tray that is permanently scarred from making crayons in.) I set Little Z up at the table with the tray of biscuits and the colors, and my dedicated food paint brush, and she decorated them for me!
 I left her at the table, with Daddy in charge, and went back into the kitchen to work on other elements of the MTM. Fool. Daddy was reading the latest book in The Dresden Files. The snake. He got to it before I did at the library! While he wasn't watching her, she not only mangled the giraffe, but I found her splashing in the food coloring. Splashing. She was covered in food dye. Her booster seat was covered. There was even some on the carpet. Argh. But her painted circus animals turned out quite lovely!
 I wasn't sure how the colors would turn out after being cooked, but they held up fairly well. The biscuits were very puffy, probably due to sitting around out of the fridge for so long [my secret to fluffy crusts on frozen pizzas. 30 minutes on the counter before cooking should do the trick. If you like puffy crusts.]

I got to use one of my new little monkey face bento sauce containers (from Daiso) and put sprinkles in it. I used a flower muffin liner (from TJ Maxx) in a brown/red to be the clown's 'hair' and plain yogurt as the 'face.' I used mini cutters from my Daiso bento sets as stencils for colored sugar sprinkle features.
 They looked a lot better when I first made it, but I had to put the cup into the fridge while I finished other stuff, and it got a little woobly when I moved it back out to go into the tin.

The story goes from left to right on the top row, then right to left on the middle. Either way really, on the bottom.

 She went for the gummy worm first, but I told her it was for dessert and then pointed out all the different foods. Then she went for the sprinkles and yogurt, which was good, since she rarely eats yogurt that isn't blue and in a plastic tube. I add honey to mine, so if she sees yogurt in a bowl, she starts whining that she doesn't want honey yogurt!

She ended up eating all but 1 wing of the bug, all the cheese, the beans from the turtle, the giraffe's mutated head stump, half of the elephant, the gummy worm, olive, and all of the yogurt and sprinkles. I should have tucked more beans under the cracker. She asked for another bean turtle cracker after she woke up from nap!

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth


  1. Great idea! Love how you took us through the whole book via food :)

  2. What a great idea to let the little one help. I think I will let Audrey do something like this.

  3. This amazing! I love the biscuits. The book sounds great!

  4. wow! you really out do yourself every week! great job, it really looks like so much fun! I love how you got the kids to help you make the cookies! great!

  5. Very cute! I love all the work that went into this one... and that ~I~ didn't do it! ;)

    The mini cutters you have are really amazing.

    I have also had Dresden-reading household disasters around here, so I can totally relate to your daughter's food coloring flood.

  6. Not sure which part of the tin I like best! Love the idea of painting a biscuit with colors even though it did get everywhere :)

  7. Dresden Files!!!!!! Also, great children's book. I had never heard of it before so thanks for showing it off.


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