This was so fun!! Look at the creativity in these...
The other serving table was decorated with the Toy Story characters represented in the meal.
First, there was Hamm and Split Pea Soup. This is my mom's recipe, and it is delicious. I used a toy telephone to hold the soup spoons and of course had Hamm next to the crock pot.
Split Pea Soup
Hambone or 3 ham hocks
2 small onions, chopped (1 cup)
1 pound dry split peas
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon thyme
1 cup chopped celery with leaves
½ cup chopped carrots
Simmer the hambone with onions covered in approximately 2 quarts of water for 30 minutes. Add split peas. Bay, leaf, thyme, and pepper. Simmer 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add vegetables. Cook slowly 30-40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Remove bone and meat from soup. Cut meat into small pieces. Set aside. Sieve peas and vegetables(or put in blender and blend until smooth). Return diced meat to soup. Salt to taste and heat to serving temperature.
Total cooking time: 2½ to 3 hours.
I made melon balls out of watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. I called them Buzz Lightyear's Space Balls. I served these out of a spaceship I made. I took a container I bought grapes in at Costco and made a spaceship around it using cut cardboard, butcher paper, styrofoam cups, and colored scrapbook paper!
For dessert, I served Jessie's Cowgirl Hat Cookies. These were very simple to make. The only problem I had was finding the red gumdrops for the top. I finally found them at Sweet Factory, but they did not have enough, so I had to buy the crescent shaped ones as well and attempt to melt them/reshape them (not an easy task). The Jessie doll (as well as the other Toy Story dolls you see in these photos, I borrowed from friends).
Jessie’s Cowgirl Hat Cookies
Sugar Cookie Dough (homemade or store bought)
Red cookie icing
Large red gumdrops
White decorator’s icing
Roll out the sugar cookie dough between sheets of flour-dusted wax paper to a ¼-inch thickness. Cut out the cookies using a 2” round cookie cutter and place them on a tray. Then place the tray in a refrigerator to chill the cookies while you heat the oven to the proper temperature. When the oven is heated, place the cookies on a baking sheet and cookie about 15 minutes (or designated time on store bought dough packaging). Turn the cookies so the flat surfaces are facing up and frost them with the red icing. Once the icing has set, add a top to each hat by slicing the domed top off of a red gumdrop. Then squeeze a quarter size dollop of white icing onto the bottom of the gumdrop and gently press it down onto the center of the cookie so the icing spreads around the base and resembles a white hatband. Pipe a line of trip around the perimeter of each cookie hat brim. Then pipe a series of short lines over the top of the trip to resemble white lacing.
Green Alien Cupcakes
Neon Green food coloring
*Mint-flavored chewable candies (found packaged in rolls)
Green apple sour belts
Green apple straws, cut in 2” pieces
Black decorator icing
Prepare your alien ears by cutting ears, shaped like teardrops, from the green apple belts. I used kitchen shears, but you could use a small leaf cookie cutter. Frost cupcakes and insert a 2” sour straw as the antenna. Press your ears into the sides of the cupcake. Line up three mint candies as eyes (*I used Mentos), and dot with black icing for pupils. Give your aliens an awed expression by drawing on a circle for a mouth.
This etch-a-sketch was a cute photo op throughout the evening. All in all, we had a fun party creating our Mr. Potato heads and acting like kids again. It was also great to bring toys to donate to those that don't have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas the way many of us do.