Okay, so sometimes we get caught up with the hecticness which we call life. I get it. Especially after a 14 hour work day. So sometimes you need something a little more quick and simple. Now if you buy fast food and microwave meals then comment about how much work a recipe takes, that’s different. You’re just laazzzzzy. I would rather skip an episode of mind numbing reality TV to create a more quality dinner or dessert with fresh ingredients.
But if you look like this:
Then yes, you might need some shortcuts.
Since I am such a good friend to you, I am featuring two recipes that are easy to make for any summer occasion. You might be able to see the food spread photo from tailgating at Jimmy Buffett. You don’t have to tailgate to make these, however. Anything summer or beach themed would be the perfect opportunity.
Here’s what you need for all of these kick-ass recipes,
For the Shark Fin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting,
-a batch of sugar cookie dough (I suggest homemade, but you can use store-bought or from a mix if you must)
- 1 package of cream cheese, about 4 ounces
- 1/3 cup of butter
- 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups of confectioners (powdered) sugar (I say this, because everyone has their own idea of how sweet a frosting should be. Start off with 1 cup mixed in, then taste and decide if you want more sweetness. Add little by little until the desired result)
- 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of milk (I usually use 1 tablespoon, but it depends on your personal desired thickness. Start off with less and add a little-mixing in between-until you have reached desired thickness)
For the Flip Flop Sandwiches,
- small tomatoes
- small onions
- assorted thick-sliced bread (I prefer to use bread from a bakery, you could always purchase the bread from the bakery section of the grocery store for convenience. I did not purchase the sliced sandwich bread such as wonder bread or something like that. It looked too thin and mushy to me. Not enough texture.)
- sliced cheese (from a cheese shop or the deli, try to avoid the processed pre-packaged cheese section. Waaaaxxxy)
- different assorted bell peppers
For the Jello Wedge Shots,
-lemons and limes
- several boxes of lemon and lime jello (baking aisle)
- lemon, lime, or citrus-flavored vodka or rum (or whatever clear liquor you enjoy)
FOR THE SHARK FIN COOKIES
So I made the shark fin and beer bottle cookies as inspired by Land Shark Lager. This is a beer endorsed by Jimmy Buffett, and sold in all of the Margaritaville restaurants. It is sort of like an American Corona, if you could compare it to something. Definitely perfect for summer.
Buffett also sings a song called, “Fins” and you can see many signs of Land Shark during parrothead tailgates.
You need a triangular cookie cutter, and a beer bottle cookie cutter, but if you do not then don’t worry. 1 Fine Cookie knows how annoying it is to pay shipping that costs as much as the item itself (in this case a cookie cutter) so I will be showing you how to make the shapes using a knife!
For the shark fins, cut out a triangle. If you are horrible at freehand, then you can always draw a triangle on Microsoft Paint of Word (or Google “triangle”) and print out a picture. Then, cut it out and use that as a template.
Once you have your triangle, use your fingers to pinch the top point to the left or right until it curves a little.
Pop the fins into the fridge until firm.
If you do not have a beer bottle cookie cutter, then begin by cutting out a rectangle.
Use your fingers to push in the corners and make them rounded.
Then cut out a small but very tall triangle. Cut off it’s top point. Align it with the top of the rectangle.
Pat down the edges together very lightly so that they are touching.
Cut out a tiny rectangle, then align it along the top of the “neck” of the bottle.
Pat the edges together, then use a knife to make a groove on each side.
Pop the bottles into the fridge until very firm (I jus leave it for several hours or overnight).
Bake cookies at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until it is just firm.
I wanted these to have a delicious frosting on top, so I used my cheesecake frosting as opposed to royal icing. It doesn’t look as pretty, but it tastes much better.
Grab your ingredients listed under the Fin Cookies, and click here to see how the frosting is made. It is used to make the “ketchup” and “mustard” for my cheeseburger cake. At the end, instead of dying half yellow and half red, you will make yours gray (with a little bit of black) and yellow.
Use a knife to spread on the frosting onto the cookies and chill in the fridge to firm up the frosting.
Should look like this:
You obviously can make this for a lot of other purposes besides Jimmy Buffett celebrations.
This would work well for a beach house weekend getaway, for cook outs, summer parties, any birthday boy or girl who loves the ocean and a beer, or for Independence day.
FOR THE FLIP FLOP SANDWICHES
These were fun and practical because I could make them the night before. Making the sandwiches look like flip-flops is not too difficult and makes people very excited for some reason that I could not figure out.
“Hey guys, I’m eating a sandwich. BUT it’s also a flip-flop.”
This will work well for all tailgating events, and pretty much anything summer/warm weather related. (I have ALWAYS wanted to throw a summer party in the winter. Turn up the heat, wear summer clothes and eat/drink all summer food. This would be a must).
You need a flip-flop cookie cutter. I would say you can print out a template, but that would be incredibly difficult as most of these food items are more difficult to cut through than cookie dough. If you really want to, then by all means let me know how it goes.
Begin by cutting slicing small tomatoes and onions.
Use your cookie cutter to cut out the meat, cheese and lettuce.
I ate all of the leftover vegetable, cheese, and turkey scraps for dinner.
See, not only do I think of how to make the most random and ridiculous food, but I am also an amazing multitasker.
Now use the cookie cutter to cut out of each slice of bread (sometimes I fit two in one slice).
Cut out strips of bell pepper.
Poke a hole through two strips at the end, then use to insert into the front end of one flip-flop bread.
Pile your sandwich fillings on top of one slice of flip-flop bread.
Press the slice with the bell peppers straps onto the sandwich.
I use the toothpick to hold it all together.
I also poke a regular toothpick through the other end t pin the sandwich together.
Just make certain to warn eaters that there is a toothpick so they don’t stab themselves.
That would suck.
And you are done. How easy is that? (Sort of not asking you if it is easy. It just is. This is a fact.)
I love flip-flops because they remind me of the beach.
Beaches are cool.
FOR THE LAYERED JELLO SHOT WEDGES -
This is totally and 100% not my idea (well, the layering part but not the actual jello in fruit wedges part). I searched high and low as to who the original source is, and it was nearly impossible. So I decided to go with the oldest and first posting of this online, dating back to 2008 (I’m so 2008, you’re so 2000 and late).
If you would like to see it, click here, but come back to see the cool layering effect.
So begin by scooping out the pulp of limes and lemons.
An easy way to do this is to first cut a circle around the pulp.
Then, cut little X marks throughout the pulp to loosen it up.
On the left lime you can see the incision around the pulp.
Tip: Be careful not to poke holes through the lime. You don’t want the jello to leak out when it is poured in, so use a small knife.
Next, use your fingers to pull out the “skin” by tugging at one of the edges where you cut the circle around.
Do this under cool running water. It loosens the pulp, and your skin doesn’t end up so nasty from the acid of the lime.
Grab your water, jello, and liquor.
Now, boil some hot water.
The measurements will be for 4 lemon and 4 lime halves (that is 2 limes and 2 lemons cut in half).
Measure 2 tablespoons of jello powder into a bowl. I started with lemon.
Add 4 tablespoons of boiling water to the jello.
Once the jello has dissolved, add 4 tablespoons of cool or cold vodka (or whatever liquor).
Now, one friend said it was too weak. Another said it was too strong. Others said the liquor was a perfect amount. (why does that sound like Goldilocks?)
Sooo, if you are a little wimpy, add some vodka and some cool water.
If you want it stronger add a little less boiled water, and a little more cool vodka after the jello dissolves.
Just make sure that you don’t change the amount of 8 total tablespoons of liquid going into the jello.
You can only adjust that amount slightly.
Once you add the cool/cold vodka (and water if you choose), pour equal amounts into each lemon and lime half.
By the time I had spooned in all of my jello, it was about double than what you see here.
Pop them into the fridge (carefully, don’t spill!) for about 2 hours or so or until firm.
Then do it again, but this time with green jello.
I have to warn you that the photos are slightly misleading. That amount of yellow jello is not enough.
You want to pour in enough of each layer, so that you can see the stripes. If they are too thin then you will not see it.
Pop back into the fridge to harden.
Then repeat until the halves are filled.
Should look like this.
It’s definitely a lot easier to eat out of than little plastic cups.
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