How to make a Broccoli Tree
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Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 142
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
Saturated Fat 7g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Total Carbohydrates 137g
Dietary Fiber 49g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
To embark on this project you will need
- * 1 Styrofoam cone from the craft store about 12 inches (30 cm) tall
- * at least 2 bunches (4 stalks or crowns) of broccoli to cover one side of the cone
- * at least 1 box of sturdy toothpicks
- * random other vegetables like cauliflower, cherry/grape tomatos, carrots, radishes, maybe even some fruit would work
- * random cheeses for spiffy shapes, if desired
- * cookie cutters to cut out said spiffy shapes
- * a paring knife
- * tinfoil
- * a glass serving plate/bowl that the cone will fit into with 3inches clearance around the base (or a plastic one that won’t melt with hot glue)
- * some decorative stones (or if your guests are young, or stupid enough to eat said decorative stones, some small round vegetables like radishes) These aren’t completely needed, but help make it look pretty
- * and a hot glue gun
- Plug in hot glue gun, or create a wooden stake to stick the cone on (see intro above).
- Tear off a few sheets of tinfoil and wrap the angled sides of the cone up so the food isn’t directly on the cone. The tinfoil should stay on the cone by itself pretty easily, if not, use a piece or two of clear tape. DO NOT fold the foil under the flat base, it makes a wobbly tree. Either trim or leave loose and flatten away from the cone (a little tricky, but can be done).
- Working quickly and accurately pump out a blob of hot glue onto the plate and stick the cone on it before it cools! Make sure the cone is centered too. If you are using a glass plate you should be able to scrape the hot glue off when you’re done eating your masterpiece (it came off our glass dish). If you’re using plastic, test it first, or use a plastic dish you don’t care about too much. Don’t use a cheap throw away serving tray though, the hot glue will melt right through that (which is bad).
- Flatten the foil so that it looks like a pretty tree skirt around the cone. Prepare your tree making station with all of your vegetables, your cutting utensils and toothpicks. (Oh its a good idea to rinse all your veggies before assembling as well.)
Step 5 Assembly
- Begin with the broccoli (and cauliflower if you want to mix things up). Cut the florets off of the really big stem leaving smaller stems of about 1-1.5 inches long (3-4 cm). It usually worked best by sticking the toothpick into the broccoli, than sticking it into the cone. Broccoli has a really woody stem and only occasionally (usually with smaller florets with skinny stems) did the toothpick slide through. (I don’t know how this works with cauliflower, I contemplated getting some, but they were $4 a head, and the broccoli was buy one, get one free for $2).
- Start with the florets with the thickest stems first. Take the floret and stick it artistically into the cone, starting at the bottom and working your way up. (We started closer to the top in this picture, I wasn’t sure we had enough broccoli for the whole cone, which we didn’t)
- Tree Step 1
- Leave some space between the florets. You actually do not use a toothpick in each and every floret. After you have a good base, the broccoli starts to hold itself up, and you can just set the florets that are too small for toothpicks into the empty space.
You can see how the florets are more spaced out closer to the bottom in this picture
- Tree Step 2
- Also in the picture above there is some white goo near the top of the tree that could be mistaken for flash glare off of the tinfoil. Its actually cream cheese. I thought it would be a good idea and help the little broccolis stick better. It wasn’t really, and just made a mess when we had to take it apart to make it shorter. You can try the cream cheese glue, but it gets messy. (Just call it snow if your guests wonder what all the white goo all over your tree is…)
- When the cone is adequately covered in broccoli begin the decoration. The cone doesn’t have to be tightly packed covered in broccoli. Heck, we actually only covered half of our cone. Mom was like “but where are we gonna put it! Its only half covered!” Thats what walls are for! It helps to leave some space for sticking toothpicks in for other veggies for decoration.
Step 6 Decoration
- It works best in this case, to stick the toothpick in the cone, then place the decorating item onto the toothpick (tomatoes and cheese are much squishier than broccoli).
- On my tree we used small pieces of carrot we just randomly stuck between the broccoli florets without any toothpicks. They only fell out a couple times.
- For the tomatoes we stuck the toothpick into the cone leaving about 1/4 inch (.5-1cm) sticking out to which we stuck tiny grape tomatoes (these really were the tiniest grape tomatoes I’d ever seen!) and cheese animals.
- Go crazy with your decorating! I thought about peeling off long strands of carrot with a peeler and wrapping it around the tree like tinsel. This could also work really well with different colors of bell pepper. If you know how to peel vegetables into ornate flowers like radish roses, go for it!
- Use tiny cookie cutters to cut different shapes out of cheese or broader vegetable slices.
- I used a big cheddar cheese star on top of the tree, but you can use whatever you want to!
Step 7 Finishing up
- When your tree is decorated to your liking, you can fill the base with those decorative stones, or with veggie dip. We were actually going to use dip, but we didn’t want to clean up that much stuff, so we put marbles in the base to decorate and help stabilize the tree, just in case.
Crafter's Holiday Cottage http://craftersholidaycottage.com/