Ants On A Log
[1] Ants On A log have friends: like these caterpillars and snails on a log (photo courtesy Woman’s Day: photo Steve Giralt; prop stylist: Megan Hedgpeth; food styling: WD Food Dept).

Ants On A Log
[2] Hummus logs, with either celery, fennel or cucumber logs (photo courtesy Cava).

Ants On A Log
[3] Classic Ants On A Log, given a classy treatment: angled corners for the logs, a mix of raisins and sultanas for the ants. You can also use dried cherries or cranberries (photo courtesy Food 52).

 

The second Tuesday of September is National Ants On A Log Day, a kid-friendly snack.

But the cuteness doesn’t limit the idea to kids. It’s fun for adults, too, and can substitute for the familiar plate of crudités.

Classic Ants On A Log (photo #3)fills pieces of celery with peanut butter (the log) with a line of raisins on top (the ants).

Here are more clever variations, plus the history of Ants On A Log.
 
RECIPE #1: FRIENDS OF ANTS ON A LOG

The food stylists at Woman’s Day expanded the concept (photo #1), and we’ve added to it.

Ingredients For Both Caterpillars & Snails

  • Celery stalks in 3-inch slices (gourmet upgrade: fennel stalks)
  • Peanut butter (gourmet upgrade: spicy peanut butter*)
  • Cream cheese, room temperature (gourmet upgrade: flavored cream cheese)
  •  
    For The Caterpillars

  • Blueberries
  • Cashews
  • Celery or radish matchsticks
  • Grapes
  • Grape tomatoes
  •  
    For The Snails

  • Sliced apple, kiwi or orange
  • Sliced cucumber or plum tomato
  • Optional: minced parsley, for a bit of “grass”
  •  
     
    RECIPE #2: HUMMUS LOGS
    Ingredients For Photo #2: Hummus Logs

    These ideas are from Cava, an East Coast Mediterranean restaurant chain.

    The concept is friendly for kids, while sophisticated enough for cocktail snacks.
     
    Ingredients

  • Celery stalks in 3-inch slices (gourmet upgrade: fennel stalks)
  • Alternative: cucumber logs made from mini cucumbers
  • Hummus (upgrade: flavored hummus)
  •  
    Plus

  • Grape tomatoes, sliced
  • Olives, sliced
  • Pretzel thins, broken to size
  • Optional: minced chives, dill or parsley
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MAKE the caterpillars: Fill the celery stalks with peanut butter or cream cheese and top with grapes, blueberries or grape tomatoes for the body and head. Use peanut butter or cream cheese to glue on candy eyes and celery or radish matchstick for antennae.

    2. MAKE the snails: Fill celery stalks with peanut butter or cream cheese and top with an apple, cucumber, kiwi, orange or tomato slice shell and a cashew “head.” Use peanut butter or cream cheese to glue on candy eyes.

    3. MAKE the hummus logs: Fill the celery stalks or cucumber logs with hummus (first scrape out some of the cucumber center for the hummus). Add the toppings and sprinkle with a bit of the herbs.

    ________________

    *Add 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne to a cup of peanut butter, or to taste. You want subtle, not overpowering.

      


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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