Foods for a Bug-Themed Party

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Bug-themed food can be served at a children's birthday party, a whimsical garden party or as part of an educational entomological event. Although you can buy edible insects, such as chocolate-covered grasshoppers, with a little bit of effort, you probably don't want to serve them to squeamish guests. Opt instead for treats that look like bugs but are made from more familiar ingredients.

Ants on a log is an easy children's snack that can also be served as an appetizer for a bug-themed party. Fill a celery sticks with peanut butter or cream cheese and place raisin "ants" on top. Three olives on a long toothpick form the body of an ant-shaped appetizer -- just add carrot shreds for legs and antennae. Halved small tomatoes or strawberries can form the body of a ladybug -- place atop a cracker spread with cream cheese and add black dots with cream cheese tinted black. For a super-easy appetizer, serve butterfly-shaped crackers and strips of cheese. If you use toothpicks to hold foods together, make sure they're completely visible. If you have small children at the party, consider not using toothpicks.

For a main course, something baked with honey would be appropriate -- after all, honey is made by bees. Chicken wings glazed with honey, slices of honey ham and honey and peanut butter sandwiches are all possibilities. For fancier parties, honey-glazed duck and salmon are both elegant and fit the theme. You could also consider putting together a honey bar instead of a traditional main course. Choose several high-grade gourmet honeys, present them in attractive containers with tools for dipping, and then provide foods to drizzle upon such as biscuits, kebabs of grilled meat and apple slices. If you have babies under 1 year old to feed, don't include honey in any foods you'll serve them. For lighter fare, prepare a pasta salad using butterfly-shaped farfalle.

For dessert, try fossil cookies. Make a batch of peanut butter cookie dough and form the cookies as you normally would. Instead of using a fork to make a decorative cross-hatch on the top, press small plastic bug toys into the surface to leave an imprint. Bake as usual. Cupcakes and sheet cakes can be decorated with insect motifs. Don't forget bug-shaped candy, such as gummi worms or insects or chocolates wrapped to look like ladybugs.

Mix a blue-tinted drink and a yellow-tinted drink together to make a bright green concoction you can then dub "bug juice." For adult parties, try the tropical cocktail known as the June bug.

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