Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Winter Olympic Game Night - International Nerd Food!

Mmmmm... Olympic Rings

The Olympics aren't over yet, and that means there's still time to celebrate! What better way to ring in the closing ceremonies than with a Winter Olympic themed party? Perhaps an Olympic themed game night, complete with plenty of international, sporty and delicious snacks!


International sodas were an easy and fun way to get the party started, while incorporating the multicultural awesomeness of the Olympics. From left to right we have (in name if not in origin) German, Russian, Australian, Mexican, American and Japanese sodas! Behind the tasty beverages, you can also see our Olympic onion rings, chips, Bugles, salsa and homemade guacamole. 

Bonus themed snack: the Bugles filled with salsa look like mini Olympic torches!

Curling stones never tasted so good.

On the appetizer scene, I was able to honor one of my favorite sports from the Winter Olympics: curling! I'm not sure why it's one of my favorites, but it is. Perhaps it's because Kirby could turn into a curling stone back in his N64 days, or maybe because it's so easy to make delicious renditions of curling stones out of stuffed mushrooms.

It appears the curlers were hungry...

To make these little delicacies, I followed the recipe for Mouth Watering Stuffed Mushrooms recommended by 2200 positive ratings. Turns out they weren't wrong! Minor changes I made were including some sauteed scallions in the filling, nixing the cayenne pepper and adding parmesan and a red pepper curling handle on top. Yum!

Olympic Sharlotka - Russian Apple Cake (German Style!)

Next up, dessert! When thinking up options for a themed dessert, I opted for a Russian apple cake known as sharlotka. After perusing the internet for the best recipe to follow, I thought I'd give my own family cookbook a try. While that side of my family is German in heritage, my great grandparents lived in Russia before emigrating to the United States, and as luck would have it, I found exactly what I was looking for.

This one's for you, Great Grandpa Scholl!

While I never had the opportunity to meet my great grandfather, I felt honored to be able to make something I knew was his favorite, especially since my great grandmother and namesake Lydia was probably the one who made it for him. It was extra special because most of the recipes I had found online were passed down from grandparents to parents and so on, and here I had found one from my own family to share. 

Apple chunks in the snow (a.k.a. flour)

Olympic Yum!

Apart from cutting the apples in larger chunks and extending the baking time (as it was still quite gooey at the recommended time), I made the recipe exactly as written. For future reference or anyone else looking for a great apple cake recipe to try, it turned out great and I would make it the exact same way again. No wonder this was my great grandpa's favorite!

Sochi Mochi Gold Medal!

Last but not least, Sochi Mochi Medals! Even though we already had tons of food and a delicious dessert, I simply could not resist the wordplay. The medals were very simply made: mango flavored mochi for the gold medals (because we're all winners here) and strawberry sour rope for the ribbon. Like most of the other themed food, these were quite a hit.

Go Team USA!

I love the Olympics, and while I admit I kind of root for everyone, I am rooting for good old USA in the end. Way to go to all the amazing athletes competing, from America and across the globe! You guys rock!

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