One of Charles Phoenix's most enduring and endearing culinary celebrations is the Astro-Weenie Christmas Tree. It is also one of the easiest to prepare, as it is really an assemblage of ingredients and requires no cooking. He demonstrates thusly:
The Astro-Weenie Christmas Tree is so versatile, it can be adapted to nearly any occasion and the variations are endless.
You can get all sorts of weenie products at the Dollar Store, but I decided to stick with the vegetarian version for my tree. Dollar Tree has styrofoam tree forms, but note, that they are small and rather stumpy, more of a Astro-Weenie bush, than a tree . . . but I pressed on, using the scaled down version as the center of a cheese and cracker tray.
The tray, foil, cheese, olives, and all the veggies were purchased at the 99 Cent Only Store. The crackers are from the Dollar Tree.
I lucked out finding radishes (the star on top is cut from a radish), and small colorful peppers, but you really can't go wrong no matter what you pick up.
You'll have enough stuff to make an extra tray of veggies, cheese and crackers, or two trees, or you can splurge, go to a craft store and get a full size cone, if you are not into mini-trees.
Oh, and don't forget the dip. I like to use a combo of ranch dressing and cream cheese.
A few tips - I start with the broccoli, and the cauliflower, then fill in with the others, leaving the olives for last - sort of like the ornaments of the tree. Also I found shoving the toothpicks in first, and placing the veggies on the picks worked well. Of course, I was careful not to shove a finger into the picks, because really nobody likes an Astro-Finger Christmas tree . . . just sayin'.
Check back in a few days when I make an Astro-Rum Ball Christmas Tree for my Office Christmas Cookie Party.