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Edible Christmas tree with shrimp adds a mike-drop to your holiday spread

Jackie Gordon talks about food 24/7. She is a Singing Chef whose favorite moment is the look of delight on your face when you see or taste foods that make you go, "Mmm…” Jackie writes loves songs about food and creates “eatertainment" sh...

Folks will be raving about this unexpected treat for years

"Happy holidays, please eat the tree” are words you never expect to hear at a holiday gathering... until now. When you and the kids whip up a shrimp tree for your holiday appetizer spread, your revelers will gasp with glee.

A shrimp tree is a stunning centerpiece that’s fun to make, a delight to look at and delicious to demolish too! You can make it with just shrimp or add extra vegetable ornaments as you please. For a healthy bonus, you can whip up a kale salad, kale chips or a smoothie with the leftover tree "leaves."

More: Chocolate-peppermint cookies are exactly what Christmas tastes like

Folks will be raving about this unexpected treat for years
Image: Jackie Gordon/SheKnows

How to make an edible shrimp Christmas tree

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch red radishes
  • 1 small daikon radish
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 heads curly kale
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked and chilled
  • 1 cup cocktail sauce

Supplies:

  • 12-inch Styrofoam cone
  • 6-inch Styrofoam base
  • Toothpicks
  • Star-shaped cookie cutter
  • Round cookie cutters
  • Mini cookie or canapé cutters, various shapes
  • Strip of wrapping paper
  • Tape
  • Ramekin

Directions:

1. Carve the red radishes to make them look like ornaments. I did a simple design and carved all the radishes the same way, but feel free to let your imagination run as wild as your carving skills allow.

Folks will be raving about this unexpected treat for years
Image: Jackie Gordon/SheKnows

2. Cut your daikon radish into 1/4-inch slices, then cut them into perfect rounds with a round cookie cutter, and then cut out center shapes with a canapé cutter or a knife. You can also use jicama.

Folks will be raving about this unexpected treat for years
Image: Jackie Gordon/SheKnows

3. Prepare your star by cutting off the flat side of the yellow pepper and then cutting it out with the star-shaped cookie cutter. If you are putting your tree on a round table, you may want to cut out 2 stars and place them back-to-back.

Folks will be raving about this unexpected treat for years
Image: Jackie Gordon/SheKnows

4. Poke 4 toothpicks into the bottom of the Styrofoam cone so they stick out just enough to secure the cone to the Styrofoam base, and place the cone on the base.

Folks will be raving about this unexpected treat for years
Image: Jackie Gordon/SheKnows

5. Starting with the largest leaves first and working from the bottom up, attach the kale leaves to the cone — be sure to cover the base — using the wooden toothpicks in a circular pattern until you get to the top of the tree.

Folks will be raving about this unexpected treat for years
Image: Jackie Gordon/SheKnows

Folks will be raving about this unexpected treat for years
Image: Jackie Gordon/SheKnows

6. Wrap the ramekin in a strip of holiday wrapping paper secured with a piece of tape. Fill it carefully with cocktail sauce.

Folks will be raving about this unexpected treat for years
Image: Jackie Gordon/SheKnows

7. Drape the bottom of the tree with a cloth napkin or fabric to make a tree skirt.

Folks will be raving about this unexpected treat for years
Image: Jackie Gordon/SheKnows

8. Place the vegetable “ornaments” all around the tree with toothpicks. Add the shrimp last so you can keep them in the fridge as long as possible before serving. I like the toothpicks to be hidden. You can also use red and green frilly toothpicks to add some sparkle to your shrimp tree. Finish it off by placing the star on top of the tree.

Folks will be raving about this unexpected treat for years
Image: Jackie Gordon/SheKnows; Graphic: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows

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Folks will be raving about this unexpected treat for years
Image: Brandy O'Neill/SheKnows
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