Get crafty with edible holiday appetizers

Don’t worry, mom—in this case it’s OK to play with your food.

The latest online social media craze features awe-inspiring galleries of edible art, showcasing everyday ingredients transformed into munchable holiday masterpieces.

This season, whether you are looking to revamp the relish tray or simply keep the kids occupied with a fun project, a few holiday-friendly staples are all you need to let your creativity take flight.

Take, for instance, California black ripe olives. Known for their versatility and mild flavor, black olives are a party favorite for a reason. And with 95 percent of the nation’s ripe olives grown on family farms in California, they are a truly all-American ingredient, too. They are also the perfect building block for edible holiday treats.

Get in on the fun with an easy and adorable-to-look-at recipe that uses black olives, cream cheese, pretzels and a few other common ingredients to create an unforgettable herd of holiday cheer. In fact, this is one reindeer game anyone can play.

For more holiday recipe ideas featuring California ripe olives, visit www.calolive.org.

California Olive Reindeer

(Makes 8 reindeer) Supplies:

2-4 Won ton wrappers Cooking spray

2 sandwich-sized reclosable plastic bags

4 ounces cream cheese scissors

8 colossal California black ripe olives 8 large California black ripe olives 1 bamboo skewer 16 pretzel sticks Paring knife

Tiny pieces of carrot and raisins Powdered sugar (optional) Kale (optional)

Mushrooms (optional)

Directions: With a small, sharp knife, cut wonton wrappers into “antlers.” Place on a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes at 350 F, or until lightly browned. Place cream cheese into two sandwich-sized reclosable bags. Snip 1/8-inch off the corner of one and 1/16-inch off the second. With the bag and the 1/8-inch hole, squeeze cream cheese into colossal olives. Using a bamboo skewer, make a hole in the large olives. Break a pretzel stick in half and press into hole and into colossal olive. Press together to form the head. Make four holes in the colossal olive with a bamboo skewer and push four broken pretzel sticks in to form legs. Squeeze cream cheese with the small-hole to form eyes. Make tiny slits with a paring knife in the top of the head and insert wonton antlers. Make a hole in the large olive (head) and insert a small sliver of carrot for the nose. Use a small piece of raisin to create pupils.

To create a winter scene, dust kale leaves with powdered sugar and snip the tops off mushrooms for boulders.

Olives, pretzel sticks, cream cheese and a few other items can render some reindeer for holiday gatherings.