Sips and Snacks for a Science-Filled New Year

Written by: admin

New Years Eve is the perfect time to surround yourself with family and friends to celebrate the passing of another exciting year! 

2012 has been a wonderful year here at The Exchange, filled with new consults, fantastic events and plenty of new faces. We hope that this past year has been equally as extraordinary for you, and that 2013 will bring you opportunities for growth and prosperity. 

Plus, we all survived the Mayan Apocalypse, so give yourself a pat on the back!

Whether you are ringing in the new year at a festive bash, or plan on curling up on the couch with a furry friend and some snacks, we wanted to give you a few recipes to help you scientifically spice up your evening!

Below, you can find recipes for some delicious science-themed sips, sweets and snacks to spice up your night on December, 31st that will hopefully last you well into 2013. 

To Sip: 

Glowing Lemon Punch with Tonic Water
– 1 can frozen lemonade concentrate
– 1 liter bottle of tonic water 
– Ice Cubes 
– Black light (for effect)

How To:
1. Pour frozen lemonade into a large punch bowl 
2. Prepare the lemonade according to the package directions, but substitute the tonic water for tap water
3. Add ice cubes 
4. Place the black light near the punch bowl. The tonic water in the punch will appear to be glowing! 

Cotton Candy Molecular Collision 
– 1 bottle sparkling water 
– 1 package cotton candy

How To:
1. Place an equal amount of cotton candy at the bottom of each glass. Do not press the cotton candy into the bottom of the cup; gently place it so as not to ruin its airy properties. 
2. Slowly pour the sparkling water over the cotton candy and watch tiny colored bubbles emerge! 

To Snack: 

Zombie Brain Gelatin Mold 
– Brain Gelatin Mold, found here 
– 2 Packages of Jello 

How To:
1. Prepare Jello according to package instructions and pour into brain mold. 
2. Refrigerate 4-6 hours and enjoy!

Slime Filled Cupcakes 
– Lime curd, recipe found here 
– 1 box vanilla cake mix 
– Cupcake corer can be found here 
– Vanilla frosting 
– Green food coloring 

How To: 
1. Prepare the lime curd using the recipe above. While the curd is still in the pot, add green food coloring to the mixture until it reaches the appropriate “slime” color. 
2. While the curd is cooling in the refrigerator, prepare the cupcakes according to the boxed directions. 
3. Mix the vanilla frosting with 4-5 drops of green food coloring to achieve a light green color. 
4. Once the cupcakes and curd are cool, use the cupcake corer to remove part of the center of the cupcake. 
5. Add lime curd to the newly created hole and frost cupcakes as normal. 

When guests bite into the cupcake they will be surprised by a slimy little treat! 

Shrimp Pierced with Cocktail Sauce Pipette 
– 1 jar of cocktail sauce
– 6 plastic pipettes 
– 12 large shrimp, cooked and cooled

How To:
This recipe is a bit more about presentation than actual cooking, but is sure to be a real crowd pleaser!
1. Fill the pipettes with the cocktail sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of water to thin it out. 
2. Using the pipette like a skewer, thread 1-2 shrimp onto each filled pipette, depending on their size, and place on a platter for your guests to enjoy! 

As the hands on the clock creep towards midnight and the ball begins to drop, The Exchange wishes all our readers a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013. Go have some fun!

The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.