Birthday Watermelon "Mia" For a Little Girl

>>  9/27/2012

Mia, a little girl, had a first birthday party. Her parents asked me for something elegant in pink, lilac and white colors.  I produced a watermelon with 'Mia' name and added to it a small crown which looked just adorable. The display was popular the most among young ladies of 10 years old. So the aim is reached, I think.

a thai knife for watermelon work and roses
small baller for the crown decor

Beetroot for roses
Daikon (lobo radish) for a crown.

fruit display for girl birthday
Watermelon carving arrangement for a girl birthday. A small crown is carved of daikon

watermelon with name how to
in a process

fruit display for babyshower girl

fruit carving arrangement for children
fruit display for a liitle girl's birthday


Pumpkin Carving Exhibition for The City Day

>>  9/24/2012

On the 8th of September Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, my hometown, celebrated 130 year anniversary since the time it was found in 1882. For these 130 years the city has changed 3 names as Vladimirovka, Toyohara and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. The city has belonged to Russia, then to Japan and after all to Russia again. The city has an interesting history. Many cultures have mixed here in one multinational community. 

But my story today is about vegetable carving displays what we made for the CityDay. I asked two of my students to help with the exhibition. And they made a few crafts too.

I made a bird sitting on a pumpkin tower. I carved carnations out of beetroot using the technique learned from Mr.Chat Kunsri at the III Thai Carving Event in Tokyo. 
The 3D pumpkin faces made the visitor smiling and taking photo. 

bird on pumpkin tower exhibition
Bird out of daikon sitting on the pumpkin tower and the 3D pumpkin sculptures

pumpkin sculpture
3D pumpkin face

Ray Villafane pumpkin tutorial exhibition
3D pumpkin sculpture

vegetable carving art bird
the bird details

vegetable carving art pumpkin tower
the pumpkin tower details

I have a break between communicating with visitors

pumpkin carving exhibition
the complete look

vegetable carving display exhibition
vegetable flowers made by my student

People and visitors

the City Day you are allowed to play in the fountains :)


Alley of Art at the central square

At the Alley of Art I bought books about Sakhalin history. One was an album with photographs of the city places in old times and nowdays. 

The city museum's building in 1930 and nowdays

A japanese building in 1930 and nowdays


3D Pumpkin Sculptures

>>  9/22/2012

If you follow carving art's news you might heard about Ray Villafane's 3D Pumpkin Tutorial. Ray makes fantastic 3D sculptures in pumpkins which look like real faces. The good news is that Ray released a DVD tutorial with lessons and loop tools for pumpkin face sculpturing. 

I bought his DVD and tools last year when the pumpkin season was over. I have been waiting for a whole year to test the loop tools.  And it's the time now! I watched his video several times before I started. 
I should confess I doubted whether I can carve the 3D face or not. I plucked up my courage, left my fears  behind and took the tools. 

That was something incredible. Following the Ray's tutorial I carved (the better word is scraped) 3 pumpkin faces in 2 days. On the picture below is my very first face made exactly as Ray teaches in his DVD:

how to make 3D pumpkin
my very first 3D pumpkin Grrrrr Face and Ray's tutorial

Other two pumpkins were made the next day. I thought my own desing for them. Following Ray's tips and explanations I managed to do them!

3D pumpkin face
the second attempt, Smiling Face

3D pumpkin face
the third pumpkin, Thiniking Face

Cool, isn't it? :)
By the way, Ray published an album with his pumpkins. I purchased it also. There are photos with close-up look of pumpkin faces in the album so you can see clearly the details like a mouth line, nose or eyes position. 

3D pumpkin book

I have all the products of Ray Villafane:

3D pumpkin face
Scrape the pumpkin  inside and insert a candle inside. 

3D pumpkin face
3D pumpkin gang

Submitted to

Two Succulent Sisters


Banana and Vanilla Pudding Dessert With Banana Garnishes

>>  9/14/2012

Today I have a guest, Seta from Seta has a collection of Arabian and Middle Eastern recipes at her blog. I found that Seta loves desserts, and I love to garnish them. The following post is a combination of our passions. 

Banana and Vanilla Pudding Recipe with Banana Garnishes

Recipe by Seta Tutundjan (
Banana garnishes by Selena Ze Arteest (

banana dessert
Banana and Vanilla Pudding Dessert

dessert garnish banana dolphin and banana dollar
Banana Dolphin and Banana Dollar

A few words about the recipe from Seta:

I like to try new recipes and to experiment with preparing my own versions. I would see a picture in a magazine and try to replicate it at home. Today’s dish is one of those experiments. I saw a picture of various cup sweets in a magazine, they looked amazing so I decided I had to come up with my own versions. I now have a few yummy combinations in my recipe book.

The banana and vanilla pudding cups are very creamy. They are the kind of dessert that is very presentable and appeals to all. They are especially pleasing in the summer when you crave for something cold and sweet.
With four simple ingredients you prepare these sumptuous cups. By their looks and taste, nobody will guess how easy they are to put together!

You will need:
8            local bananas (if you are using the larger imported bananas, use less), save one banana for garnish
12-13     packs (90 grams each) vanilla pudding,  I use Danette from Danon
250        grams Digestive biscuits
50          grams unsalted butter
Chocolate rind or cocoa powder for garnish
How to make it:
  • Finely crush the digestive biscuits. This can be done either in the food processor with the heavy duty blade, or by placing the biscuits in a plastic bag, wrapping it with a kitchen towel and using the garlic hammer to crush the biscuits.

  • Microwave the butter for 30 seconds, or melt it in a pan on the oven top.

  • In a glass dish, mix the crushed digestive biscuits with the melted butter. Mix with a wooden spoon or with your hands until all the biscuits are soaked with the butter and your have a uniform mixture.

  • Chop the bananas into round medium-sized slices.

  • The ingredients are enough to prepare 8 large cups. If you want more, then either double the ingredients or use smaller cups.
  • Put some pudding in each cup and top with a banana slice.

  • Cover with a thin layer of the biscuit mixture.

  • Top with a layer of banana slices.

  • Top with a layer of vanilla pudding.
  • We repeat the process: thin layer of biscuits mixture, topped with a layer of banana slices, topped with a vanilla pudding layer.
  • Repeat layers until you reach the top of the glass, just make sure that your top layer is vanilla pudding. If the top layer is sliced bananas, they will darken and not look presentable. Likewise, the biscuit mixture layer isn’t as appealing as the pudding layer.
  • Garnish by sprinkling some chocolate rind or cocoa powder on top.
  • Cover cups with cling nylon so that the top layer doesn’t dry out, and store in fridge until serving time.

Hi, my name is Seta and I’m a Jordanian Armenian who is passionate about food. As a working mom, I had little time to spend in the kitchen but didn't want that to prevent me from preparing tasty, homemade and healthy food for my family. So for years I collected and tried quick and easy recipes and adapted them to our taste. In 2012, I started where I share those recipes along with the tips I have gathered throughout the years. On my blog you will find many traditional Arabian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean dishes. I hope you pop-by and try out some of my dishes.  You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.

How To Make Banana Garnishes

Banana Dollar
  • Take a banana ring for a 'coin' and banana peel for the 'dollar sign'. 

  • Cut the peel in strips. Fold the strip in a shape of dollar sigh.
  • Fix the shape with 2 toothpicks.

  • In order to adjust the garnish on the cup insert 2 toothpicks into the coin and set on the cup edge.

banana decoration

Banana Dolphin

  • For a dolphin garnish use a banana part with a stem. Split the stem for making a dolphin's mouth.

banana dolphin garnish how to

  • Carve a fin out of banana peel. Make a cut into the dolphin back and insert the fin in. Try to avoid using toothpicks. 
  • Insert a caramel ball (a kind of cake decorations) for the eye. 
  • Give a chocolate candy to the dolphin to play with :)
  • Set up the dolphin on the dessert's surface.

dolphin out of banana
Banana dolphin

Few more ideas of the dessert decoration. Flower and crown of banana.
For the dessert I used milky bisquits and chocolate pudding.

how to carve flower of banana
Banana flower and banana crown. Easy -to-do decorations.


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