Festive Cucumber Tree Appetizers & Gourmet Gifts for Kids

At four years old, my daughter Lillian loves helping me in the kitchen. I love seeing her pride upon completing simple kitchen tasks and her excitement as she tries new foods. Her interest is so strong she’s included “real” kitchen gear on her holiday wish list (“pretend” food is for babies, you know).

When searching for kitchen tools specifically geared to children, I wanted to choose items that would be useful for everyday kitchen tasks and also something she would consider exciting and “grown up.”

Kid-safe nylon knives are the perfect gift for a budding chef. Using a knife properly is one of the first and most fundamental skills one learns in culinary school Nylon knives make it possible to share that knowledge with children at a young age in a way that is fun and safe.

This set from Curious Chef includes small, medium and large knives with ergonomic handles and tough, serrated blades, perfect for slicing fruits and veggies and safer than a metal blade. (Incidentally, Curious Chef makes an entire line of high-quality kid-safe kitchen tools that are great for serious little foodies).

To compliment the knife set, she also received a sturdy, colorful cutting board. The GripperPlus Cutting Board from Architec provides a perfectly-sized workspace for kids and features a sturdy, non-skid base that really holds its place. It’s available in a variety of bright colors too, perfect for appealing to kids. My daughter absolutely LOVES working on her very own lavender cutting board.

After receiving her gifts, Lillian was so excited to help me create a fun, festive appetizer for an upcoming holiday party. Cucumber Trees are so easy to make and they create a striking centerpiece for a holiday party. After slicing our cucumbers, we simply arranged them on bamboo skewers, nestled in a bed of spinach artichoke dip. Then we dusted them with a layer of Parmesan cheese to resemble new fallen snow. The result was a whimsical, healthy holiday treat that kids and adults were both excited to try.

Festive Cucumber Tree Appetizer

At four years old, my daughter Lillian loves helping me in the kitchen. Cucumber Trees are so easy to make and they create a striking centerpiece for a holiday party—plus it's an easy kid-friendly recipe the whole family can enjoy.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12


  • 1 12-inch bamboo skewer
  • 1 8-inch bamboo skewer


  • 2 English (seedless) cucumbers
  • 2 cups Spinach artichoke dip (store bought or homemade)
  • .25 cups Grated parmesan cheese


  • Slice 2 pieces of cucumber, each about 2 inches long, to create the “trunks” of the cucumber trees.
  • Thinly slice remaining cucumber on the extreme biased angle to create long oval shaped slices.
  • Spread spinach artichoke dip in an even layer on a small serving tray and place cucumber “trunks” in the center.
  • To build trees, place a bamboo skewer in the center of each cucumber “trunk” with the pointed side facing up. Begin layering cucumber slices on each skewer, starting with the longest pieces, and adding shorter ones to create a fir tree shape.
  • Sprinkle grated Parmesan evenly over the “trees” and spinach dip to resemble snow. Serve immediately.
Keyword Appetizers, Cheese, Christmas, Gluten-free, Holidays, Kids, Tools and gadgets, Vegetables