Saturday, December 17, 2011

Let's Begin, Shall We?

I skipped right over the Crispy Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce (pg 200) recipe in The Food You Crave whenever I flipped through the book, for one very simple reason. It sounds nasty. There's not much to it: after soaking chicken strips in buttermilk (she calls for just 15 minutes, but I did it for a few hours), dredge them in crushed up Corn Chex. Yick.

This time around, they caught my eye as a possible way to get Charlie to eat chicken, since Corn Chex are his new favorite snack. This is a fast recipe. I'll give it that. Apart from the soaking and the dredging, these only have to cook for eight minutes. Easy.

And you know what? It worked! Charlie took a few bites of a strip last night (I count that as victory, as he's never eaten any chicken, prior), and spent the rest of the meal clutching the chicken in his little fist. I think he forgot it was there while he picked around for blueberries. Then, unless he fed it to the dog when I wasn't looking, he ate a whole strip with his lunch. WOOP!
That is some ugly chicken.
I would not recommend this recipe to someone who doesn't have to feed a toddler. It tastes like Corn Chex on chicken. Normal people do not eat that and say, "Ooooh, chicken fingers!" However, if you have a fussy toddler, give it a shot.

I usually hate honey mustard sauce. I tried Ellie's recipe, and it was actually pretty good. Much better than anything I've had before, and it did help mask the cereal nature of my chicken.

Conclusion: For an adult, the chicken was Just Okay. The fact that Charlie ate it goes a long way in my book, though, and I'll probably make it again, for that reason.

In an attempt to elevate the meal ever-so-slightly, I made a side of Chickpea and Spinach Salad with Cumin Dressing (pg 132). This was quite nice. Chickpeas, parsley, and red onion are mixed up with their own dressing (lemon juice and zest, cumin, cayenne, etc), placed on spinach, and then the whole is topped with a dressing of yogurt, orange juice/zest, and honey. has it never occured to me to orange-ify my yogurt before? I could eat a bowl of that "dressing."

Conclusion: Liked it. Easy and flavorful. Charlie wanted nothing to do with it. He tried one unseasoned chickpea, spit it out, and then fought off the seasoned one I tried to pop in his mouth. Oh well.

Lastly, today I made Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip (pg 70). This used skim mozzarella and reduced fat sour cream and cream cheese, but somehow or other, it came out tasting exactly as spinach artichoke dip should. My only gripe is that the whole mess is pureed before baking. Personally, I like some chunkiness in my dip. Not a big deal, though, because the flavor really was spot-on.
 Much to my amazement, Charlie liked this one, too! He poked at it at first when I gave it to him smeared on bread, but dug right in when I dolloped some on a plate and handed him a spoon.
Proof! Yes, it was that big of a deal. I needed to take a picture. 
Conclusion: Liked it, and Charlie-Approved. Victoryyyyy!


  1. I will trade you one fussy toddler for one fussy teenager :-) Just kidding.
    You must have felt pretty lucky to get 2 Charlie approved recipes out of this one (but what's not to love about artichoke dip?)

  2. Oooh, the warm spinach & artichoke dip does look pretty tasty. Go, Charlie!


    This is a great dinner, then :) Even if mom wasn't too impressed with the chicken, getting your tot to eat is definitely worth it :)