Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Carnival Dinner Date!

Tonight's dinner was a HUGE success!! Not only did the Mommies like the food but the TODDLERS did too! Even Abby! I feel like I have reached some culinary milestone to hear her say "mmm...delicious!" I am a true toddler chef now. ;o)

For tonight's dinner I decided to create a 'carnival' themed menu which included corn dog muffins, sweet potato and beet 'kettle' chips and chocolate covered frozen bananas on a stick.

I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to food on a stick. I grew up in Minnesota and many years would make the trip to St. Paul to go to the Minnesota State Fair. One of the best things about this fair is its vast variety of food-on-a-stick. Some of the offerings include real Minnesota favorites such as Tater Tot Hot Dish on a Stick (with cream of mushroom dipping sauce) and Walleye on a Stick. Others include Scotch Eggs on-a-stick (hard boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried), Pork Chops on a Stick, Frozen Grapes on a Stick, Spaghetti and Meatballs on a Stick (yep), Macaroni and Cheese on a Stick, Chocolate Covered Key Lime Pie on a Stick, Deep Fried Snickers, Milky Way, Three Musketeers, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups or Oreos on a Stick, Scones on a Stick (if you're feeling fancy) and the piece de resistance....The Big Fat Bacon: 1/3 lb slice of bacon fried and caramelized with maple syrup, served on a stick with dipping sauces. I *heart* you Minnesota but you make me fat when I come to see you.

Moving on...

Corn Dog Muffins
(Serves 3)
1/2 c. whole ground corn meal
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 c. flax meal
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
2 tbsp. honey
2 hot dogs (I used all natural beef franks with no nitrates), sliced into 1/2" chunks
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Combine the corn meal, flour, baking powder, flax meal and salt in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl combine all the wet ingredients.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
5. Spoon enough of the batter into the muffin tin to just cover the bottoms. Put a slice of hot dog on top of the batter in each muffin cup and cover with more batter.Another option is to fill the muffin cup about 3/4 full and just press a hot dog slice slightly into the top. Kara noted that they look kind of like the Hershey Kiss cookies this way. Ha!
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve!
Both girls really liked these. I would even wager to say that Abby liked them even more than Neko. Abby ate the entire muffin but Neko wanted to get straight to that hot dog so she picked off the muffin around it. I served the muffins with homemade ketchup but I was non-plussed enough by it to not include the recipe. I'm going to keep trying and when I come up with something more closely resembling ketchup I will let you know.

Sweet Potato and Beet "Kettle" Chips
(Serves 2)
1 small sweet potato
3-4 small beets (I tried to pick out beets that were the typical diameter of chips)
olive oil
1. Wash and peel the sweet potato and beets. Using a mandolin slicer, slice into thin chips.
2. Arrange all of the chips in a single layer on a microwave safe plate.
3. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
4. Cook on high in microwave for 3 minutes and then check the chips for doneness. Continue to microwave for 1 minute durations until crispy. (Mine took about 7 minutes but it would really depend on how thick or thin you cut them). Serve!
My favorite part of the dinner was when Kara kept coming into the kitchen to say "She's eating beets! She just ate another one! I can't believe she's eating beets!" These were GOOD and as someone who is perpetually dieting I am pretty excited to add this to my own repertoire. What a great way to get in some veggies and feel like you're get some good ol' junk food at the same time.
Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas on a Stick
(Serves 2)
1 large banana
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tbsp. butter
Popsicle sticks
1. Peel and cut the banana in half. Put each half on a Popsicle stick.
2. Put bananas on a plate and freeze for at least 1 hour.
3. When the bananas are frozen, combine the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe dish and melt in the microwave (approximately 1 minute). Stir until smooth.
4. Using a butter knife, spread the chocolate on each banana to almost cover.
5. Put the bananas on wax paper and put back in the freezer until frozen. Serve!
Oh my! I haven't had a frozen banana since I was a kid and I forgot how delicious they are! They are really a great fake out for ice cream because they actually taste like ice cream. I think they would have been yummy even without the chocolate (not that the chocolate wasn't wonderful because it was). Do I even have to say that the girls devoured these? This was a sure thing.


Carol Beth said...

Mmm, I definitely plan to try the beet and/or sweet potato chips. Thanks!!

Kara said...

I'm STILL in shock that my child willingly ate multiple beet chips! Now I have a reason to buy a mandolin slicer :-)

Special K said...

We just made the hot dogs minus flax seed (didn't have any) and they were a thumbs up! I think they needed some ketchup, but my Logan hasn't been eating corn muffins alone, so this got him to eat them- woohoo! Thanks!