Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Abby's Favorites Dinner Date

Abby will turn 3 in just a few days (sniff! my baby!), so tonight's dinner date was composed from some of her favorite foods. Abby has a handful of what I call my "go-to" foods for her - things that I know she'll eat and that I keep on hand for nights when my husband and I are having too-spicy chili or sushi. So for tonight's dinner date, I tried to mix up the favorites in new ways, to hopefully create new favorites!

Cheerio Chicken Nuggets and Green Pea Hummus

Cheerio Chicken Nuggets
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes

1 1/2 cups Cheerios
salt, pepper
1 tsp honey
1 lb ground chicken

Shake the Cheerios into a plastic bag (a freezer bag works well) and crush them up with your hands. Have your kids help - it's fun! Add a bit of salt and pepper to the crushed Cheerios, and pour them into a bowl. Add about 1 tsp honey and mix all together with your fingers.

In a separate bowl, mix the ground chicken with your hands until it is all nice and mushy. Pinch off heaping tablespoonfuls of the chicken and form it into nuggets. Press each side of each nugget into the Cheerios to coat.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the nuggets on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, until nuggets are completely cooked through.

Green Pea Hummus
Prep time: 5 minutes

1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
14.5 oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, adding a few tablespoonfuls of water to achieve desired consistency. Serve with veggies or crackers.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Ice Cream
Prep time: 5 minutes, plus freezing time
Yields about 1 quart of ice cream

1 cup heavy cream
2 cups skim milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup carrot puree (use jarred baby food to save time!)
1/2 cup pear puree (use jarred baby food to save time!)

In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, milk, extract, and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the purees. Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and freeze according to machine directions.

* * * * *

This dinner was an absolute success. Abby wolfed everything down - something that is rare for her, so I guess she liked seeing her favorite foods in new ways! She also had the green pea hummus spread on crackers for a snack earlier in the day. The ice cream was amazing. It had a beautiful orange color, but otherwise you really can't tell that it is chock full of carrots and pears - it tasted mostly like vanilla ice cream and was very rich and creamy.

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