Friday, September 28, 2012

Toddler Food Recipes Gone Wrong

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Right around when my baby girl was turning 1, I was consumed with finding fun and easy recipes for finger foods. Sure, she loved cut up avocados, bananas, and whatever I was eating. Bor-ing. I wanted to be that wacky mom that brought a unique snack to a play date that had all the kids drooling and all the moms in awe of my culinary prowess.

I did find a lot of recipes that I absolutely LOVE and I will share them some day, but not today. No. Today is a day to share my miseries.

Let's start with the Baby Chicken Fingers. These sounded perfect - simple ingredients and mushy enough for my Cadybug's gummy mouth. Heck, if they tasted good enough, I'd probably eat them right along with her. You can click on the link and see how they're supposed to look. Here's how mine turned out:
Lesson learned: Broiling is not a skill that I possess. And as someone who hates the feeling of raw meat squishing between my fingers and lurking under my fingernails, the whole process of making this recipe was not in my top ten "happy to be a mama" moments.

So let's move on to the Carrot Snack Sticks. I saw these on Pinterest and thought to myself, "This is exactly the kind of healthy snack I want to make for my carrot-loving baby!" Everything seemed simple and I had all of the ingredients. Well, I had baby carrots and not regular sized carrots. No big deal, right? A carrot is a carrot. No. It is infinitely more difficult to shred baby carrots than it is to shred regular carrots. Fingers were grazed and life lessons were learned. Regardless, baby carrots were the only carrots in my fridge so I kept plucking along. It was a minor wound that would result in what I thought would be the ultimate snack for the play date we were headed to the next day. They look so moist and delicious in the picture...Mine, however, turned out like dry, tasteless dog biscuits...except dogs would turn up their noses at these.

They shriveled up like brittle matchsticks and there was no way I could give these crunchy, dried up carrot biscuits to my sweet girl. How would her 4 tiny teeth mash through these monsters? The recipe says you really have to have patience when working with the dough. Maybe next time I'll find a Mother Teresa to work my carrot dough for me. I just did not have the patience to fold it into a dough, watch it crumble through my fingers, roll into dough again, watch it crumble again, and again, and again.

Okay, okay. Time to move on. Next stop: Carrot Chips. First of all, let's just get it out of the way and say that I only had baby carrots and I did not have the appropriate slicer...apparently. When you're on a budget, you make it work somehow. My family doesn't eat regular carrots, so I don't buy them. We eat pre-washed baby carrots that are easy to put in lunch boxes. We also don't have the fancy slicer in the recipe. I've never needed it before. Hello, that's what knives are for.

Or not.

As it turns out, a steak knife does not slice a baby carrot as nicely as an adjustable mandoline slicer would slice a regular sized carrot. So instead of thin carrot chips, I had miniature baked carrot stubs.

If you're looking for a potato chip alternative and you want to try out this recipe, go for it...but I don't suggest trying it with baby carrots and a steak knife.

After these adventures, I really started to question my ability to cook anything.

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