Best-selling author and "Foodie Godmother," Annabel Karmel, dropped by with some of her favorite recipes for children!
Basket-Weave Chicken Breasts
(Makes 2 servings)
The bright orange and green basket-weave pattern made by the carrot and zucchini strips looks sensational wrapped around these stuffed chicken breasts. This is a great dish to make for a dinner party. They are surprisingly easy to make and children will love to help weave the vegetable strips together. If your child prefers, you can stuff the chicken breasts with some cheese and ham.
1 large carrot, peeled
1 large zucchini
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons vegetable oil and a little brown butter
¾ cup chopped button mushrooms
1 teaspoon break crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup chicken stock
1 ½ tablespoons lime or lemon juice
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Using a potato peeler, cut the carrot and zucchini lengthwise into long thin strips. Blanch them in boiling water for just under 1 minute and place on paper towels to dry.
To prepare the mushroom stuffing, sauté the shallot in the oil and butter until softened, add the chipped mushrooms, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the parsley, lemon juice, and bread crumbs and cook for 2 minutes. Season to taste. Cut a slit in each of the chicken breasts to form a pocket and stuff with the mushroom mixture. Season the chicken.
Place 5 strips of zucchini horizontally quite close together on top of a piece of plastic wrap just big enough to wrap around the chicken breast. Weave 5 strips of carrot vertically through the zucchini strips to make a basket-weave pattern. Wrap the plastic wrap and woven vegetables around the chicken breast to form a parcel. Cook in a steamer for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.
To make the sauce, put the stock and lime or lemon juice in a small saucepan an bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisky in the butter. Stir in the tarragon and cream and season to taste. Pour some of the sauce onto each plate, remove the plastic wrap, and place a chicken breast on top of the sauce.
Teddy Bear Cupcakes
(Makes 8 cupcakes)
Try making these for a teddy bear's picnic with sandwiches and cookies cut into teddy bear shapes.
1 stick unsalted butter
2/3 cup superfine sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Tube of black writing icing
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 8 muffin tin cups with paper liners. Cream the butter and sugar in a food processor until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla, and milk. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together, then fold into the butter mixture. Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until stiff, then fold them gently into the batter a little at a time. Fill the liners about two-thirds full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden and spring back when gently pressed or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. (Cupcakes may be frozen when cool and decorated at a later time.) To decorate, use the M&M's for eyes and attach with a blob of icing; add a gumdrop for a nose. Fill in the pupils with icing and stick on chocolate buttons for ears.
(Makes 4 to 6 servings)
This looks amazing, it's great for parties, and it also makes a fabulous prop for your own children's healthy snacks. I like to use a variety of cheeses, but cubes of ham or chicken also work well in place of the cheese.
1 ¼ unpeeled cucumbers
Mixture of cheeses
Fresh pineapple, cut into chunks, or
1 small can of pineapple chunks
2 cherry tomatoes
Cut a long strip from the carrot using a vegetable peeler. Cut this into a strip about ½ inch wide and cut along side to form a serrated edge. These are the crocodile's teeth. Cut a wedge from the end of the cucumber to make its mouth. Cut the ¼ cucumber into two 1-inch-wide slices, cut these in half, and then shape into feet with a triangular shape cut out of them. Attach these to the whole cucumber using toothpicks cut in half. Chop the cheese and pineapple into cubes. Thread a cheese and pineapple cube onto each toothpick and spear the end into the cucumber. Cut a toothpick in half and use the two halves to attach the cherry tomatoes to form the crocodile's eyes.
Blueberry, Banana and Apple Baby Puree
(for ages 7-9 months)
1 cup blueberries
1 small banana, sliced
1 small apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
Put all the fruit into a heavy-bottomed pan and cook, covered, over low heat for 5 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 5 minutes more or until most of the juices have evaporated.
For more information, visit: www.annabelkarmel.com