Friday, February 24, 2006

The Internet has the best ideas

I find the best ideas on the Internet. Need a recipe for baked french toast? Find a totally orgasmic one on, verified by a blogger at slashfood. (Really. I made this for guests this past weekend, and I looked like a culinary genuis! And it's so easy! I used challah bread instead of French bread and maple syrup instead of corn syrup, and oh man it was fantastic!) Need a baby card idea? Shamelessly rip one off from Martha Stewart. Need to find out what's going on in Ottawa for kids? Ottawa family fun has the update. Looking for general parenting stuff? I adore Blogging Baby. And now my love knows no bounds since they introduced me to this recipe for caramel dip. Not that I made this recipe, oh no. I modified it! And you can too! The Blogging Baby recipe (actually, the Rachael Ray recipe) has peanut butter in it, which is still verboten for Charlie due to the impressive depth and breadth of food allergies in my family.

But let me backtrack a bit. I am desperately trying to get Sir Charles to eat fresh fruit and veggies. For the most part, he refuses. But encouraged by his new willingness to eat corn (discovered at Swiss Chalet of all places. He ate an entire side of corn, kernel by kernel, by dipping each one into a vat of chalet sauce. It took so long that his fingers were pruney by the end of dinner. Luckily, he will still eat corn, sans sauce, much to my relief. I actually bought a packet of make-it-yourself chalet sauce, thinking, hmmm, what else can I get him to eat with this stuff? Strawberries? Grapes? Broccoli?), I thought surely if I coat apple slices with tasty, sugary dip, he'll gobble it up, right? And we happened to have a bottle of Smuckers caramel sauce, which never usually happens, and half a bag of milk chocolate chips. So here's my picky toddler chocolate-caramel dip recipe:

Throw a small handful of milk chocolate chips into a bowl.
Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir.
Add a squirt of Smuckers caramel sauce.
Microwave for 20 seconds. Stir again.
Everything melted? Good.
Grab your sliced apples. Dip sliced apple (without skin of course), and offer to picky toddler.
Watch hopefully as he takes a small bite and does not spit it on the floor. Think to yourself, victory is mine! He will eat non-sauced fruit! I'm the smartest mommy ever! Hurrah!
Offer second bite of dipped apple to toddler. See hopes dashed as toddler scrunches face in refusal as if you offered him a bite of his deadly enemy, ground beef. (Charlie hates ground beef with a passion.)
Eat entire bowl of dip yourself. At least you don't have to share.

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