It is sunny and beautiful here today and I love it. We had such a gloomy gray spring and the summer started out way too hot, but today is perfect. I have been working on quite a few summer themed recipes and have been so excited about getting the recipes posted. I originally wanted to wait until after 4th of July to begin my series of summer fun ideas, but I just couldn’t keep this recipe to myself any longer. Also for some unknown reason the “Recent Posts” on the right hand column of this blog is showing pictures of posts that I am currently working on but aren’t yet published including this butterfly and a beach ball cookie. You may have tried to click on the pictures and not gotten anywhere. Sorry about that. But, anyway, here is the first summer fun recipe for a cute butterfly made from chicken tenders, Doritos, and chow mein noodles.
Butterflies hold a special place in my heart and remind me of a summer not so long ago. Eight years ago, we hosted a Russian exchange student, named Katya, who instantly became part of our family. My husband and I were fortunate enough to travel to her homeland and spend three weeks with her and her family. Her younger brother, Dima, was just 12 at the time and only knew a small amount of English, but we bonded just as quickly as Katya and I had. Dima dreamed of visiting us in America, so two years later we flew both kids over here for a few weeks in the summer. We all had such a great time together that when Dima asked if he could come back, we were happy to invite him to spend an entire summer with us.
It was, by far, one of the best summers of my adult life. We may have given Dima the gift of traveling to America, but he gave me an even greater gift that summer, the chance to be a kid again, and believe me, at my age, it was a wonderful experience. We spent our three months together playing tennis and volleyball, riding bikes, swimming, hiking, and chasing butterflies. Back home in Russia, Dima enjoyed collecting butterflies, and Ohio is home to many species of beautiful butterflies, most of which aren’t native to his homeland. He borrowed a butterfly net from my nephew and spent endless hours running through fields in search of the fluttering creatures.
Dima is now studying to be a doctor in St. Petersburg and I sure do miss him. I created this butterfly snack in his honor. He loved American junk food and would have gotten a kick out of eating this for lunch.
Chicken and Chips Butterfly Snack (ingredients listed for 1 butterfly)
1 chicken tender (I used Tyson’s Chicken Tenders, the size was perfect)
4 Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips
a dab of mustard, plain or honey, or another dipping sauce, whatever your child likes
2 chow mein noodles
1 black food coloring marker*
*If you prefer, you can make your butterfly eyes using 2 black sesame seeds and skip the mouth.
No special equipment is needed
Bake your chicken tenders according to the instructions on the package. You can also make homemade chicken tenders, if you prefer.
Arrange 4 Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips like butterfly wings on a plate. Add a dab of mustard or dipping sauce in the center, where the points of the chips meet. This will help to secure the chicken tender in place. Poke two chow mein noodles into one end of the cooked chicken tender forming the antennas. Use the black food coloring marker to draw eyes and a smile on the chicken tender. Set the chicken tender over the center of the wings with the antennas pointing up. Serve.
Note: To serve these at a party, bake the chicken tenders ahead of time. Cut out 6″ squares of parchment paper and set them on baking sheets. Arrange one butterfly on each of the parchment squares. Keep warm in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven for up to 30 minutes. Carefully lift the parchment sheets up and place on a plate. Serve your guests. Do not bake the completed butterflies at a higher temperature or the wings and antenna will burn.
Don’t forget to enter my current giveaway. I’m giving one lucky reader over $100 worth of cookie, cake, candy, and themed cuisine decorating supplies. Enter to win! Contest runs through July 20, 2011.