Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cookin' in the Kitchen with the Kiddos!

It's almost summer...
the kids will be home...
what will you fill your days with....any ideas??

How about COOKIN' in the KITCHEN!

One of my FAVORITE places to be is in my kitchen! Those who know me well know that I have a passion for cooking and love more than anything to try new recipes. A few summers back I taught a kid's cooking school out of my house. I called it "Kid's Kitchen". We had a BLAST!

 I love experimenting with fun, healthy recipes and especially love when other people (kids included) LOVE my cooking. I thought I would share with you some of the KID APPROVED favorites from my "Kid's Kitchen".

Strawberry Mice
-         Fresh strawberries                      - Almond slivers
-         Mini chocolate chips                  - Red lace licorice
-         Black decorators’ icing              - Wedge of cheese
1.     For each mouse slice a section from the side of a strawberry so it sits flat.
2.    Press a mini chocolate chip into the tip for a nose, using a small dab of icing to secure it in place, if needed.
3.    Add icing eyes and stick 2 almond slivers into the top of the berry for ears.
4.    For a tail, use a toothpick to carve a small hole in the back of the berry and push the end of a piece of licorice lace into the hole. Serve these BERRY cute treats with small triangles of cheese. Enjoy with crackers!

Oven-Baked Carrot Fries*
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma: The Kid’s Cookbook

-       1 ½ pounds carrots (10 medium)                                  -  1 tsp. sugar
-       2 Tbsp. olive oil                                                           -  ½ tsp. salt
-       2 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary                           - pinch of pepper

-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil.
-Using a sharp knife and cutting board, cut away the tip and end of each carrot. Place 1 carrot on the board and hold with one hand. Holding the peeler in the other hand, run it over the carrot always peeling away from you. Turn the carrot as needed to peel completely. Repeat with the other carrots. Using the sharp knife, cut 1 carrot in half crosswise. Next, cut each half in half lengthwise. Finally, cut each half in half lengthwise again. You will end up with 8 sticks from the carrot. Repeat with other carrots.
-In the mixing bowl, combine the carrot sticks, olive oil, rosemary, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir with the rubber spatula until the carrot sticks are evenly coated with all the other ingredients.
-Dump the carrots onto the foil-lined jelly-roll pan, scraping out any herbs clinging to the sides of the bowl. Spread the sticks out as much as possible. Bake until the carrots are tender and well browned, about 20 minutes. Using oven mitts, remove the pan from the oven. Serve the carrot fries hot or at room temperature.


Pizza Roll-Ups
-        Guerrero Whole Wheat Tortillas (These are the best around!)
-        Handful of shredded mozzarella cheese
-        5-6 turkey pepperoni’s per tortilla
-        2-3 Tablespoons of pizza sauce
Place tortilla on microwave safe plate. Sprinkle tortilla with cheese, layer with pepperoni’s and drizzle with pizza sauce. Microwave for 30-60 seconds in microwave until cheese is melted. Roll up and dip in additional pizza sauce if desired.

 ---Taco Munch---
-          6 cups popped, unsalted popcorn
-          3 cups corn Chex
-          1 cup mini-pretzels
-          2 Tbsp. butter, melted
-          2 to 3 tsp. dry taco seasoning
-          2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
-          4 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes

1.    Combine popcorn, cereal and pretzels in a large bowl. Combine butter and taco seasoning and drizzle this over popcorn mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and toss to coat.
2.    Store in an airtight container. Toss with cheddar cheese just before serving. Makes 10 servings.

 Crunchy Coated Chicken Breasts
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma: The Kid’s Cookbook
-    17 Saltine crackers                                         -  2 Tbsp. olive oil
-    ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese                          - 8 chicken tenderloins
-    ½ tsp. dried thyme                                          - 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
-Put the crackers in a plastic bag. Press down on the bag to release the air and seal the top. Using the rolling pin, crush the crackers to make coarse crumbs.
-Empty the crumbs into a shallow bowl. Add the Parmesan cheese, dried thyme, and a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir with the table fork until well mixed. Drizzle the olive oil over the crumbs and toss with the fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
-Rinse the chicken tenderloins with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place them on a clean work surface. Spoon the mustard into a small bowl. Using the knife, spread the mustard over the top of each piece of chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
-Press the mustard-coated side of the chicken into the crumb mixture. Place the chicken, crumb side up, on the foil lined jelly-roll pan. Repeat with the other chicken tenderloins. Sprinkle any leftover crumbs on top of the breasts and pat them onto the chicken with your fingers.
-Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle when cut into with the sharp knife, about 25 minutes. Using oven mitts, remove the pan from the oven and serve the chicken immediately.

Homemade Mac & Cheese
Recipe from Williams-Sonoma: The Kid’s Cookbook
-          2 Tbsp. butter                                                             -  2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
-          2 Tbsp. flour                                                               -  4 quarts (16 cups) water
-          1 & 2/3 cups milk                                                      -  1 pound rotini or fusilli pasta
-          1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese                        -  salt and pinch of pepper
-Put the butter in the large saucepan and set the pan over medium heat. Stir with the wooden spoon until the butter is melted, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and whisk it together with the butter until smooth and bubbly but not browned, about 2 minutes. If the mixture begins to brown, reduce the heat to medium-low. With the pan still on the heat, slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Cook, continuing to whisk, until the mixture is smooth, thickened, and gently boiling, 5 to 7 minutes.
-Using a pot holder, remove the pan from the heat and add the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Whisk until the cheeses melt and the sauce is smooth. Cover with the lid and set aside.
-Put the water in the large pot and add 1 tablespoon salt. Set the pot over high heat, cover with lid. Be careful: The steam is very hot! Slowly and carefully add the pasta, then stir it with the long-handled wooded fork. Boil the pasta, uncovered, until al dente (tender but still firm to the bite), about 8 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent from sticking.
-Set the colander in the sink. Have the pot holders ready. When the pasta is cooked ask an adult to pour the contents of the pot into a colander. Let the pasta drain completely, shaking the colander a few times. Add the drained pasta, ¼ tsp. salt and the pepper to the cheese sauce. Stir until well blended. Serve immediately


Cookies and Cream Rice Crispy Treats
4 Tbsp. butter
4 cups mini marshmallows
8 cups rice crispy cereal
½ tray of Oreo cookies, crushed

½ cup chocolate chips, melted

Place butter in a large saucepan over med-low heat. Once butter begins to melt add marshmallows to pan. Continue stirring until all of the marshmallows are melted and there are no bumps. Turn off heat and remove pan from burner. Stir in cereal and Oreos. Pour into a large 9x13 inch baking dish. With the back of a large spoon that's sprayed with cooking spray press and smooth treats. Drizzle melted chocolate over top and let cool. Cut into squares.

Let me know if you like these...there are plenty more I can post!

Have fun COOKIN'!

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