Anna’s “Summer Meets Fall” Dessert


IMG_1148Today, on the way home from school, Anna said she had been thinking and wanted to make a dessert for us. Since Central Florida is sopping wet, football practices and games have been canceled for week #2, so we had the whole evening at home  together as a family! After backyard playing, showers, and dinner, Anna joined me in the kitchen to make this “Summer (Cherries) Meets Fall (Apples)” Dessert.

  • 2 cups organic whipped cream (about 1 cup organic cream and 1 Tablespoon honey whipped together until soft peaks form)

  • 1 organic apple, chopped

  • Cherry sauce (We had this leftover already in the fridge – click here for the recipe – just substitute the cherries for the berries)

  • Mini Chocolate chips

    Place a dollop of whipped cream on the bottom of a bowl. Add a large spoonful of cherry sauce, followed by chopped apples, more whipped cream and then the chocolate chips. This made 3 kid-sized servings and 1 adult serving. IMG_1149-0.JPG

The Kitchen is Our New Classroom


Now that school is out, lunch takes on a whole new meaning…so long lunchboxes, hello kid-prepared dishes! For the first day of summer break, Anna decided she wanted to be “chef of the day”. For breakfast she decided on ham and egg cups (recipe below), Ezekiel english muffins, and apple slices with spiced fig hummus.  

For lunch, she chose chicken, spinach salad, and fresh fruit salad. She did the chopping and assembling for the salads while I oversaw Aleyah (and kinda Joel) making sushi. She’s really getting the hang of it so I’m looking forward to more rolls over the summer 🙂

Dessert was simply store-bought, organic chocolate ship cookie dough squares that we cut in half and baked. We made a basic cream cheese frosting and turned our cookies into sandwiches topped with a strawberry slice.

And all this was done while wearing their PJs!




20140526-202549.jpgHam and Egg Cups

  • 4 slices of deli-sliced ham (We used Applegate Farms – nitrate free!)

  • 4 eggs, beaten

  • 1/4 cup milk of your choice

  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Beat eggs and milk. Place a slice of ham into a muffin tin. Press center down. Fill to the top with a beaten egg. Sprinkle with a half of a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Repeat with the remaining ham and eggs. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until eggs are set. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife between the ham and the muffin tin to release. Serve warm.

Girls Overtaking the Kitchen ~ Kid-created Dinner!





Tonight, I gave my girls the opportunity to make their own dinner – whatever they wanted and mainly all by themselves. This is a great way to see what they are used to eating- kinda like a “monkey see, monkey do” experience. Our kids mimic our eating habits, and I guess that’s why they both created their own salads to accompany their pizzas. They see what I make and eat, and so they naturally follow suit. For us, this was another excellent way to get them excited about eating healthy foods.

Unbeknownst to each other, they both chose pizza for their DIY dinner tonight. Aleyah decided to create a Cuban sandwich pizza, and Anna made a Hawaiian “taco” pizza. I must say, I was really impressed! They stretched the dough, cut veggies for their salads, made homemade dressing, and cleaned up! And both pizzas were delicious, and I even truly liked Aleyah’s dressing for her spinach salad (a mix of the leftover honey mustard dressing, a touch of greek yogurt and mayo, minced garlic, ground ginger, and poppyseeds). They also began to work together and made an apple and yellow pepper salad with a drizzle of honey and fresh lime zest- so proud of my girls!

Cuban Sandwich Pizza

  • Whole wheat pizza dough

  • Honey mustard dressing (equal parts mustard and honey and a touch of olive oil)

  • Swiss cheese

  • Cooked pork

  • Uncured ham

  • Chopped dill pickles (NO food coloring!)

Stretch out dough to desired thickness. Spread on dressing, top with cheese, pork, ham, and pickles. Drizzle with a little more dressing. Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes. 

Hawaiian Taco Pizza

  • Whole wheat pizza crust

  • Tomato sauce

  • Shredded mozzerella

  • Uncured ham

  • Pineapple

Stretch out dough into a rectangular shape and to desired thickness. Spread on sauce, top with cheese, ham, and pineapple. Pull up two edges to meet in the middle and pinch together. Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes. 

Cooking with Kids – One of my Favorite Parts of Summer!

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Last week, I once again had the honor of opening up my home and kitchen to a handful of kids. We spent time around the table creating some fun meals. Below are the menus we whipped together and enjoyed together as well. Click on the menu items to take you to the recipes so you and some of your favorite little ones can also create and eat!

Mexican Feast

Italian Cafe

Brownies for the Finale

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This was another recipe I searched for online since the kids in last week’s cooking class requested brownies for our final day. I made these brownies exactly according to the recipe, and they turned out great! I will be making these again but will try replacing the butter with coconut oil or extra light olive oil. I will also decrease the sugar by 1/4 cup and add in 1/4 cup of local honey to replace it. We topped off our brownies with fresh whipped cream and strawberries!

  • 1/4 cup organic butter

  • 1/2 cup organic sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/3 cup white whole-wheat flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in sugar, eggs, applesauce, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven until brownies are just set in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.


Homemade Pizza


I found this recipe online as I researched whole grain pizza crusts. This was recipe #2 that I tried, and it was the winner! Next time I will try to mix a higher protein flour (like chickpea or brown rice) with a lighter protein content flour (like a whole wheat pastry flour) just to see how it turns out.

      2 c. whole wheat flour
      1 pkg. rapid rise yeast
      3/4 tsp. salt
      1 c. warm water
      1 tbsp. olive oil
      1 tsp. honey

Pour flour into a large mixing bowl. Add yeast and salt. Mix well. Add water, oil and honey; mix well. Spray with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for 10 minutes to rise.
Punch down. Lightly cover pizza pan with cornmeal. Press dough onto pan. Spread sauce and other ingredients on pizza crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Summer Kids’ Cooking Camps – Sign Up Today!

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In my spare time this summer 😉 I am teaching a cooking camp for kids. This will be my third summer of hosting these camps, and I love doing this and working with the kids as we create healthy and fun meals together. You click here to see some of the fun we had last year. We focus on creating our lunches from scratch, and I include several hands-on opportunities for the children to assist in preparation and cooking. They also receive information to help them make the best food choices for their growing bodies! Here are the dates and a basic menu for each of the two weeks:

Tuesday, May28th-Friday, May 31st

  • 10:30-12:30 PM

  • The menu will be locally-inspired including garden fresh fruits and vegetables, local meats and seafood

  • We will have the opportunity to visit a local organic farm one of the days!

Monday, July15-Thursday, July 18th

  • 10:30-12:30 PM

  • The menu will focus on international fare such as tandoori chicken and Brazilian chimichurri.

  • We will take a “field trip” this week as well, but I have not finalized our destination yet.

The camps are $50 per child per week. You can sign up for one or both weeks. Please message me to sign up or if you have any question.

Also, if you live in the Indialantic area, you can sign up for our VBS for June 3-8! Click here to sign up or to find one where you live.

An Olympic Race

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Last night, I had the privilege of leading the kids at church in a cooking lesson. I had an even greater privilege in teaching them a Bible lesson. Since the Olympics lay just ahead, I taught them about running the race…the race of a follower of Jesus. As I taught from  1 Corinthians 9, I tied in the awarding of the Olympic medals with that of striving to win imperishable “medals”- the crowns that are given to a believer for the good works done in the name of Jesus. Paul writes “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win…Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim”. As a Christian, we run with one purpose in mind- sharing Jesus with others. No earthly treasure will compare to that of a heavenly crown – a crown that will be humbly laid at the feet of my Lord and Savior and that will last for eternity.

Onto the lighter side of our time together, and continuing with the Olympic theme, we cooked up some traditional English fare in honor of London, the host city. We made shepherd’s pie and individual trifles. For the shepherd’s pie, I followed Alton Brown’s recipe. In place of lamb, I used ground chicken and for the potatoes, I used red potatoes and kept the skins on them. I left the butter and half and half out of the mashed potato topping and replaced that with reduced fat sour cream. I poured a bit of broth into the pie once everything was assembled to keep it moist and flavorful.

For the dessert, the kids sliced peaches and strawberries and used grapes to create a beautiful french vanilla yogurt trifle.

It all went well, and the meal received rave reviews! And the only one who didn’t care for the shepherd’s pie? That’s right- one of my own- Oh well!





Spaghetti and Slurpees – Day 3 of Cooking Class

Today we took our field trip to Publix so we could buy our ingredients for tomorrow’s meal. We voted to have grilled sandwiches of various kinds, homemade purple potato chips, and oatmeal raisin cranberry chocolate chips cookies.

When we returned home, we enjoyed whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce, and we had an assortment of salad toppings so each girl was able to create a beautiful layered salad. Our dessert was my homemade slurpees which we decided to rename Italian ice since we had an Italian theme for the day. 🙂

I am looking forward to seeing their sandwich creations tomorrow. This could get interesting!

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An Olympic Tea Party – Cooking Class Day 2

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Because breakfast was such a hit last time around, I decided to do it again with a few variations. In honor of the upcoming Summer Olympics in London, we made orange cinnamon scones and served them up with some sun tea that we made. We pulled out fancy tea cups and saucers to complete the experience. In addition to our DELICIOUS scones, we made our own breakfast sausage patties, grits, and scrambled eggs. Since it is important to me to include fruits and veggies into almost every meal I eat, I also made a tomato and cucumber salad.

Breakfast Sausage Patties

  • 1/3 lb lean ground turkey

  • 1/4 cup celery, diced

  • 1/4 cup onion, diced

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon dried sage

  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

  • a dash of nutmeg

Saute celery, onion, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Combine the vegetables and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with your hands and form into golf ball-sized balls and then gently flatten. Bake in a 400 degree oven for ten minutes or brown in a pan, about 3-4 minutes per side. Makes about 10-12 patties