Girls Overtaking the Kitchen ~ Kid-created Dinner!

20140228-184426.jpg

20140228-184405.jpg

20140228-184417.jpg

 

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Summer Kids’ Cooking Camps – Sign Up Today!

cooking2-3 002

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.

Grilled to Perfection! Day 4 of Cooking Class

For our final day of cooking together, the class decided to grill up some sandwiches. Spread out before us on the table was whole wheat bread, wheat wraps, 2% cheddar and 2% provolone cheese, Applegate ham,  peaches, apples, bananas, peanut butter and cinnamon raisin hummus. I tried to offer tomato slices, pickles, and spinach but had no takers. 😦

For the creamy round, we ended up with grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches, a grilled peanut butter and peach and apple sandwich, and a grilled cinnamon raisin hummus and banana sandwich.

For the ooey, gooey, cheesy round, we grilled up ham and cheese sandwiches for most everyone, and a couple of good ‘ol regular grilled cheeses for two of the kids.

And what’s a sandwich without chips? When we went shopping at Publix, we grabbed a bag of purple potatoes, and I thinly sliced them on my mandloine, laid them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet, sprayed them with olive oil, and baked them at 450 for  about 15 minutes or so. As soon as they came out of the oven, I sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and served them to the group until there was just enough left for me. 🙂

For dessert, I shared my all-time favorite cookie recipe- Publix’s breakfast cookies. We even made extra so Madi, one of our students, could share them at her birthday sleepover this weekend.

The greatest rewards from the week included:

  • Ella going home and making her family the tomato and cucumber salad we made on Day 2
  • Knowing that one of Madi’s favorite recipes was the summer salad
  • Aleyah telling her Daddy how to read the ingredients list (i.e. the first ingredient on the list is the main ingredient)
  • Madi informing her grandfather that the white grits he was eating are not as nutritional as the yellow ones

Sometimes we don’t think they hear us, and sometimes we predetermine what their tastes are, and so we don’t “allow” them to explore new foods. The above highlights show us just the opposite!

The pictures below of nail painting was part of a promise … I made sure to leave a little extra time at the end of this day because my daughters have been wanting to paint finger nails and toe nails with their old and new friends. The only spill we had was made by yours truly. 😛

A big thank you to each young chef who came this week, and also to their parents for allowing me the opportunity to share my love and passion with them!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Kids’ Cooking Class- Week 1, Day 1

This week I am holding my first of two 4-day long kids’ cooking classes. Yesterday, I had ten 4-8 year-old children sitting around my kitchen tables (I had to add one!). During our two hours, we made and ate lunch together. My idea for the day was to take a fast food kid’s meal and make it healthy, so here is what we enjoyed…

  • Grilled Turkey Sliders (with toppings of their choice)

  • Oven Fries – Regular and Sweet Potatoes

  • Crudités Tray – Each table had the opportunity to arrange their carrots, cucumber slices, and celery sticks.

  • And for dessert- A Frosty for everyone!

I hope to create a love of cooking within these children as well as instilling in them the importance of nutrition. There is so much pleasure in creating in the kitchen, whether by yourself or with family and friends, and being able to be healthy and creative is by far a goal I want to pass along to these young ones!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Wintery Kids’ Cooking Class – Day 2- AND Summer Camp Dates!

Today, on this coldest day of the season, we created our own enchiladas and ended on a sweet note with our Mexican hot chocolate! The girls had the opportunity to fill their tortillas with a variety of fillings:

  • reduced-fat cream cheese
  • shredded 2% cheese
  • shredded chicken
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • black olives
  • black beans
  • corn kernels

I used my chicken verde enchilada recipe as a basis for our lunch today, but since each child is particular about their likes, I gave them the opportunity to be creative with their own enchilada. Giving them a choice is almost a guarantee that they will eat what you serve!

And to add some sweet warmth to this chilly day, we brewed up some Mexican hot chocolate!

When’s the Next Class?

I am planning on doing two  “camps” this summer. Each 4-day camp will be 2 days of cooking like I did yesterday and today, 1 day of meal planning (the kids will choose from one of three menus) and grocery shopping, and the 4th day will be making what they planned and shopped for. The cost will be $50 per student per camp, or $90 for two siblings. Right now, the tentative dates are:

Tuesday, May 29th-Friday, June 1

and

Monday, June 18th- Thursday, June 21st*

Each day will start at 10:00 and will end at noon. This is a hands-on class where they learn cooking and baking techniques, how and why to make healthy food choices, and have the opportunity to enjoy and savor their handiwork!

*Due to my husband traveling 4 weeks out of the summer, these dates are subject to change.

A Wintery Kids’ Cooking Class – Day 1

Today I hosted another Kids’ Cooking Class at my house. We made spaghetti and homemade turkey meatballs and cannoli cookies. Thank you to the girls that came and made lunchtime fun! We even had an opportunity to sneak in some time to make Valentine’s. (Once school starts, time flies by so I seized this chance to make sure some Valentine’s were made before the holiday passes!)

We are looking forward to tomorrow as we create our own enchiladas and drink some Mexican hot chocolate on the coldest day of the season thus far!