Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cooking With Kids: Jones & The Ravenous Pixie

Last week I had the opportunity to film a series of cooking videos with my youngest daughter Augusta (aka The Ravenous Pixie) at her elementary school. (Due to a nasty bout of flu and strep throat, big sister, Tallulah, had to sit this one out.)  Augusta and I had a blast fooling around with food and preparing yummy recipes—from snacks to supper—for the students.  Below are the recipes.

Listen up DVES parents and students: I need ideas for the next round of videos—please leave your suggestions in the comment box below.

Toasty Fruit & Cheese Sandwiches
Prep: 10 min., Cook: 5 min.
Makes 4 servings
This may be a recipe for "kids," but it plays well at most casual adult gatherings too.  Also, the versatile cream cheese mix is wonderful spread over warm pancakes, waffles, or bagels.  One bite and I bet you'll come up with lots of uses too.

1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced (Fuji or Braeburn)
2 Tbsp. orange juice
8 slices raisin bread
1/2 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. raisins
1 Tbsp. orange marmalade
1/2 tsp. round cinnamon

Place apples in a small bowl.  Drizzle orange juice over apple slices; toss to coat.

Toast raisin bread in a toaster.

Stir together cream cheese and next 3 ingredients in small bowl.  Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on 1 side of 4 slices of toast.  Top each with 3 apple slices and remaining slices of toast.

Copyright 2007 in Southern Living Cooking with Kids by Oxmoor House; reprinted with permission.


Cowboy Oven-Fried Chicken
Prep: 20 min., Cook: 20 min.
Makes 8 servings
Serve these with warm pasta sauce or cool salsa for dipping—both options are WAY better (and better for you) than regular ol' ketchup.

21/2 cups crushed Doritos (Original or Cool Ranch)
2 lb. chicken tenders
1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
Vegetable cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450˚.  Place chips in a plastic zip-top bag; seal just enough to allow keep from being airtight.  Gently press out all extra air out of bag; seal bag completely.  Finely crush chips in bag using a rolling pin.  Pour crushed into a shallow dish.

Meanwhile, place a large baking sheet in oven for 5 minutes to preheat.

Pat chicken dry with a paper towel, and brush with mayonnaise on all sides.  Dredge chicken in crushed chips; lightly spray with cooking spray.  (Throw away bag and any leftover chips).  Thoroughly wash hands and work surface.

Remove hot baking sheet from oven using oven mitts.  Carefully place chicken on hot rack.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.  Remove from baking sheet from oven using oven mitts.  Serve with salsa or low-fat ranch dressing.

Copyright 2007 in Southern Living Cooking with Kids by Oxmoor House; reprinted with permission. 

Peanutty Dip
Prep: 5 min.
Makes 11/3 cups
This recipe comes together so quickly you can make it right after school.  It’s also great drizzled over granola, grapes, or Honey Nut Cheerios (or a combo of all three!).

1 cup Low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 to 2 Tbsp. cup powdered sugar
1/4 creamy peanut butter
Dippers: pretzels, apples, pears, graham cracker sticks

Whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth.  Serve with dippers.  Store leftover dip in refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Copyright 2007 in Southern Living Cooking with Kids by Oxmoor House; reprinted with permission. 

Prep: 10 min., Bake: 10 min.
Makes 5 servings
This is a twist on a recipe I've made with the DVES students for years.  The idea with this recipe is to have fun—switch it up as you and your kids see fit.  NOTE: For best results, don't add too much sauce—too much and the crust will be soggy.  Start with a couple of tablespoons, then add more, if needed.  Also, I prefer to put the pizzas directly onto the middle oven rack—you may want to add heavy-duty aluminum foil to the rack below to catch any dripping cheese or sauce.

10 medium/soft taco-size whole wheat tortillas
1 (8-ounce) package shredded Italian blend cheese
1 Tbsp. olive oil
11/2 cups no-sugar-added pizza or pasta sauce
11/2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
30 turkey pepperoni slices

Top 5 flour tortillas evenly with 1 cup cheese; top with remaining tortillas, and brush top tortillas evenly with olive oil.

Divide pasta sauce, Italian seasoning, turkey pepperoni, and remaining 1 cup cheese over tortillas.

Bake at 400° for 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snow Ice Cream: A Sweet Treat From The Sky

"It's like a sweet treat from the sky, Daddy!"  The words of my 11-year-old, Tallulah, this morning as she and her sister, Augusta (aka "The Ravenous Pixie"), gobbled down a big bowl of Vanilla Snow Ice Cream...before school.

We got a few inches of the white stuff overnight - enough for school to be delayed by a couple of hours.  This meant two things: playing in the snow before school and snow ice cream for breakfast!

I'd never had snow ice cream prior to meeting my wife.  She grew up on snow in Illinois, while I grew up on fresh-squeezed OJ in sunny Florida. 

That all changed when we moved to Rhinebeck, NY back in the late '90s.  Deanna (my wife) whipped up a batch during our first big winter storm, and I've been hooked ever since.

We've been in Alabama for almost 12 years now, where we'll get a couple of good, solid snows every winter.   Our girls stand at the ready—armed with milk, sugar, and vanilla extract—just waiting for the okay to hit the yard to gather fresh, powdery snow.  (According to my wife, it has to be the right kind of snow—can't be too heavy and wet; light and fluffy's what you're looking for.)

So here's how it all went down this morning:

The ingredients: Sugar, vanilla extract, milk, and fresh, fluffy snow.


Step 1: Add milk - start with about 1/2 cup - we shoot for the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Step 2: Add sugar - start with about 1/2 cup, then adjust again at the end.

Step 3: Add vanilla extract - we prefer about 1 teaspoon.

Step 4: Adjust consistency, if needed, with a little more milk.

Step 5: Taste test. Adjust sugar and vanilla extract as needed.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Snow Ice Cream: The snow was beginning to melt, but we took at big scoop of the Vanilla, then stirred in about a tablespoon of Ovaltine — it was rich and delicious!
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Isaiah 40: 28-31 

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