See How Easily You Can Come Up with Food Ideas

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Popovers-1 (Photo credit: stevewhitaker)

Here are some more suggestions for different foods using the ingredients given on the previous blog. I have listed them from those that are the fastest to prepare for eating to the slowest. If you are very hungry and don’t have much time, start at the top. If you have more time, go further down the list.

Here is my top 6 list. Can you add more?

1. nuts or raisins to eat in hand
2. cornflakes with milk
3. prepare oatmeal and raisins
4. “boil” eggs for cooked eggs
5. make vanilla or chocolate pudding (cupcakes have come back in popularity, so why not pudding?)
6. custard, in individual cups or in a baking dish

Having butter or oil available would open up the possibilities for a wide assortment of different foods. These ingredients help add lightness and flavor to products and keep foods from sticking to pans. With oils you could make many other foods, such as popovers, pancakes and waffles, oatmeal cookies, sugar cookies, granola, popovers, muffins, cakes, scrambled eggs, omelets, and many different ways to use eggs, among others.

When we’re short of ingredients, we need to use our creative thought processes to come up with interesting and healthy foods, using what we have on hand. That is, unless we have a grocery store next door. Cookbooks and the internet are important resources in giving us suggestions for what to prepare. See our list of cookbooks here at the side for more food ideas.

I hope you’ve had fun thinking through this project.

Best to you,
Lee Jackson

 See How Easily You Can Come Up with Food Ideas
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Funnel Cakes – More Carnival Food

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Funnel Cakes are those light, crispy, deep-fat fried masses of novelty type confections served at country and state fairs, usually served warm and sprinkled with powdered sugar. (They are served warm because there’s usually a crowd waiting in line for the next cake to come out of the fryer). They are made by pouring batter through a funnel into hot cooking oil in a circular pattern and deep frying until golden-brown. Usually associated with the Pennsylvania Dutch, they are now served widely and have become a fair-going favorite.

Here is a Funnel Cake recipe we made in our family and consumer sciences class one day when many of the students were gone on a field trip and only a few remained. We had been studying quick breads and I thought this was an easy recipe that fit loosely into this category, didn’t make a large batch, and was fun to make.

You can make these in the traditional round swirls, or make Funnel Cake Sticks, as does Café Renee, a new stand near the World of Disney store and the theme park entrances in Orlando, Florida.

Funnel Cakes

2 cups flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk

Oil for frying

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl with wire whisk. In another bowl, beat egg and milk. Add sugar, stir to dissolve. Add dry ingredients and (using egg beater or mixer) beat until smooth.

Heat at least 1 inch of oil to 375 degrees F. in either a deep fryer or a skillet. To form each funnel cake, place one finger over hole in bottom of funnel. Carefully fill funnel with batter. Over hot oil remove finger and make circular or other shapes with batter, making cake as large as you desire. Cook for 1 minute and using tongs or two spatulas turn funnel cake. Cook until golden brown, about another minute or so. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or use other toppings. Serve warm.

Makes about 4 smaller funnel cakes or 2 large ones.

Check out other fun and special treats in Amy Houts new book for kids and grown-ups, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Food Activities. Click here to look around.

Lee Jackson
Home and Family Living Coach
Books for kids, families, and parenting professionals

 Funnel Cakes   More Carnival Food
PinExt Funnel Cakes   More Carnival Food

4th of July Dessert

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As much of our country’s early history dates back to the New England states, I wanted to share a recipe from this area taken from Amy Houts’ new book, Cooking Around the Country With Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities. Her new book just came back from design and layout and it’s looking fabulous!

I think you will believe this recipe is fabulous, too!

Boston Creme Pie

1 yellow cake mix
1 (3 oz.) box instant vanilla pudding

Chocolate Glaze:
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water,

Grease and flour two 9-inch round pans. Children can help measure, mix, and bake yellow cake according to package directions. Cool.
Mix vanilla pudding according to package directions. Children can spread pudding on one cake, then top with second cake.

For glaze:
Melt butter in a pan’ stir in sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. Add 1 tablespoon water, then one teaspoon at a time until the proper consistency. Spread glaze on top, letting it drip down the sides. Traditionally, the top is glazed, not the sides. Store in refrigerator.

Makes 1 two-layer cake

Enjoy the 4th!

 4th of July Dessert
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Father’s Day Strawberry Shortcake

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300px Fraises 1 Luc Viatour  Fathers Day Strawberry Shortcake

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I want to share with you my absolute favorite strawberry shortcake recipe. This is not one of those individually wrapped bland cakes always found in the strawberry aisle of your grocery store. No, yours will be a piping hot, melt in your mouth treat, heaped with juicy, luscious strawberries.

Your Dad will want you to make this dessert again and again – until the strawberries run out…

Strawberry Shortcake

2 pints fresh strawberries

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup milk

Wash strawberries in cold water with a dash of vinegar. Swish and drain. Children can help remove stems by using a plastic knife and cutting each in half. Add about 1/2 cup sugar over berries and let stand at room temperature about an hour.

Grease 1 – 8 x 1 1/2 inch cake pan. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, measure flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening using two knives or a pastry blender until shortening pieces are the size of peas. Stir in milk and stir with fork until just blended. Spread batter into prepared cake pans. Dot with butter.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly brown and crusty.

Cut into 6 or 8 pieces. Split each piece in half on serving plate. Have butter available at table so each can spread butter on hot shortcake according to individual wishes. Then pass the strawberries that have oozed some of their juice upon standing.

Enjoy, and wish your Father a Happy Day!

Lee Jackson
Books for children, families, and parenting professionals
Check out a FR ee Recipe Sampler at:

  Fathers Day Strawberry Shortcake
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Celebration Foods

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I have just come back from Kansas City where I attended my grandson’s confirmation at Our Lady of Presentation Church. It was a very beautiful and inspiring ceremony with Bishop Finn presiding. Over 80 young people were confirmed in the Catholic faith.

Alongwith ceremonies, there are usually guests. And the guests came bearing food on Sunday. You may know that Kansas City is known for its barbeque beef. We did not have barbeque beef from a restaurant, though. A relative brought his own secret recipe barbeque with its special sauce and it was wonderful. This was probably the most flavorful, mouth-watering barbeque I had ever tasted. It was the epic barbeque experience.

I am trying to cut down or eliminate meat from my diet, but this was food to break rules over. Along with the barbeque we had baked beans, cole slaw, potato chips, assorted relishes, and mixed fruit in season. How much more mid-west summer can a family get-together be? Oh yes, there was key-lime pie for dessert later. It was a memorable day.

My only contribution food-wise, was to bring two loaves of poppyseed bread, which were served for breakfast. This is the recipe I would like to share with you.

Poppyseed Bread

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it is no older than 6 months as it may not work if older)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups oil
1 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
3/4 cup poppyseed

Juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
3/4 teaspoon butter flavoring

In large bowl, mix together dry ingredients except poppyseed. Beat eggs with hand mixer in separate bowl. Stir in milk, oil, and flavorings.

Make a well in dry ingredients and pour in the liguid. Beat until well blended and free from lumps. Stir in poppyseed.

Pour into 3 medium pans, 7 1/2 x 3 1/2-inch, or two large, greased and floured loaf pans. Bake in oven for 50-60 minutes, depending on size of pan. Tops will crack.

To make glaze, mix together all ingredients but do not cook. Let baked breads rest about 5 minutes, then poke holes in breads with fork or toothpick and pour glaze over breads in pans. Let cool 15 minutes and remove from pans to cool.


Lee  Jackson

 Celebration Foods
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Dessert for Company

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dessert2 Dessert for Company

This is the dessert I served for my women’s group yesterday. It was the day after my birthday – the reason for the flowers. I was happy to share flowers, and dessert, with company.

The recipe is very easy and young cooks will enjoy the crunching and rolling needed for making crumbs.

Oreo™ Ice Cream Dessert

24 Oreo™ cookies,crushed

1/2 stick butter, melted

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream

1 (15-ounce) can Eagle Brand™ condensed milk

1 stick butter 1 (8-ounce) can Hershey™ chocolate syrup

1 (8-ounce) carton whipped topping

Place 24 cookies into a plastic bag. Use a rolling pin or wooden masher to crush the cookies into rather fine crumbs. Place them in a 9×13-inch pan.

Melt 1/2 stick butter and pour this over the crushed cookies. Stir a little to distribute the butter throughout. Place in freezer for about 30 minutes.

Soften ice cream and place over the crumbs, smoothing the top. Return to freezer for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Combine the condensed milk, 1 stick butter, and chocolate syrup in a saucepan. Bring to a low boil and then simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent it from burning at the bottom.

Pour sauce over hardened ice cream and pop back into freezer. Except the pan keeps getting heavier and heavier each time so handle with care. Freeze again for about 30 minutes.

Top with whipped topping and sprinkle a few of the crumbs from the bag over the top of the dessert. Cover with foil.

When you are ready to serve, take it out of the freezer for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving. You will have a very elegant dessert.

 Dessert for Company
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Secret Valentine Message

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Oh, what a busy day! All of these Valentine cookies to bake yet, each with its own secret message.

Here is my secret message for you inside this “Valentine cookie”:

“Thanks for reading my blog.
I hope you are enjoying this.
Come back often.
I appreciate you stopping by
and wish you a very
Happy Valentine’s Day
filled with much happiness!”

Best wishes,
Chef Crombie

 Secret Valentine Message
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