Snowy-Day Soup

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300px Vegetable beef barley soup Snowy Day Soup

Image via Wikipedia

Soup is a good hearty meal, or part of a meal, in most any season. However, when the wind is blowing and the snow is falling, as it is today, I like to make soup and enjoy its comfort and warmth.

Here is a soup from Amy Houts’ new cookbook for children, Cooking Around the Country With Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities. In her book, Amy concentrates on food from each region of the US. It is a cookbook that lets children really engage in the history of the United States through the food of a particular region.

This recipe, Beef-Barley Soup, comes from the Mountain States section. Amy writes: “The Mount States grow barley, a wonderful addition to vegetable soup.”

Beef-Barley Soup

1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
6 cups water
1 cup medium barley
1 (16 oz.) chopped tomatoes, with juice
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a large (4-quart) pot, cook ground beef over medium heat; drain grease. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Children can measure water and barley, parsley, salt and pepper. Adult can this to pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn down heat to low, cover and simmer about an hour.
Serves 6-8

For more information about this book and other books for children, see: Thanks!

Lee Jackson
Family and Consumer Living Coach

 Snowy Day Soup
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From Kitchen to Classroom to Book Writing

PinExt From Kitchen to Classroom to Book Writing

Greetings to all!

Hi! I’m Lee Jackson jumping in here after Chef Crombie left. I hope I don’t disappoint! He has some big shoes that I want to fill but it won’t be easy.

I just wanted to tell you a little of my background. I was a family and consumer sciences (home economics) teacher in the middle school and high school for over 20 years. I taught subjects such as foods and nutrition, clothing and design, child development, housing and environment – all subjects that still interest me and ones I continue to find fulfilling.

Way back before I started teaching, I enjoyed recipe clipping, trying new dishes, and in general, trying to find myself in the kitchen. This is stuff, I see now, I’m still trying to do and still like to do.

Somewhere along the way, growing apples, eating apples, finding recipes for apples, and anything “apple” really appealed to me. So much so that I wrote my first cookbook, “From the Apple Orchard – Recipes for Apple Lovers“, which is one of our most popular books.

One good thing leads to another, and I asked orchards and apple cider houses to send me their best recipes and a little information about their apple business. This resulted in another cookbook: “Apples, Apples Everywhere – Favorite Recipes From America’s Orchards”.

There was a textbook sprinkled in amongst teaching and some of this. It is “Careers in Focus: Family and Consumer Sciences. High schools, Junior colleges, and, I understand, some colleges use this in their curriculums. I took a year’s leave of absence to do this, but by the end of the year I had a good start on an outline. It was a long work in progress, but now, I’m very proud of it.

This blogging is rather new to me, but all media is changing so I figured I needed to keep up with the times.

I have some exciting news about another new children’s cookbook that is coming off the press very soon. But I will leave that for another time. Enough about me, I want to hear from you and about you and about other stuff that we all like to think about – food!

I hope you will come back…

Best to you,

Lee Jackson    flatstan19 150x150 From Kitchen to Classroom to Book Writing

(my young friend and I)          

 From Kitchen to Classroom to Book Writing
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Make Your Own Stuff

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80143269 d030cca600 m Make Your Own Stuff
Image by flickrich via Flickr

Did you know it really feels good to make your own stuff? Whether the “stuff” is making a drawing or picture, making a model airplane, or getting food ready to eat. When you make your own stuff for meals you can really feel creative and empowered.

And what would be a good dish to make for a meal, you ask? My favorite go-to meal consists of roasted vegetables and a protein food.

Roast Vegetables

You just scrub well and cut up any vegetables you have on hand. This might be foods such as potatoes (white or sweet), carrots, onion, garlic, green pepper, celery, mushrooms, squash, broccoli and others.

Then you dribble a little virgin olive oil over them, stir well to distribute the oil, splash a little balsamic vinegar over them and that’s it. Spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet or other large flat pan. Roast in 425 degree oven about 30 minutes.

Using a long handled spatula, periodically stir them to prevent them from sticking to the bottom.

They will come out with a nice dark color, maybe a little too brown in spots, but crispy and oh, so good. You start out with a large amount and end up with a much small smaller portion when they are through roasting. The flavor is delicious.

For your protein, add any cooked chicken, hamburger, or roast beef. Or you can just sprinkle shredded Parmesan cheese over the vegetables and have a one dish meal.

To your health,

Chef Crombie

 Make Your Own Stuff
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Pre-School Kitchen Activities

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246188447 f2b9a08e72 m Pre School Kitchen Activities Image by panduh via Flickr

Most pre-school children love to “work” in the kitchen, just like grown-ups. Cooking with children can be a challenge, but it can also be a great experience for both child and adult.

Here are some jobs many preschoolers can do in the kitchen with a little supervision:

  • pre-measure ingredients for recipes
  • stir ingredients in a bowl
  • set the table
  • wash foods in a colander
  • core, tear and rinse lettuce
  • tear spinach
  • snap beans
  • shell peas
  • prepare garlic cloves
  • peel bananas
  • stem strawberries
  • pit cherries
  • peel oranges
  • knead dough
  • crack cooked eggs
  • beat with rotary beater
  • spread filling on bread
  • grease pans
  • cut dates with blunt scissors
  • cut soft foods using a rounded point knife, no paring knives

With a little help and encouragement, children can become competent and enthusiastic cooks.

Happy and healthy cooking with kids,

Chef Crombie

 Pre School Kitchen Activities
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Happy First Day of Spring!

PinExt Happy First Day of Spring!
202px Colorful spring garden Happy First Day of Spring! Image via Wikipedia

Everyone is anxious to see the flowers come up, leaves bud out on trees, and weather warm up. With spring there is new hope.

It is good to be hopeful. This tends to lift the soul and put a smile on one’s face. It makes a person healthier and happier. Having hope may even create better relationships with family, friends, and community members.

Dr. Charles R. Synder is a psychologist at the University of Kansas who studies hope. According to him, there are certain characteristics hopeful people have that others do not. Some of these include:

  • being more confident in reaching goals
  • staying flexible in finding ways to reach goals or aiming toward similar ones
  • turning to others to help them reach goals
  • believing that things get better with time

What are some things you hope for?

Is it perhaps that you will always have friends?
To have a loving family?
To have a healthy family?
For nice teachers?
For no more bullying or fighting?
For peace and justice in the world?

Springtime is a time to renew our hope and inspire that hope in others.

I hope you have a wonderful spring!

Chef Crombie

 Happy First Day of Spring!
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How to Prevent Kitchen Accidents

PinExt How to Prevent Kitchen Accidents
202px Edicraft toaster How to Prevent Kitchen AccidentsImage via Wikipedia

Here is a list of potentially dangerous home situations. I suggest you discuss them with another member of your family. What would you do if any of the following occurred in your home?

Jennifer has just broken a glass in the sink. How should she clean it up?

Halley just came home from the store with some cleanser and bleach. Where should they be stored?

Meridee is washing dishes but wants to go and turn on TV. What should she do first and why?

She also splashed some water on the floor. What should she do?

Juluis has a pizza in the oven and is ready to take it out. What should he do first? Then what? Then?

Matt is tall but not tall enough to reach a high shelf for a plate. Other than call for help, what should he do?

B.J. was making some toast and a slice got caught in the toaster. What should B.J. do?

Hope you’ve come up with  safe ways of handling these situations.

Here’s to working safely in the kitchen,

Chef Crombie

 How to Prevent Kitchen Accidents
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How to Have an Instant Breakfast

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202px DriedfruitS How to Have an Instant BreakfastImage via Wikipedia

Here is another breakfast hint – have a Breakfast Drawer for an instant meal.

In this Breakfast Drawer you can have foods that are easy and fast to prepare. That way you don’t have to think, or worry, what you will eat for breakfast.

This list of quick foods will take you through the morning with a smile!

Single serving cereal boxes
Instant oatmeal packets
Cereal bars
Whole grain crackers
Dried fruit
Vegetable and tomatoe canned juices
Fruit juices in small cans
Small cans of fruit

This is a quick and easy solution to the morning rush.

Yours for better breakfasts,
Chef Crombie

 How to Have an Instant Breakfast
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Sunday Morning Sundae

PinExt Sunday Morning Sundae

No, my computer didn’t get stuck on the word Sunday and then ended up misspelling it. I just wanted to give you a suggestion for your Sunday morning breakfast. Since I am on a Better Breakfast kick for National Nutrition Month I thought you might enjoy this recipe.

And we’re serving a dessert for breakfast, you ask?? This will look like a sundae but be filled with lots of good nutrients. This recipe is again courtesy of the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC).

Sunday Morning Sundae

2 cups Granola or other whole grain cereal (no raisins, preferably)
3/4 cup (6 ounces) plain vanilla yogurt
1 cup raspberries, blueberries or strawberries, fresh or
frozen (thawed)

For assembling these sundaes you will need 2 sundae glasses or 2 large glass mugs or glasses.

Into each glass, pour 1/2 cup cereal, then 3 tablespoons yogurt, and top with 1/4 cup of your choice of berries.

Makes 2 servings

For more breakfast as well as foods for all occasions, take a look at Amy Hout’s children’s cookbook, Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun. Amy has written several Dora the Explorer books and loves to cook and write for children.

You can order her book at Amazon. Take a look! Thanks!  Chef Crombie

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