Soup for Kick-Off Time the Southern Way

In observance of a special occasion, the rivalry of two southern football teams for the NCAA football championship, here is a dish you can enjoy while watching the game.

There is nothing like having a big pot of hot soup ready for invited or drop-in company. It is certain to be a high tension game and hot food can help calm the nerves. 

Here is a soup recipe even the kids can help prepare for that special event. It is fast and easy and is a one-pot meal.

This Brunswick Stew is popular in the south and is taken from Amy Houts’ cookbook, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities.

Brunswick Stew

1 small onion, chopped
2 slices bacon
1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 cups pared, diced potatoes
1 cup frozen baby lima beans
3 to 4 cups chicken broth or bouillon
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 cup frozen corn
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Adult can cut up vegetables. Children can help measure ingredients.

Fry bacon until crisp in a large pot. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, potatoes, lima beans, and chicken broth.

Bring to a boil over high heat; turn down to low, cover, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes. Add chicken, corn, and Worcestershire. Simmer 10 minutes more. Serve in bowls.

Serves 4.

The flavors of American cookery tend to change throughout the country. The author includes recipes from eight different sections or regions of the US. The recipes are authentic to the region and generally reflect the food that is produced there. A brief geographic description of the area is given and activities related to that region are presented.

This hands-on experience of involving children in preparing foods of different parts of the country helps them experience the cultural diversity of our country. They are introduced to new tastes and different cultures.

For more information about this cookbook, go to http://imagesunlimitedpublishing.com/cooking-around-the-country-with-kids-usa-regional-recipes-and-fun-activities/

Enjoy the game!

 

Here’s a Tip to Get You Organized

 

Get your kids to alphabetize your spice rack or spice drawer.

 

 

 

Who Else Wants a Quick Christmas Idea?

With buying fever in the air, you will want quick Christmas ideas.

Today we are offering a Book Bundle for that young chef in your family. Kids are getting into food projects more and more, judging by the number of TV programs and reports of kids enjoying working with food.

To keep up kids interest in cooking, or to stir it up, we’re offering two books for the price of one in this book bundle.  These books: Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids and Cooking Around the Country with Kids will provide hundreds of  recipes and entertaining ideas for helping them appreciate cooking and learn where their food comes from. This is a $35.95 value, all for one low price of $22.00.

Go to http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com and click “Deals” and order your books now and have your children’s presents all ready to give.

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
Snaptail Press/Images Unlimited Books

P.S. Order your books now and receive the Special Book Offer.

 

Gift Children a Cookbook for Valentine’s Day

Instead of  giving candy for Valentine’s Day, gift your children a cookbook that will keep them cooking and enjoying food all year around. Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun has a section of easy recipes for Valentine’s Day.

Help children celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Tea Party complete with party games. Have them invite their friends and have a game of A-Tisket-A-Basket. Serve red and white food such as Apple Arrows. Slice red apples into wedges. Dip into lemon juice to prevent turning brown and arrange on plate.

A gift of a book will make a special remembrance for a special child. Get it here at Amazon.

Make Your Own Stuff

Healthy New Year!
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

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National Nutrition Month Suggestions

MIAMI - AUGUST 06:  Meaghan Cooligan bites int...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

As we are winding down the month of March, National Nutrition Month, I wanted to summarize six “good health” ideas that can get powerful results. For your well-being, these are suggestions for everyday living that can boost health and energy.

1. Focus on fruits and vegetables. Eat a variety of fruit. Try to include 2 a day. Berries and citrus fruits are especially good choices.

2. Vary your veggies. Eat more yellow and dark green vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli and dark leafy vegetables. Tomatoes, onions, pepper, celery, mushrooms, cabbage and cauliflower are other good selections.

3. Eat whole grains in moderation. This could include whole grain breads, cereals, crackers, rice and pasta.

4. Choose lean meats and use healthy cooking methods like baking, braising and broiling. Proteins are the building blocks of growth. Protein foods include beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and eggs. Salmon and fish, as long as they are shown to be safe from mercury and other toxins, are also good protein sources.

5. Young children need whole milk or 2 percent for calcium. Yogurt and cheese are also rich in calcium.

6. Choose foods low in saturated fats and no transfats. Healthy fats and oils include butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts.

7. Spare the sugar. Sugar is not an essential nutrient. Our taste buds have become acclimated to the sweet taste. However, we can live very easily, and sometimes, better, without sugar.

This is the guide the Chef uses to maintain vigor and good health.

Best to you,

Crombie

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Pre-School Kitchen Activities

Home Cooking Party: Appetizer - Tomato-Basil B...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

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Fresh Pineapple Gives Your Health a Boost

Manoj.TV This plant is extremely tall.Image via Wikipedia

Pineapples grow in warm climates and are native to South America. In their natural form, they have rough, prickly exteriors.  Early tribal natives called this “anan” or “excellent fruit”. Later it was called “pineapple” for its resemblance to a pine cone. It is known for its intense sweetness. juiciness, and excellent flavor.

Historians tell us Christopher Columbus discovered pineapple on one of his journeys to new lands and brought it back to Europe. Here the people were largely without any common sweet foods. Most of the sweets came from fruits grown, but each had a limited growing season. Sugar refined from cane was imported from the Middle East and the Orient but this, too, was very expensive.

Later pineapple was introduced to the New World. It was still very rare and high priced. Only the upper class could afford to have this adorn their tables. The whole pineapple was as exquisite as was the inside ripe, yellow, juicy pulp.

Now we continue to prize this fruit for its excellent flavor and nutritional value, largely vitamin C and potassium. Many grocery stores have the pineapples cut up, although this can be done at home by an adult. The outside is very hard and rough but the flavor on the inside is well worth the trouble of cutting and slicing.

The pineapple can be cut into wedges or chunks. Then insert a toothpick into each. Now you are ready for an instant treat in the manner of the early nobility.

To your good health,

Chef Crombie

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Cooking at Home – The New Survival Tactic

Image via Wikipedia

Aren’t you glad you know your way around the kitchen and can prepare good food for yourself and others?  Hopefully the recipes in this blog have helped you come up with some tasty dishes to set before the king (I mean, friends or family).

The media tells us we are in a new era of thrift. There is a suggestion we may not be able to eat out as often as we would like. Perhaps the days are gone when everyone can go out for pizza or hamburger after a game.

This is not all bad. Think of the money you are saving. You can still invite your friends over for snacks. These late winter days continue to call for some popcorn popping time or quick and easy snacks like the following:

Bagel Pizzas

2 bagel halves
About 4 tablespoons or more
of tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup grated cheese
Toppings of your choice

Place bagel halves on a cookie sheet with cut side up. Spread with tomato sauce and oregano. Sprinkle grated cheese on top. Add any toppings such as pepperoni, cooked hamburger or sausage, olives, extra cheese, or what is available. You or an adult helper can put the pan in a hot oven (375 degrees) until cheese melts.

Should be yummy, especially eating with your friends or family.

Here’s to your happy “cooking at home” days,

Chef Crombie

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How to Have an Instant Breakfast

Dried fruit and nuts on a platter, traditional...Image 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
Nuts
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

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