Vegetable Salad You and Your Kids Will Enjoy Making and Eating

PinExt Vegetable Salad You and Your Kids Will Enjoy Making and Eating
300px Romaine Vegetable Salad You and Your Kids Will Enjoy Making and Eating

Image via Wikipedia

The importance of vegetables in our diets has been spotlighted in my previous post. Today I want to give you a recipe using vegetables in a crisp and delicious way. This salad is a wonderful lunch-time or anytime meal or meal-addition. It is a recipe from Amy Houts’s children’s cookbook, Cooking Around the Calendar With Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun, p. 11. You and your children will enjoy making and eating this salad.

Garden Salad

1 head Romaine lettuce, torn in small pieces
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 red pepper, cut in strips
1 small bunch broccoli, cut up

1 package Ramen noodles
1 cup English walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Prepare lettuce, onions, pepper, and broccoli. Children can mix all vegetables in a bowl. Place in refrigerator.

Children can slightly crush Ramen noodles by placing them in a plastic bag and lightly rolling over them with a rolling pin. Saute English walnuts in butter. Add noodles. Set aside.

In jar, place dressing ingredients and shake well to dissolve.

Drizzle dressing over lettuce and vegetable mixture just before serving. Gently mix. Then add the walnut-noodle mix. Serve.

Makes 4-6 servings

You will find this and other recipes for children in Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun.  Make cooking with kids a priority at your house – your children will thank you, especially when they are in college or out on their own.  Go here for more book information:

Time well spent – cooking with children,

Lee Jackson, CFCS
To get you started, sign up for the Free Report at the right

 Vegetable Salad You and Your Kids Will Enjoy Making and Eating
PinExt Vegetable Salad You and Your Kids Will Enjoy Making and Eating

How to Make Cooking Safe and Fun

PinExt How to Make Cooking Safe and Fun

Now that school is over, or almost over, children will be home for longer periods. Make those days productive and fun. Working with them in the kitchen can be a fun, educational and a safe activity, providing certain rules are followed.

Following directions
In all aspects of life, there are certain rules that must be followed. Working in the kitchen requires certain rules and directions as well. Depending on the age of the child, you may need to repeat directions on how to do different jobs.

Tell and then show the child what needs to be done. Show how to “cut-in” butter into a flour-sugar mixture, for example, using two table knives or a pastry blender. Explain what “folding-in” means and use the spatula to show how you gently bring the spatula over and over to “fold-in” the ingredient. This often refers to folding-in beaten egg whites into the remainder of the ingredients.

Some children can remember a list of more than one jobs. For example, for some you can say: please get out the big bowl, the mixing spoon and the measuring cups. For others, asking the child to do one or two jobs at a time may be appropriate.

Read the recipe out loud to help everyone know what you will be doing. Pictures help, too.

Offer praise and thanks

Make sure you praise the child for offering to help and the work  done. You can also offer such statements as: “We really make a good team here in the kitchen.” “You are doing such a good job of following directions”. “Thank you for helping today.” Won’t our family be surprised when they taste what we made today?”

Following safety rules
There are certain safety rules that must be followed when working with children in the kitchen, such as:

Always wash your hands before working in the kitchen.
Young children should not use sharp knives.
Small appliances are not play toys.
Potholders and not towels are for handling hot dishes. Towels could catch fire from the stove.
Handles of pots and pans should be turned inward.
Always use a separate spoon when tasting food.

Do you have stories about working with children in the kitchen?

 How to Make Cooking Safe and Fun
PinExt How to Make Cooking Safe and Fun

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
PinExt From Kitchen to Classroom to Book Writing

How to Have an Instant Breakfast

PinExt How to Have an Instant Breakfast
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
PinExt How to Have an Instant Breakfast

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

PinExt Sunday Morning Sundae

Get on the Citrus Wagon with This Orange Delight

PinExt Get on the Citrus Wagon with This Orange Delight
202px OrangeBloss wb Get on the Citrus Wagon with This Orange DelightImage via Wikipedia

I just came from the store and saw they had tons of oranges and grapefruits. I bought some red grapefruits and they are oh, so tasty and good! Had enough oranges so didn’t buy any.

Since I had a good supply of oranges, I’ve been enjoying making fresh orange juice and smoothies, and adding oranges to salads, meats and desserts.

Here is a simple but very fancy dessert using oranges that I often make. I hope you will like it, too. So go ahead, get out some showy tall glasses or dessert goblets and surprise your family with this elegant dessert:

Fluffy Orange Parfait

If using fresh oranges, separate and save segments from one orange.

1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
or prepared unsweetened orange juice
1 package (1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
1 3/4 cups orange juice
1/2 pint whipping cream

Add gelatin to 1/4 cup orange juice and wait a few minutes to allow the gelatin to dissolve.

While gelatin is resting, pour 1 3/4 cup orange juice into medium size pan and bring to boiling point. Gradually add gelatin, stirring gently until gelatin is dissolved.

Cool and then refrigerate until mixture is slightened thickened.

At this point, pour whipping cream into a deep bowl and beat with electric beater or rotary beater. Beat until cream is light and fluffy but don’t beat too long or it will turn into butter. When mixture is fluffy, slowly add cooled gelatin mixture and beat at low speed until it is blended throughout.

Spoon into parfait glasses, goblets, or other dessert-type dishes and refrigerate until firm.

When ready to serve, top each dessert with three segments from orange or use canned Mandarin orange segments.

Simply delightful!

Chef Crombie

 Get on the Citrus Wagon with This Orange Delight
PinExt Get on the Citrus Wagon with This Orange Delight

Make a Valentine’s Day Salad

PinExt Make a Valentines Day Salad
202px Buster Brown valentine Make a Valentines Day SaladImage via Wikipedia

This is a cool, refreshing frozen salad perfect to go with your Valentine’s Day meal. It is especially attractive if you have a heart shaped log in which to freeze the salad. If you don’t have a heart shaped container, the mixture can be poured into paper cup-lined muffin pans, individual gelatin cups or other small dishes.

Frozen Fruit Salad

3 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 -10 oz. package frozen strawberries with juice
1 banana
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Combine cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl. Drain pineapple and add 1/4 cup pineapple to bowl. Add strawberries. Slice and quarter banana. Fold in thawed whipped topping.

Pour into individual cups or into tubes for freezing.

Freeze until firm.

Pouring the mixture into the empty pineapple can will work, too. Just don’t cut your fingers on the edge. When removing, dip can in hot water for a little while to loosen salad, open other end, and slip salad out of can. Cut into individual slices.

The salad will be a pretty pink color. If it has been molded in a heart shape, this will make a very impressive dish to place before the King or Queen of Hearts.

 Make a Valentines Day Salad
PinExt Make a Valentines Day Salad

Cooking at Home – Meal for Four in Less than 25 Minutes

PinExt Cooking at Home   Meal for Four in Less than 25 Minutes
202px Papa chevos burrito Cooking at Home   Meal for Four in Less than 25 MinutesImage via Wikipedia

Why go out to eat if you can whip up a tasty meal in less time than it takes to stop for fast food. You may need to add a few ingredients to your grocery list so you have them on hand. Planning is the key.

This is an easy recipe kids will enjoy. Adult may need to do the cooking of the meat, depending on young helper’s age. But children can help prepare vegetables and roll up their finished product.

These burritos use the “other white meat – pork” for the protein. With a skillful blend of vegetables, spices and seasonings, you will have a delicious meal ready to go. Here is the recipe. It is an adaption from the Minnesota Pork Producers Association.

South of the Border Burritos

1 pound lean ground pork
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup green pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 cups coleslaw mix with carrots
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon cumin
4 (10 inch) whole wheat tortillas, warmed
Garnish with fresh cilantro, chopped

Cook pork in large frypan over medium heat. Break up meat with fork while it cooks. Add onion, garlic, green pepper, and ginger. Cook until vegetables are soft and pork is not longer pink. If there is excess fat, pour it off.

Add coleslaw mix and stir-fry with pork until vegetables are wilted.

In small bowl, combine oil, soy sauce, juice, and honey. Add to fry pan. Cook, stirring gently until all ingredients are heated through and blended.

Spoon burrito mixture evenly onto warm tortillas and roll up. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Makes four servings.

 Cooking at Home   Meal for Four in Less than 25 Minutes
PinExt Cooking at Home   Meal for Four in Less than 25 Minutes

Get Kids Cooking

PinExt Get Kids Cooking

Give Kids the chance to create healthy dishes they make themselves.

If you give kids the chance to help prepare their own food they will eat more nutritionally. What better way to get them hooked on working with food than to have them “help” you in the kitchen.

Just like adults, many children when given a cookbook will not put it down. Encourage this. It is an excellent preparation for this life skill.

Here is a cookbook that will get your kids excited about wanting to make something in the kitchen. They will beg you to let them make something for supper. Check it out.

PinExt Get Kids Cooking

What Is “Natural Food”?

PinExt What Is Natural Food?
202px MyPyramid1 What Is Natural Food? Image via Wikipedia

Is what you eat really “food”? If you eat it, does that make it “natural food”?

A diet high in “natural food” or “real food” and low in food products (or those heavily processed foods) is a much healthier choice. But how can you tell the difference?

One way to generally tell whether the food you eat is considered “natural food”, or “real food”, is to check on the following:

  • Is the food grown and does it have a close connection to the land? (Considered the best is if the food is grown locally).
  • Does the food go bad quickly? (Does it spoil easily)?
  • Does the quality of the food vary? (Some may be more ripe, more colorful, or shaped differently).
  • Does it require any preparation before you eat it? (Do you have to cook it? Peel it? Change it’s form?)
  • Are the colors bright and rich?

Many food products have questionable health benefits. These types of “foods” are the ones that:

  • Keep forever
  • Are artifically flavored
  • Are artifically colored
  • Form never varies
  • Are heavily processed
  • Contain hydrogenated fats
  • Contain high fructose corn syrup
  • Are not grown but are manufactured

It is best to read labels and choose real food for you and your family.

 What Is Natural Food?
PinExt What Is Natural Food?