Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category

Check a few things off of your to do list and have some fun at the same time.

Week 4: Rock the fall style–shop Crazy 8 for the new and now looks that your kids will love. Help them express their unique style, have one less thing to do before school actually starts, and always get a good deal!

Week 3: Channel some of that summer energy into a project that will benefit your community. Community service is an integral part of most school curriculums, and it will help you and your child connect with others. Contribute to your school directly and look for Tyson Project A+ labels on participating Tyson packages. For every label that you submit, Tyson will give your school 24 cents for whatever it needs.

Week 2: Host a back to school playdate for your children and their friends to help them to get back in the swing of things. Provide healthy snacks like deliciously baked, gluten-free Pirate’s Booty, Welch’s Fruit Snacks made with real fruit, and Mott’s 100% Juice. Mix in some fun with activities like “Telephone Story”. Have each person take a piece of paper, write a sentence, and pass it to the next person on their right to write the next line until you have a one of a kind story to share!

Week 1: Play with your food. Try using Mini Babybel Original semisoft cheese to create fruit and cheese skerers and Hillshire Farm Naturals Lunchmeat to create ham and cheese roll-ups. They are sure to be exciting and healthy additions to your kid’s lunchbox!

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

ChildrensBooks2U

Back To School

Advertisements

Reward your little trainee with dessert. Making cupcakes builds on the measuring and mixing skills that she has already practiced and introduces her to new skills. Like cracking eggs and creaming. Kids that are ready for more can try their hand at some simple decorating tricks that will turn each cupcake into their own masterpiece. So lets get down to the basics of baking.

Prep the butter and eggs: Show your child how to soften butter and crack eggs. Crack each egg into a tea cup before adding it to the batter so that you can fish out any shells much easier.

Measure and mix up:
Measuring your ingredients accurately is the key to a tasty result. Show her how to use the scoop and sweep method for dry ingredients to help her get it right. Then, explain that creaming/vigorously blending the butter and sugar is a key baking technique. When you beat the air until the mixture is pale and fluffy, the cake will be light and tender. This also applies to frosting, adding air makes it light and creamy.

Teach perfect portioning: Let her know that when the batter rises in the oven, it needs somewhere to go.That is why you don’t fill the cups all the way. Pouring with a spouted mixing bowl or liquid measuring cup will make it much easier.

Try out the toothpick test: This little trick will hone her powers of observation. Stick a toothpick in the center of a cupcake. If it comes out with very few or no crumbs the batch is ready. If not you may need a few more minutes.

Finish with frosting: A little trick for frosting is to put the frosting into a freezer weight ziplock bag. Just a tiny snip of one of the corners and presto, you have your very own pastry bag. This will make it easy to get the frosting right where you want it. Hint: The melting point for chocolate is very low, like 90 degrees. This is why you can whisk it into a warm cream in just a matter of seconds. It is also why chocolate melts in your hands.

Not quite ready for all of this just yet, try your hand at the apprentice chef. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your friends. Remember to always praise your child.

ChildrensBooks2U

Cooking

Now that she has graduated from the basics, your cook in training is ready to make a real meal. Besides having tons of fun, making quesadillas will teach her how to grate cheese, assemble ingredients, work at the stove and take the first step at developing spatula skills. For kids ready to take it a bit further, carefully teach them how to use a sharp knife to whip up a batch of guacamole.

Set Up For Success: What is mise en place? It refers to the practice of preparing and arranging everything you will need for a recipe. It is a great starting point for assembly line dishes, such as this one. Help your chef line up the ingredients. Open the can of beans, grate the cheese and put them in bowls. A rotary grater is a good place to start, but more experienced kids should learn how to use a regular grater. Keep your cheese cold, remove it from the refrigerator right before you grate it. Grip it at the top, leaving enough room between your fingers and the grater. Pretend your are petting a kitten, soft easy strokes.

Warm Things Up: Make sure you go over the rules first. Then show her how when the pan is hot enough, a drop of water flicked onto it will dance and evaporate. Tell your child to always keep a close eye on anything that is over heat. Sometimes a recipe will call for medium-high heat, but don’t be afraid to turn the heat to low or even remove the pan from the stove.

Flip and Serve: A long, skinny spatula makes for flipping much easier for your trainee. Show your child how first, then give her a try. Give her the kitchen shears for cutting the quesadillas into serving portions. If she can use scissors, she should be able to cut the pieces easily.

If your child is not quite ready for this yet, then check out our post on the novice chef. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your friends. Remember to always praise your child.

ChildrensBooks2U

Cooking

Here is your step by step guide for teaching your children how to measure, chop, slice, flip, bake and much more. Let the fun begin.

First you will want to introduce your child to washing, slicing, simple chopping, measuring, tasting and even improvising. Salad prepared with a homemade salad dressing is the perfect dish for new chefs. It is not hard to do, but it does have a number of tasks to do and it is an important part of the meal. For kids that are ready to go a bit further, making croutons from scratch will not only add a delicious crunch, but it will also introduce your little chef to working with heat.

How do you teach salad making?

Set up your work space. As you explain the importance of rinsing fruits and vegetables, set up your child at a clean sink or a large bowl filled half with cold water. If it is needed, have him stand on a sturdy chair or even a step stool. After swishing the herbs and lettuce for a bit, your child can put them in a salad spinner and whirl everything dry. Then tear everything into bit sized pieces. Have him rinse grapes and cucumbers in a small colander and pat them dry with a paper towel.

Introduce peeling and slicing.

Show him how to peel the cuke by dragging the peeler lengthwise from end to end. Always peel away from the body. Make sure you put the vegetable on a stable surface. Do not be tempted to hold it in the air. Peel away from your hands and always work directly in front of you. For cuke slicing, a wavy knife is the best bet. Let your child decide how thick or thin he wants the slices to be. Also, have him use a skid proof cutting board for a little extra added safety.

Mixing the dressing and tossing the salad.

Set up a little science lab where your child can learn to make salad dressing, first by using your recipe. Then he can move on to creating his own in future lessons. After he has added the dressing to the salad, he can practice his tossing skills with a pair of tongs. Be sure to explain that tossing means pulling the bottom leaves up to the top and not throwing the salad out of the bowl! Let him be the first to taste a leaf to test whether the salad has enough dressing.

Cooking with your kids can be fun. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your friends. Remember to always praise your child.

ChildrensBooks2U

Cooking

There will come a day when you will be lying on the couch relaxing, offering helpful suggestions to your children as they make you dinner. It is not even a special occasion. Are you laughing yet? I get it. Two of mine are teenagers now and just they other night they prepared a meal of grilled chicken breasts, boiled red potatoes, fresh green beans and a salad. But when they were little, I never thought that this day would come.

Of course, there is a learning curve. At first, it gets worse. Instead of just making food, you are making food while someone else dumps flour all over the floor. They confuse salt with sugar or hold a knife in a way that makes your heart skip a few beats. Then it gets better and your kids actually become competent. They will learn the pleasures of mixing and cutting, seasoning and tasting. Making food is a blend of chemistry, magic and play. Oh and lets not forget the glamour and drama thanks to various cooking shows. In addition, your kids will eat anything that they make, even if it is loaded with healthy ingredients.

Cooking is also a good teacher of the techniques themselves, but also a host of other intangibles like problem solving, creativity, improvisation and adventure. Not to mention the lessons in failure. A deflated cupcake, lip puckering salad dressing or quesadilla flopped on the floor is the gift of new knowledge in leavening, balance or spatula handling just waiting for your child to unwrap it. The most important thing is that cooking together means quality time. The kind that makes lasting memories, even those mini disasters will make us laugh someday.

I have organized a guide by skill level and enlisted a few of my favorite experts in family cooking to offer you helpful advice as you move through each lesson. Scan the recipes to see what your child might be ready for now, then together roll up your sleeves, tie on your aprons and get to work. I will be on the couch reading my favorite magazine.

In our next post we will give you advice for your little novice chef. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your friends. Remember to always praise your child.

ChildrensBooks2U

Cooking

Start the day with a bang! Baked granola cups filled with yogurt and fruit will give your kids energy for hours. Here is how to make it. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. In a big bowl, mix 3tbsp. melted unsalted butter, 1\4 cup of honey, 1 3\4 cups rolled oats, 1\8 tsp. salt, 1\4 tsp. cinnamon, 1\4 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes and 1\4 cup of flaxseed. Using wet fingers, Press the mixture into the muffin tin slots. Bake at 350 degrees until it is golden brown. It will take about 15 minutes. Let the muffin tin cool for about 15 minutes. Then use a spatula to remove the cups. Fill each cup with 1-2 tbsp. Greek yogurt and top with berries of your choice. Makes 8 granola cups. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your friends. Remember to always praise your child.

ChildrensBooks2U

Muffins

Some back to school traditions create lasting memories by way of the senses. By having freshly baked cookies after the first day of school will evoke those sensory memories in your kids when they are older. Have some warm cookies waiting for them when they get home the first day. It gets them to stay and share a bit of their day with you.

Whether you mark the new school year with a simple photo or a fun family outing, the important thing is to take the time to create special memories for your kids. While even parents of young children know that time passes quickly, parents whose children are grown really realize how life speeds to fast forward once kids begin school. A back to school tradition can help your family hold on to that sense of togetherness and belonging, making even the everyday seem that much more special to them. See more on family traditions.

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your friends. Remember to always praise your child.

Bake Some Memories

Baking with Mom