Monday, August 28, 2017

Apple Cookies

As a mom of little kids, I am constantly being asked  - "Mom, can I help?"  It used to be my gut reaction to say, "No, it will be faster if I just do it."  I have tried to let my kids help more -  and surprise, surprise - they can do it!  The trick is to find easy ways for them to help.  Measuring using a measuring cup?  Let them spoon the ingredients into the cup and pour into the bowl.  Done cooking, have them help in the clean up.

There are so many simple ways for them to help.

This recipe is a favorite because my kids can literally do it by themselves from start to finish.
 Step 1:  Peel, core, and slice the apples.  This is so easy to do using this apple peeler!
 Step 2: Cut down the side of the apple to create apple rings.
 Step 3: Spread peanut (or other nut butter) on the rings.
 Step 4: Add toppings of your choice! We love mini chocolate chips and shredded coconut.  Get creative.

Bonus?  They are delicious!  I often make them as a treat for myself, and I can feel good about what they are eating!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Real Food Grows and Ranch Dressing

Image result for real food grows poster

I want my students to understand where their food comes from, and make wise decisions based on that knowledge.  I want them to think about what they are putting in their mouths.  I love to show my kids the ingredients list on the backs of common things.  One that I use often is the powdered ranch dressing mix. 

We talk about the different preservatives that need to be put in foods to extend their shelf life.  This one has 7.  We then talk about how we can make the same thing without those extra ingredients in them.  I am going to share with you the ranch dressing recipe that I have taught to over 200 kids.  It is easy, delicious and natural.   

This recipe has two parts, the dry mix and the actual dressing.  

For the Dry Mix:

1/2 T black pepper
1 1/2 T parsley flakes
1 T garlic salt
3/4 t salt
1/2 T garlic powder
1 1/2 T onion powder
3/4 t dill weed.  

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Mix well.

*Bonus* - Use dried parsley and dill from your garden.

Simple, right?  You can use the dry mix on chicken, fish, pasta, etc.  Just store it in an airtight container or bag.  If you want to actually make ranch dressing, you need to add it to a few more things. 

For the Dressing:

Put 1 c mayo, 3/4 c sour cream, 1 c buttermilk and 1 t fresh lemon juice in a bowl.  Sprinkle with 2 T of the dry mix.  Whisk well to combine.  Cover and refrigerate any unused ranch.   


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Slat sign recipe card holder

Want a fun and easy craft to do with your kiddos?  These slat sign recipe card holders are just that.  And the best part, your little sprout can use it to hold their recipes as they help in the kitchen.


1 piece of wood trim (1.5 inches x 8 feet)
miter saw
wood glue
wood clothespin (mini)

Step 1: Cut the wood into sections.  (You can get 2 signs out of one piece of wood trim)

4 pieces measuring 7"
2 pieces measuring 6.5"
1 piece (cut at a 45 degree angle) triangle shaped

Step 2:
Glue pieces together
The 2 smaller pieces (6.5") will be the slats that act as the base.  Place them on a table the distance they will be from each other and add the wood glue.  Start with the top and bottom slat and then space the other two in. Let it sit for a good 20 minutes before moving on to the next step.
Step 3: Glue base on
Use the little triangle piece as your base.  Apply wood glue to one side of the triangle.  When you place it, make sure you don't place it even with the base of the sign, it won't lean back on it if you do.

Step 4: Decorate!
This is the fun part.  You can decorate however you want.  Some of my students painted bright colors, some did graffiti style paint splashes.  They all turned out so great.

Step 5: Add clothespin
Once the paint has dried, add your clothespin using wood glue.  Let it dry and voila!  You are done!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Just Peachy

Summer around the Carolinas means peaches.  Lots of juicy, sweet peaches.  In fact, the peach is South Carolina's state fruit.  Most summers, we can drive a short distance over the border into South Carolina, and be met with a plethora of peach stands.  Sadly this year will probably be a little different.  There was a late freeze in March, and so a lot of the peach crop was ruined.  If you happen to be lucky enough to find peaches this year, this is the recipe for you.  You can eat it on its own, with vanilla ice cream or with oatmeal.  These Honey Roasted Peaches meet my three criteria for a good recipe - 1.Easy 2. Healthy 3. Delicious.

Honey Roasted Peaches

Step 1:  Wash the peaches.

Step 2:  Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit.

Step 3: Place peach halves in a shallow glass baking dish.

Step 4: Cut several small pads of butter. They should be about 1/2 t each and there should be enough for each peach half.

Step 5: Place a pad of butter in center of each peach half.

Step 6: Drizzle honey over peaches.  *Bonus points if you use your neighbor's honey from their hives.

Step 7:  Sprinkle peaches with cinnamon.

Step 8:  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.  Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Step 9: Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

How does your garden grow?

One of the best things about summer is fresh food.  We love tomatoes around here and grow a few varieties.  I love watching out my window to find my kids snacking from the garden.  They love the cherry tomatoes, the pear tomatoes, and can sometimes be found sneaking on a roma.  An easy meal to make with your little ones is a simple caprese salad.  Best part?  Half of the ingredients can be grown in your own yard.  Don't have room for a full garden?  You can grow tomatoes and basil in a container and keep it on your porch! This is an easy one for kids to make with very little help from start to finish.

Step 1: Gather your basil.
 Step 2: Cut the tomatoes.  You can use Romas (like we did today) or halve cherry tomatoes.  We use 4-5 Romas.
 Step 3: Add the Mozzarella.  Mozzarella pearls are perfect for this.
 Step 4: Add the fresh basil. Little hands have fun breaking the basil into small pieces instead of chopping it.
 Step 5: Add Olive oil (about 4 Tablespoons).  We love to add a little balsamic as well.
 Step 6: Add salt and pepper.

 Step 7: Mix it all together.
 .... And enjoy!