Archive for October, 2010

Liquid/Soft Food Ideas

October 29, 2010

Not that I’m on a crazy diet or advocate extreme diets. Just that I had to have dental work done. So not fun but it did give me a challenge of making an all soft and liquid food menu. Since then I have meet some people, who for various reasons, are needing some ideas on precisely that. So here is a menu of the foods that I was able to enjoy even with a sore/numb mouth. Eggs are great because they are a good source of protein, can keep you feeling full longer, and inexpensive.

Butternut Squash Soup, homemade apple sauce, oven roasted tomato soup, potato corn chowder, risotto, smoothies, garlic parsley mash potatoes, chicken noodle soup, minestrone soup, miso spinach tofu soup, spinach cheese enchilada, Watermelon Juice, Angelic Deviled Eggs, stuffed french toast, hard boiled eggs, egg salad,

Homemade Apple Sauce

This is a great treat for the lunch box or as an after school snack. My kids even eat it for breakfast. If you have never had homemade apple sauce, you must make this recipe. It is super easy and super delicious. Of coarse it is best to make this in the fall when the apples are in their peak of sweetness. In my cooking class we use the rotary apple peeler for the red apples and the carrot peeler for the yellow apples. Just to give the kids a chance to peel with both kitchen tools. A good thing about using a crock pot is that it cooks without you even being home. But also, the house smells delicious and cheery. A wonderful autumn smell.

Hardware- rotary apple peeler or carrot peeler, knife, cutting board, crockpot or pot with lid, teaspoon, small bowl, wooden spoon, electric blender, big bowl, dinner plate, oven mitt, dish towel.

Software- 6 red delicious apples, 6 golden delicious apples, ground cinnamon, sugar, water

Steps

  • Using either the rotary peeler or a carrot peeler, peel the skin off the apples.
  • Place them in the bowl of water.
  • Lay the plate on top to keep the apples submerged in water. This will prevent air from touching your apples. So your apples won’t turn brown. A process called oxidation.
  • Using your knife and cutting board, cut the apples off the core by cutting around the core.
  • Be sure to put the cut apple slices back into the water.
  • When all your apples have been peeled and sliced, put them in the big pot with 2 cups of water.
  • Meanwhile in a small bowl mix together 3 Tablespoons of sugar with 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon.
  • Stir them together. Add 1-2 Tablespoons to the cooking apples. (depends how sweet your apples are to start with) Save the remaining cinnamon sugar for next time.
  • Cook til the apples are soft. Stir occasionally.
  • Once the mixture has cooled enough to handle, transfer it to a blender.
  • Place the lid on top and cover the lid with a dish towel.
  • Hit the button to blend. In minutes you will have the best applesauce ever.

If you make it in the crock pot, you reduce the water to 1 cup.  If you do it on the stove top, there is enough steam leaving your pot that you don’t need to do this step.

Enjoy it as is or as a topping to oatmeal, pork chops, pancakes, potato pancakes, or waffles. I also like to cut french toast into sticks and use the apple sauce as a dip. Enjoy.

TMT- Good science moment to teach about Oxidation. We used a barrier to prevent oxidation. Lemon juice and honey are other barriers to try. Apples can be graphed, written about, life cycle of an apple tree to explain the 4 seasons, read about John Chapman and why he greatly helped pioneer families stay healthy. Weigh things using the weight of apples to balance it. taste different apples and use descriptive adjectives to tell about the flavor. Graph which apple flavor you liked best. Document the cost of an apple in the course of American history.

Mummy’s Rags by Chef Sonia at Whole Foods Market

AKA – Wheat Tagliotelli pasta with Alfredo Sauce.

I use a rotisserie chicken from the store to simplify my life a bit. I figure any bit helps. An adult will have to debone the chicken. I pull off the meat and set it aside then chop it into bite size pieces for the pasta all at once. I take steamed cauliflower and puree it up with some milk and add it to the alfredo sauce just to sneak in some more goodness. If the chicken hurts your mouth, puree it with the cauliflower or omit it.

Hardware- pot to boil pasta, wooden spoon for stirring the noodles, ladle, bowl to hold the pasta, knife to slice olives, cutting board, juicer, steamer, pot to steam, zester

Software- Deboned “no salt added” rotisserie chicken, your family’s favorite alfredo sauce, 2 C cauliflower, lemon, freshly ground nutmeg, sweet onion, green Spanish olives w/pimento, wide flat wheat pasta, circle shaped rice crackers

Steps for Kids to do

  • Wash your hands for 20 sec with soap. Read all directions and gather materials needed.
  • Put water in the pasta pot and cook the noodles according to the directions. Drain the noodles in a colander.
  • Steam the cauliflower, let it cool, and puree in a blender.
  • Peel the onion and cut into large cubes and puree in a blender
  • Pour the alfredo sauce in a sauce pot. Add the cauliflower, chicken, and onions.
  • Cook on medium heat til onions are done. Add some fresh lemon zest, 3 teaspoons lemon juice, and pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.
  • spread the pumped up alfredo sauce all over the pasta using a ladle.
  • Place 2 crackers on the pile of noodles as eyes.
  • Have an adult help you cut the olives into circles. Place an olive circle on each cracker as pupils.
  • Congratulations you have made a Halloween dinner masterpiece. Enjoy!

Hard Boil Egg

The perfect hard boiled egg is harder than it sounds. Boil your water too fast and you could end up with cracked eggs in egg soup. Boil your eggs too long and you will have a dark ring around the yolks. It doesn’t change the flavor, but it doesn’t look perfect. And first impressions are so important.

Stove Alert-AHN “Adult Help Needed” to watch

Hardware needed: a sauce pan, a metal slotted spoon, cold water with ice in a bowl aka ice bath

Software needed: one or more eggs, salt and pepper mixed together on a small dish

Place your raw egg gently in the pot, cover the egg with cold water until the water level is 1/2 inch or more above the top of the egg. Place the lid on the pot. If your egg was pulled straight out of the fridge, let it sit in the water for 15 mins. allowing the temperature of the egg to closer match that of the water. Then put the pot on med. low heat for 3 mins. then raise it to Med high heat. Once the water comes to a boil. Boil means that you see big bubbles rapidly coming to the surface of the water and popping. And the lid is moving up and down. Set the timer for 1 minute. After the time goes off. Turn off the heat and set the timer for 15 minutes. When the time goes off again, use your slotted metal spoon to take your egg out put them in your ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once they are cool enough to handle, tap the egg on the counter, peel off the shells, (which can go into your compost pile), rinse if off once to make sure there aren’t any shells left. Dip into the salt and pepper mixture and enjoy. Congrats you have made a perfect egg. This can lead to various other recipes… chef’s salad, egg salad sandwich, deviled eggs, pickled eggs

Basic Egg Salad

Stove Alert-AHN “Adult Help Needed” to boil the eggs

Hardware needed  egg slicer, mixing bowl, spoon for mixing

Software needed- 3 hard boiled eggs, 1 1/2 -2 tsp of nonfat plain greek yogurt, 1 tsp of sweet relish, pinch of Kosher salt, black pepper or white pepper.

peel the eggs, rinse them off in water to make sure there are no shells left. Using the egg slicer, slice one egg so they make little circles. then carefully rotate the egg 90 degrees and slice again. This should give you tiny cubes. put them in the mixing bowl. Add the pinch of salt, mayo, and relish. Mix well. My kids aren’t fond of black pepper so I use white pepper.

I am not a morning person so this on wheat toast or multigrain crackers with fruit makes a great breakfast. (or after school snack)

Angelic Deviled Eggs

Usually deviled eggs are made with all the egg yolks and mayo. These are angelic because we swap out some of the yolks and all of the mayo. You want some yolks because egg yolks not only give your deviled eggs the yellow coloring but they also help to prevent Macular degeneration in the eyes.

Hardware- small pot with lid, bowl of ice water, egg slicer, tablespoon, teaspoon, mixing bowl, slotted spoon,

Software- number of eggs that will fit into your pot (for me it is 6), 2-3 teaspoons of greek nonfat plain yogurt, 2 pinch kosher salt, 1/2-1 teaspoon sweet pickles chopped or sweet relish without the juice, fresh cracked black pepper, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard, small drizzle milk, rinse and finely chop 3 baby carrots.

Normally you want really fresh eggs for cooking but this is an instance where an older but not expired egg is best. Reason being that eggshells are porous. They let air and moisture in and out of the egg. Eggs have an inner membrane just beneath the shell. As the egg gets older and it is hard boiled the air between the shell and that membrane expands and you will notice that the shell won’t stick to the hardboiled white part of the egg. So you won’t be pulling the white off along with the shell when you peel it.

Steps:

  • Boil the eggs in the pot. Remember start with cold water on med low for 5 minutes to bring the water and eggs up in temperature. Then turn up the heat to med. Once the water starts to boil set your timer for 1 minute or count for 60 seconds.
  • After the timer goes off, turn off the heat and let the eggs sit in the water for 15 minutes.
  • As soon as the timer goes off, carefully scoop out the eggs with the slotted spoon and put them in the cold ice water to stop the cooking process. Using this method prevents the darkness that often is on hard boiled egg’s yolk.
  • Take your eggs out of the water and peel them. Put them back in the bowl of water just to wash off any tiny eggshells that you might have missed.
  • Cut the eggs in half lengthwise.
  • Pull out the yolks of 4 eggs and put them in a mixing bowl. Give the other 2 yolks to your dog or throw them away.
  • Chop up 2 of the egg halves using your egg slicer or a fork and add it to the bowl. This adds more protein to each egg halve and bulks up the mixture.
  • Add the greek yogurt, relish/pickles, mustard, carrots (I like the color and crunch),salt and a couple of turns of pepper
  • Mix well
  • Using a teaspoon scoop the mixture into the egg whites so it makes a gentle mound. Or you can get fancy and put the mixture into a piping bag and squeeze it in the whites.
  • Place them on your serving plate
  • Either sprinkle the tops of the yellow mixture with paprika or cracked black pepper
  • If you aren’t going to eat them right away, put them in a tupperware and stick them in the fridge.

Enjoy.

Stuffed French Toast

My kids will eat this as a breakfast on the run because it is easy to take and eat in the car. I make them the night before and just reheat in the toaster oven/microwave. This is a great recipe to add to any college students recipe files since you will usually have all the necessary ingredients on hand and it is really easy. Pack this with some turkey sausage and you have a nice lunch item too. Don’t forget the fresh fruit.

Stove Alert-AHN “Adult Help Needed” to watch you flip it.

Hardware: pancake flipper, bowl to scramble eggs in. make sure it is wide enough for a piece of bread to fit in it, fork, dinner plate, peanut butter knife, fry pan that a lid can cover

Software: canola/vegetable oil, 2 eggs, cream cheese, your favorite jam, 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract, cinnamon sugar/powder sugar (optional), splash of milk about 2 tsp, small pinch of salt, maple syrup/yogurt to dip

Tip- If possible leave the cream cheese on the counter to soften up 30 mins. prior to use so it is easier to spread. Or you can use the whipped cream cheese.

Spread the cream cheese on one slice of bread, spread jam on the other slice of bread. Put the 2 slices together as if you were making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Set it aside. Crack the eggs into the bowl, make sure you don’t have any egg shells in the bowl. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Using the fork scramble the eggs. Place the egg mixture and the sandwich next to the stove top. Have your empty plate ready. Have an adult turn on the stovetop to medium to med low heat. Pour 2 tsps of oil into the fry pan. Place your fry pan on the heat. While you are waiting for the oil to heat up, Dip your sandwich in the egg mixture then quickly flip it over and dip the other side of the sandwich in the egg mixture. Keep in mind that you do not want the sandwich to sit in the egg mixture too long or else the bread will get soggy from soaking up too much of the mixture. Using the fork transfer your sandwich to the fly pan. When you see the edges getting brown it is time to flip the sandwich. Using the flipper lift up the edge of the bread, slide the flipper under and give it a flip. Read Safety Tip. Once you are frying the second side, put the lid on the pan to ensure that the egg on the side of the bread is getting cooked too. After the second side if cooked, use the flipper to take it out and place it on a cutting board. Let it cool. Once it is cool enough to handle. Cut it into 4 long sticks. using your fractions lesson. Cut it into half, then cut each of the halves into half again lengthwise. Arrange them on your plate. Now you have some fun options. You can dust them with powdered sugar, or dip them length wise into cinnamon sugar, or leave them w/o a topping and have a small dish of maple syrup or yogurt to dip. or leave them plain and take them to eat in the car while on the way to dr appts, sports, music, or tutoring. Don’t forget to pack a bottle of water and napkins.

Safety Tip- It is important to remember to flip thing turning the flipper to the side. You never want to flip things towards you because you might splash hot oil on yourself. I tell my students to imagine they are turning the pages of a book. They should hold the flipper with their thumb nail pointing up and roll their hand so the thumb nail points down and away from their tummy.

Breakfast Casserole with Sausage, Potatoes, Eggs, and Cheese

This is a great casserole to add to your recipe files because you can do all the precooking and assembling the night before. Remember, I am not a morning person. Then in the morning just pop it into your oven and get ready for the day as the tasty smell fills your kitchen. Leftovers, if you have any, can be eaten like a quiche for lunch or dinner.

Oven Alert-AHN “Adult Help Needed” to turn on the oven and pull the casserole in and out.

Hardware- Lasagna pan, knife, cutting board, foil, fork or whisk, big bowl

Software- eggs or egg beaters, milk, southern style hashbrowns from the freezer section, heat and serve sausages (they are already fully cooked) (try to buy the nitrate free ones), mushrooms, sweet onion, shredded cheddar cheese.

I like to use a 8 x 8 pan if it is just my family and use a lasagna pan if there will be guest eating with us. To make it easier for pieces to be removed when serving, take the wrapper of your used up butter and wipe it all around the bottom and sides of your pan or spray PAM cooking spray.

Steps

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Spread a single layer of hashbrowns in the pan.
  • Cut the sausages into bite size pieces.
  • Peel the onion and slice it into thin slices.
  • Wash the mushrooms and slice them.
  • In a frying pan, brown the sausages, just to add color. Spread the sausages out on top of the potato layer.
  • Add 1 Tbspn of butter in the fry pan and add the onions. Add a pinch of salt and saute until translucent.
  • Spread them out over the sausages.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of water and add the mushrooms. Saute til soft and darker in color.
  • Spread them out over the onions.
  • Cover with foil and put in fridge if you will be baking it in the morning.
  • When you are ready to cook it, take the 8 eggs equivalent carton of Egg Beaters. Open it up and add 2 tablespoons of milk to the carton.
  • Put the lid back on and give it a shake to shake it up. Pour it over the casserole.
  • Cover it with foil and put it in the preheated oven.
  • After 40-50 minutes, take off the foil to check if the eggs are cooked.
  • If so, then have an adult remove it from the oven. Srinkle the cheddar cheese all over the top and return the casserole to the oven just to melt the cheese.
  • Once the cheese is all melted have an adult take it out of the oven.
  • Turn the oven off.
  • Enjoy.

Leftovers can be enjoyed like a crustless quiche with a salad.

Oven Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup

Oven roasting any veggie is great because you let the oven do a lot of work for you. By oven roasting you are carmelizing the natural sugars in veggies. I love to oven roast in the fall/winter because it also heats up the house and fills it with yummy smells. For the same reasons, I also crock pot cook a lot more during this season too.

Hardware- 2 Lasagna trays, blender, mixing spoon, strawberry huller, mixing bowl, cutting board, knife, dish towel,

Software- 4 containers of hydroponicly grown in USA compari tomatoes, (I buy hydroponicly grown because that means they are grown using water not dirt and they are pesticide free.), 2 heads of garlic, 1 large sweet onion, (like wallawalla, oso sweet, mayan sweet), olive oil, salt, cracked black pepper, 1 tspn brown sugar (optional/if needed)

Steps

preheat oven to 350 F. Wash the tomatoes. Using the huller pick out the stems. If the tomatoes are large cut them in half. Peel the garlic cloves and cut off the dried hard ends. Peel the onion and cut into large pieces. Place all the veggies into a lasagna tray. Drizzle with olive oil and 2 pinches of kosher salt and cracked black pepper and mix altogether so the veggies are shiny. Bake them in the oven til you see the skins of the tomatoes and onions getting dark brown. Between 40 mins -50 mins. There will be liquid in the pan from the tomatoes. Let it cool down and transfer everything into a blender. Place the lid on tight. Cover it with a dish towel. And blend. In a 2 minutes you will have a delicious creamy vegetarian soup.

Garlic Crostini to serve with the soup (if you want a fancier presentation)

You will have to roast your garlic head in the oven while you are roasting your tomato mixture. To prep your garlic, peel off some of the excess dry garlic paper so that you can easily cut the garlic head. You will want a cutting board with a nonskid pad (I use a rubber shelf liner under my cutting board), Rotate your garlic so it is laying on its side. Carefully slice down the middle through the whole head. Place the 2 halves cut side up on a piece of foil. lightly drizzle olive oil over the exposed garlic cloves. Pull the foil over the sides and crimp the edges together. Stick it in the oven besides the pan with the tomatoes. When the tomato mixture is lightly browned, your garlic head will be done too. Let it cool down while you get the baguette sliced up. When you are ready for the garlic, open the foil up. the garlic cloves should be so soft that you can pull them out easily. They will be soft, sweet and garlicy. Set them aside.

hardware- cookie sheet, serrated knife, aluminum foil, butter knife, cutting board

Software- french baguette (that is the long skinny french bread in the fresh baked section of the grocery store), brie cheese, garlic head, olive oil,

Steps

Using a serrated knife, position your knife on an angle and slice the baguette into half inch slices using parallel cuts. By slicing on an angle, you are increasing your surface area of the face of the crostini. This allows you a wider space to put the toppings on. Cut your brie into thin slices small enough to fit on top of the bread.  Lay the bread on a cookie sheet, top them with a piece of brie,  and toast them in a 400 F oven til lightly browned. Or you can toast them in your toaster oven. Remove and while they are still warm, put a roasted garlic clove on top of the brie. When you are ready to serve the soup, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese (not from a green can) on top of the soup and float a crostini on top of the parmesan cheese. Give it a final touch of a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and fresh cracked black pepper.

Your guest will think you are a culinary genius.

Oven Roasted Cauliflower Soup

This soup is so creamy. It is hard to believe there is no cream in it. It will make a cauliflower lover out of anyone.

Software- 2 fresh cauliflower heads, one sweet onion, 2 heads of garlic, olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, chicken broth

Hardware- knife, cutting board, 2 lasagna tray to roast veggies, blender, mixing spoon,  mixing bowl, cutting board, knife, dish towel,

Steps

  • preheat oven to 350 F. Wash the cauliflower heads.
  • Carefully cut the florets off the head of cauliflower. If the florets are large, cut them in half.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and cut off the dried hard ends.
  • Peel the onion and cut into large pieces.
  • Place all the veggies into a lasagna tray.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and 2 pinches of kosher salt and cracked black pepper and mix altogether so the veggies are shiny.
  • Pour in 1 inch or more of chicken broth into each tray.
  • Bake them in the oven til you see the florets and onions getting brown. Between 40 mins -50 mins.
  • Let it cool down and transfer everything into a blender.
  • Place the lid on tight. Cover it with a dish towel. And blend. In a 2 minutes you will have a delicious creamy soup.

When serving, sprinkle a teaspoon of grated parmesan cheese in the soup bowl across the top of the soup. That little taste of powdery saltiness in contrast to the creamy soup is lovely.

Gazpaccio, Chilled Tomato Soup

I love to eat a chilled Gaspachio soup on a hot day. With the tasty vine ripened tomatoes available during summer from farmers markets or your own backyard, it is delicious. You can even make it super fancy by adding a crouton and a grilled shrimp on top or hanging on the rim. Your guest will think you are gourmet. You don’t even need to tell them how simple it was to whip up.

Steps

  • Fill your blender 3/4 of the way with fresh tomatoes, you can use red, yellow, orange,  heirloom or a combo of them.
  • Add in 1/4 of a red onion cut into large pieces.
  • Add 1/2 a hot house English cucumber/6 persian cucumbers, wash and leaving the skin on
  • 1/8-1/4 Cup of your favorite red wine vinegarette.
  • Splash red wine vinegar, only if you like it more acidic so add it after the first blend and taste.
  • Sprinkle of Garlic Salt
  • 1/8 Cup of Wheat Germ

Hit Blend on your blender and then pour it into pretty glass bowls. Serve it as is or add the pazzazz point of toast triangles the grilled shrimp. Another idea is to pour it into small glasses to use for a tasting party.

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Gingerbread House Class at the Community Center

October 25, 2010

Come get into the holiday spirit by putting together your own Gingerbread House. Kids and parents alike will have a great time creating a candy-covered holiday tradition. You take home a festive holiday decoration, and we’ll clean up the mess. All materials will be provided, just bring your creativity!

Friday, December 3
Ages: 3- Kindergarten with an adult, 1:00-2:00

Age: 1st – 6th grades (parents welcome), 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Instructor: Sonia Chung
Fee: $25 per person
Please let us know in advance of any food allergies

To register on line go to http://www.cclcf.org click under programs or call 818 790-4353

Not All Ground Turkey is Good

October 23, 2010
In my talks I warn people about the truth in the case of Ground Turkey. You need to see the words Extra Lean on the packaging. Then it is from breast meat. Here is something from Fitness Magazine.
The Foul Fowl: Ground Turkey

It seems like a no-brainer for burgers and lasagna, but ground turkey often includes fat and skin. A 3-ounce serving can contain 13 grams of fat — almost triple the amount in lean ground beef. With 40-plus percent of your day’s worth of cholesterol, regular ground chicken is no better.

Slim Strategy
Look closely at labels. Extra-lean turkey is your best bet, with 1 gram of fat and no saturated fat per serving. Can’t find it? Buy at least 92 percent lean ground beef.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, January 2010.


 

The Doctors’ Guilt-Free Weight-Loss Shake

October 23, 2010

Try The Doctors’ Guilt-Free Weight-Loss Shake and keep your figure fit and trim!

This recipe comes from one of my favorite TV shows. The Doctors. It is a show where there is a panel of 4 doctors and they give informative facts, advice, debunk myths, healthy life style tips, and answer questions about medicine and health. I don’t watch much tv. I just don’t have time for it. But this is one show that I do try to watch. I love Greek yogurt. All that creaminess w/o the all the fat. It is a great addition to any lifestyle. Plus the probiotics help your digestive system.

Ingredients

¾ cup plain Greek yogurt

1 cup frozen raspberries

Splash of organic raspberry juice

1.6 oz chopped dark chocolate

Optional: ½ cup chopped nuts, such as almonds or walnuts

 

Blend the yogurt, frozen raspberries, organic raspberry juice, chopped dark chocolate. Add nuts to the top

and enjoy!

 

Health Benefits

• Plain Greek yogurt contains two-times the amount of protein than regular yogurt, which helps satiate the

appetite.

• Raspberries are rich in antioxidants and high in fiber. Just 1 cup contains 8 grams of fiber.

• Dark chocolate is rich in flavinoids, which help reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of blood clots.

• Nuts such as almonds and walnuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids, which help curb appetite and

lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

 

Pediatrician Dr. Sears’ Tips about Halloween

October 22, 2010
Dr. Sears is one of the Doctors on the informative show The Doctors. He recommends a healthy dinner on the spooky night. You can check out the Halloween Cooking class I did at Whole Foods for a fun spooky meal.

DR. SEARS TIPS FOR A HAPPY & HEALTHY HALLOWEEN

 

 

Pre-Feed Your Child

 

Make dinnertime a special time on Halloween night. Serve your child’s favorite food, and lots of it. This way there is less room in little tummies for lots of junk food that children are likely to get during their neighborhood trick or treat rounds.

Pick Ten Pieces

Children’s eyes are bigger than their stomachs (remember, a child’s tummy is the size of his fist), so they are likely to gobble up piles of candy in mindless munching. Let your child choose ten pieces of treats, and that’s what they can begin eating tonight. Bag the rest and dole out a few pieces each day for several days as a substitute for dessert. Chances are your children will get bored with the candy overdose after a few days anyway.

Encourage Alternatives to Door-to-Door Trick-or-Treating

Neighborhood groups, church groups, YMCA’s and other community organizations often sponsor Halloween nights where the fun and games are confined to a hall or gymnasium to keep kids off the streets.

Offer Healthier Treats

Children who overdose on junk food often get a case of what they call “yuck tummy” the next day. Not only are their tummies sore, but their behavior is squirrelly from the roller coaster effect of sugar overdose.  Instead of the usual junk food, offer homemade cookies, raisins, granola bars, and fruit. Or, try non-food treats, such as: crayons, whistles, and tiny hand toys.

Be a Food Inspector and Monitor Treat Intake

Always inspect the treats before your child eats them.  Be especially careful about chokable foods, such as hard candies, in children under four. Growing children’s brains are extremely sensitive to high doses of artificial food colorings and sugars. Too much of these substances can result in sleepless nights and below-par performance at school the next day.

Halloween is a time when parents get to wear several different hats – a security guard hat to keep your kids safe, a nutritionist hat to monitor what goes into sensitive young tummies, and a party hat to share in the fun.

 

Vegging Out at the Y (Part 2)

October 7, 2010

You asked for it and you got it. The Vegging out at the Y for preschoolers was such a hit. There were 70 people/kids who joined the fun. The biggest request of all the feed back was to please have a similar program for older kids. Thanks to the YMCA being on board, we are going to do it. We are gearing it towards the kinder-3rd/4th grade kids. Mark your calendars for Thurs., Nov 4th at 3:30 -5 for a fun and tasty time for all. Recipes will not only be tasty but nutritious as well. Apple sauce, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, and Reindeer Munch. Plus as a wonderful bonus the kids will plant a seed to take home and grow their own veggie with Landscape designer, Dawn Benander of Earthly Delights. So pile into the car with a few friends and head on over to the Crescenta Canada Y.

Apple Sauce

This is a great treat for the lunch box or as an after school snack. My kids even eat it for breakfast. If you have never had homemade apple sauce, you must make this recipe. It is super easy and super delicious. Of coarse it is best to make this in the fall when the apples are in their peak of sweetness. In my cooking class we use the rotary apple peeler for the red apples and the carrot peeler for the yellow apples. Just to give the kids a chance to peel with both kitchen tools. A good thing about using a crock pot is that it cooks without you even being home. But also, the house smells delicious and cheery. A wonderful autumn smell.

Hardware- rotary apple peeler or carrot peeler, knife, cutting board, crockpot or pot with lid, teaspoon, small bowl, wooden spoon, electric blender, big bowl, dinner plate, oven mitt, dish towel.

Software- 6 red delicious apples, 6 golden delicious apples, ground cinnamon, sugar, water

Steps

  • Using either the rotary peeler or a carrot peeler, peel the skin off the apples.
  • Place them in the bowl of water.
  • Lay the plate on top to keep the apples submerged in water. This will prevent air from touching your apples. So your apples won’t turn brown. A process called oxidation.
  • Using your knife and cutting board, cut the apples off the core by cutting around the core.
  • Be sure to put the cut apple slices back into the water.
  • When all your apples have been peeled and sliced, put them in the big pot with 2 cups of water.
  • Meanwhile in a small bowl mix together 3 Tablespoons of sugar with 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon.
  • Stir them together. Add 1-2 Tablespoons to the cooking apples. (depends how sweet your apples are to start with)
  • Cook til the apples are soft. Stir occasionally.
  • Once the mixture has cooled enough to handle, transfer it to a blender.
  • Place the lid on top and cover the lid with a dish towel.
  • Hit the button to blend. In minutes you will have the best applesauce ever.

If you make it in the crock pot, you reduce the water to 1 cup.  If you do it on the stove top, there is enough steam leaving your pot that you don’t need to do this step.

Enjoy it as is or as a topping to oatmeal, pork chops, pancakes, potato pancakes, or waffles. I also like to cut french toast into sticks and use the apple sauce as a dip. Enjoy.

TMT- Good science moment to teach about Oxidation. We used a barrier to prevent oxidation. Lemon juice and honey are other barriers to try. Apples can be graphed, written about, life cycle of an apple tree to explain the 4 seasons, read about John Chapman and why he greatly helped pioneer families stay healthy. Weigh things using the weight of apples to balance it. taste different apples and use descriptive adjectives to tell about the flavor. Graph which apple flavor you liked best. Document the cost of an apple in the course of American history.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Hardware- fry pan, wooden spoon, plate

Software- clean dry shell on pumpkin seeds, salt, canola oil, other option of seasoning… olive oil, garlic salt,

Heat up a fry pan on med heat, pour in some oil, let the oil heat up, add the seeds. It is very important that the seeds be dry otherwise the water will pop in the oil and you could get burned. Using the wooden spoon stir the seeds around. When the seeds start to get golden brown sprinkle in the salt and stir around to coat all the seeds. Let them get to a toasty brown. They should be dry so they don’t spoil when in a bag. Slide them out onto a plate and let them cool. Once they are cool, you can eat them as is or use them in the trail mix. They taste like nutty popcorn. They also make a great garnish for pumpkin/butternut squash soup.

Reindeer Crunch

Due to potential allergies, the kid version is the basic one. It is also the version I make to keep in the car. If you have something like this in the car or your purse, you will be armed with a healthy snack. If you know there are no chocolate, nut, dairy allergies, make the basic and include the optional add ins list.

Hardware- a big mixing bowl, measuring cups, containers to put store it, wooden spoon

Software- 1/4 C pretzels, 1/8 C raisins, 1/8 C dried cranberries, 1/2 C unbuttered popcorn, 1/8 C toasted pumpkin seeds, 1/4 C cheerios, 1/4 C wheat chex,

In a large bowl add all the ingredients and give it a mix with the wooden spoon.

Optional Add in.. 1/8 C chocolate chips, 1/4 C raw unsalted almonds, 1/8 C yogurt covered raisins, 1/4 C granola, 1/8 C sunflower seeds

I hope you have enjoyed the demo and feel confident about trying these recipes. To see more recipes check out my kids cooking blog www.chefsonia.wordpress.com

I can be reached via email at snugglebunnysc@yahoo.com

You can find me at the La Canada Flintridge Community Center teaching my cooking classes. Young Cooks and Great Books. My next class is a Gingerbread house workshop on Dec 3. To enroll for my class go to www.cclcf.org

I am also available to teach at boy scout, girl scout meetings and at birthday parties.