Archive for the ‘Lunchbox Makeover’ Category

Granola Breakfast Loaf bread

February 22, 2014

One of our Granola of the Month Members requested a recipe using our granola in a new way.  Since our granola has so many tasty tidbits and nutritional power packed ingredients, this is a wonderful addition to your muffin recipe collection. This texture comes out like a loaf of sandwich bread rather than a sweet quick bread. (ie banana bread)

Software- 2 and 1/2 C Original Blend of Chef Sonia’s Granola, 1 and 1/2 C unbleached wheat flour, 2 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 tspoon salt, egg substite equivalent to 2 large eggs, 1 C plain low fat yogurt, 1/4 C unsweetened apple sauce, 1/4 C butter, 1/4 C brown sugar,1/4 C pure maple syrup,

note-If you do not have any of my granola, you may substitute another brand but add 1/2 C of chopped nuts, and 1/2 C of dried cranberries. (Disclaimer-it may not be as good as if you had made it with mine, wink.)

Steps.

  • preheat oven to 350 F. Line your muffin pan with paper liners.
  • Set aside. In a large bowl put flour, baking powder, baking soda and whisk to break up lumps.
  • In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.
  • Add to the creamed butter, lightly beat egg substitite with yougurt, applesauce, and maple syrup.
  • Pour the wet team (the yogurt mixture) on top of the dry team.
  • Fold the wet ingredients on top of the dry for 10 stirs.
  • Pour in 2 C of the granola. Stir til the granola is incorporated into the batter taking care not to overstir, about 3 stirs (Overstirring any flour mixture creates a tough batter.)
  • Using an ice cream scooper, divide batter into the cupcake liners til about 2/3 full.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 C of granola as a topping.
  • Cover the muffins lightly with foil to prevent the granola from burning.
  • Put them in the oven. AH- Adult Help needed
  • Bake for 8 mins. Take the foil off and continue to bake til a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs on it. Not completely clean.
  • Remove from oven. AH- Adult Help needed. The carry over heat in the muffins will continue to cook the muffins so they are perfect.

The hardest part is waiting for them to cool down so you can eat them. These are a perfect breakfast on the go as well as afternoon pick me up. Deliciousness you can feel good about. Enjoy. If you like them, please review it and share a comment. Thank you.

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Lunch Box Make Over @ PCS

November 2, 2010

Home Made Hot Pockets

Calzone- a calzone is a pizza that is folded in half. This is great for lunch boxes because it is portable and the kids can eat it with their hands. It also makes a great lunch for field trips. This is fun for a slumber party/play date. I let Trader Joe’s do some of the work by using their premade raw pizza dough. I like the wheat one. It doesn’t get as fluffy as the Bridgeford Frozen bread dough since it is pizza dough not bread loaf dough. Unfortunately Bridgeford doesn’t have a wheat dough. But everything in moderation. My kids get whole wheat for all their other sandwiches so I feel once in a while the white is fine.

Hardware- cookie tray/pizza pan, rolling pin, cutting board, flatwear tspn, knife, pastry brush (if you child won’t put a finger in the egg wash), parchment paper,

Software- tomato paste with italian herbs, raw pizza dough, string cheese cut into 1/4ths, low fat salami/ turkey sausage/ (even the brown and serve breakfast sausages work great) cut in half, dried oregano, garlic powder, egg, 1 tspn milk, any other pizza toppings your family enjoys..ie, drained crushed pineapples, sauteed mushrooms, diced bell pepper, artichoke, sundried tomatoes,

Steps

Preheat your oven to 425 F. Sprinkle flour on your cutting board so the dough won’t stick to the board. Sprinkle flour in your palm and rub your palm up and down your rolling pin to prevent sticking of your dough. Pull off a piece of dough and roll it in your hands so you have a racquetball size ball of dough. Place it on your cutting board and put your rolling pin in the center of the ball. Gently roll the rolling pin away from you. Place the rolling pin in the center again and roll towards you. Pick up your flattened dough and rotate it 90 degrees. Repeat the rolling process. Rotate and roll again until you have a nice flat disc about half an inch thick. Using the back of a silverware teaspoon to swipe on about 1/2 tspn of tomato paste. Put 1/2 a piece of breakfast sausage or 1 piece of salami then add 1/4 of a stick of string cheese. Dip your index finger in the dish of water and apply water to the edge of the dough. Pull up the dough to meet each other. I say Look at your dough like a compass. the North meets the South and the East meets the West. Then pull up the other left over edges and pinch everything together. It is important that the seal is tight. Roll the dough ball over so the seam is underneath. Place it on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Make an egg wash by cracking the egg in a small dish. Add the milk and scramble it together as if you were making scrambled egg. Using either your finger or a pastry brush, apply a thin layer of egg wash on the calzone. Sprinkle it with garlic powder. Sprinkle it with Oregano. Take your sharp knife and lightly cut across the top of your calzone to vent it. Cut 2 slashes. Be careful not to cut too deep. You should be cutting the dough until you see the filling. Bake til golden brown and delicious. About 20 mins. Enjoy.

You can also make this into a breakfast Hot Pocket by adding cooked scrambled eggs in it. I did this with the leftover egg wash. Make it into scrambled eggs. Put the eggs, cheese, meat, tomato paste in one. and enjoy a hand held breakfast on the go.

BBQ Chicken Pizza by Chef Sonia at Whole Foods Market

Kids love to help assemble this. 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 pizza all at once. I take some of the leftover steamed carrots, frozen spinach and puree it up with some of the BBQ sauce just to sneak in some more goodness.

Hardware- pizza pan, spoon for spreading out the sauce, bowls to hold the toppings,

Software-Ready baked packaged whole wheat pizza crust, deboned “no salt added” rotisserie chicken, your family’s favorite BBQ sauce pumped up (see above to find out what I add to pump it up), fresh cilantro, motzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, carmelized onion or thinly sliced red onion (both optional)

Steps for Kids to do

  • Wash your hands for 20 sec with soap. Read all directions and gather materials needed.
  • Remove the crust from the packaging. Save the directions.
  • Place crust on a pizza pan or cookie sheet.
  • Preheat the oven (turn the oven on to bake and set the temperature to what the package says.)
  • sprinkle garlic powder all over the crust, spread the pumped up BBQ sauce all over using the back of your spoon.
  • Sprinkle chopped chicken all over
  • Wash and chop the cilantro. If the kids are doing this then have them tear it up with their fingers or put a clean bunch into a plastic cup and let them cut into them using the kitchen scissors.
  • Sprinkle the cilantro around
  • Optional. Scatter onions around. Carmelizing them helps to take off the bite.
  • Sprinkle on an even layer of cheesy goodness by mixing 1/3 motzarella to 2/3 cheddar mix.
  • Slide it into a preheated oven and bake according to the packaging directions.
  • Have an adult help you take it out of the oven.
  • Congratulations you have made a masterpiece. Enjoy!

This is so tasty that my family eats all of it for dinner and I have to make another one for lunch. So buy 2 crusts. Be the envy of all at the lunch table.

Turkey Hummus Spirals by Chef Sonia at Whole Foods Market

Hummus is a great alternative to mayonnaise. You still have the creamy spreadable texture w/out all the fat. You also get the added fiber and protein as an added bonus.

Hardware- cutting board, spoon for spreading out the hummus, plate to have all your veggies on, sharp knife

Software-Wheat tortillas, hummus (I use the spinach artichoke one), chopped carrots, shredded Persian cucumbers, julienned red bell peppers, shredded bib lettuce

Steps

  • Lay a tortilla on your cutting board
  • Spread hummus on the bottom 2/3 of the tortilla
  • Sprinkle the carrots on the hummus up to the middle of the tortilla
  • Sprinkle the lettuce on the carrots on the bottom 1/3 of the tortilla
  • Lay slices of sandwich meat on the lettuce covering the carrots, lettuce, and humus
  • Lay a small row of bell peppers at the very bottom of the tortilla
  • Roll the bottom of the tortilla over the peppers, tuck the tortilla around the peppers and continue to roll up the tortilla like a sleeping bag.
  • Place the roll seam side down on the cutting board and cut into bite size pieces.

You can substitute other veggies in this roll. I have substituted low fat cream cheese for the hummus and julienned pears or apples for the bell pepper.


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 towww.cclcf.org

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

My Free Healthy Cooking Series at the Montrose Library

August 29, 2010

I have partnered up with the Montrose Public Library to offer a “Free Parent Cooking Class” on 3rd Wednesdays of each month, from 10:30 – 11:30 AM. (9/15, 10/20, 11/17, & 12/15)

The first class would be on Wednesday, Sept. 15th. With classes in October, & November. December.( so far) In my How to get  your kids to eat healthy and like it, I have planned… Sept- homemade applesauce, Oct- pumpkin pancakes with yogurt, Nov. oven roasted veggies, Dec- Magical Marinara (it is a great gift to give in lieu of sweets)

There is a require pre-registration. That way we can plan appropriately for cost, etc. Due to cost/space, we are limited to 15 people. To sign up contact Jennifer at the library. Please let us know of any allergies too.

Jennifer Boyce – Children’s Librarian

Montrose Branch Library

2465 Honolulu Ave.

Montrose, CA 91020

(818) 548-2016

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.

Pumpkin Pancakes (adapted from allrecipes.com) for Halloween/fall

We made these for my cooking class and read Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. Very fun since the movie is out now too. In the book the whole story starts because Grandpa flips a pancake and it lands on his grandson’s head. You can also read If you Give a Pig a Pancake. or any book about pumpkins.

TMT – Good teachable moment to be scientists. I had them guess what was in my bottle. We talked about the 3 states of matter. They took a sniff of what was in the bottle to see if they guessed correctly. Most had said water. Then they all watched as I slowly poured the vinegar onto the baking soda. They were very thrilled to see all the bubbles. We talked about what is in a bubble. And recapped. Solid-baking soda, liquid-vinegar,and bubbles-gas. This explains why these pancakes are so amazingly light and fluffy. Enjoy.

Hardware-frypan or griddle, flipper, plate, fork, big mixing bowl, medium mixing bowl, mesuring cups for liquid and dry, spatula, ice scooper that sweeps out the cup or 1/4 measuring cup, measuring spoons, paper towel

Software- 2 and 1/2 Cup Aunt Jemima Original Pancake Mix, 4 Tablespoon brown sugar, 3 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (available in baking aisle), 1 egg, 1 and 3/4 cup milk, 2 Tablespoon canola oil, 2 Tablespoon white vinegar, 1 and 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pie mix), 1/8 cup ground flaxseed meal, 1 teaspoon vanilla yogurt, fresh bananas, chopped pecans (optional), real maple syrup

AHN-“Adult Help Needed” to help you cook them on the griddle

Procedure

  • Crack the egg in a small bowl. Make sure there are no shells. Dump the egg into the big mixing bowl. Wash the egg off your hands.
  • Next add in the milk, pumpkin, oil, and vinegar
  • In the medium bowl mix together the pancake mix, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, flaxseed meal. Stir them together to combine
  • Pour the dry ingredients on top of the wet. Stir with a spatula until just combined. Do not over mix. Over mixing causes pancakes to be rubbery.
  • Let the batter just sit. It is called rest. This allows the bubbles to form.
  • While your batter is resting, peel your banana and toast your pecans
  • Have your plate where you will be putting your finished pancakes on right next to the griddle. Put a sheet of paper towel on the plate. Bring over your batter and flipper.
  • Heat up the griddle on med heat. AHN part
  • pour out a 3 sec pour of oil. Wait 2 minutes.
  • Using the flipper spread the oil around the griddle
  • Using the ice cream scooper or 1/4 cup measuring cup put the batter. Use the back of the scooper to spread out the batter and shape it into a frisbee.
  • When you see the edges getting not as shiny and bubbles forming in the pancake, you are ready to flip it.
  • Hold your flipper as if you were shaking hands with it. have your thumb nail facing up. Get the edge of the flipper under the edge of the pancake. push the flipper so the entire pancake is on your flipper. Then roll your hand as if you were turning the page of a book. This should make the pancake flip like a page in a book. Never flip the pancake toward you. You don’t want to risk splashing the hot oil on you.
  • Cook 2 mins or til golden brown
  • Using the flipper, remove the finished pancake to the plate. The paper towel will soak up any excess oil if you have some.

To serve- put 2 pancakes on a plate, top them with a dollop of yogurt, sliced bananas, and a drizzle of maple syrup, sprinkle on the chopped pecans. (optional)

Variations- you can use cooked sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin. Adding cranberries after you pour the batter onto the griddle is nice too.

I have used this as an on the go meal/snack by heating up a breakfast sausage and rolling the cooked pancake around it. Smear on some strawberry cream cheese to help it stick together. Send it with some apple slices and you have a super easy to pack school lunch. great for fieldtrips too.

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,), 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. 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 garnish the tomato soup

Software- french Baguette, head of garlic, olive oil, kosher salt,

Hardware- aluminum foil, knife, cutting board,

Steps-

Preheat your oven to 375. Cut the garlic head in half horizontally to expose all the cloves, drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil on the cut side of each half, add a pinch of kosher salt. Lay the garlic on the foil cut sides up, loosely wrap the foil around it and crimp it so the steam stays in.

Magical Marinara

The magical part of this marinara is how many oh so good for you items you can sneak in. Not only do the added veggies bump up the nutritional value, they really add to the flavor profile by adding a natural sweetness to the sauce. This is a great sauce to have in your go to file because since you are using the blender at the end, you can cut up the veggies in big chunks. The kids at the library enjoyed the chopping, tearing of herb leaves, and working the immersion blender. And of course the eating of the finished culinary creation.

Hardware- 2 big pots, colander, wooden spoon, cutting board, knife, immersion blender aka stick blender/a regular blender,

Software- two 28 oz. cans of peeled whole tomatoes, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 sweet onion, 2 cups of chopped carrots, 1 medium size zucchini, kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, 1/8 c  flax seed meal, 1/8 c wheat germ, 1-2 tsp of brown sugar, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fresh basil, fresh flat leaf italian parsley,

Steps

Cut off the woody ends of the garlic cloves.

Smash the garlic cloves and peel off the paper, set aside.

Cut your onion in half through the roots and top.

Peel off the outer papery skin. cut the onion into big cubes.

Rinse off the carrots and zucchini and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces.

In a heavy bottom pot, drizzle olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pot. put on med heat. add the onions, when they become limp, add the garlic cloves, carrots, and zucchini, stir the veggies around till the onions take on a brown color, Add the canned tomatoes. While the sauce is simmering, wash and cut off the stems on the herbs, Add the wheat germ, flax seed, fresh cracked black pepper, brown sugar, and herbs to the sauce, let it simmer, Add the balsamic vinegar and turn off the heat. Let it cool down. Using a towel to cover the pot so as to prevent splattering, stick your immersion blender into the pot under the towel and blend away. Or you can transfer the sauce to a blender and pulse it. Cook your favorite pasta and top it with your yummy sauce. Don’t forget to add half a cup of the water you cooked the pasta in to the sauce. The starchiness of the water will help the sauce stick to the pasta better.

Simple Guacamole by Sonia Chung at Whole Foods Market

Guacamole is best when mixed up right before serving. If you do have to store it a few hours before using it, then put it in a narrow container and place plastic wrap directly on top of it. The plastic will prevent the air from oxidizing your avocados. This method of making guacamole was developed for the Autism Awareness Day at Whole Foods. In order to be “go Green”, please use a potato masher and mixing bowl when making this at home. Saving the Earth from one more plastic bag in a landfill.

Hardware-big mixing bowl, potato masher, cutting board, knife, plastic juicer, mixing spoon, flatware spoon, zip top plastic bag, pizza slicer

Software-Ripe avocados, Fresh lime juice, Chopped Cilantro, Garlic salt, cherry tomatoes, diced red onions (optional)

Steps

  • Wash the avocados and lime
  • Rinse off the cilantro and chop it up by rolling the pizza cutter over the leaves. Remove any thick pieces of stem. Set aside.
  • Rinse off the tomatoes and dice. (optional) Set aside.
  • Cut the avocados in half by rotating the avocado around and keeping your knife still. Give it a twist and pull apart
  • Using your flatware spoon scoop out the shell into the big mixing bowl
  • Putting your hand under a kitchen towel, place the avocado half with the seed stuck in it on the towel. Wack the seed with a knife so that the blade is slightly embedded in the seed. Give the knife a twist to remove the seed. Place your hand over the back of the knife and pinch right behind the seed and this should make the seed fall off the knife w/out any threat of cutting yourself
  • Scoop out the shell into the plastic bag
  • Sprinkle it with garlic salt. Remember to use less because you can always add more later
  • Press the air out of the bag and zip it up. Mash up the avocados by squeezing the bag.
  • Cut the lime in half and put it in the juicer. Squeeze lime juice to a bowl.
  • Open the bag. With a teaspoon add juice to the bag.
  • Add the cilantro and red onions (optional) and smash it around in the bag.
  • Add the tomatoes and stir gently. Chill until ready to serve

I like to serve this with baby carrots, celery, and the oven baked no salt added chips or the oven baked flax seed Omega 3 chips. It is also great in sandwiches and wraps instead of mayo. Try it on your next BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato). I use the Applegate brand turkey bacon over at Whole Foods. 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.

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.

CEC cooking recipes

August 5, 2010

Today I taught at the CEC aka Child Educational Center. The kids were a variety of ages. I was impressed with how well the students listened to directions and how the older kids were eager to help prep the ingredients and help the littler ones assemble their food. They did a terrific job of making 2 delicious and healthy snacks for themselves.

The focus was Farm to Table. I taught recipes that highlighted the variety of produce that we are lucky enough to be growing here in California.

Hummus Veggie Pockets

Hummus is a great alternative to mayonnaise. You still have the creamy spreadable texture w/out all the fat. You also get the added fiber and protein as an added bonus.

Hardware- cutting board, spoon for spreading out the hummus, plate to have all your veggies on, sharp knife

Software-Wheat pita, hummus (I like to use the spinach artichoke one), chopped carrots, shredded Persian cucumbers, julienned red bell peppers (optional), shredded bib lettuce,

Steps

  • Lay a pita on your cutting board
  • Cut the pita in half so you have 2 semi-circles.
  • Spread hummus on the side of your pita pocket. The hummus will serve as glue for the carrots to stick to.
  • Sprinkle the carrots on the hummus
  • Sprinkle the lettuce on the carrots
  • Tuck in the slices of cucumbers
  • Tuck in the bell peppers if you are using them

You can substitute other veggies in this roll. I have substituted low fat cream cheese for the hummus and julienned pears or apples for the bell pepper.

Perfect tie in for the book Katie No Pockets

Strawberry Yogurt Parfait

Strawberries are loaded with vitamin C and add sweetness with out sugar to recipes. If you haven’t had the satisfaction of picking your own strawberries, I strongly urge you to do it. The flavors are so intense and the berries are so juicy when plucked fresh off the vine. My kids and I had the pleasure of adding that memory to our recent Legoland trip.

This recipe looks lovely in a clear glass bowl or clear glass lasagna tray as well. A tasty healthy dessert to take to your next potluck or brunch. You can also use blueberries, raspberries, boysenberries, granola or a combo of all the berries. If you use bananas, toss them in a little honey first to slow down the browning of them. aka oxidation.

Hardware- silverware teaspoon, clear cups to see the layers, plastic knife, cutting board/paper plates, sandwich ziploc bag

Software- fresh strawberries (washed and green leaves cut off), vanilla lowfat yogurt, graham crackers

Steps

  • Place a graham cracker into a ziploc bag and smash it up with your fist. It should look like sand.Set it aside for later.
  • In your cup add spoonfuls of yogurt and spread it evenly around to make a nice layer.
  • Using your cutting board and plastic knife cut 2-3 strawberries into fourths. Put them on top of the yogurt.
  • Open your ziploc bag and sprinkle the smashed cracker on top of the strawberries. Use a clean spoon to spread the crackers into an even layer.
  • Repeat the whole process again so you have another layer of yogurt, strawberries and cracker.

Keep in the fridge until you are ready to eat it. Enjoy.

Summer Cooking Camp

July 9, 2010

My Summer Cooking Camp is starting on Monday, July 12, I have the preschool class at 10-11:15 and the up to 10 yrs old at 12:30-1:45. The camp runs from Mon- Friday. We will be cooking up foods from around the world that are finger foods. We are going beyond the Chicken Nugget. It should be a delicious world tour. Fudgesicles and Angelic Deviled Eggs from America, Inari and Cucumber Rolls from Japan, , pork wontons from China, Agua Fresca and oven baked churros from Mexico, Cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwiches and scones from England. It should be a delicious world tour.

Angelic Deviled Eggs

Usually deviled eggs are made with all the egg yolks and mayo. Mine 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.

Cucumber Roll

Hardware- cutting board, wooden spoon for spreading out the rice, plate to have your cucumber sticks on, sharp knife, bamboo sushi mat, small bowl of water

Software-Sticky rice (I like to mix half brown and half white), toasted sesame seeds, shredded Persian cucumbers, nori (not the salted toasted one)

Steps

  • Make the rice according to the package directions.
  • Once the rice is cooked, mix together the different rices and sesame seeds.
  • Lay a sheet of nori on your bamboo mat.
  • Spread rice on the bottom 1/2 of the nori sheet. You can dip your fingertips in water and use them to flatten out the rice.
  • Lay a thin row of cucumbers at the bottom of the rice.
  • Roll the bottom of the bamboo mat along with the ingredients over on itself tucking the nori in. As you press the nori in, pull the bamboo mat away and continue the rolling motion to roll up the nori like a sleeping bag.
  • Place the roll seam side down on the cutting board and cut into bite size pieces. If rice is sticking to your knife, dip it in a glass of water sliding the blade against the rim to wipe off the excess water and rice grains.

You can substitute other veggies in this roll. This is a great way of stretching your rotisserie chicken into another meal. Just shred it into strips and add it on top of the cucumber. I usually add finely chopped carrots, sweet egg, avocado slices, and steamed green beans/raw sugar snap peas. This is my kids favorite lunch/dinner.

Agua Fresca de Sandia aka Watermelon Juice

Watermelon is a great source of lycopene, fiber, and keeps you hydrated. Watermelon juice is a favorite drink for my son. He wouldn’t normally eat 5 slices of melon but if i puree them he eats all five and then some. Summer outdoor fun can dehydrate kids and you fast so keep a pitcher of this on hand. Just be sure to drink it all on the day you make it for the best flavor and texture. It can be frozen into popscicles too.

Hardware- Blender, knife, cutting board, wooden spoon, paper towels, pitcher

Software- whole watermelon

  • Wash the outside of the watermelon with soapy water.
  • Place a damp kitchen towel under a cutting board to prevent it from slipping and also so soak up the juice so it doesn’t spread all over the counter.
  • You can also place a paper towel on top of the cutting board to keep the melon from slipping around while you try to cut it in half.
  • Remember to never have your hand or fingers in front of the knife blade. Your knife could easily slip on the watermelon’s smooth rind.
  • Carefully, using a smooth bladed knife cut the melon in half. Put one of the halves aside.
  • Remove the paper towel.
  • lay the melon on the cut side so it doesn’t wobble around.
  • Cut it in half again and continue to cut parallel lines. then lay the semi circles on their sides and cut off the rinds. Throw these in your compost pile.
  • Cut the watermelon flesh into chunks and put them in your blender.
  • Put the lid on and blend away.
  • If your blade gets stuck, simply stop the motor and move the watermelon pieces around with your wooden spoon.
  • Put the lid back on tight and blend again.
  • Transfer your frothy drink to a pitcher.
  • Pour it in a tall glass over ice cubes and enjoy.

Pork and Chives Wontons

Hardware- mini/food processor, bamboo steamer (or any steamer), 2 mixing bowls, small bowls, silverware teaspoon, knife, cutting board, cheese cloth, colander, big pot that a bamboo steamer can sit on top of, plate with flour sprinkled on it,

Software- 1 lb lean ground pork, napa cabbage, firm tofu, chives, 1 egg, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, low sodium soy sauce, cracked black pepper, kosher salt, fresh wonton wrappers, corn starch,

Bamboo steamer helps to cook a group of wontons at once. Use the broad outer leaves of the napa cabbage on top of the bamboo slots. This prevents the wontons from sticking to the bamboo. If you don’t have cabbage leaves you can use wet paper towels or a wet cheese cloth.

The key to a good wonton is to take out as much moisture and air from the stuffing as you can. So we squeeze as hard as we can when called for.

Wontons are easiest to make if you use an assemble line tecnique. I make the stuffing then assemble the wontons and freeze them individually and transfer them to a ziploc freezer bag so that I can use just a few or a whole plateful at a time. The quality of these wontons is so good that you should steam them or boil them.

Procedure

Set a large pot of water to boil. Pull off the large broad outer leaves of the napa cabbage and set aside. Rinse off 5 of the remaining leaves, Cut them into 1 inch slices against the grain of the leaves. Place them in the boiling water to blanch. When they are soft but not mushy, dump them out into a colander and then into a large bowl of ice water. This is called shocking them. Shocking a vegetable will make sure your veggie retains its bright green color. It also stops the cooking process. Wrap your cooked cabbage leaves in a tea towel/cheese cloth and squeeze out as much water as you can. Set it aside. Open the tofu and rinse off one brick. place it in a cheesecloth and squeeze out as much water as you can. wash your chives and trim off the bottom ends cut them into smaller sticks so you have 1 cup, place them into a mixing bowl for later use.

using the palm of your hand break apart the garlic head. peel 2-3 cloves and place into processor’s mixing bowl, peel fresh ginger, break off a 1 inch knob and use the edge of a silverware teaspoon to scrape the skin off. Discard the skin. Slice the ginger and add it into the processor also. Add a large pinch of salt to help grind things up. Hit the processor’s button and chop into tiny pieces. Add the chive sticks to the processor bowl and press the chop button till the chives are into small pieces. Remove the sharp blade and scoop out the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the tofu, Add the blanched cabbage pieces. Add a teaspoon of corn starch. (as antimoisture insurance) Drizzle in 3 Tbsn of soy sauce. Add 2 Tbsn of fresh cracked black pepper. Using your clean hands, mix everything together.

In a small dish, crack the egg and 1 Tbsn of water, scramble it up. Set aside. On a clean cutting board or plate, sprinkle on a dusting of flour. Open your package of wonton wrappers. Take out 5 wrappers. Put a damp towel on the open package so they don’t dry out. Lay the stack of 5 wrappers out on point so they are like a diamond. Pull the stack down about 1/2″ to create a border on which you can apply the egg wash. Continue pulling the pile down leaving a border until the wrappers are laying in an upside down chevron pattern. Dip your finger in the egg wash and run it over the wonton borders. Add a 1/2 Tbsn of stuffing to the center of the top wrapper. Lift the bottom corner of the wrapper and pull it up til the corner meets the top corner. Using your fingertips, press the remaining seams together. Use the palm of your hands to press out any excess air from the wonton. If you don’t, the air in the wrapper will expand in the cooking process and the wonton could come apart from the pressure. Lay your finished wonton on the floured plate. The flour prevents the wontons from sticking to the plate. Cover the plate with a slightly damp kitchen towel so the wontons don’t dry out. Continue stuffing the wrappers til the filling or wrappers are gone. If you have filling left, you can put it in a freezer ziploc bag labeled wonton filling and stick it in the freezer.

to be cont. later. please check back

Go ahead and Play with Your Food

May 14, 2010

It is funny how food on a stick seems to taste better. Maybe it is the sense that it is somehow more interactive and fun. You know how your mom always said, “Don’t play with your food.” Well, these recipes are all meant to be eaten with your hads. It actually is a time that you are required to play with  your food. These recipes are all great for playdates for the kids to make themselves.

Fruit Kabob with Granola and yogurt dipping sauce

This recipe takes the usual fruit kabob and adds a twist or two of newness. By halving an upsidedown melon, you have a perfect foundation to use as a serving display.

Hardware- bamboo skewers, cutting board, knife to cut fruit, platter

Software- an assortment of your favorite fresh fruit (remember to get ones that are in season. they will be sweeter and cheaper that way) apples, grapes, cantaloup, honeydew, oranges, pineappples, strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, grapes, Multigrain Cheerios, cubes of cheese, marshmallow

Steps

  • put a wet paper towel or rubber shelf liner under your cutting board so it doesn’t wiggle. This will make it easier to precisely cut your fruit.
  • Cut the apple into wedges. Cut the wedges in half.
  • Put them in a bowl and squeeze some orange juice over them so they won’t oxidize. (Oxidation causes your fruit to turn brown)
  • mix the appless around in the juice so the orange juice touches all the exposed sides.
  • peel the orange and pull apart the wedges. Cut the wedges in half.
  • Set aside
  • Peel and cut the melons into bite size chunks. Set aside
  • Peel and cut the pineapple into bite size chunks. Set aside
  • Wash the berries and grapes
  • set aside
  • After you have prepped all your fruit, decide what order you would like to have them be in on the skewer. I like not have 2 of the same color fruits next to each other.
  • Start sliding fruit on by poking it with the sharp side of the skewer. Leave room for a marshmallow at the very end of the stick. Remember that the first fruit you slide on will be at the top of the skewer.
  • Slide on the fruit, then a few Cheerios, piece of cheese, then more fruit, then Cheerios, then fruit.
  • Push the pointy end of the skewer into the melon half.
  • Use the marshmallow to hide the tip of the skewer

Enjoy with a side of lowfat yogurt sprinkled with granola or Grape Nuts Cereal for added crunch. Kids love to dip things so this gives them a fun healthy dip.

Pancake for lunch

In the dilemma of what to pack for lunch, I sometimes will pack breakfast foods for lunch. My kids love pancakes. I like to make them thin enough to wrap around a sausage/turkey slice. It is a healthier option to the fried corn dog. You can give them a small tupperware of yogurt to dip their pancakes in.

Simple Guacamole by Sonia Chung at Whole Foods Market

Guacamole is best when mixed up right before serving. If you do have to store it a few hours before using it, then put it in a narrow container and place plastic wrap directly on top of it. The plastic will prevent the air from oxidizing your avocados.

Hardware-big mixing bowl, potato masher, cutting board, knife, plastic juicer, mixing spoon, flatware spoon, zip top plastic bag, pizza slicer

Software-Ripe avocados, Fresh lime juice, Chopped Cilantro, Garlic salt, cherry tomatoes, diced red onions (optional)

Steps

  • Wash the avocados and lime
  • Rinse off the cilantro and chop it up by rolling the pizza cutter over the leaves. Remove any thick pieces of stem. Set aside.
  • Rinse off the tomatoes and dice. (optional) Set aside.
  • Cut the avocados in half by rotating the avocado around and keeping your knife still. Give it a twist and pull apart
  • Using your flatware spoon scoop out the shell into the big mixing bowl
  • Putting your hand under a kitchen towel, place the avocado half with the seed stuck in it on the towel. Wack the seed with a knife so that the blade is slightly embedded in the seed. Give the knife a twist to remove the seed. Place your hand over the back of the knife and pinch right behind the seed and this should make the seed fall off the knife w/out any threat of cutting yourself
  • Scoop out the shell into the plastic bag
  • Sprinkle it with garlic salt. Remember to use less because you can always add more later
  • Press the air out of the bag and zip it up. Mash up the avocados by squeezing the bag.
  • Cut the lime in half and put it in the juicer. Squeeze lime juice to a bowl.
  • Open the bag. With a teaspoon add juice to the bag.
  • Add the cilantro and red onions (optional) and smash it around in the bag.
  • Add the tomatoes and stir gently. Chill until ready to serve

I like to serve this with baby carrots, celery, and the oven baked no salt added chips or the oven baked flax seed Omega 3 chips. It is also great in sandwiches and wraps instead of mayo. Try it on your next BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato). I use the Applegate brand turkey bacon over at Whole Foods. Enjoy.

Homemade Hot Pockets aka Mini Calzones

Bridgeford has premade bread dough in dinner roll size. I find them in the frozen section of the store. These are the perfect size to make homemade hot pockets. I use any leftover dinner protein. For example. BBQ chicken, BBQ pork, Chili, any pizza toppings. Any cooked veggies are great too.  You will want to let your dinner roll defrost and rise (meaning for the yeast to wake up and puff up the bread) under a damp dish towel.

Hardware- rolling pin, tablespoons, teaspoons, small bowls for toppings, cookie sheet or pizza stone, parchment paper for the cookie sheet, pastry brush, knife, cutting board

Software- Bridgeford premade bread dough in dinner roll size, any cooked protein you have on hand, any veggies you like on a pizza sliced or chopped, italian style tomato paste, cheese, garlic powder, egg, flour, small bowl of water.

Procedure

Sprinkle flour on a clean counter or a big cutting board. rub flour on your hands and also on the rolling pin. Roll out one dinner roll to a flat pizza shape. Using the back of a teaspoon, wipe on a thin layer of tomato paste in the center of the pizza and spread it out as if you were saucing a pizza. Add the meat, veggies, and cheese. dip your finger in the bowl of water and rub it all along the pizzas crust. Carefully pull up the wet edges on half to meet the other half that is laying flat as if you were closing a book. Firmly pinch the edges together. You want to make sure the dough is all sealed up. Otherwise the stuffing will leak out.

  • 2 b finished later. please check back

Veggie Out at the YMCA

April 24, 2010

Hummus Veggie Pita Pockets by Sonia Chung at Crescent Canada YMCA

Hummus is a great alternative to mayonnaise. You still have the creamy spreadable texture w/out all the fat. You also get the added fiber and protein as an added bonus.

Hardware- cutting board, spoon for spreading out the hummus, plate to have all your veggies on, sharp knife

Software-Wheat pita, hummus (I use the spinach artichoke one), chopped carrots, shredded Persian cucumbers, julienned red bell peppers (optional), shredded bib lettuce/baby spinach, turkey deli meat

Steps

  • Lay a pita on your cutting board
  • Cut the pita in half so you have 2 semi-circles.
  • Spread hummus on the side of your pita pocket. The hummus will serve as glue for the carrots to stick to.
  • Lay your turkey slice on the inside of the pita pocket
  • Sprinkle the carrots on the hummus
  • Sprinkle the lettuce on the carrots
  • Tuck in the slices of cucumbers
  • Tuck in the bell peppers if you are using them

You can substitute other veggies in this roll. I have substituted low fat cream cheese for the hummus and julienned pears or apples for the bell pepper.

Perfect tie in for the book Katie No Pockets

Banana in a Blanket

This is a healthy alternative to pigs in a blanket. The kids can assemble this at a playdate/slumber party. I make this for my kids often. They can eat it as a breakfast on the go or as an after school snack on the way to dr appts or lessons. I make it with peanut butter but for the YMCA event we used honey since there are so many peanut/nut allergies out there. The banana and honey add sweetness, the spread adds protein, and the wheat tortilla adds fiber to keep your blood sugar steady so you won’t run out of steam.

Hardware- cutting board, knife, butter knife, plate or paper towel

Software- wheat tortilla, banana, honey and/or peanut butter/cashew butter/almond butter/sunflower seed butter,

Steps

lay your tortilla flat on the cutting board. If it is larger than the banana, you may want to cut the tortilla down to the size of the banana.

Spread a thin layer of any of the spreads.

Drizzle a thin amount of honey all over

Place the banana on top of the spread towards the bottom edge of your tortilla.

Pull the bottom of the tortilla around the banana and continue to roll up the banana in the tortilla as you would roll up a sleeping bag.

Wrap it in a paper towel and you are ready to take you power snack anywhere.

I read the book Curious George for this snack.

Butterfly carrots

This is another snack that is great for kids to make on their own. It is perfect as a playdate activity and snack.  You can use regular cream cheese or any other flavor you like.

Software- baby carrots, small tub of low fat cream cheese, raisins, small twist pretzels

Hardware- butter knife, small plates

Steps

  • Place a baby carrot on your plate.
  • Using a piping bag or a knife spread on a layer of cream cheese.
  • Stick 2 pretzels into the cream cheese so they are at an angle. These are the wings.
  • Push on 2 raisins for eyes in the cream cheese towards the top of the carrot.
  • Enjoy your lovely little butterfly.

I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Charlie the Caterpillar as the tie in books for this snack.

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 will be teaching a free cooking class on April 20th and May 18th at the Montrose Public Library.

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 will be in the Fall. 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.

Join me at the Healthy Kids Fair at the Cresenta Canada YMCA

March 15, 2010

I have been asked to present a kids cooking demo at the Healthy Kids Fair at the YMCA in La Canada on Friday morning, April 23rd. 10 am-12 pm. I will share some quick and simple recipes and read a few books that tie in with the recipes. There will also be a hands on gardening time, picnic time and a time to plant and dedicate a tree. So come veggie out with us.

I will be making whole wheat pita and hummus veggie pocket for Katie No Pockets, Banana with peanut butter rolled in a whole wheat tortilla for Curious George, and a baby carrot pretzel butterfly for The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Veg Out flyer

What to do with leftover cold hard rice?

October 27, 2009

We have all done it. Ordered too much take out or made too much rice and stuck it in the fridge. Now it is cold and hard. Don’t throw it away. You could put it in freezer ziploc bags and freeze it. Or what I usually do is make it into fried rice. This is another great meal that can clean out the fridge. I throw in lots of veggies and any leftover protein. (except fish). I’d serve fish on the side. My kids love to take fried rice to school for lunch. This works better with brown rice than white.

Basic Fried Rice

Hardware- nonstick deep sided with lid skillet,  frypan, or wok, wooden spoon, peanut butter knife, small bowl, fork

Software- cooked white or brown rice (I prefer brown), garlic powder, low sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, 2-3 Tablespoons butter, about a cup water, for fresh veggies (I use carrots, green beans, mushrooms, corn), I always keep a frozen bag of mixed veggie in the freezer in case I’m out of fresh. It really does taste fine. My kids like the blend of carrots, green beans, corn, and lima beans. (They think the lima beans are edaname beans, which they love), egg, cooked chicken, pork, sausage, or beef. In desperate situations, Spam or hot dog. ground black pepper (optional)

“AHN” – Adult Help Needed to use the stovetop

Procedure:

  • On a med to med high heat melt the butter. Roll the pan so it evenly coats the bottom.
  • Add the frozen Veggies. A good ratio is veggie amount is equal to  1/3 the amount of rice.
  • If you are using uncooked meat, cut them into bite size pieces and once the veggies are thawed add the meat into the pan. cook til the meat if fully cooked.
  • Add the cold hard rice to the pan.
  • Pour water over the rice to dampen, not drown, and put the lid on to let the rice re-steam.
  • Stirring everything together allows the rice to get a more even consistency.
  • If you are using Cooked chicken, sausage, pork, or beef. Cube or shred it and add it now.
  • Once it has soften, use the 3 second pour rule to soy sauce until you achieve the saltiness you like. See note. Keep stirring.
  • Then sprinkle garlic powder and black pepper evenly on the rice, keep flipping the rice over so that it seasons evenly and doesn’t burn.
  • Drizzle sesame oil. Sesame oil has a strong flavor so a little goes a long way.
  • Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and stir again.
  • In a separate omelet pan, make a scrambles egg. Add it to the fried rice and stir.
  • turn off the heat and cover with the lid til ready to serve.

Note: Sesame oil will go bad  I didn’t give you exact amounts, because I don’t know how much left over rice you have. So use this as a guide. Add seasonings slowly because you can always add more if you need more, but you can’t take away a seasoning if you added too much. Enjoy.

Some folks have asked for measurements so here are some for you to use as a general guideline.

1 C of each Veggie, 8 C of cooked rice, (brown rice holds up better if you are using nonrefrigerated rice.) 1 C water to rehydrate rice that is hard from the fridge. 1/3 C soy sauce + 2 TB more, 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder, 2-3 tsp of crushed sesame seeds.

Seasonal Recipes for a Happy Everything

October 6, 2009

Apple Sauce

This is a great treat for the lunch box or after school. 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 2 Tablespoons to the cooking apples.
  • Cook til the apples are soft.
  • 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.

Enjoy it as is or as a topping to oatmeal, pork chops, pancakes, potato pancakes, or waffles. 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.

Pumpkin Pancakes (adapted from allrecipes.com) for Halloween/fall

We made these for my cooking class and read Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs. Very fun since the movie is out now too. In the book the whole story starts because Grandpa flips a pancake and it lands on his grandson’s head. In a bowl that I was not going to use for cooking, I had the kids feel the baking soda.

TMT – Good teachable moment to be scientists. I had them guess what was in my bottle. We talked about the 3 states of matter. They took a sniff of what was in the bottle to see if they guessed correctly. Most had said water. Then they all watched as I slowly poured the vinegar onto the baking soda. They were very thrilled to see all the bubbles. We talked about what is in a bubble. And recapped. Solid-baking soda, liquid-vinegar,and bubbles-gas. This explains why these pancakes are so amazingly light and fluffy. Enjoy.

Hardware-frypan or griddle, flipper, plate, fork, big mixing bowl, medium mixing bowl, mesuring cups for liquid and dry, spatula, ice scooper that sweeps out the cup or 1/4 measuring cup, measuring spoons, paper towel

Software- 2 and 1/2 Cup Aunt Jemima Original Pancake Mix, 4 Tablespoon brown sugar, 3 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (available in baking aisle), 1 egg, 1 and 3/4 cup milk, 2 Tablespoon canola oil, 2 Tablespoon white vinegar, 1 and 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pie mix), 1/8 cup ground flaxseed meal, 1 teaspoon vanilla yogurt, fresh bananas, chopped pecans (optional), real maple syrup

AHN-“Adult Help Needed” to help you cook them on the griddle

Procedure

  • Crack the egg in a small bowl. Make sure there are no shells. Dump the egg into the big mixing bowl. Wash the egg off your hands.
  • Next add in the milk, pumpkin, oil, and vinegar
  • In the medium bowl mix together the pancake mix, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, flaxseed meal. Stir them together to combine
  • Pour the dry ingredients on top of the wet. Stir with a spatula until just combined. Do not over mix. Over mixing causes pancakes to be rubbery.
  • Let the batter just sit. It is called rest. This allows the bubbles to form.
  • While your batter is resting, peel your banana and toast your pecans
  • Have your plate where you will be putting your finished pancakes on right next to the griddle. Put a sheet of paper towel on the plate. Bring over your batter and flipper.
  • Heat up the griddle on med heat. AHN part
  • pour out a 3 sec pour of oil. Wait 2 minutes.
  • Using the flipper spread the oil around the griddle
  • Using the ice cream scooper or 1/4 cup measuring cup put the batter. Use the back of the scooper to spread out the batter and shape it into a frisbee.
  • When you see the edges getting not as shiny and bubbles forming in the pancake, you are ready to flip it.
  • Hold your flipper as if you were shaking hands with it. have your thumb nail facing up. Get the edge of the flipper under the edge of the pancake. push the flipper so the entire pancake is on your flipper. Then roll your hand as if you were turning the page of a book. This should make the pancake flip like a page in a book. Never flip the pancake toward you. You don’t want to risk splashing the hot oil on you.
  • Cook 2 mins or til golden brown
  • Using the flipper, remove the finished pancake to the plate. The paper towel will soak up any excess oil if you have some.

To serve- put 2 pancakes on a plate, top them with a dollop of yogurt, sliced bananas, and a drizzle of maple syrup, sprinkle on the chopped pecans. (optional)

Variations- you can use cooked sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin. Adding cranberries after you pour the batter onto the griddle is nice too.

I have used this as an on the go meal/snack by heating up a breakfast sausage and rolling the cooked pancake around it. Smear on some strawberry cream cheese to help it stick together. Send it with some apple slices and you have a super easy to pack school lunch. great for fieldtrips too.

Basic Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Homemade cranberry sauce is soo simple it is unbelievable. I make a bunch of this in the fall when there are fresh cranberries in the market. It keeps well if you keep it in the frig w/0 opening it. So I prefer to make many 8 0z jard than one huge one. I know the Brady bunch got everyone into Porkchops and Applesauce, but my family likes porkchops with cranberry sauce better. This sauce is also great on the pumpkin pancakes.

Hardware- Pot with lid, liquid measuring cup, dry measuring cup, wooden spoon

Software- 1 bag of fresh cranberries, 1 C sugar, 1 C water

Wash the cranberries, discard any mushy ones, add them to the pot, add the sugar, add the water, stir to combine. Put the lid on it and let it simmer on med low til the cranberries are swollen and popping. The sauce will be a bright beautiful red color naturally, no food coloring. Place them into very clean jars and refrigerate. It will last you all year.

Cheddar Cheese Corn Bread slightly modified from a  Mary Engelbreight cookbook for Thanksgiving/Fall

Like any corn bread, this one tastes the best hot out of the oven. So to make my life easier, I will put the dry team together and set aside. Put the wet team together and set aside in the fridge. Then the next day or two when I need it. I just have to melt the butter and mix the two teams together. If possible set out the buttermilk, butter and eggs to come to room temperature.

AHN-“Adult Help Needed” to help you use the oven

Hardware- 8 x 8 brownie pan, toothpick, wooden spoon, mixing bowl, cutting board, sharp knife, can opener, measuring cups, measuring spoons, fork, mug, cooling wire rack, oven mitts

Software- 5 Tablespoons sugar, 1 cup cornmeal, 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 large eggs, 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 and 1/4 cups buttermilk, 1 and 3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears) or canned corn works too, 1 and 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded finely minced ( optional)

Procedure:

  • Preheat oven to 350. Using a empty butter wrapper, wipe butter all around the brownie pan.
  • In a bowl stir together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  • Rinse and chop the cilantro leaves, set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl, Add the eggs and beat with a fork
  • Add the buttermilk
  • Microwave the butter in a mug, Once it is melted add it to the egg mixture and mix well
  • Stir in the dry team from the smaller bowl
  • Stir in the corn, Cheddar cheese, cilantro, and jalapeno if using.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake til top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread cool slightly on a wire rack. Then cut into squares and serve while still warm.

Sweet Potato Latkas for Chanukah

Cranberry Sauce for Christmas

So super easy yet so tasty with turkey, ham, or chicken. A little dollop can also add a bit of zing to an appetizer too.

Software– one bag of fresh cranberries from the produce section of the store, 1 Cup white sugar, 1 cup of water

Hardware– a tall sided saucepot with lid, wooden spoon, measuring cup for dry, measuring cup for liquids

Procedure

Wash cranberries and discard all the soft ones, put the cranberries in the pot, add the sugar, add the water. Stir. let it cook until the berries start to pop. Stir occasionally. Once most of the berries are popped then turn off the heat and let it cool down. It will be liquidy. Pour it into a glass jar and refrigerate. This will let the natural pectins start to gel. I told you this was an easy recipe. Enjoy. Since fresh cranberries are a seasonal fruit, when I see them in the market I will make a few batches and store them in the fridge to use throughout the year. Fresh cranberries also freeze well. Rinse them off first.

Happy Healthy Hearts for Valentine’s Day/ Feb is heart health month

Febuary is Healthy Heart month. Here is a recipe that is so simple that my kindergarten students can do it all by themselves. One of the easiest ways to take a step in the healthy eating direction is to swap out white bread with brown bread. Look the for words whole grain, whole wheat, multigrain on the label of you bread.  The reason is that white flour is converted into sugar in your body so that your blood sugar goes up and then you have a blood sugar drop and that is why you get sleepy after a big pasta dinner. This is called a food’s glycemic index. Wheat flour whole grain products have a low glycemic index. The fiber helps you feel full longer, helps your digestive system move, and keeps your energy level steady. And all that helps you perform the best you can at school/work.

Hardware: butter knife, heart cookie cutter, cutting board, egg slicer

Software: sliced wheat bread, Light strawberry cream cheese, fresh strawberries

Procedure:

  • Place a slice of bread on your cutting board, cut it with the heart cookie cutter. If you have 2 cutters, you can put one right side up and the other upside down and get 2 hearts out of one piece of bread.
  • Place the part of the bread that you aren’t using on a cookie sheet and dry them out for bread crumbs.
  • Using the butter knife spread strawberry cream cheese on the heart shaped bread.
  • Wash your strawberries, pat them dry with a clean dish towel.
  • Place it on an open egg slicer with the stem side touching the slots and the pointy side up. Push down on the strawberry so you have slices. Stop when you get to the stem taking care not to go through the stem. This allows you to fan open the slices in a decorative way.
  • Place the strawberry in the middle of your heart.
  • Or the other option is to cut off the stem of the strawberry and slice all the way through and place the strawberries on the cream cheese in a single layer.

Either way will taste splendid. This open face sandwich is fun to serve with strawberry tea.

Zucchini Bread for St. Patrick’s Day

Leprechauns love any food that has green in it. Bake up a loaf of this delicious bread and use it to bait your leprechaun trap. Hiding little bits of gold in the batter will keep him wanting more.

Hardware: mini food processor or box grater, loaf pan, parchment paper, 2 mixing bowls, wooden spoon, measuring spoons, measuring cups, liquid measuring cups, cutting board, pumpkin carving knife, fork

Software: 2-3 zucchini (2 cups) please see tip below on how to grate a zucchini, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, 3 and 1/4 C wheat flour, 1/8 C flaxseed meal, 1/8 C wheat germ, 1 C brown sugar, 1 C  white sugar, 1 tspn baking soda, 1 tspn baking powder, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground nutmeg, 1//2 C canola oil, 1/2 C unsweetened apple sauce, 4 eggs, 1/3 C water, 1 and 1/4 tspn salt, 1/2 C  golden raisins, 1/2 C walnuts/pecans (optional)

Tip “AHN” – Adult Help Needed. When you grate a zucchini, cut off the end, put your pencil holding hand in an oven mitt. Hold the zucchini in the mitt and move it up and down over the grater. The other option is to just stick it in a food processor. You’ll still see green specks in the finished product.

Procedure:

  • Mix the dry ingred. Flour, salt nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, but not the brown sugar together. (brown sugar dissolved better in wetness.)
  • In the other bowl crack the eggs, remember to tap 2 eggs together and make them kiss.
  • Then hinge it open like a book. Check to make sure you didn’t get any shells in the bowl.
  • Using a fork, whip them up like you are making scrambled eggs.
  • Then add the oil, water, lemon juice, and zucchini.
  • Pour half of the wet team on top of the dry team ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Once it is mixed together then pour most of the rest of the wet team into the bowl. Add the wheat germ and flaxseed meal. If you are going to add the raisins then save 1/2 Cup of dry mix and toss the raisins til they are covered in the powder. Pour the raisins and any remaining powder on top of the wet team. Gently stir in the raisins. By coating them with powder, it prevents the raisins from sinking to the bottom of the baking pan.
  • Pour the batter into loaf pans. You can get 5 mini loaf pans or 1 large loaf.
  • Bake at 350 F. for 1 hr for a large loaf.
  • Test if it is done by sticking a toothpick in at the thickest part and the toothpick should come out clean. a few crumbs are fine. gooey batter on the toothpick means it is not done yet.
  • Pour yourself a big glass of milk and enjoy.

Green Eggs and Ham for St. Patrick’s Day AKA Angelic Deviled Eggs with added Spinach and Pesto

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. To make them into Green eggs for a Dr. Seuss baby shower, I added pureed fresh spinach leaves and pesto to the egg yolk mixture.

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 12 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 fresh cracked pepper
  • Mix well
  • This is when you can add the pesto to the mixture. Puree the fresh spinach into a liquid (It will be a vibrant green) Add it to the mixture.
  • 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.

Roll the can Ice Cream for Summer

This is the recipe and method we use at home because I don’t have an ice cream maker at home. It comes out soft so you might have to transfer it to a freezer safe container and stick it in the freezer for a few hours. This is a great thing to make when other kids come over since they can all participate. Just roll the can as you would a bowling ball.

Hardware- 2 metal coffee cans with lids, one should fit into the other and still have room for ice to go around the smaller one. I have used a plastic jar for the inner can. Masking tape, freezer safe container, big metal spoon, 1/2 C rock salt, ice

Software- 1 Cup heavy cream, 1/2 C sugar, 1/3 C sliced strawberries, 1 C Milk, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract,

Steps-

  • Starting with very cold ingredients will speed up the process. Combine ice cream ingredients into the smaller can.
  • Place lid on the can.
  • Put tape over the seams so salt water doesn’t get in.
  • Cover bottom of the large can with ice.
  • Place the smaller can inside. layer half of the the salt and ice around the smaller can.
  • Place the lid on the larger can.
  • Roll the can around The more you shake it around the faster it become ice cream.
  • Empty the old ice and salt.
  • Stir the ice cream to the center and repack the cans using new ice and salt.
  • Roll some more. When the ice is melted, open the large can and enjoy.

It should be the consistency of soft serve. If you want it firmer transfer it into the freezer safe container and stick it in the freezer for a while.

Guilt Free Ice Cream for Summer

Part of the boot camp experience is writing down what you eat in a day. Ice cream happens to be a huge weakness of mine. While trying to make a quick smoothie, I accidentally created this pleasant surprise. I hope you like it as much as I do. It has sweetness, creaminess, and the chill of ice cream w/0 the fat. You get protein and creaminess from the yogurt and antioxidants and vitamin C from the berries and potassium from the banana.

Bananas are a great fruit to have on hand. When I notice that they are getting very spotty and over ripe, I peel them and stick 2 in a sandwich ziplock bag and freeze them. Label it 2 bananas before you stick it in the freezer. Then you can use it for smoothies, guilt free ice cream, or to make banana bread (just let them defrost first).

Hardware- mini blender (I use something like the Magic Bullet), spoon, bowl or ice cream cone

Software- 4 frozen strawberries and or blueberries, 1/2 a frozen banana, nonfat plain greek yogurt (I like fago brand), squeeze of honey,

Steps

  • Put the berries, banana, and 2 tablespoons of yogurt in the blender. Add the squeeze of honey.
  • Make sure the lid is on tight
  • Blend till smooth.
  • Scoop it out into a cup or cone and enjoy

Watermelon Juice for Summer

Watermelon juice. It is refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day. Not to mention it has the antioxidant lycopene, lots of vitamin C, vitamin B, potassium, lots of water and since it is pureed,  all the fiber.

For kids …Adult Help Needed “AHN” for operating the blender and cutting the melon

Hardware- Blender, knife, cutting board, wooden spoon, paper towels, pitcher

Software- whole watermelon

  • Wash the outside of the watermelon with soapy water.
  • Place a damp kitchen towel under a cutting board to prevent it from slipping and also so soak up the juice so it doesn’t spread all over the counter.
  • You can also place a paper towel on top of the cutting board to keep the melon from slipping around while you try to cut it in half.
  • Remember to never have your hand or fingers in front of the knife blade. Your knife could easily slip on the watermelon’s smooth rind.
  • Carefully, using a smooth bladed knife cut the melon in half.
  • Remove the paper towel.
  • lay the melon on the cut side so it doesn’t wobble around.
  • Cut it in half again and continue to cut parallel lines. then lay the semi circles on their sides and cut off the rinds. Throw these in your compost pile.
  • Cut the watermelon flesh into chunks and put them in your blender.
  • Put the lid on and blend away.
  • If your blade gets stuck, simply stop the motor and move the watermelon pieces around with your wooden spoon.
  • Put the lid back on tight and blend again.
  • Transfer your frothy drink to a pitcher.
  • Pour it in a tall glass over ice cubes and enjoy.