Archive for the ‘Seasonal Recipes’ Category

Halloween Spooks & Spiders Beware

October 29, 2014

Halloween spirit & sounds visited our home early this season. In August my sweet musician decided to fulfill his dream of creating a creepy eire completely original Halloween album. This proves that God has a sense of humor to put me, Ms unicorns & rainbows with Mr. Jack-O-Lantern. Well, I tried to be as encouraging & supportive as I could. And of course created a few cute Halloween edible ideas to nibble on while the music plays. So if your feeling inspired to create a Spooktacular Ghostly Good Meal, feel free to follow along.

Such a festive meal as this requires playing with your food. May I recommend the Spooky meal ideas from my Hastings Ranch  whole foods class. Or if you want to mix it up a bit, the pumpkin pancakes recipe  (under seasonal recipes) with nutella to draw the jack o lantern face would be fun too.

To be continued

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Crockpot Barley and Lentils

February 23, 2014

I made this for my family and my daughter liked it so much that she told me to put it on the blog. So here it is. The best part is that you load it up in the morning and the crockpot does all the work. I love that. Lentils are high in fiber and a vegetarian source of protein. You can use it as a main or as a tasty side dish. It freezes well so you make once and eat twice. It is important to use as little sodium in this recipe as possible because salt will make the skins of the lentils toughen up. (as it will with beans too).

Software-1 bag of lentils, 2 C of pearl barley, diced sweet onion, chopped celery, chopped carrots, sliced mushrooms, diced green/red pepper, 1 bay leaf, red wine vinegar (optional), 1-14 oz can of italian stewed tomatoes, 1 box of extremely low sodium chicken stock, teaspoon of minced garlic

Hardware-cutting board, knife, colander, bowl, crockpot, ladle,

Steps

Wash lentils and barley carefully to make sure there aren’t any pebbles. Now it is just a matter of layering ingredients in the crock pot. Put them in as the base layer, Add celery, add onions, add mushrooms, add, diced peppers, add bay leaf, minced garlic, tomatoes, chicken stock. Let it go on low for 4-5 hrs. You should stir from time to time. Towards the end of the cooking time, add Garlic Salt and give it a final stir. Ladle it up. I like to splash a little red wine vinegar on top of each bowlful but that is optional. Enjoy.

ps. This is a beautiful base under a nice piece of halibut, salmon, sea bass or seared scallops

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.

Mrs. C’s baby shower Green Eggs

February 25, 2012

Green Eggs and Ham

Mrs. C has a fun Dr. Seuss themed Baby Shower. Which she bravely invited all the Jr. High kids to attend. I was in charge of Green Eggs. I made my Angelic Deviled Eggs with the added twist of mixing in store bought pest sauce and pureed fresh spinach leaves. The pesto gives it a nice new flavor and the spinach makes it a vibrant green w/o the use of food coloring. You’ll want to add the green items into the egg yolk mixture after following all the usual steps.

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 pureed fresh spinach leaves, 1 Tablespoon of store bought/homemade pesto.

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,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 or chopped fresh italian flat leaf parsley for more green coloring
  • If you aren’t going to eat them right away, put them in a tupperware and stick them in the fridge. If you are taking them to a pot luck, then put the yolk mixture in a piping bag, secure the top so it doesn’t leak. put the egg whites halves in a tupperware and take everything to the party. Don’t forget scissors to cut the piping bag tip.
  • At the party, cut the tip of the piping bag. arrange the egg whites on a plate and squirt in the yolk mixture. Sprinkle the parsley leaves over the whole plate as garnish.

Enjoy.

Winter Salad Options

January 2, 2012

Winter time brings lots of family gatherings and big meals. To balance out all the rich dishes, I like to serve a tasty salad. There is the challenge of using seasonal produce and making it look so good that people choose it over a double helping of mashed potatoes. Here are some of the salads I enjoyed making this holiday season.

Crunchy Broccoli with Dried Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds

Hardware- knife, cutting board, big bowl to wash veggies, serving bowl, colander,

Software- Broccoli crowns, dried cranberries, shelled sunflower seeds, shredded/chopped carrots, fresh cracked black pepper, Brianne’s Poppyseed Dressing, finely diced red onion (optional)

  • Wash the broccoli and cut the florets off and cut them lengthwise into bite size pieces.
  • Take the remaining thin stems and chop them into bite size pieces. When you have the larger base stem, cut off some of the woody outer parts.
  • Set all the chopped broccoli and stems into a big bowl. You have done the hardest part. The rest is easy.
  • 30 mins before serving, toss in the shredded carrots, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and onions (if you are using them).
  • Pour the salad dressing just til the broccoli is barely coated. You can alway add more later but you can’t take away if you’ve poured too much.
  • Give the salad a good mix.
  • Add fresh cracked pepper.
  • Cover with seran wrap and refrigerate. Don’t make this salad too much in advance since the broccoli will get limp if it sits in the dressing too long.

Bib Lettuce with Oven Roasted Veggies and Harvest Fruit

Hardware- colander, knife, cutting board, cookie sheet, serving bowl, carrot peeler, oven proof casserole dish with a lid. small fry pan, flipper, small bowl, small plate

Software- Bib/Butter lettuce, baby organic carrots, beets, butternut squash, fuji apple, bosc pear, pomegranate, orange,  feta/goat cheese, egg, good balsamic vinegar. pumpkin seeds/sunflower seeds

preheat oven to 350 F.

  • Wash the veggies. Place the washed lettuce in a tupperware and store in the fridge til later.
  • Using dishwashing gloves to protect your hands, peel the beets and cut off the ends. Put them in a cassarole dish that has a lid. Drizzle with olive oil and 2 pinches of kosher salt and cracked black pepper and mix altogether so the beets are shiny. Cover with the lid. Bake them in the 350F oven for 1 hr. til a fork can poke it all the way in.
  • “AHN” (adult help needed) Peel the butternut squash and cut into cubes. Have an adult help you because the squash is really hard to cut. You could also save time and effort by purchasing the precut squash cubes in the produce aisle.
  • Place all the carrots and squash cubes 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 without a cover in the oven til you see them getting dark brown. Oven roasting them will bring out the natural sugars in them. I try to oven roast a batch of veggies on the weekend so that putting a salad together is that much faster on school nites. You can put all the beets, carrots, and squash in the oven at the same time.
  • Cut the pear and apple into thin slices. Squeeze the orange on top so that the acid prevents oxidation. Plus the orange juice can be used as the dressing. Set it aside.
  • In a big bowl full of water, carefully cut open the pomegranate. The water will prevent the red juice from splattering everywhere. The white membranes will float and the seeds will sink. Gather the seeds and set them aside in the bowl containing the apples and pear slices.
  • “AHN” In a dry small fry pan on medium heat, toast the seeds. Set them aside to cool on a plate.
  • “AHN” Add a small bit of oil, 1 sec pour, and let the oil heat up on medium heat. By the time you sing Happy Birthday Song then the oil will be hot enough for you to carefully crack an egg and carefully drop in in the oil. You should be close to the oil when you drop the egg so that oil doesn’t splatter everywhere.
  • When you see the edges of the egg getting golden brown, it is time to flip the egg. Holding the flipper in the hand you use your pencil with, scoop under the egg. Carefully rotate your wrist so your thumb is pointing down. Be sure to not flip towards you. You don’t want the egg splashing hot oil on you. So if the fry pan was a compass, flip in an East West direction not a South direction. Once you have successfully flipped the egg, turn off the heat.
  • Time to assemble. Get a salad plate. Place 2 or 3 lettuce leaves on it. Top leave with a bit of each root veggie and fruit, sprinkle it with feta/goat cheese, and top it with the egg and a sprinkle of toasted seeds. Finish it off with a small drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar. Enjoy

Wakame with Cucumbers in Rice Wine Vinegarette

This easy salad is the sweet and sour cucumber salad that they bring you in Japanese Sushi restaurants. Aka sunimono salad. The wakame is the seaweed part. Lemon juice is an unusual but nice addition to this dressing. It adds a fresh brightness to the salad. If you don’t have access to seaweed, you can substitute shredded carrots. This salad can me made ahead but not a day ahead since the cucumbers will loose their crunch and the dressing will get watery.

Software- 4 Cups of freshly thinly sliced English Hot House cucumbers, 1 C of rinsed off salt packed seaweed (wakame), 1/8 C fresh squeezed lemon juice, 3/8 C sugar, 1 tsp crushed toasted sesame seeds, 1 pinch of Salt, 1/2 C of Rice wine Vinegar

Hardware- Cutting board, knife, big mixing bowl, medium mixing bowl, measuring cups, mixing spoon, colander, Optional- Japanese mandolin (be very careful w/this. It is sharp)

steps

  • The seaweed comes packed in lots of salt. You will need to soak it in warm water for 20 min. in the medium mixing bowl while you are slicing the cucumbers.
  • Wash the cucumbers, split them in half lengthwise, slice them as thin as you can into semi-circle slices, set them aside in the large mixing bowl.
  • Add all the other ingredients, except the seaweed, to the cucumbers.
  • Swish the seaweed around in the water to wash away the salt. Change the water and swish again. Remove the seaweed and place it in the colander to drain.
  • After the water has drained, place the seaweed on the cutting board and give it a couple chops of your knife. It doesn’t have to be a fine chop. Just enough to cut any large pieces.
  • Add it to the cucumber mixture and mix.

Keep it refrigerated til ready to serve. Cheers.

Spinach Tortellini Pasta Salad

This is another fun salad to take to pot lucks since most of it can be ahead of time.

Software- Ready made spinach tortellini ( I use Buitoni Brand), chopped carrots, diced/sliced red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes cut in half, sliced cucumbers, thinly sliced red onion (optional), pesto cilantro sauce or just pesto, red wine vinegette of your choice, black pepper

Hardware- pot, colander, mixing spoon, mixing bowl, cutting board, knife,

Steps

Boil the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain, and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

 

 

2 B continued

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.

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

Lemonade Memories Fresh Squeezed

May 30, 2010

There are some childhood memories that bring a smile to many adults. I think the first chance of earning your own money for many kids is the classic lemonade stand. Summer time is a perfect time to get out the juicer and make a pitcher or two to sell. Just don’t forget to take into account the free samples that your family will be asking for. This lemonade would also make tasty popsicles. I try to keep popsicles that I make in the freezer for the kids. Try filling your molds with 1/2 of one juice and tilt the mold so you get an angle. Then the next day fill it with a juice of a different color. The result is a fancy 2 colored flavored popsicle. I like to use orange juice and acai berry juice. Then I have orange and deep purple colors. very fancy. I’ll have to make one with lemonade and strawberry puree. I think the flavor would be yummy. strawberry lemonade sicles.

The key to good lemonade is to juice real lemons. If you can get them from your own or a neighbor’s tree even better. Just be sure to ask before you go picking them.

Hardware- medium pot, wooden spoon, cup, measuring cup, liquid measuring cup, pitcher, juicer, flatware teaspoon, damp paper towel, cutting board, knife

Software- 1 cup sugar, lemons, water, bubbly water (optional)

“AHN” adult help needed to create the simple syrup on the stove top and cut the lemons in half.

Steps

  • In a saucepan combine 1 cup sugar with 1 cup water to create a simple syrup. This step allows the sugar to completely dissolve. That way you avoid the grit of undissolved sugar in your drink.
  • “AHN” Simmer on med to med low heat til the cloudiness is gone. Believe it or not. As the sugar dissolves the liquid will become clear.
  • “AHN” Stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is clear.
  • Once the syrup is clear, turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
  • Wash the lemons rubbing off the rind to be sure they are very clean.
  • Put the damp paper towel under a cutting board so it doesn’t slip around.
  • Place one lemon on the cutting board.
  • “AHN” Hold the lemon in between the fingers and thumb of your hand making an arch with your hand. That way your hand is not near the knife blade.
  • Using a sawing motion, cut the lemon in half.
  • Repeat with all the lemons.
  • Move the cutting board and put the juicer on the damp paper towel to prevent slipping.
  • Push the lemon halves on the juicer until you get one cup of juice.
  • Remove any seeds with the teaspoon.
  • Pour the 1 cup of lemon juice, 1 cup of the simple syrup, with 3 cups of water or bubbly water.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
  • Taste and smile. yum.

We set up shop outside on the street corner with 2 parents, 4 kids, handmade signs, a red wagon, 3 pitchers, paper cups, pretzel rods, and Milanos. Being the oldest, my son was in charge of the money bag. We charged 25 cents a glass. And 25 cents for a pretzel rod, 15 cents for a milano/2 cookies for 25 cents. It was a fun way to make a tasty memory. and our neighbors, who didn’t drive by, enjoyed the surprise visit. Each child ended the adventure with $3.50 and a tummy full of lemonade. All in all not a bad way to spend a quiet afternoon at home. With school coming to an end, I hope you find a time to make lemonade memories of your own.

Side note: On Father’s day my son made this lemonade. I had been hearing a lot of buzz about Agave nectar. It is a natural sweetner from the agave plant. Agave grows in Mexico. It is the same plant they make tequila out of. I tried the Blue Agave Nectar. It is an all natural and sweeter than sugar but has a low glycemic index. We changed the recipe to instead of 1 cup sugar use 2/3 C agave nectar. It worked great. The lemonade was delicious. And a big plus was that we didn’t need to heat up a simple syrup. We just mixed 1 cup water with the 2/3 c agave in a pitcher and once that was all dissolved we added the 1 C lemon juice and 3 C water. Give it a try and tell me what you think of it.