Tag Archives | cooking with kids

our world through instagram {instaDUMP time}

It’s instaDUMP time! Just a few of the things we have been up to lately {through some of my favorite pictures that I have posted on my Instagram feed}! What have you been up to? Are you on Instagram? Don’t you just love it?

    I've been getting ready for Paigey's 6th birthday party all month. The theme is "it's a small world" (because we LOVE the ride and Disneyland and any excuse for a costume party)! I have been collecting all these decorative items for literally months. Time to start bringing it all together. Thanks to the help of Michaels, Marshals, The Plaid Barn, Pick Your Plum, Hobby Lobby and a small adoption shop over at Hugs and Punches!

I’ve been getting ready for Paigey’s 6th birthday party all month. The theme is “it’s a small world” (because we LOVE the ride and Disneyland and any excuse for a costume party)! I have been collecting all these decorative items for literally months. Time to start bringing it all together. Thanks to the help of Michaels, Marshals, The Plaid Barn, Pick Your Plum, Hobby Lobby and a small adoption shop over at Hugs and Punches!

Paigey started kindergarten and turned six this month...boy the time flies...she was just my little girl yesterday!

Paigey started kindergarten and turned six this month…boy time flies…she was just my little baby yesterday!

trying to be happy and celebrate my dad's birthday this year...we miss him so much and are still dealing with our grief...but it felt great to be happy and celebrate his life on the day he was born!

In August we spent my Dad’s birthday trying to be happy and celebrate this year {we made his favorite meal and my sister whipped up this cake}…we miss him so much and are still dealing with our grief…but it felt great to be happy and celebrate his life on the day he was born!

this one was blurry but so cute of my kitchen helper

This one was blurry but so cute of my kitchen helper!

my favorite kitchen helper learned how to chop pineapple and skewer kabobs with me the other day

My favorite kitchen helper, Paigey,  learned how to chop pineapple and skewer kabobs with me the other day!

my love {and obsession} for Pumpkin Spice Lattes has returned

My love {and obsession} for Pumpkin Spice Lattes has returned!

And this speaks for itself...PSL baby!

And this speaks for itself…PSL baby!

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onion-roasted potatoes

Don’t you just love those onion soup packs that Lipton makes? My favorite recipe is to add them to sour cream for onion dip. But luckily the box comes with two packs…so my second favorite recipe is the onion-roasted potatoes! They are great at home or for camping {and the kids can help shake the bag} so go check out the recipe HERE or on the box! And feel free to toss in other veggies if you want to mix things up a bit!
 For camping we just stick them in foil and roast them over the fire {but be sure to check often and give yourself plenty of time so that they cook all the way through}! YUM!
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zucchiniYUM

Here are a few of my favorite Zucchini recipes before summerYUM officially ends…enjoy!

::Chocolate Zucchini Cake::
Ingredients:
  • 1 medium zucchini or 2 small (grated)
  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix (I used gluten-free)
  • muffin cup liners if making cupcakes
1. Grate the zucchini and pat with a towel to get rid of some of the extra moisture.
2. Make cake according to the box directions (adjusting the water slightly so that it’s not too wet; I reduced the water by half) and fold in the zucchini.
3. Scoop the batter into the muffin cup liners (i used a mini muffin tin and a regular size) and bake according to the packaged directions. Enjoy!
*This ended up being a great snack to make with the kids. They filled the muffin cups, helped grate the zucchini and even helped scoop the batter into the mini muffin cups with a melon-baller. I also set out to get the kids into zucchini by helping. I told Paige that she would not be able to taste the zucchini in the chocolate but she was very skeptical.  When she finally tasted them she told me I was right and that she loved the cupcakes…mission accomplished!

 
~
::Zucchini Fritters::
Ingredients:
  • 1 small zucchini (grated)
  • 1/2 cup flour (or almond meal*)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 green onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped, or parsley)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
1. Mix the zucchini, flour (or almond meal), egg, green onions, cilantro, salt and pepper in a bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a pan.
3. Spoon zucchini mix into pan & cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4 min per side. Enjoy!
*I used the almond meal because I’m trying to explore gluten-free options in our diet. It came out great!

~
 ::Zucchini, Eggplant & Polenta Towers::
Ingredients:
  • 1 medium zucchini (sliced)
  • 1 medium eggplant (sliced)
  • pre-cooked polenta (sliced)
  • marinara sauce of choice
  • salt & pepper
  • canola oil or EVOO
  • basil (optional)
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Slice the zucchini, eggplant and polenta to the same thickness (about 1/4″) and saute in oil until all are cooked. Pat on a paper towel if desired.
2. Meanwhile heat marinara sauce on the stove and keep warm.
3. Layer the cooked zucchini, eggplant and polenta; stacking them one by one. Drizzle marinara over stack and garnish with cheese and basil if desired! Enjoy!
~
And finally, I wish I could take credit for this amazing Zucchini Bread Recipe, but it’s Paula Deans. There are no words to describe how great it tastes!  Check it out HERE!
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septemberLOVE

Happy Sweater Wearing, Boot Loving, Cider Sipping, Back to School, Pencils Sharpened, Apple Picking, Pumpkin Cooking SEPTEMBER!

I for one love Autumn! Every year in September I’m giddy with the delightful anticipation of all-things amber and pumpkin spiced!  I decorate for fall and start making comfort meals before the temperature says its time and pumpkin puree begins to make an appearance in just about everything I eat, from my lattes to my pancakes, pastas and more. So it is in that vain that I share a few of my favorite recipes with you! Get your Fall taste buds ready!
Amy’s FAMOUS Pumpkin Cookies
3/4cup brown sugar
3Tbsp. honey
1(15oz) can of pumpkin
3/4cup oil (you can use melted virgin coconut oil or sub w/ unsweetened applesauce)
2tsp. vanilla
3cups flour (you can use spelt flour or whole wheat or any combo)
11/2 tsp baking powder
11/2 tsp baking soda
3/4tsp salt
1tsp cinnamon
3/4tsp nutmeg
1/2tsp ginger (if you have pumpkin pie spice on hand you can use that instead)
1to 1 1/2  cups chocolate chips
Preheatoven to 350
Beat until blended sugar, honey, pumpkin, oil and vanilla. In another bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, and mix well. By hand, stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greases cookie sheets.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until they slightly firm up and bounce back after being touched.
Cool on wire racks.
Cake Mix Pumpkin Cookies
1 Box of Spice Cake Mix (or Carrot Cake Mix if Spice is unavailable)
1 – 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
Water
Chocolate Chips
 
Preheat oven to 350
 
Mix the can of pumpkin with the cake mix, if too dry add water about a tablespoon at a time until just wet all the way through. Add desired amount of chocolate chips (at least 1 Cup, but I usually do more). Drop by rounded teaspoonful’s onto slightly greased cookie sheet
 
Bake at 350 for 10 – 15 minutes
 
*This is great to make with kids because it is so easy!

PumpkinSausage Lasagna

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 1/2 pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage (pork, chicken or turkey, whatever you like), casings removed
1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk (eyeball it)
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
Few dashes fresh nutmeg
1 box oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 1/4 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, about two turns of the pan. Add the sausage and cook until golden brown, breaking them eat up as it cooks with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Push the meat to one side of the pan and add the eggplant, onion and garlic. Cook 7-8 minutes, until tender, then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While the veggies are cooking, place a medium-size sauté pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture for about 1minute. Whisk the milk into roux, breaking up any clumps. Bring the mixture to a bubble and add the pumpkin puree and nutmeg. Season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper, reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for 2-3minutes, until slightly thickened.
Spread about 1 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9″ casserole dish.Layer three lasagna noodles over the sauce, then top them with about 1 cup of the meat mixture, a cup or so of the sauce and a palmful of cheese. Repeat these layers two times, topping the casserole with a layer of lasagna noodles.Spoon the remaining sauce over the noodles, sprinkle the remaining grated cheese over top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake the lasagna until the sauce is bubbling and pasta is baked through, about 45 minutes.
During the last ten minutes of baking, remove the aluminum foil to brown the cheese.Once out of the oven, allow the dish to rest a few minutes before serving.
*I use butternut squash instead of the eggplant…and it’s AMAZING!  Also, if using pork sausage try to find the sage kind as sage tends to taste great with pumpkin…YUMMO!
Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Latte
(SOURCE:http://stephanieodea.com/…adaptedfrom Taste of Home’s Halloween 2008 edition)
2 cups milk (I used 1%)
2T canned pumpkin
2T white sugar
2T vanilla (not a typo. it asks for tablespoons)
1/2tsp pumpkin pie spice
OR:1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cloves, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and a teeny tiny pinch of ground ginger
1/2cup brewed espresso or 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
Add the coffee/espresso and milk to the crockpot. Whisk in the pumpkin, spices, sugar, and vanilla. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours if everything is cold. Whisk again. Ladle into mugs, and garnish with whipped cream and additional cinnamon. You can add a cinnamon stick to be fancy.
*Garnish with whipped cream (optional)
**This will make enough for 2 people to have a big mug with a bit leftover. If you are having friends over, adjust the recipe accordingly. I used a 4-quart crockpot,but as small as a 1.5 quart will work with these amounts.
{You can simply buy some pumpkin spice syrup and add that to a homemade latte as well!}

 

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