Miss L (I cannot believe she now fits the definition of a middle school student!!!) has been expressing a desire to learn how to cook more things lately. So, I have been trying to make a more intentional effort to bring her into the kitchen often to help prepare dinner.
Some of the things she has been learning how to cook:
- bread (we use a bread maker so it is really quick and easy)
- dessert apples
- eggs (boiled and scrambled)
- veggies (steaming them)
These are some of the more intentional items and dishes we have been working on in the last few weeks.
Since we love dessert apples, I thought you might like the “recipe.” I call it a recipe very loosely because it is really simple and you add things to the amount your family would like. 🙂
For our family of 5:
- 5 small apples, diced
- 3-4 T ground cinnamon (this is really a “to taste” measurement – change it as needed)
- 1/2 C brown sugar (again, this is “to taste” – adapt as desired)
- 1/2 – 3/4 C raisins
Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for about 8 minutes, stirring halfway through. These are best served warm.
So we have been trying to get the house picked up and cleaned up from all we have let go recently. We were busy much of the day at church, then came home and began working. All of a sudden, it was almost 6 pm. That is late for me to realize that I have not begun dinner. Add to it that we really need a grocery run. Illness recently has prevented it but we did have a few little things and so I threw them together. Easy and quick dinner.
1 – 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey (or any ground meat)
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, minced
3/4 c cooked rice (I had this leftover so I tossed it in)
salt, pepper, garlic granules, chili powder – to taste (sorry but I just eyeballed it)
Mix it all real well. Divide into balls that fill a well in a muffin tin. Grease the wells of the tin beforehand. Cook in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. If you are using a mini muffin tin, you will want to reduce the cook time.
We added some steamed broccoli and some corn, along with homemade bread for a complete meal. It was on the table in about 35 minutes from when I looked up. And all that was left was in this picture. I had 18 of these to begin with!
Several years ago, the girls’ grandpa bought a smores pizza while we were visiting. Miss L thought it was THE. BEST. THING. EVER. No discussion. She has remained adamant since that smores pizza the best and it is extremely high on her list of favorite foods. Once in a while, we make one just for fun. They are simple and yummy and the girls adore this special treat with special memories.
So, your recipe is basically this:
1 recipe of your favorite sugar cookie dough
1 – 1 1/2 C of your favorite brand/flavor chocolate chips (we used a combo of semi sweet and milk chocolate)
1 1/2 C of mini marshmallows
Spread the cookie dough into a 9 x 13 pan with a rim. Don’t get it too thick. We made our dough and it made a bit too much so we were also able to do a 9 x 9 pan. Cook it according to directions. When you take it out of the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips over it and put it back in for 30 seconds or so. Pull it out and use a spatula to spread the chocolate around. Sprinkle the marshmallows on top. Stick it in the oven again and watch to see them puff up really cute and fun. When they are good and puffy, pull it out and spread the marshmallow as best you can. This is difficult to do but it doesn’t have to be lovely. Just yummy. Cut and enjoy.
We also made a 9 x 9 pan and tried it with cinnamon chips, which you can sometimes find in the baking aisle. I watch for them because they aren’t there all year round. They didn’t spread as well as the chocolate did but it worked okay.
This is late so it may show up as Tuesday. Oh well. Life happens, right?
A couple of days ago we had not yet gone to the grocery store but I knew that tortillas would go great with our lunch of 15 bean soup. So, I pulled Miss E into the kitchen and had her make my grandmother’s tortilla recipe. It was a quick and fun way to prep lunch together and there were several stories to tell about eating these yummy tortillas when I was growing up.
The recipe is simple but the tortillas are nothing like you expect from a store. These are thicker, chewier (it’s a good thing, believe me!), and much more filling than the thin tortillas that are store bought.
Miss E mixed up the dough and then split it into balls. She then rolled each ball out as thin as she could get it. We cook these on an electric griddle that fits four at a time.
We enjoyed them with our soup and then with some butter and honey for dessert. YUM!
- 4 C flour
- 6 T powdered milk
- 2 t baking powder
- 1 1/2 t salt
- 3 T shortening
- 1 C warm water
Cut the shortening into the dry ingredients and then add the water. This will make a softish dough but dry enough to roll out. Separate into 16-20 balls and roll as thin as you can on a floured surface. Cook on a hot, dry griddle. I used an electric griddle on 400 degrees. Cook until the side has some brown spots but not burned. Turn over and do the same.
My giggly girls LOVE banana bread. I mean, you would think I had hung the moon today when I threw it together. Took me about 5 minutes to whip up the batter and then it cooks for an hour. And I have gotten tons of love out of it from two of my giggly girls. So, if you are looking for love, it is evidently found – in part – with banana bread.
Banana Bread (from my mom)
1 C sugar
1/2 C shortening/butter/margarine
2 C flour
2 eggs (have successfully subbed in applesauce and baking powder for these)
1 tsp baking soda
1 T milk
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (I often use 2 since that is what we have getting over-ripe)
Throw everything together in a bowl and mix it up good. I often don’t even bother mashing the bananas; they mix up well if you are using an electric mixer. Pour into a loaf pan that is lightly greased on the bottom and corners but not the sides. (You want it to kind of cling to the sides as it rises while baking so you have a taller loaf. It tends to collapse on itself a bit if you grease the sides.) Bake at 350°F for an hour. If you are at higher altitude or have a cooler oven, it might take an hour and a half but check it at an hour so it doesn’t burn.
Then cut and enjoy. The giggly girls – and At Home Dad – couldn’t wait until breakfast so we had to cut it tonight.
So I don’t really know what you would call this but we experimented this evening and liked our results. You might call this fried cheese but we chose to call them cheese fritters. Don’t ask why because I don’t know! It just popped out.
Miss J loved these and is the chef of the hour again.
Truly, all we did was put some grated mozzarella on the griddle which was heated to about 300 and let it brown. When the edges were a dark brown but not burnt we turned them over. If it started folding up and smooshing together, we figured out it was too early to turn them. We let the brown on the other side and then took them off. Once they were a bit cooled, they were perfect for eating.
So, if you are a cheese fan or have one in the house, these are probably the most simple things we have made in a long time. And, as a bonus, they were yummy!
Miss J enjoys learning about doing anything in the kitchen. Recently, we have watched a kids’ baking show on Netflix. This really upped her interested. So, this morning when she asked for donuts for breakfast, guess who made them?
We used the recipe that is the favorite of our family. (Here’s the post with the link to the Family Fun recipe.) But she did the recipe reading, the measuring, the cooking, and the decorating. I acted as the assistant and got out, put away, and cleaned up after the baker. It was fun and she really enjoyed her breakfast. She did, however, need a shower afterwards since decorating can be such all-involving work and leave streaks of icing across your face and in your hair. 🙂