Category Archives: Kids in the Kitchen

Auntie Tammy’s Gluten-Free Spaetzle

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After binge-watching a whole season of Master Chef Junior in two days, Samantha was fired up to create something in the kitchen.  My sister Tammy gifted me a very cool contraption for making Spaetzle, and with a pot of our Mom’s homemade turkey soup bubbling in the slow cooker the day after Christmas, these little German pasta dumplings sounded like the perfect addition.IMG_2985

Spaetzle starts with a dough that you pass through something that looks like a cheese grater (you could use a sieve with large holes) directly into boiling water.  You can add it to another dish like we did, or season with olive oil and fresh herbs for a super-easy side dish.

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Gluten-Free Spaetzle (serves 4):

1/2 cup of milk (at room temperature)

2 eggs (at room temperature)

1 1/2 cups King Arthur Gluten Free Flour

1/8 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp salt

Salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Combine milk and eggs in a small bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then stir in wet ingredients.  Pass dough through the Spaetzle maker into the boiling water; Spaetzle will float when cooked, which takes about 1 minute.  Remove with a slotted spoon and toss with a little oil to keep from sticking.

Christmas Goes to the Dogs

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I love when people give homemade gifts from their kitchens during the holidays — cookies, fudge, toffee…you know they spent a bunch of time making them, and if you get one of these gifts, you must have done something right that year. Baking for our four-legged friends is just as special and even easier (dogs are not picky when it comes to edible gifts). We have made these Bacon Grilled-Cheese Bones for our dogs several times, as well as for the sweet pups at the Richardson Animal Shelter. The best part is you can dump everything into a food processor and cut into whatever shapes you like.

Bacon Grilled-Cheese Bones (Adapted from The Organic Dog Biscuit Cookbook)

Enough rolled oats to make 1 cup of flour

6 slices of bacon

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 egg

1/2 cup water

Grind the oats in a food processor to make oat flour.  Measure out 1 cup and set aside.  Cook and cool the bacon, then place in the food processor and pulse a few times until it is roughly chopped.  Add the oat flour and remaining ingredients and process until a ball of dough forms (you can also do this with your hands in a bowl if preferred).

Roll out the dough to about 1/4″ thickness, using extra oat flour as needed so the dough doesn’t stick.  Cut out shapes (we have bone and fire hydrant cookie cutters!) and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until the cookies are golden.  Cool on a wire rack and store in the fridge.

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It’s hard to wait patiently when the house smells like bacon

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Baking for the Richardson Animal Shelter

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Romeo and Mouse, the taste testers

 

Five Eggs and a Nest

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Rice Krispie M&M Eggs

This recipe for “Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats” was too hard to resist.  You use the ingredients for Rice Krispie Squares, but instead mold the ingredients into plastic egg halves and fill with M&M’s.  My girls had a ton of fun making them — there is nothing quite like using melted marshmallows as glue, and getting to snack on M&M’s throughout the process.  While these aren’t going to win any healthy food competitions, they are pretty light as far as dessert goes, and we opted for the whole grain “brown” Rice Krispies.  Most importantly, they got a good lesson in improvisation:  we were making six eggs (and there would be six people at our dinner table), but the eggs must have been a little two large, as we ran out of “egg” near the end and had to make one “nest”.  My mother was gracious enough to request that one.

Rice Krispie and M&M Eggs (Adapted from Kellogg’s “Hidden Surprise Easter Egg Treats”):

6 Plastic snap-apart 3×2-inch Easter eggs

1 1/2 tbsp butter

2 cups mini marshmallows

3 cups whole grain Rice Krispies

1/4 to 1/2 cup M&M’s (we used white chocolate and dark chocolate)

Clean, then coat the inside of plastic eggs with cooking spray.  In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Remove from heat.  Add Rice Krispies and stir until well coated.

Using greased hands, firmly press 1/4 cup of the cereal mixture into each plastic egg half.  Use fingers to make hollow center in each half.  Remove from molds.  Place on wax paper and cool slightly.  Place about 6 M&M’s in one half of each egg.  Gently press two halves of each egg together until they stick.  Cool completely.

Loving the Looneyspoons Loaf

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Pumpkin, Banana, Zucchini, Walnut, Chocolate Chip Bread

Pumpkin, banana, zucchini, walnuts, chocolate chips…yum.  There is a lot of stuff in this recipe from Janet & Greta Podleski.  The “Loaf of Your Life” recipe was in the original Looneyspoons cookbook, but the authors sent out a new and improved (and even healthier) version in the March 2012 issue of their Recipe Newsletter.

I made this bread with my daughter Samantha, and it was great to see her fascination with grating the zucchini after telling me how “gross” it was when we picked it up at the grocery store.  Of course, once baked into this delicious bread, she had no further issues with the zucchini.  There is hope.

 

 

Pumpkin-Banana-Zucchini Loaf with Flax & Walnuts (adapted from Janet & Greta Podleski’s March 2012 Recipe Newsletter)

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup each whole-wheat pastry flour and all-purpose flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)

1 cup canned pure pumpkin

1 cup grated packed zucchini, unpeeled

1/2 cup low-fat greek yogurt (I used fat-free Fage)

1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg

1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used 1/4 cup and sprinkled on half of the loaf)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.  Don’t use a 8×4 pan.  Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.  In a large bowl, whisk together wet ingredients through egg until well blended.  Add dry ingredients and mix using a wooden spoon just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.  Spoon batter evenly into prepared pan.  Bake on middle oven rack for 50 to 60 minutes (my oven needed 60 minutes), or until wooden skewer inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack.  Wrap leftovers well and store in fridge for up to 5 days; can also be frozen.

Shrimpy Biscuits

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Shrimp Puffs

Confession:  normally when I see a recipe starting with a tin of biscuit dough, I quickly turn the page.  They just don’t taste like real biscuits in my opinion, and many of them contain trans fats and ingredients I can’t pronounce.  But I saw this recipe for Shrimp Puffs in Food Network Magazine on two occasions, and I kept thinking about how much my daughter Samantha would like them.  And I seem to have a weakness for recipes that call for fresh dill.  Once I tracked down a tin of biscuit dough without any funky ingredients (Pillsbury‘s Simply brand), I decided to give it a go.  I had a larger tin of biscuits than the recipe called for, so my youngest kitchen helper Lauren broke eight pieces of dough into thirds and then we pressed them into all 24 mini muffin tins (the recipe states 20).  Even with this change, there was a ton of the shrimp-cheese filling, so we didn’t need all of it.  I had chives on hand (and thought they would go over well with the kids) so I used those instead of scallions.

As expected, Samantha loved these cheesy shrimp-topped biscuits.  So did my husband.  Lauren adores plain biscuits and was not happy about having shrimp stuck to the top of them…she was looking around for her usual strawberry jam.  And not surprisingly, I thought they were “okay”.  They would be a good party snack, but we had them with a big salad for a quick weeknight dinner.  Even though they weren’t my favorite creation to date, I will make these again since Samantha enjoyed them so much (and Lauren had a lot of fun “helping” with the dough).

Pint-Sized Caprese

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Caprese Pops

I love shopping at Central Market.  It’s a good idea to go on an empty stomach, as they are always sampling a ton of delicious food.  I was picking up some fresh basil when I saw a woman putting together skewers of tomato, basil, and mozzarella.  After enjoying my little treat, I decided we definitely had to have Caprese Pops as our salad with dinner.

This dish (I’m not sure you can even call it a recipe) was easy enough to assign to my seven and four-year old daughters — and they loved making them.  I set out grape tomatoes, basil leaves, cubes of mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a grinder of sea salt (I like Maldon), and pepper.  They did the rest.  It seemed the tomatoes were magically removed from their skewers after reaching the dinner table, but I was happy that they at least tried them.

Getting our Hands Dirty

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These Honey, Parmesan, & Rosemary Scones were a lot of fun to make with the kids.  Picking herbs from the garden for dinner is fun as-is, but they were extra excited about getting to knead the dough and cut out the circles.  This was actually our second attempt at the recipe; the first batch was a little burnt, which I should have expected with my oven.  We only cooked the scones for 10 minutes the second time.  I added extra parmesan in the dough (3/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup) and sprinkled more parmesan on top of each scone before baking.  Also, I subbed in 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour for some of the regular flour.  We had them with a big bowl of Bucatini Vongole — perfect for soaking up all that garlicky sauce.