Budding Chefs inspires children by providing fun, interactive, hands-on cooking experiences

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cooking with the Pilgrim Kindergartners

I normally cook with the kindergartners in the spring, but I wanted to make Individual Pumpkin Pies with them.  Mrs. Bordeleau was in charge of getting the pumpkin....thank goodness one can was enough, because one can was already prepared pumpkin--we wouldn't have had to do anything except pour it into our shells!  The cans do look very much alike, and one must have been in the wrong spot.  

Easy Organic 11-18-10 Soft Pretzels and Pumpkin Butter

Full class again tonight--glad everyone could make it for our last night of the session.  I really enjoyed the girls.  Veda has a great sense of humor and laughs a lot.  Jessi and Lisa are typical middle schoolers, quite talkative.  And Tanner and Eli whisper to each other a lot and giggle, as 4th and 5th grade boys will do.  
Everyone seemed to like the pretzels, though we needed more salt on them.  The Pumpkin Butter was also very good, sweet and tangy.  

Caught with their mouths full!

Chef Sprouts 11/5/10 Frozen Banana Custard and Warm Chocolate Sauce

We had to use 2 blenders for our Frozen Banana Custard.  We used the regular blender, and my favorite Magic Bullet.  Those frozen bananas were tough!

Frozen Banana Custard and Warm Chocolate Sauce

4  ounces  semisweet chocolate chips
5  ripe bananas, peeled and cut into small pieces, frozen
1/4  cup  milk
1/2  teaspoon  vanilla extract

1. Combine chocolate chips and 3 Tbsp. water in a microwave-safe bowl and
microwave on high until just melted, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Whisk until smooth.
2. Place bananas in a food processor and pulse until broken down. Add milk and vanilla and process until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice as necessary.
3. Scoop banana puree into dishes and top with warm chocolate sauce. Serve immediately

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Easy Organic 11-11-10 Baked Sweet Potato Chips and Kiddie Cocktails

We had a small class, just Veda and Lisa.  Lisa, who tells me she really doesn't like much of anything, ate all of her sweet potato chips and drank the Kiddie Cocktail. Veda liked both as well.  While our chips were baking, we played a Thanksgiving Bingo game, and also did a Thanksgiving Mad Lib.  Next class will be Soft Pretzels and Pumpkin Butter.  Everyone seems to be looking forward to that one!  I WILL remember to take pictures!

Organic Baked Sweet Potato Chips:

1 large organic sweet potato, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper or other dried herbs, to taste

Preheat oven to 425°.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Grease foil and set baking sheet aside. 

Thinly slice potato into 1/8 inch slices, using mandolin or steady, sharp knife (grown-up’s job!)  Put slices in a resealable plastic bag.  Drizzle potatoes with oil.  Move bag around potatoes to coat all sides.

Place individual slices in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper or herbs, if desired.  Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes.  To make them crunchy, turn down heat to 325° and cook an additional 5-10 minutes until crisp.  Remove potato slices and place on rack to cool.

Kiddie Cocktails:
2 cups sparkling water
1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
1/4 cup simple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, stir and pour over ice.  Add a few frozen pitted cherries to the bottom of the glass, if so desired.

Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup water
Heat sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until sugar has dissolved and mixture has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.  Cool to room temperature.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Easy Organic 11-4-10 Energy Bark and Vanilla Milk

This was our first class of the Easy Organic 3 week session. It was great! We made Energy Bark (rolled oats, slivered almonds, unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted wheat germ, cinnamon, brown sugar, butter, agave nectar). Most of us loved this stuff, and took seconds. One couldn't eat it, she said "because of my braces". Really, it was just that she doesn't like nuts! She never said anything until we were serving it up and she politely said, "no thank you". This recipe can also be made with cereal, so make sure you look for some good cereal to make it with if you don't like nuts. 

Most of them said they don't like coconut, but what do you know, they all loved it. Maybe using flakes rather than the larger coconut helps. And once you put it in the oven and it toasts, it's got that awesome flavor! You could really add some chocolate chips, and it would taste a lot like my favorite Girl Scout cookies, Samoas.

They all took turns reading a story called "Organic Field Trip" which told us all about what it means to be "organic". I then gave them a little True/False quiz and they did great. We talked about microorganisms, ecosystems, crop rotation, earthworms, manure, and chemicals. Sounds exciting, right?

While our Energy Bark was baking, we made Vanilla Milk, which is just organic whole milk, a little vanilla, and some agave nectar. We put it in a blender which made it very frothy. This is a much cheaper option than buying the flavored organic milks that Tanner likes at a certain coffee shops. Plus, it makes great "Got Milk?" pictures!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Microwave Nut Crunch 10-30-10

This was a good recipe!  Most of the kids liked it, except Abby.  She didn't like the nuts, but she did eat the best part...the sugar/cinnamon mixture crumbs at the bottom!  We only made half the recipe, because it makes 10 servings and there were 4 of us (we missed Maddie..she was at All Saints Day Mass).  But it really didn't make much, so next time I will know.  This is a great recipe for packaging up and giving as a gift.  Instead of using whole almonds, we used almond slivers.  I think they're easier to eat.  

We read Nuts to You by one of my favorite authors, Lois Ehlert. Everyone loved shouting "Nuts to You!".  We also read Scaredy Squirrel at Night, good reading the day after Halloween.  

1 cup pecan halves                            
1 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup walnut halves                       

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons whole milk (or fat-free half and half)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 . If the nuts are not roasted, heat the oven to 350 F and spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast them for about 8 to 10 minutes or until they just start to turn brown.
2 . Stir together the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and milk in a medium-size microwave-safe
mixing bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes (for a 1,000-watt unit.)
3 . Stir quickly (don't worry if the mixture looks as though it curdled a little), then
microwave for 1 minute more or until the mixture is noticeably thick.
4 . Stir in the vanilla extract and then stir in the nuts, turning them to coat. Spoon the
nuts onto waxed paper, separate them with a fork, and let them cool for 10 minutes.
5 . Place 1/4-cup servings in little plastic containers or ziplock bags.

Recipe from Family Fun magazine