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Friday, December 28, 2012

Sandwich Ideas for Kids


Today's Kids Cook Monday theme was Sandwiches.

My kids usually pick tuna or peanut butter sandwiches so I wanted to show them there was a lot more variety than that!

We made chicken salad sandwich, BLT (without the L as I didn't have any) and meatball subs.
We poached 3 chicken breasts in water. Then allowed them to cool. The kids chopped the chicken in a mini food processor. Then added mayonnaise. Simple and good!

We had leftover meatballs so added them to slices of French bread and topped with extra sauce.

Then we voted for their favorite. Emphasizing that in order to vote you have to taste each sandwich.

BLT won hands down after all we are a bacon loving family! Don't eat bacon? Try turkey bacon we replace "real bacon" at our house with it and love it just the same.


Sandwich recipes
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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

One week of Quick Meal Ideas

Every household is in need of some quick meal ideas once in awhile. If you find yourself having a whirlwind night and you haven't planned ahead, these are some ideas to help your family dinner hour.  

One Week of Quick Meal Ideas

  • Omelets or scrambled eggs. Most people always have eggs on hand. Try adding vegetables, ham, cheese or leftover chicken. You can make dinner into breakfast by adding pancakes or bacon to go with the omelets or just serve eggs with toast, a fruit salad or a smoothie.
  • Stir Fry. It is easy to keep a frozen bag of stir fry vegetables in the freezer or use leftover vegetables you have on hand and make a stir fry. Add some teriyaki sauce and a side of cooked rice and you have a quick meal. 
  •  Tuna melts. Have a can of tuna in your cupboard? Make a tuna salad, spread on rolls or a slice of bread. Add a slice of cheese and toast in the oven several minutes. Serve with a vegetable. 


  • Quick chicken soup. Keep chicken broth or chicken bouillon on hand and you can create a soup in a hurry. To your chicken broth, add chicken breasts, 1-2 or however many you have. You can throw the whole breast in your pot and let it cook in the broth. Add a bay leaf if you have one and a quartered onion. Add noodles or rice to your broth and allow to cook while you cook the chicken. In last few minutes, add a bag of frozen vegetables. Before serving, cut chicken into smaller pieces with kitchen scissors. 


  • Pasta salad. Cook your pasta and add whatever meat and vegetables you have on hand. Drizzle with a vinaigrette or bottled dressing. We like to use cubed ham, pasta, cheese cubes, carrot pieces and drizzle with a small amount of ranch dressing. 


  •  French bread or English Muffin pizzas. I love this one. You can use a loaf of French bread or English Muffin. If using French bread, cut down the middle lengthwise. Lay flat on cookie sheet. Spread tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce, whatever you have on hand. If using plain tomato sauce, sprinkle with oregano or Italian seasoning. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese and add toppings. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and pizza is toasted.


  •  Spaghetti. If you have a jar of spaghetti sauce in the cupboard or homemade sauce in the freezer, you've got dinner in a hurry. Cook any type of noodles you don't always have to use spaghetti noodles try penne, fun shapes or bow ties for something dinner. 


~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Freezer Meals - What Are They and Why Use Them?

What exactly are freezer meals, and how they can help you as a parent with too little time on your hands? Not to be confused with the frozen packaged meals you would buy from a supermarket, these are simple meals you've prepared in advance and then frozen for another time.

Our modern lifestyles mean that we often don't have the time or energy to cook when it's mealtime, so it helps to prepare a few extra meals when you have the chance and save them for later by freezing them.

Benefits of Using Frozen Meals

There are plenty of upsides to making meals and freezing them for later on. Let's take a look at a few of these.
For one thing, frozen meals can be a huge time saver. Some parents even get away with making a week's or even a month's worth of meals in a single day and freezing them. Can you imagine getting all the week's cooking out of the way on Saturday and then relaxing every evening for the rest of the week?

If you're an experienced budget shopper, you may have already hit on one of the other big benefits of preparing frozen meals: it can help you save money. We all know food is cheaper when you buy in bulk. Making frozen meals means you can buy more food at a time when you visit the supermarket, helping you save money - and further helping you save time by cutting down supermarket visits.

Another major benefit of frozen meals is the choice available to you on any given night. Imagine having a month's worth of frozen meals stored up - it would be like having your own personal buffet. Most parents tend to stick to a meal plan as they believe this is the easiest way to keep the kid happy and make dinner as stress-free as possible. But the simple fact is you don't want to eat macaroni every Tuesday night - no one does. When you have a whole lot of meals cooked in advance, you can change things up and don't have to be constricted by a meal plan.


What Can You Freeze?

You'd be surprised at the variety of foods you can freeze. Obvious choices include chicken breasts and burger meat. You can buy plastic burger patty containers to divide up the meat and then freeze them all together. When it comes to meal time, all you have to do is slide them out of the containers and into a pan or George Foreman grill.

You can also freeze fruit that is going bad in order to preserve it for making smoothies. This is a great way to avoid wasting food, especially if you're on a tight budget.
Of course, all the standard easy family meals like macaroni or meatballs can also be frozen for later eating. Your best option is to refer to a reliable source of information on frozen meals and preparing meals for your family in general.



More Freezer Cooking Resources

  freezer cookbook
Freezer Cooking Ebook- Over 100 recipes for freezer meals!

Visit freezer meals for more information on how freezer meals can make life easier for you and your family.
Stocking the freezer with hidden vegetables.
Stock the freezer for school lunches
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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Handstand Kids Interview

Handstand Kids has a variety of fun international cookbook kits designed to take you and your kids to different countries and have fun learning about the culture.

As someone who has lived many places in the world these cookbooks are a great idea to teach kids about different cultures in a fun inviting way!

Here is our interview with Handstand Kids


I love the chance for kids to learn about other cultures and have fun cooking. Did the inspiration of these cookbook kits come from traveling yourself? If so where have you traveled?

 I was traveling a lot to places all over the world, and was also working in international children’s rights. I was always on the hunt for fun gifts to bring back for my little cousins, and thought that a cookbook that introduced them to whatever country I was in would be a great souvenir, but I couldn’t ever find one anywhere.

I have traveled throughout Europe, China, India, South East Asia, Mexico, Brazil, and Canada, and knew I had to create a cookbook that captured all of the unique and delicious recipes from each of these regions.


Tell us about the cookbook kits you have available. Are there plans for more in the future?
We currently have three cookbook kits: Italy, China, and Mexico. The Italian kit is packaged in a pizza box with a chef's hat, Mexico in a tortilla bag with an oven mitt, and China in a takeout box with chopsticks. They each introduce the language and show the Handstand Kids in different cultural scenes.

We are definitely planning more kits, looking at things like baking for kids, French food, and more healthy American recipes as well. We also just launched a line of cooking accessories, our "Eat Your Fruits & Veggies" apron, a chef's hat, and an oven mitt.


Do you have a favorite recipe for kids?
Whichever recipe will get them excited to taste new fruits and vegetables is my favorite, and this could differ from family to family. I love The "Great Wall of Chinese Lettuce Wraps" and the "Apple-licious Taquitos". Kids love making, and eating them!


Do you have a tip for getting kids involved in the kitchen?
Give kids their own workspace in the kitchen. Most of the kitchen is generally off limits to kids, but we want to invite them in a safe and fun environment. Having their own cookbook and apron gets them excited to help out and try new foods. The more kids are involved in cooking, the more likely they are to taste what they have made.


How can parents teach their kids the importance of healthy eating?
Make eating fun! Kids will try foods with repeated exposure to it. Even the pickiest eaters will eventually try different foods if they are included in the cooking process and see the family enjoying the food together.


Include children in all parts of cooking and eating. Take them grocery shopping and to farmer’s markets and let food be fun!

Mac & Cheese 

Serves 3 to 4
Level: 3
Ingredients:
12 ounces of macaroni (maccheroni)
¾ cup of milk (low fat or regular)
2 ½ cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups of chopped vegetables (spinach, broccoli, or any other favorites)
10 cups of water

Tools:
Large Pot
Measuring Cup
2 Oven Mitts
Strainer
Wooden Spoon

Directions:
1. Boil ­­10 cups of water in the large pot, enough to completely cover the maccheroni.
2. Wearing oven mitts, add the maccheroni to the pot and cook for 7-9 minutes.
3. Drain the pasta from the water into a strainer in the sink. Pour the maccheroni back into the pot and stir in the milk and mozzarella until it is evenly distributed.
4. Add the vegetables to the pot and stir well for 3 to 5 minutes. Use the wooden spoon to scoop the maccheroni into a bowl.

Alternative: Add bite-sized pieces of protein (cooked chicken, beef, or tofu) to the maccheroni to make it a complete meal.

What Handstand Kids has available





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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Helping your kids get interested in cooking

Head Chefs Whisk
Are you looking for ideas of what to buy your kids this holiday season? There are a lot of fun and useful products out now a days that will get kids engaged in cooking and helping out in the kitchen.

Something simple like their own kitchen utensils may get them interested in helping in the kitchen or a kids cooking kit that has all of the ingredients and utensils needed for a project will spark their interest in learning how to cook.

Try searching Amazon for kids cookbooks or kids cooking kits or kids cooking products.




See more kids cooking supplies.
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Party Food Ideas

Coming up with good party food ideas is essential to having a successful party and catering to guests of different ages is sometimes difficult. Children are often picky, teens are almost always watching their weight, and some adults have dietary restrictions, so pleasing everyone, especially while trying to stay within a budget, might seem like a challenge. However, if you plan ahead and do some reading, making the food could be your easiest task.

Keeping it Simple

Cheese and crackers are traditional but versatile and you get a lot for your money, especially if you add a few tomato slices, olives, pepperoni, or other Italian cold cut meat. By adding to this common platter, you are giving guests more choices and pleasing more palettes.

On another platter, you might offer fresh vegetables with a dip or if you prefer to serve something a little healthier, opt for hummus, which guests can also spread on their cheese and crackers.

These simple, affordable snacks complement each other, increasing options, and offer something for the vegan, the meat eater, the weight watcher, and the fussy eater. This is what you must keep in mind, as options are the key when serving food to a variety of guests.




bbqing family

 

BBQ Basics

Summertime is party time and just about everyone loves a good cookout, but there are a few party food ideas to make your BBQ stand out from the rest.
  • Instead of serving the usual hamburger, serve inside out burgers and set up a condiment bar that offers feta cheese, cucumber sauce, and chopped olives for a taste of the Mediterranean.
  • You might also decide to offer guests pitas instead of hamburger rolls, since they are less messy and lower in calories.
  • For a side dish, potato salad is quite popular, but tangy potato salad with paprika and a hint of jalapeno is one way to make it interesting.
  • Substitute sweet potato fries for ordinary fries.
  • Pulled pork for ribs or hot dogs is another way to put a new spin on an old classic.
  • If you absolutely must have hot dogs, a little chili and cheese is sure to win your guests affection. 
  • See some easy grilling recipes. 

A Fancy Tea Party

party table
Finger sandwiches, fresh baked scones, a box full of herbal and fruit-inspired tea bags, and maybe some yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit are perfect party food ideas when you want to entertain family and friends over tea.

Shrimp cocktail and some hors d’oeuvres, while not common at a tea party, offer variety and add a touch of elegance to your event. Petit fours or other miniature deserts, uncommon on a daily basis, add the finishing touch to this exquisite event.

Try a teddy bear tea party or a Princess tea party.


Just for Kids

Pizza is generally a big hit among kids, so making mini-pizzas, or “pizzettes,” is one of the smart and modern party food ideas that cater to children. By making small pizzas, you avoid waste, increase the variety of topping choices, and don’t have to cut anything.

Mini-burgers, or sliders, are another great finger food for kids, along with pigs in a blanket and grilled cheese. Unfortunately, these are not healthy foods for kids to eat, so substituting whole wheat bread, turkey hot dogs, or low fat cheese will fill bellies the healthy way and keep parents happy at the same time.

~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~