The Kitchen: Not Just a Place to Cook

If there’s one thing that can tear your youngsters away from their tablets, smartphones or video games, cooking might just be it. Children love working some culinary magic in the kitchen. It gives them a chance to get their hands dirty and, best of all, they can eat the results! Also, you get the chance to spend some quality time with your tots this way, and you can rest assured you’re providing them with some valuable life skills.

There are certain classics that almost all children like to cook, including pizzas, chocolate brownies, and fairy cakes. However, if you’re looking for recipes that are fun and easy to prepare but healthier, reach for your slow cooker. You can use these handy devices to cook nutritious dishes that your youngsters will enjoy creating and eating.

Children and sandwiches go hand in hand. These snacks are perfect for packed lunches and parties. An excellent version to try with your brood is slow-cooked pork. To serve six, you’ll need the following:

  • 2 pounds of pork shoulder
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  •  1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1 pinch of salt and pepper
  •  1/2 cup of cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of barbecue sauce
  • 6 six sandwich rolls
  • Your own choice of salad ingredients.

To make, place the pork in your slow cooker and rub with the brown sugar, garlic, salt and pepper. Then add the vinegar plus 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours until the meat is tender. Once removed from the cooker, shred the meat and mix in the barbeque sauce. Serve on the rolls along with a salad. Your children will love the sweet, comforting taste.

The Kitchen: Not Just a Place to Cook

For a hearty family meal, few things beat a stew and this beef version is bound to wet your kids’ appetites. For six servings, you’ll need:

  • 2 lbs of beef stew meat cut into one-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup of plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1.5 cups of beef stock
  • 3 diced potatoes
  • 4 sliced carrots
  • 1 chopped celery stalk.

To prepare, coat the meat in seasoned flour and place in your slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours. The dish works a treat with creamy mash potatoes.

Whichever dishes you decide to create, leave plenty of time and make sure your kids aren’t wearing their best clothes. Children are remarkably adept at decorating themselves with even the most unexpected ingredients! Last but by no means least, remember to have fun. This is as much about the process as the results. 

“Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Bring the BBQ Inside if Weather Doesn’t Permit

I didn’t really have any huge plans for this weekend other than attempting to have a BBQ at my Dad’s at some point with my boyfriend, my sister and her baby girl. Today was the day for that but the weather was not allowing for a BBQ and so we headed out to pick up the sister and my niece for a warm cooked meal. And boy did Dad cook, I wouldn’t expect anything less. A meal for many King’s was provided and I barely ate one hotdog, macaroni salad and potato salad along with a couple pickles and drank some mountain dew.

Baby Olivia

I got to hug and love my baby niece who is just adorable! I love her so much. This is Baby Olivia in a half smirk at me, I swear she smiled for me finally quite a few times today. It’s so much fun to spend time with her and my sister! Next up we have the barn cat over at Dad’s aka the Farm and this cat wouldn’t stop yowling at me for some reason, maybe he wanted me to feed him.

VT Barn Cat

I also had to capture a cute picture of my Dad’s rooster this is Big Red, I do believe his name is and he is a riot. Always checking out what his human friends are doing and follows you around.

Big Red the Rooster

While we were unable to have a BBQ outdoors it was nice to stay inside and mingle a bit over good cartoon movies such as Over the Hedge and others and just be chill on this fine three day holiday weekend. Not sure what tomorrow has in plan, but probably  more packing and organizing. It will be the last morning for me to be able to sleep in before having schedules get back to normal so hopefully I will sleep in but if not, I shall survive.

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

A Simple Pasta Recipe #recipe #pasta #foodie

This is a favorite pasta recipe for me. This is the first thing I ever really made on my own. You see I am not really into cooking, wasn’t ever really taught how to make things nor cook, but my sister is one hell of a cook. This is something I came up with based on seeing it somewhere long ago and ever since has been a favorite side dish for most any meal for me. Today I share with you my easy pasta recipe.

Hope you enjoy….

Easy to Make Pasta Salad

Ingredients –

  • Rotini Premavera colored pasta {fully cooked according to box instructions}
  • Italian Dressing
  • Chopped Green Peppers
  • Chopped Onions
  • Cubed Cheddar Cheese
  • Optional – cubed ham pieces

How to Create this Easy Pasta Side -

Since there are ways to create this pasta side as an individual serving or a full bowl for a get together, I have not noted amounts. Basically the amount of pasta and ingredients you place in the salad are dependent upon two things 1) preferences and 2) amount of people to be served.

  1. Place the cooked pasta under cold running water to cool it down after being cooked & Drained.
  2. Pour in Italian dressing until you feel all pasta has been covered.
  3. Pour in chopped onions, chopped green pepper, chopped cheddar cheese and the optional chopped ham pieces.
  4. Stir ingredients together in one bowl until mixed well.
  5. Add more Italian dressing if desired.

Making Egg Salad Sandwiches

Egg salad sandwiches are a favorite in my home with the ten and six year old. I personally prefer a nice egg salad sandwich on toasted bread with a piece of cheese and some salt sprinkled on it. Today I share with you how I make my egg salad ….

how do I Make egg salad

Ingredients:

  • 6 hard boiled eggs
  • 2 tablespoons mayo or salad dressing
  • bowl
  • spoon and fork
  • tsp of salt
  • bread

Make The Egg Salad

Place six eggs into a pan and fill with water. Place on stove on high heat, bringing to a boil. Once the water reaches a boiling point, let eggs boil for 10 minutes.

Pour the eggs from hot pan into a bowl that won’t suffer from having boiling hot water dumped on it under cold running water in the sink. Run cold water on the eggs, keep eggs in a bowl covered in cold water. Put the bowl with hard boiled eggs covered in water in fridge for about ten minutes.

Prepare a bowl with mayo or salad dressing on side, a fork and a tablespoon.

Take the eggs out of the fridge and peel off the shell. Wash each egg off in cold faucet water prior to placing in your mixing bowl.

Use the fork to mash up the eggs and egg yolk until it’s fine without  a lot of chunks. This is where you can play with a texture that works best for you.

Add two tablespoons of mayo or salad dressing to the bowl of chopped up eggs. Mix well.

Make Your Sandwich

Take two pieces of bread, you can toast them in the toaster if you prefer first. Add some egg salad to one of the pieces of bread, top with a sprinkle of salt {if desired} then a piece of cheese {if desired}. Place other piece of bread on top and voila you have your very own egg salad sandwich.

Servings - makes approximately 6 egg salad sandwiches on regular sized sandwich bread.

 

Hodgson Mill Pastabilities Contest and Giveaway

I entered the Hodgson Mill Pastabilities Contest with my every day pasta salad I make at home, my five and nine year old kids love it! I call it brain food, mostly because when I eat it I always played better at chess! You can certainly vote for me if you like during the contest by clicking here to visit the Hodgson Mill Pinterest page & click like on my recipe.

I usually make this pasta salad with elbow but the bow ties made it more fun for the kids this time around. To get the full recipe instructions you can visit the Hodgson Mill recipe page on their website.

Now for your chance to enjoy some pasta from Hodgson Mill, one lucky person who enters below will be randomly selected to win $25 worth of pasta from Hodgson Mill. Open to US only and giveaway will end at 12:01am EST on July 5th, 2012.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

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