Healthy tips for kids and families

Kids Cooking and Cookbook Blog

Kids cooking recipes, cooking activities, and parenting tips for healthy living
Filed under Cookbooks, Cooking and kids, Cooking Skills, Recipes

country-smaller-size1Cooking Around the Country with Kids
By Amy Houts
Images Unlimited Publishing
$19.95

This review of the book, Cooking Around the Country with Kids – USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities was written by Joan Leotta, journalist, in the Myrtle Beach Sun News

I think I might have enjoyed United States geography more if I had been able to eat my way around the country. Experiencing the tastes of regional foods promotes understanding and interest into the differences among the various regions of our vast country. I grew up in the Middle Atlantic States. We traveled a bit and I sampled the pecans of the south and lobster rolls of New England.  You don’t have to leave your home state, with Houts’ book in your kitchen. Not only does she do a wonderful job of providing recipes for healthy foods in various meal categories, she peppers the book with little hints and bits about the food culture of each region and particular, signature foods. She offers information on colonial cooking and eating in the section on the New England States, She devotes a page to telling her readers how hot dogs became a signature American dish and devotes another page to the South Carolina nut of choice, the pecan!

A part of the purpose of the book is to help children make connections between food and where its grown, to help children learn about the cooking styles of early America, help children learn how to relate to food tradition of different regions and show how food played a part in our country’s history. Food activities and recipes make it exciting to explore other cultures. Of course, the recipes also take the child cook into science and math, combining and measuring.

Houts tackles history and geography with a passion that is delicious as well as delightful. The “test” questions include: “When was ice cream invented? What are hush puppies and how did they get their name? What are funnel cakes?  Why doesn’t all corn “pop”?

Her deft pen when dealing with children is no surprise. She is a former librarian and preschool teacher. She never talks down to children. The recipes and short commentaries introduce the concept of cultural diversity as well as promote healthy eating. Her impressive resume and list of writing awards are provided at the back of the book.

If you home school your child, this book will be an invaluable aid in teaching science, math, geography, and history. If your children attend traditional public or private schools, the book is a great way to reinforce lessons taught at school. For both audiences, the book offers a great platform to launch fun family projects and would be wonderful to pull out on a bad weather day to work together in the kitchen.

Even though this book is about more than recipes, simply as a cookbook, the volume excels. The book offers beginning cooks with a mini-primer in cooking with everything from technique to a dictionary of cooking terms. The recipes offered provide not only a tour through our nation’s culinary heritage and diversity, but also offer busy families, easy-to-fix healthy and very tasty meal options. Options that are child friendly. Of course, if your child helps with the meal, he or she will be more likely to want to try anything new that is served.

Shaker Rice and Nut Burgers
(Middle Atlantic States, Shaker culture)
Recipe given with permission from Cooking Around the Country with Kids by Amy Houts
Serves four as a main dish, eight as a side
Calls for chestnuts or almonds, but author says pecans or cashews can substitute

Ingredients
1 cup chestnuts or slivered almonds
2 cups brown or white rice
½ cup dry bread crumbs
3 eggs
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons oil
Flour

Method
If using chestnuts prick the shells and place in cold water, Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, turn down heat, and simmer for fifteen minutes. Cool and chop.

Mix the nuts, rice, bread crumbs, 2 of the eggs, parsley and cream. Adults can heat butter and oil in a large skillet.
Beat remaining egg.
Spoon a little flour onto wax paper. Children can help shape and pat the main mixture into 8 “burgers”
Dip each burger into beaten egg and then into flour.
Fry about five minutes on each side until brown,
Serve hot.

Bread Pudding
(Southwest United States)
Recipe given with permission from Cooking Around the Country with Kids by Amy Houts
Serves 6-8
Ingredients
Two and ½ cups milk
1/3  cup raisins (optional)
4 slices bread
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
1/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

Method
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Children can butter a 1 ½ quart casserole dish
Sprinkle raisins in  dish
Fill a 9 x13x2 inch pan with approximately an inch of water and place in oven while preheating to heat the water. Scald milk by heating it almost to boiling, remove from heat and set aside
Toast bread on light.
Children can spread the bread with butter.
Sprinkle two of the slices with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Place remaining two slices on top like a sandwich, Cut into fourths. Place in casserole dish on top of the raisins in a single layer.
Children can help beat eggs,. Stir tie sugar, vanilla and salt into the beaten eggs
Adult can gradually add the scalded milk. Pour everything over the bread. Place casserole dish into the pan of water that is already in the oven. Bake about 65 minutes or until the pudding is set. Remove the casserole form the water. Serve warm or cold. Store in refrigerator.

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Filed under Apple recipes, Apples, Cookbooks, Cooking and kids

Apple tree in full blossom, North Ayrshire, Sc...

Apple blossom festivals are appearing all over the U.S.A. There is good evidence this will be another great apple season.

Your fresh apple supply is probably near the end, but you may still have some apple foods available – such as applesauce, dried apples, and apple cider.

Quick story on my apple cider morning fiasco -I had some apple cider in the refrigerator and wanted to have it for breakfast. I went to heat it up, but unfortunately, I forgot it on the stove. When I realized what I had done, the cider was all cooked down into a thick syrup. It was past the point of redemption, however, and now the pan is soaking in the sink. This is a poor way to start the morning and a quick reminder to tend to the job at hand!

Anyway, if you still have any applesauce and dried apples left form last fall, here is a recipe from my latest cookbook, Healthy to the Core! All Natural Low Sugar/No Sugar Apple Recipes for Kids. It’s not only for kids, though, but for the whole family, and easy enough for kids. But everyone needs to stay alert when using the stove, I remind myself and others.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

oatmeal cookie

1 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal (regular or quick)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water or apple juice or cider
1/3 cup dried apples
1/3 cup raisins
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup applesauce, unsweetened
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup chopped nuts, optional

1. Grease cookie sheet or use parchment paper on pan.
2. In a medium bowl measure flour, oatmeal, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
3. In small pan, add water or apple juice or cider and dried apples and raisins. Heat for a few minutes to plump dried fruit. Turn off heat and let cool.
4. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and add oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir together. Add dry ingredients and combine.
5. Add dried fruit mixture from saucepan. Mix to blend well. Add nuts (if using) and mix thoroughly.
6. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 9-12 minutes.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

This is the time to use up foods from last season. What else besides applesauce do you need to use up before the new crop comes in?

Best to you,

Lee Jackson
author and food writer
http://wwwimagesunlimitedpublishing.com

 

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Filed under Apples, Good thoughts, Recommendations

Apple Blossom

It’s apple blossom time! Despite the “not-like-spring” weather, nature continues to work its magic.

Enjoy apple blossom time and all the beauty of the season.

Lee Jackson,
author and publisher
http://www.imagesunlimitedpublishing.com
love the apple/country life

 

 

 

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Filed under Good thoughts, Holidays

May Day Basket - Social Media Neighbor Day

What fun to run to a neighbor’s house with a May basket to hang on their door. Then there is the joy at the other end – opening the door and seeing the colorful collection.

Whether we may or may not be fortunate to give or get a May basket, let’s remember to do something good for another today.

 

Lee Jackson,
author and publisher
http://www.imagesunlimitedpublishing.com
exploring apple/country themes

 

 

 

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Filed under Books, Cookbooks, Cooking and kids, Regional food

Country-smaller-size1

Help your child experience the “Great Melting Pot” through food and the part it plays in America’s cultural diversity. What better way to learn about each other than by sharing the foods and customs of different parts of the country?

The cookbook, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities by Amy Houts, focuses on helping children learn how different cultures in America came to co-exist, yet continue to celebrate their uniqueness. By settling in different parts of the country, people developed distinctive dishes based on what was harvested and available.

This USA heritage cookbook provides food adventures through eight regions of America, including Hawaii and Alaska. Names of favorite recipes offer hints of their origin and region. For example, there are recipes for Boston Baked Beans and Boston Brown Bread, Hawaiian Punch, Florida Orange Drink, Hush Puppies, New England Cranberry Bread, Pennsylvania Dutch Funnel Cakes, Seafood Cocktail, Cheese Grits, Cowboy Chili, Kansas City Barbeque, New England Clam Chowder, Texas Sheet Cake, “The Big Apple” Squares, Red Beans and Rice, Wild Game Burgers, Campfire Potatoes, and many other recipes.

Children will find their knowledge of American history and geography expanded as each geographic area includes a brief description and presents activities related to that region.  As a home-schooling mother noted: This book has helped me explain the meaning of America as “The Great Melting Pot”.

Help your children experience the “melting pot” of our country. For more information about the book and to order your copy of Cooking Around the Country with Kids, go to: http://imagesunlimitedpublishing.com/cooking-around-the-country-with-kids-usa-regional-recipes-and-fun-activities/  

Best to you and your family,

Lee Jackson
Images Unlimited Publishing
Books for kids, families, and parenting professionals

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Filed under Books, Cooking and kids, Recipes

CookCalenderCooking Around the Calendar with Kids – Holiday and Seasonal Food and Fun is the newly revised and updated childrens’ cookbook just back from the printers! This book helps children celebrate the changing seasons with great tasting food and fun activities.

For this season of spring, the author Amy Houts has included food for April Foods, EasterMay Day, Mothers Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Fathers Day.

Here is a recipe for May Day taken from the book:

Strawberry Parfait
1 pint fresh strawberries
1/4 cup granola
ONE of the following:
2 cups vanilla pudding
1 pint vanilla ice cream
12 ounces cottage cheese
16 ounces yogurt

These look prettiest in parfait glasses, which are tall, clear glass dessert dishes. Then the layers of red and white are clearly visible.

Children can pull or trim the stems from the strawberries. Rinse, and then slice in half with a butter knife.

Children can place a layer of strawberries in the dessert dish. Top with pudding, ice cream, cottage cheese, or yogurt. Repeat until you reach the top of the parfait glass or until you have a single serving. Each dessert is layered in a separate glass or bowl.

Top with a sprinkling of granola. Serve or chill until serving time.

Makes 4-6 parfaits

Kids and grown ups will enjoy these delightful, attractive, and healthy parfaits – for May Day or any spring day.

Go to http://imagesunlimitedpublishing.com/cooking-around-the-calendar-with-kids-holiday-and-seasonal-food-and-fun/ and order your copy today.

Best to you and your family,

Lee Jackson
Food and Nutrition Educator

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Filed under listening skills, Publishing, Recommendations
Learning to Listen with Significant Others by Bob Bohlken, Ph.D.

Learning to Listen with Significant Others by Bob Bohlken, Ph.D.

Bob Bohlken, Ph.D. author of Learning to Listen with Significant Others says that effective listening helps build a foundation for healthy relationships.

This is a book important for business communicators, counselors, and individuals.  Go now to order Learning to Listen to Significant Others released in trade paper (ISBN: 978-0-93043-23-2, 65 pages, $14.95) at http://www.imagesunlimitedpub.com and http://amzn.to/1f9JOAh

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Filed under Books, listening skills, Recommendations

I’m excited about our new book just published, Learning to Listen with Significant Others – A Conversational Approach by Bob Bohlken, Ph.D.  This is a new category for us – in Interpersonal Relationships/Education/Communication.  Useful for counselors, marriage prep directors, and training materials for companies with their employees.

View our most recent press release at http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release-service/379243

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Filed under Food Safety, GMO, Health, Healthy food practices, Organic foods

fotolia_7717219-1boy dandelionscropOrganic farmers suffer somewhat the same consequences as do those with second-hand smoke problems. Their crops can be contaminated by others growing GMO crops.

Yet the USDA wants the public to think GMO and organic crops can coexist.

To read more about this, go to:
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/pressreleases/survey-organic-farmers-pay-the-price-for-gmo-contamination/

As said in the Food and Water Watch literature: “Because of some really unfortunate laws, right now, if one of Monsanto‘s genetically engineered crops contaminates an organic farmer, the organic farmer is at fault. The farmer can lose the significant investment that they put into growing organic crops if the crop tests positive for contamination. Not to mention that in the past, Monsanto has been very aggressive going after farmers who find contamination, suing them for “using” their crops illegally”.

Pollen flies – winds blow. Nature is meant to reproduce.

Lee Jackson
Concerned about food safety

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Cooking and kids, Empowered Mom news, Free Offer, Goals, Recommendations

Our goal at Cooking and Kids is to help parents like you become empowered in your job of raising healthy kids.

One of the most powerful ways to do this is to get kids involved in food and cooking. With that in mind, I’m excited to announce my FREE eCourse, Kids-Cooking-is-Fun-classes.

This 5 session cooking classes for kids will provide you with hands-on activities for kids in your home, school, church, or organizational setting. Each of the 5 sessions is packed with interactive experiences to teach children skills needed when working with food.

If you are ready to make food experiences with children more meaningful, then I invite you to sign up now, here to the right beside the big red arrow.  You will get a series of 5 free sessions filled with ideas on how easily you can get kids excited about food and cooking.

I hope you can join me for these Kids-Cooking-is-Fun step-by-step classes.

To your health and that of your family,

Lee Jackson, M.Ed
Food and Family Living Educator
http://www.ImagesUnlimitedPublishing.com

P.S. Pick up this free eCourse on food activities for children and let them explore the world of food.

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