Tag Archives: cooking with kids

Chocolate Mousse (or chocolate elk)

We’ve had more than our share of moose around the house this summer and fall. We’ve counted at least 5 different cows and bulls hanging out by the deck, sipping water from the boys “pond”, lounging by the playground and cruising our roads.  I have a 1/2 gallon of whipping cream from last weekend when I made caramels and needed a few more recipes so it didn’t go to waste. When I told the boys I was making chocolate mousse, they asked if I’d make chocolate elk or chocolate bear instead…so I think we have a new name for a very traditional chocolately dessert…here is our Chocolate Elk.

The boys loved helping whip this up, literally.  Of course they like licking the beaters!

I also think that what a person puts into a martini glass says a lot about them. I served our Chocolate Elk in my grandmothers vintage swirl martinin glasses….I honestly don’t think I’ve ever served martini’s in them but they make fabulous dessert dishes!

Ingredients:
8 ounces chocolate chips (or semi sweet chocolate)
6 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

1. Melt chocolate and water in saucepan over medium
2. Whisk in vanilla and allow to cool
3. Whip cream. After it begins to thicken as sugar and continue whipping until thick.
4. Add cooled chocolate and blend on low.
5. Scoop into martini glasses, garnish with chocolate chips and chill in refrigerator.

Makes 6-8 martini glasses!
Enjoy!

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Sticky Caramel Rolls

Last weekend we made caramels…ooey, gooey delicious caramels!  Maybe it’s the allure of caramel apples and the Halloween season  but I was seriously in need of caramel. While the caramels set up I moved on to these caramel sticky buns.
What I love about these is the dough is so easy and doesn’t take much time at all. The sauce is also simple and the final result is not overwhelmingly sweet but rather rich and well, delicious. I finished the weekend with a little less roominess in my jeans as I am sure I have some caramel hanging out waiting for me to burn it off at the gym!

caramel sauce

dough

filling

Directions:

1. Sprinkle brown sugar in greased 9×13-inch pan. Pour over whipping cream, set aside
2. In large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add water, egg, and melted butter; beat at low speed until moistened.
3. By hand, stir in 1 1/2- 2 cups flour. Knead 3 minutes; let rest 10 minutes
4. Roll dough to a 7×15-inch rectangle. Spread with butter; sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up tightly and seal edges. Cut into 1-inch rolls.
5. Place in prepared pan. Cover and let rise until doubled.
6. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.
7. Let sit for 5 mintues then invert onto serving plate (I used a large cookie sheet)

Originally found at http://baking.food.com/recipe/nanas-caramel-cinnamon-rolls-241325

Fun to make Irish Brown Bread

It doesn’t have to be St Patty’s day to enjoy a little home-baked Irish goodness!  There is just nothing like the smell of fresh-baked bread in the air. This super easy recipe is full of whole-grain goodness and the kids have so much fun getting their little hands gooey while mixing it.

I LOVE this bread hot from the oven with a little strawberry or mango jam on top! Of course it’s even better while sipping a cup of tea 🙂

I pair this dense bread with soups, stews, roasts and just about any other down home recipe you can

come up with. And it’s really quick to make up, no time waiting for it to rise. I think you could cut down on the cook time by make 2 smaller loaves.

Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cups butter milk


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the ingredients except milk in a large bowl. Stir with hands. Make a well in the mixture and pour in 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk.
2. Continue mixing with hands. Add remaining cup of buttermilk as you combine ingredients. The dough will be very wet and sticky….kids love it!
3. Dust hands with flour and shape dough into a ball. Place on a floured cookie sheet or non-stick baking mat. Score a X on the top with a knife.
4. Bake the bread until golden brown about 45-50 minutes. Let cool for 10  minutes before slicing.

 Originally found in Family Fun magazine March 2008

Delicious Hot Cocoa

It’s the first week of October and we are already thick into the “snow”!  Yes for the past 3 days we’ve had freezing temps and snowy conditions making us all just a little uneasy about the length of winter ahead.  However, this is MT and we could see 70’s again next week (not likely but possible).

One of the boys favorite treat after playing in the snow is a warm cup of hot cocoa. For the longest time #1 would request a cup of “warm cocoa” because a hot cup would burn his mouth, so smart! Since this cold spell hit us at the end of a beautifully warm September, I am all out of hot cocoa mix (usually Ovaltine since in my mother’s mind it must be a little healthier since it has all those vitamins in it, right?)  What is a mom to do? Two boys, cold from their snow fort building on the lawn begging for a warm cup of cocoa…hmmm?

Well once a long time before all our prepackaged foods, powdered mixes and sliced bread, moms must have served their little ones something that was probably so much more delicious! And they did, home-made hot cocoa. This is super easy and fun for the kids to help!

Both boys proclaimed this to be so much better than hot cocoa mix in a can – their words not mine. This then lead to a short chanting of “home-made hot cocoa, home-made hot cocoa).

Ingredients:
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cocoa powder
Dash of salt
2 cups warm/hot milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. I used a pint mason jar, one for each boy. Add sugar, cocoa and salt.
2. Pour in warm milk and vanilla.
3. Put mason jar lid on securely. Let the little ones shake.
4. Remove lid and serve…in the jar! So fun!

Enjoy with some fresh baked chocolate chocolate chip cookies.  I think you could even put this mix in jars and take it with you or have it prepared for sledding parties. Hopefully we don’t have enough snow for one of those for a few more months, crossing fingers and toes, please!

Cowboy Meatloaf

Since we have so much ground meat in our freezer, I am constantly challenged to create new dishes with said ground meat that isn’t spagetti or chili.  Meatloaf is quickly becoming a favorite in the house among my “we eat meat” boys. However, the same meatloaf over and over gets a bit redundant. The kids also like to help mix up the meat and getting their hands all gooey!

My oldest is certain he will grow up to be a cowboy, so he LOVES this meal! Not to mention any meal with a fun name goes down faster in this crew. This is a favorite on cold days coupled with roasted or mashed  potatos, mmm.  It also brings out the boot wearing cowgirl in me!

Hope you enjoy this zesty version of loaf de meat! Boots and hats are optional!

Cowboy Meatloaf
Ingredients:
2 lb ground beef
1 cup soft bread crumbs
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1 large clove, minced
1/2 cup shredded cheese
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup chunky salsa

Directions:
1. Heat over to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except salsa in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.
2. Shap beef mixture onto baking sheet that is lined with foil (this makes for easy cleanup!). Pour salsa on top.  Bake for 1 hour to 1hour 15 minutes or until cooked through.
3. Let stand for 10  minutes, slice and serve.

What to do with the leftovers?  Head over to https://justcutthescrap.com/2012/09/29/lasagna-from-leftovers for my Lasagna recipe using meatloaf leftovers!

Note: one of my favorite sneaks into meatloaf is shredded carrots-sautee them a bit in a pan before adding to the mixture. While the hubby notices them, the kids do not. 🙂

Can you say yee-haw? That’s some good meatloaf my friend!

Banana Crumb Muffins

In high school (many many years ago) my nickname was Betty Crocker. I was always cooking and baking and bringing the goodies to school to share. One might have thought I’d go on to write cookbooks or be a famous chef. Well almost…I did minor in Family Consumer Sciences in college and thoroughly enjoy spending time in the kitchen creating. But alas, that is as far as it goes. Thankfully I married a man with an infinite appetite who is also not too picky about the food on the plate.

I may be passing this love for cooking along to my youngest son, my super “maker” as he is always asking to help “make” with me in the kitchen. He loves adding the ingredients and stirring, mixing, and of course tasting.

The big man is at school today and we have a trio of very over-ripe bananas that are begging to be utilized. Our freezer is literally packed with loaves of sweet breads, banana and zucchini.  So we made muffins. They are easy for breakfasts, snacks and lunch boxes. Nothing like home-made goodness in a school lunch to make you feel loved, right?

Banana Crumb Muffins
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/3 cup butter, melted

Topping
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tbsp cold butter
1/4 cup nuts (optional-we did not include these)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. In a medium bowl, mix first 4 ingredients. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix bananas (I use a potato masher to smash-up the bananas in the bowl I will use to mix all the ingredients-one less bowl to clean!), sugar, egg, melted butter.
3. Stir in the dry mixture until moistened.
4. Grease muffin pan (or use liners). I love Wilton Cake Release for greasing my pans. It’s quick one step and easy clean-up. Grease bottom only of pan. Fill cups 3/4 full.


5. Topping: Combine first 3 ingredients then cut in butter until crumbly.
6. Sprinkle over muffin batter.


7. Bake for 20 minutes until muffins are firm.
8. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan.

Enjoy with your little “maker”!
This recipe was originally found http://www.food.com/recipe/crumb-topped-banana-muffins-43509