Tag Archives: food

Kids in the Kitchen

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Kids in the Kitchen

Several years ago (before twins), my first two children enjoyed helping me cook, and I enjoyed teaching them. I took pictures of them and created a digital scrapbook with some of our favorite recipes at the time. I gave these to all the grandparents and great-grandparents for Christmas that year. We use this as a cookbook frequently in our home.

I had intended to create a new scrapbook each year, but life got busy, and we had more kids, and sometimes it was hard to cook at all. I had my son take this photo so I could look back on it one day and smile. It was so exasperating at the time to have two toddlers crying and clinging to me while I tried to cook dinner, but I knew it wouldn’t always be that way.

Once all four of the little people started asking to help in the kitchen with me, I was quickly overwhelmed. They all started doing different things, and I wasn’t ready! Oh, the messes! I was also stressed about not being able to keep an eye on each one for safety reasons. A wise friend told me she has her boys take turns helping her on different nights of the week. I need to work out a calendar for my children to take turns helping.

This evening, we had breakfast for dinner, and I decided to delegate some tasks to the kids. The twins went to the barn to get more eggs, and then they took turns whisking the eggs. Big brother wanted sausage, egg, and cheese burritos. The twins wanted pancakes, bacon, and scrambled eggs. (Big sister is staying the night with a friend.) Then the girls took turns mixing up the pancake batter and posing for some silly photos.

While the bacon cooked in the oven, I had the girls help cook the eggs in each pan. They swapped pans when the eggs were almost set. Silly girls! Big brother kept an eye on the bacon and removed it from the oven when it was done.

Once the girls had bacon and eggs, I started on the pancakes and let them start eating. It’s a little chaotic having two five year olds help with dinner, but their smiles make it worthwhile. Maybe I’ll start on volume two of our Kids in the Kitchen scrapbook series, but don’t look for it to be completed any time soon. At the rate I’m going, I won’t have enough photos for a cooking scrapbook for a few years! I need to get that cooking schedule for the kids figured out first.

Click here for a pancake recipe. We still use this basic recipe. Unfortunately, the girls prefer white flour and no flax seed in their pancakes, so we just use 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour in place of the whole wheat flour and ground flax seed.

For the breakfast burritos, we use one pound of pork sausage, crumbled and browned on medium heat. Then we lower the heat and add a dozen scrambled eggs. Once the eggs are set, we add about 1 1/2 cups of freshly shredded cheese and stir until it starts to melt. Don’t cook it too long, or the cheese will melt completely, and you won’t be able to tell it’s in there. My son hates that. Enjoy!

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Meal Time

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Sissy and Little Sister are going through a stage where more food ends up on the floor than in their bellies. They keep reaching for the knife I’m using to slice their bananas or strawberries, and then I realize they want a fork or spoon. You would think I would remember after a week of this to just give them a spoon or fork to begin their meal instead of remembering after the floor is littered with Cheerios. They aren’t very good at eating with a spoon yet, but they can feed themselves with a fork. These photos are from lunch today. Sissy wanted to eat her banana with a fork while Little Sister ate her corn with a spoon.

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Whole Wheat Pancakes and Waffles Recipe

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20131118-151458.jpgMy children love pancakes and waffles and would probably eat them every day if I would make them. My son decided he would make pancakes himself last week, and he did so with only a little supervision from me. This is the recipe we use.

1 cup whole wheat flour (1 1/2 cups if not using ground flax seed)
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
1 TBSP vanilla
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 cup milk

Mix all ingredients together until dry ingredients are wet. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup or a large scoop with a squeeze-action handle to pour onto a hot, greased pan for pancakes, or pour batter onto a hot, greased waffle iron for waffles. Flip pancakes when bubbles start to appear around the edges for lighter pancakes or cook a little longer for darker pancakes. This recipe makes enough pancakes or waffles to feed four people.

I think I found the original recipe on www.sparkrecipes.com a few years ago, but I have tweaked it and made it my own. You can use a combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour or use only one type of flour. My kids enjoy this recipe with all-purpose flour and no ground flax seed, which isn’t as healthy, but I have thrown an extra farm-fresh egg in (decrease the milk) for a little extra protein. I usually just throw the basic ingredients in a bowl without really measuring, and it turns out fine. You can add blueberries, nuts, chocolate chips, etc. Just fold those in after mixing the other ingredients. If I’m eating pancakes (not just the kids), I’ll add ground flax seed, some oats, and a little more milk to the batter after making theirs because I enjoy heartier pancakes. Big sister and I eat our pancakes plain or topped with a little butter while big brother likes his topped with pure maple syrup. How do you like your pancakes or waffles?

Food

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We’ve been busy cooking lately, so I thought I would share some pics of a few of our creations.

20131118-124411.jpgBig brother loves to cook and used to help me in the kitchen all the time. He asked for a chef’s apron a couple of years ago, so Grammy got him a chef’s apron and hat for Christmas that year, and it still fits. He whipped up some pancakes for himself and big sister last week, adding blueberries to his after making hers plain. I’ll post our recipe soon.

20131118-130956.jpgI found this recipe on Pinterest and finally made these delicious peanut butter bars. I knew better than to make the whole recipe just for us, so I halved the recipe and used a smaller dish, but my bars were a little thicker than they should have been. They were still delicious!

20131118-131335.jpgWe received this Baby Brezza One Step Baby Food Maker as a baby shower gift almost a year ago. I did not make baby food for our older two children. It just didn’t occur to me to do so. When I registered for gifts while expecting the twins, I thought I’d try making their food. With two babies, jarred baby food could get expensive, and I figured two babies would be able to eat enough to make it worth my time. I have been making their food for a few months now, and it’s not hard, and it doesn’t take too much time. The most time-consuming part is dicing the food to 1/4″ pieces for the Baby Brezza. I bought a butternut squash and diced that whole thing into 1/4″ pieces. It took forever, my hands hurt when I was halfway finished, and I don’t think I steamed it long enough because there were little pieces in it after the machine blended it into a purée. Needless to say, I haven’t tried butternut squash again! I have made plenty of other foods for the babies and have enjoyed having the Baby Brezza. You just dice the food, put it in the bowl, pour water into the steam tank, and turn it on. It will steam for 10 to 30 minutes and then automatically blend if you want.

I was at Costco a few days ago and found a 2-pound package of organic butternut squash already cut in 1″ cubes. I wanted to make a lot at one time, since it was a large package and I’m hoping the babies will eat it, so I used my stockpot and steamer insert. It only took about 15 minutes to steam about 1.5 pounds this way. Then I put it all in my KitchenAid food processor and puréed it.

20131118-132437.jpgI put about one ounce in each ice cube well and put them in the freezer. Once frozen, I transferred the cubes to a freezer bag and will remove a couple at a time to thaw for the babies to eat. Now if we can just get them to eat it! So far, little sister likes peaches, and they both like apples and blueberries mixed together (super messy going in and coming out!), but neither of them would eat plain apples, bananas, squash, or sweet potatoes. They did like it when I mixed peaches, bananas, and oatmeal together, but sissy wouldn’t eat that the second time I made it for them. I’ve heard that it could take up to 10 times before they will eat a new food, so we will keep trying.