Monday, January 31, 2011

January 20 Bread Machine

Audrey loves the bread machine. It has more to do with the moving parts and sound than with the finished product. Don't get me wrong, she loves fresh bread. We all like to gather in the kitchen when the bread is done and enjoy it warm with butter and jam. If we plan right we can have homemade butter and freezer jam to make the treat complete. Even with store butter and jam it really is a treat. If you do not have a bread machine you should try to find a recipe for food processor bread. It is much easier than conventional methods and homemade bread is worth it. Just ask Audrey.

Muffin Tin Monday

Audrey is growing up so fast. Today she made her lunch almost completely by herself. I got the supplies out and set her up but she put everything together.
The girls went to the care center today so their muffin tin meals needed to travel. 
Momma's little girl is growing up fast. She is getting so good at cooking. They tell me Audrey likes to play in the pretend kitchen at the care center.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mother Audrey

Another in the funny Audrey series. Audrey is always trying to help in the kitchen. One time when momma got up Audrey decided to take over. Here she is feeding her baby sister. And yes it is pureed prunes:

January 19 Homemade Butter

One of the easiest tricks to do in the kitchen with children is turning cream into butter. Using a small container with a small amount of cream the task is very doable with small children. They love to pour in cream and find butter when they open the lid. We usually use a small baby food jar leftover from Maurene's puree period. Place heavy cream inside and shake. It takes about ten minutes so we like to take turns, usually while dancing. You can tell your butter is ready when it starts feeling like something is hitting the sides of the container. Pour off the liquid and store the butter in a cool place. We like to have ours on fresh bread machine bread with homemade strawberry freezer jam.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Pizza Dough Dance

This is too cute not to share. I found this while looking for a picture of Audrey making butter. This is much more entertaining.

January 18 Bread Crumbs

Fresh bread crumbs are so easy to make and will use up all of those stale pieces of bread you have stashed in the freezer (that's just me?).  I like to stick the ends of the bread loaf in the freezer, still in the bag, for when we need to make bread crumbs. We pull the bread out, Audrey breaks it in half, and drops it in the food processor still frozen. She then turns on the processor and laughs maniacally while the bread is reduced to crumbs. It works just as well in the blender. We love to make fresh bread crumbs for recipes and then store the extra in the refrigerator for when they are needed again. If you need dried bread crumbs simply pop the crumbs in the oven for 10 minutes or so to dry out. Now you can use these in your meatloaf or to bread chicken.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January 17 Berry Oatmeal

Audrey's grandparents always buy great books for Christmas presents. This year I got The Toddler Cafe and Cooking Light Weekday Meals. Both books are fabulous and perfect for our family. Audrey and her sister found one of the toddler recipes fun and easy to make when we did some initial testing. Both girls enjoyed this recipe very much.

  • 1 serving cooked oatmeal or other hot cereal
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries or other favorite frozen fruit
Place frozen berries into hot cereal and stir. Watch the oatmeal change color. Enjoy. 

Audrey's Task:
  1. Dump berries into oatmeal
Mom's Task:
  1. Serve hot oatmeal
Audrey helped make the oatmeal the night before using our Slow Cooker Baked Oatmeal recipe. This is such an easy way to cool hot cereal and the girls love fruit. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January 16 Shop Together

One of the perks of staying home with the girls is that we are able to shop for groceries when we want to. The girls go with me on almost every trip for food. If you do not have that luxury then you should try to find time for a family trip at night or on the weekends. Then you can have your helper pick out the foods you cook together. Audrey loves to select produce and pick items off the shelf. She really feels a part of the cooking process when she gets to select the ingredients. Here she is at her favorite grocery story. I bet you can see why she likes this store.

Here she is shopping for rainbows so we can have a healthy meal:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Basic Muffin Recipe

One of the best ways to involve your children in cooking is to make a fun treat. We love our Muffin recipe that we got from the Tightwad Gazette that allows us to throw in ingredients we like and have on hand. If you do not have a copy of this book I recommend you get one. I have two. Most of the muffin ingredients can be measured and ready to add for children new to the kitchen. This is what I did in the beginning. I recently recorded Audrey helping me make these muffins but the recording cut off before we were finished. Here it is in it's unedited version because I have not learned to edit movies, yet!

She and I love to make muffins because they are easy to transport and fun to eat. We make them in the mini muffin pan half the time so we can send a few for lunch.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 14 Freezer Jam

Now that you know how to teach your little one to cut it is time to practice. The easiest thing to make with this new skill is Freezer Jam. I know that it is January and little is in season so you might want to file this away until spring when strawberries are fresh. We love fruit and tend to purchase strawberries year round. It is not very 'green' but the girls love them so I usually pick up a container. This freezer jam makes the most wonderful product that Audrey's daddy loves to spread on a French loaf with Brie. We found blackberries on sale a month back and I stocked up so we could make freezer jam with them.

January 13 Knife Skills

The idea that I let Audrey cut food has always fascinated friends and family. No, I do not let her cut alone with a sharp knife. Yes, she can cut food all on her own. If you have ever seen pictures of the lunches we pack you can see the uneven items she has cut. It was not something she was good at from the beginning. Like learning to crack an egg, we have worked at it. Most professionals with early childhood education degree would agree that I’m helping her build confidence and independence. I found and purchased Audrey a Curious Chef knife early on in her cooking education. This is a wonderful tool but is not really necessary. Some days we use a butter knife because it is smaller. (Although she has more trouble telling which is the cutting edge with the butter knife.) I have even let her help me use a sharp knife to cut foods to hard for her knife. We don't do this often and I tell her every time she is not allowed to use the sharp knife on her own. This fabulous tutorial by Michelle Stern covers everything you need to know about teaching your child to cut food and use a knife. Wish she had written it before I taught Audrey!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January 12 Blender or Food Processor

Audrey loves these. I do not know if it is because of the noise or simply that she can operate them herself. Anytime I turn either machine on she comes running into the kitchen. I simply stopped using them without checking with her first. She has recently learned that if you press the off/pulse button on our food processor she can make different noises. Maurene would love to have the opportunity to operate the machines but Audrey is firm in her insistence that Maurene is too little. I need to pull out photos of Audrey at Maurene's age playing with the blender. For now I give you, Audrey at the food processor. I wish this photo had a sound effect. It would say, "ahhahaha!" in a loud, manic voice:

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 11 Fruit on a Stick

This is an activity for older toddlers with a little better fine motor control. Audrey loves to eat her fruit on a stick. It is a great way to serve food to get children interested. We occasionally use this same technique to make salad more enticing. Audrey uses bamboo skewers but you could also use grill sticks. Have your child place 4 or 5 pieces on each stick. These are also great for picnics and outdoor dinners.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 10 Muffin Tin Monday

Another great way to have your little ones help in the kitchen is through the use of fun lunch (or other) meals. We use silicon muffin tins from Tupperware and link up to a group of others enjoying similar Muffin Tin Meals. They share on Mondays but you do not need to limit yourself to that day. We like to make them on Mondays because it is a great start to the week. Audrey likes to decide what to put in her tins and sometimes gathers the ingredients herself. We tend to include the same foods each week because the girls are fond fruit and cheese. These items are easy to fit into the tins. I help Audrey with ingredient lids or prepping and she places items in the tins herself.

January 9 Lunches

Audrey and Maurene get to play at a wonderful drop-in care center when momma has to work. For those days when their stay includes the lunch hour Audrey and I pack them lunches. We use sandwiches containers and pack various fruits, breads, and vegetables. Occasionally they bring sliced hot dogs or Banana 'Hot Dog' Sandwiches. I picked up a few inexpensive containers and keep snack food on hand. Audrey loves to add a variety of items and will even include dressing for salad or ketchup for hot dogs. She can chop soft foods and put spreads on bread. Most of the other ingredients are simply placed in the containers. This is a great way to let your little one help in the kitchen. I also post a few lunches on What's For Lunch Wednesday. It is a fun site for bento meals. Check out what other moms send for lunch. Here are a few of Audrey's recent creations:

January 8 Slow Cooker Yogurt

This is a wonderful recipe for homemade Slow Cooker Yogurt that is so easy to fix. Of course it comes from the queen of the slow cooker, Stephanie O'Dea. Audrey loves to count the cups of milk and pour them in the crock. For a younger child it might be easier to place the milk in a small pitcher or large measuring cup and help her pour into the crock. It is so much fun to start this in the morning and have fresh yogurt chilled for breakfast the next morning. The process takes all day but there is very little hands on time. At the end of the day you simply place the homemade yogurt into containers for a yummy breakfast meal.
Here is a photo I took of Audrey the first time she made this with me. She was so happy to help.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 7 Slow Cooker Meals

Cooking with young children is easy if you make a slow cooker meal together. I usually place the meat inside the crock but allow Audrey to add everything else. She loves to measure herbs and spices; help prepare vegetables; and add ingredients to the crock. Because the heat source is not added until  the ingredients are in the crock you do not need to worry about your child getting burned. We also like that there is a large container for little hands to place food into. That means fewer messes. Here is a list of some of our favorites:

January 6 Cracking Eggs

This one skill has been practiced most in Audrey's kitchen and it is still difficult. I have found this wonderful video showing the best way to crack an egg. We love to make food with eggs so Audrey gets to practice a lot. If you crack the egg into a separate container you can remove any shells before they end up in your batter or dinner. Cracking eggs and cutting are the hardest tasks Audrey has taken on but we work on both as often as we can.

January 5 Oven Fried Chicken

This meal is on regular rotation at our house. It is easy to make and Audrey can almost prepare it by herself. I recently made a change to use olive oil instead of butter and we sometimes use crushed cornflakes instead of breadcrumbs. It makes the meal easier for Audrey to lead the cooking instead of the other way around. Oven Fried Chicken can be made with any cut of chicken you prefer (or what is on sale) and with a variety of fats and breadings. Try adding a small amount of Italian Seasoning to your breadcrumbs next time, it is so tasty. Here is a picture of Audrey making this meal for us spring 2010 (yes, she is cooking naked):

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January 4 Set the Table

Have I mentioned how much Audrey likes to help? If I find that she is underfoot during dinner time the easiest way to get her out of my way is to ask her to set the table. In the beginning I would select the items that needed to make it to the table and hand them to her. She would slowly take them to the table and place them randomly about. Recently I have started letting her get the flatwear and napkins out herself. I still have to pull plates and cups out of the cabinet but she can place them with no help. I usually need to move things over or add an item but it sure is a big help. She is working on it. Here is a recent table:

January 3 Trail Mix

This was a great treat our Parent's as Teachers coordinator brought for Audrey to make. She knew how much the girls like to be in the kitchen so she thought this would be a great way for them to help.

  • 1 cup favorite cereal (we like Cheerios)
  • 1 cup raisins or other dried fruit
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of M & M's
Measure and add to a zip top bag or large lidded container. Mix! Dish and enjoy. 

Audrey and Maurene's Tasks:
  1. Measure
  2. Add
  3. Mix
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
Mix and match ingredients to your liking or availability. This is a good snack to keep on hand for snacks in the car or for airplanes. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Load / Unload the Dishwasher

Audrey and Maurene both love to help with the dishes. Audrey has been helping me unload for quite some time. She recently started helping with the loading process and was so proud of herself. I made sure to rinse the dishes well:

Bottom rack, sorting by Audrey.

Top rack, more mom help.

As you can tell she is not the most efficient at placement but she sure enjoyed helping. Maurene is still at the unloading stage. She likes to pull the flatwear out and hand it to me to put in the drawer. She has come a long way from when she started becoming interested in the dishwasher:

Balancing by Maurene.

Having your children help with dishes is a great place for them to start in the kitchen. If you do not have a dishwasher then the easiest way for them to help is by letting them wash a few non-breakable dishes in the sink while you dry and put away. My girls still love to help and they have been doing it for a long time.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 1 Clean the Table

Audrey's little sister is 18 months old this month. That is close to the age Audrey was when she started helping in the kitchen. I thought I might show some of the ways we used to help Audrey, and now Maurene, become a good helper in the kitchen. The easiest beginning is to let your child help clean the table. I have a bottle containing a mixture of 1 part cleaner to 5 or 6 parts water. I let the girls have the spray bottle and a clean rag. They do not do a perfect job but I usually end up with plenty of liquid on the table to allow me to finish the job quickly. Here is a video of Audrey recently:

And her sister, Maurene.

The girls really enjoy helping and that allows me to get a little work done while they are busy. Even now Audrey usually likes to help. I invite you to let your little one to help clean the table. Post pictures on Facebook so we can see their proud faces.

December 31 Oat Bars

Audrey's favorite snack is granola bars. Sometimes when we have free time we make homemade Oat Bars. It is fun to make them in muffin cups. We recently ordered mini silicone muffin cups so the girls could take them in their lunch boxes. Audrey likes mini chocolate chips or raisins. Maurene is not a big fan of raisins so we usually make a plain batch as well. Do you have a favorite homemade snack? We are always looking for good recipes.

December 30 Quiche

When I left home my mother gave me a Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. I had little use for it other than making pancakes before I became a mother. Now we use it all the time. When I learned how much fun it is to cook with Audrey I found a nice Quiche recipe for her to practice cracking eggs. Makes me think of Sabrina when she goes to cooking school. In this recipe we use whatever ingredients we have on hand. Audrey likes ham and cheese.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, Lunch Help

Trying to be such a big helper.

Bread Machine Baking

Checking it out.

Audrey loves to to bake bread in her bread machine. Well, it is my bread machine but she does think that. If you do not have access to a bread machine then you should try food processor bread baking. Audrey would enjoy either method of baking but the bread machine is much easier. Also less messy. Some day soon Maurene will be the one dumping all of the ingredients into the bread machine. These beautiful pictures and this video show Audrey at almost 2 years. Maurene will be 18 months old soon.

The Toddler Cafe

Audrey and I have a new love and it is a cookbook. We got  it for Christmas and we have already tried several recipes. I have to give the highest ratings to Swamp Soup and Cool Blueberry Oatmeal. Here is the book:

Look for a full review to come shortly and a few recipes we love.

December 27 Crock Pot Yogurt

The best meal we have ever created has to be homemade yogurt. It is so simple anyone can do it. Before Maurene was born (and I had more free time) I learned to make yogurt on the stove top. It took forever and did not always work. This method does take a long time but very little of that time is hands-on. You simply add ingredients, set the timer and make a few changes every 2-3 hours. I love the easy with which Audrey and I can make sure a wholesome food. Crock Pot Yogurt is nothing but milk and live yogurt cultures so you know it is healthy. I also like to make it because I can use organic, local milk and still make a cheaper product than what I find in the grocery stores. That is because my girls are still eating whole fat yogurt and that is not a cheap product.

Monday, January 10, 2011

December 26 Whole Wheat Zucchini Yeast Bread

No, wait! It is made in the food processor and easy enough for little helpers to assist. Have no fear of the yeast recipe and baking with children. I like to make homemade breads and add healthy ingredients because my children love bread. If you have trouble getting anything green in your picky eaters I suggest adding zucchini to your next recipe. It goes well in muffins, breads, sauces, and even roasts. It practically melts away when chopped small in a food processor and so you do not even have to explain what the mystery ingredients is. Next time you have a free afternoon or a lazy Saturday morning, try Whole Wheat (or even white flour) Zucchini Bread. I bet your little ones enjoy it.

December 25 Peanut Butter Bread

This is a quick bread so it is easy to make with children and it only calls for 5 ingredients, ones you would expect to find in most pantries. Audrey and Maurene love peanut butter so we like to make this bread when we can. It also freezes well for times when you want just a little bit of something homemade. We make a full loaf and freeze half for a special treat later. When fresh from the oven Peanut Butter Bread tastes wonderful spread with a little butter or the next day it is just as yummy with nothing but a little jam. So go ahead, pull out those five ingredients and make a loaf today. Your kitchen will smell wonderful after.

December 24 Bread Sticks

Audrey loves to use the food processor. I love making foods from scratch knowing that I control the ingredients. So, when we can, we try to make homemade Bread Sticks. The recipe is one we use for our pizza crust and it works well here. It would also work well with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top for a sweet treat. If you have a food processor I recommend trying this recipe. It is a great way to start working with yeast and requires so little work. Trust me, if Audrey can do it, so can you.

December 23 Monkey Bread

Have you run out of ideas for fun breakfasts that are easy to make? Want to have something a little sweet and yummy on the weekends but not interested in making cinnamon rolls from scratch? When we feel that way we make a batch of Monkey Bread and get messy while we enjoy. It is so easy to make even Audrey can do it. She likes to cut the dough and shake everything up in the container. Maurene loves to pull the pieces apart as she eats.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, Toddler Dishwashing

How a toddler loads the dishwasher.

December 21 Puffy Apple Oven Pancake

Another wonderful apple recipe! When I find good recipes containing apples we usually give them a try. Puffy Apple Oven Pancakes are fun and yummy. It is another easy way to get something nutritious in picky eaters. Getting my girls to eat apples is never a problem so this meal is always well received. Audrey is getting better at cutting the apples as long as they are soft. This is a great weekend breakfast meal.

December 20 Apple Butter

My girls like apples, in all forms. They eat applesauce with almost anything and love to make Apple Butter. Over the summer we bought 11lbs of apple seconds  from our local farmer's market and Audrey helped me make apple butter. The girls devoured it. They have it with yogurt in the mornings and on bread with peanut butter at lunch. I would like to say that we ate it for months but it did not last that long. Next year we will make several batches and put up our extras in the garage. It is so simple to can and store fresh apple butter for year long enjoyment.

December 19 Pink Pancakes

Audrey loves pink and she loves pancakes. I found a great recipe in our Deceptively Delicious Cookbook for Pink Pancakes. These are easy to make and freeze for mornings when you want to serve a warm meal but do not have time to cook. You can pop one or two in the toaster and serve warm with apple sauce. Break out the food processor and whip up a batch for your little one(s).

December 18 Chicken Baked Samm

Chicken Baked Samm is another paternal family favorite. This one originally came from a diet cookbook. It has since been adopted as a regular family favorite. Audrey likes to fix this meal because she gets to brush the chicken with broth using a pastry brush. I recommend trying this recipe as it is healthy and tasty. We have this meal often and I love how easy it is to prepare.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

December 17 Strawberry Salad

This green salad topped with strawberries, feta, walnuts, and red onion is a paternal family favorite. It is served at almost every family gathering. We all enjoy it and it is so easy to prepare; maybe why we fix it so often. This is actually the first meal Audrey was able to assist with when her grandparents started cooking with her. We have posted this to the blog before but I was not able to locate the recipe. First the recipe and then the adorable pictures:

  • mixed greens, washed and torn
  • strawberries, hulled and cut in half
  • walnuts, toasted
  • feta cheese
  • red onion, diced
  • Brianna's Blush Wine Vinegrette
There is no real recipe for this, just add ingredients to your liking.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Tear lettuce
  2. Cut strawberries
  3. Add ingredients
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Toast walnuts
  3. Dice onion
  4. Assist Audrey

December 16 Peanutty Apple Delight

Lunches can get a little boring with the same PB&J. We found a great recipe for a different type of sandwich. Peanutty Apple Delight is a wonderful way to enjoy lunch again. Audrey and Maurene love it because of the peanut butter, cheese, and apple in the mixture. There are almost not three other ingredients they would rather live on. They next time you need a quick and yummy lunch try this recipe with your little ones. I only wish I could send peanut butter for meals when they are at day care.

Wordless Wednesday, New Apron

Pretty apron!

Friday, January 7, 2011

December 14 Baked Omelet

Anyone who keeps up with us knows how much Audrey likes to crack eggs. She is even getting pretty good at it. That combined with the fact that the girls will actually eat eggs means that we have baked omelets often. This is a great meal to make with young children because it is baked. We change out the ingredients based on what we have on hand and what is in season. Some days we simply add some leftover meat and some shredded cheese. What is your favorite omelet ingredient?

December 13 Muffin Tin Meatloaf

Audrey loves to cook anything in muffin tins. She gets out her cookie scoop and is so proud she can fill the tins herself. We first made meatloaf in muffin tins using a recipe from Cooking Rocks! by Rachel Ray. It is a great recipe but if you have a family favorite recipe you could try that in the muffin tins. These make great individual servings and will freeze well. Next time you have a free evening you should make a batch and freeze for a quick weeknight meal.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

December 12 Slow Cooker Meatballs and Spaghetti

Pasta is such an easy meal to make and the entire family enjoys it. We like to have hearty meals with a  meat sauce or meatballs. This recipe for Slow Cooker Meatballs comes from the $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook that I adore. We eat out of it several times a month. If you do not have a copy you should check one out at the library or head over to your local bookstore to page through one. And now she has a breakfast and lunch cookbook coming out that I will need to investigate. Just thinking about this meal makes me want to cook it for dinner tonight. Maybe Audrey will have to fix it for us.

December 11 Chocolate Shakes

My girls are constantly asking me for chocolate milk for breakfast. I do not like to give it to them much and when I do it is usually only half chocolate milk and half regular milk. Another way I have found to satisfy that chocolate fix is by helping Audrey to make chocolate shakes for them. They both love bananas, chocolate, and yogurt. We usually have all of the ingredients so I do not have to worry about keeping something special on hand. This is a big hit during the summer months but we have been known to fix it in colder weather as well. Try this idea next time your children want something chocolate.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

December 10 Carrot Cake Cookies

What child does not like cookies? Audrey certainly does. She got a Sesame Street Cookbook for Christmas in '09 that focuses on cookies. We have baked several different types but found the Carrot Cake Cookies were the best. They tasted good and I liked the healthy ingredients. We have baked them substituting whole wheat flour for part of the all-purpose called for in the recipe. I keep meaning to swap applesauce for some of the butter but it has not happened yet. This is a great recipe and Audrey loves the outcome. Maurene is even starting to enjoy them.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

December 9 Lasagna

Audrey's daddy likes lasagna. He also likes following recipes and food that comes from a box. In order to make him happy and still enjoy a healthy meal we found a good compromise for this family favorite. We purchase the box of no-boil lasagna noodles and follow the recipe on the box. He loves it every time. And Audrey likes to spread all of the layers of ingredients. When we first made this together she had a hard time getting the cheese layer to stay put but she is an old pro now. As you might have guessed we have lasagna a lot. Try it with breakfast sausage instead of ground meat next time for a new twist.

Wordless Wednesday, Chop Sticks

I can do it!

December 7 Black Bean Brownies

Don't let the title fool you, these are good! What harm is there in adding a little healthy food to a tasty snack? I like to add the chocolate chips in after blending but  my friend Becky says to blend them all together. Try it both ways and see what you think. Regardless I am certain you will enjoy these wonderful Black Bean Brownies. Make a batch for a friend and see if they can tell the mystery ingredient. If you start making them with your children while they are young they will never know that brownies do not usually have black beans.

December 6 Sunshine Toast (Eggs in a Basket)

This is a great recipe that Audrey learned to love while cooking with her daddy. He likes to make it for us often and he has had Audrey help many times. When they cook it they use a skillet on the stove top but we found a great version that uses the oven; great for cooking with young children. Eggs in a Basket (or Sunshine Toast) is a healthy and tasty meal that is easy to fix. Just make sure you try it with jam like Audrey and her daddy do.

Monday, January 3, 2011

December 5 Banana Hot Dogs

Audrey and Maurene love bananas. They love most fruit but this one is a true favorite. I have a feeling they could have a day were they ate nothing else. In an attempt to get them to eat more than just the banana I had Audrey make Banana Hot Dogs for lunch one day. They were such a hit we have them often now. If I help Audrey she can spread a little peanut butter on the bun before adding the banana. This is also a great way to use up hot dog buns that are about to get stale. I am going to look for a small squeeze bottle to put strawberry jam in so she can put "ketchup" on her banana sandwich.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

December 4 Homemade Pizza

Audrey loves to make pizza. I think more because of the food processor we use to make the dough than for the love of the meal. She does enjoy a good Hawaiian Pizza like her daddy but it is not her favorite  meal to eat. It  might be in the top five favorites to fix, though. It is such an easy and fun meal to make with young children. If you have been afraid to tackle homemade pizza dough then you should try this recipe. We love it!

December 3 Cupcakes

Today is Audrey's birthday and we made cupcakes. I would love to share all of the photos but there was a little accident with Picasa and a few pictures went missing. Audrey's daddy promises they are around but I can't find them. We use this recipe often when we want to make a small batch of cupcakes. Sometimes we cook them in our coffee mugs and sometimes in regular muffin tins. Either way they are homemade and taste wonderful. Try a batch today, it only makes about 6 cup cakes. Another one of Audrey's favorite recipes.

December 2 Oven Fried Chicken

December has been such a busy month for us that we have had little time for cooking. And even less time for trying new recipes. As a wrap up to the year I thought I would showcase some of Audrey's favorite recipes.

Her favorite meal to fix and eat is Oven Fried Chicken. Audrey loves to brush the butter on the chicken and then shake the pieces in the bread crumbs. I have to agree that this is a wonderful meal.

December 1 Wordless Wednesday

November 30 Corn Chowder

Another fun recipe from Stephanie O'Dea. This one is from the website and not the book. I find that when I want to try a new recipe I usually open a cookbook and page through it while I am watching a movie or before bed. To broaden our horizons I am trying to remember about the wealth of information available on the Internet!

  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 peeled and chopped carrot
  • 1 (16-oz) bags of frozen corn
  • 2 medium potatoes
Finely chop the onion and brown it in a bit of olive oil. Chop the carrots and red pepper. Wash and coarsely chop the potatoes. Dump all the veggies in the crock; add the bags of corn. Pour the chicken broth on top. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Use a hand blender to chowderify. If you do not have an immersion blender then carefully transfer contents to a blender or food processor and process until desired consistency.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help measure and add ingredients
  2. Cover crock and turn on
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Chop veggies (Audrey was too busy to help)
  3. Assist Audrey

This was a very tasty meal. You could swap ingredients if you like green peppers instead of red or turnips instead of potatoes. We used pre-shredded carrots because I had some on hand for snack for the girls. Also, right before I served chowder Audrey added a few kernels of frozen corn to cool it off. They looked pretty as well.