Sunday, July 15, 2012

Smiley Summer Fruit Pizza!

In the good ol' summertime... this refreshing and fun fruit pizza will make the kids smile as they make their pizza smile!

Playing with their food and making funny faces with fruit?

Yep... they're gonna love it... let's do it!

Smiley Summer Fruit Pizza

3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 (6-inch) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons water
1 (1-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding (the 4-serving size!)
1 banana
1/2 fresh mango
1 kiwi fruit
Fresh strawberries
Seedless raisins
Cooking spray

All righty... there is very little of this that the kids can do by themselves with an adult helper overseeing building smiley fruit pizzas!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, still together the sugar and the cinnamon. Using a basting brush or a new 1-inch paint brush, brush the tortillas lightly with a small amount of water.

Note: It's best to put the water in a ramekin that the kids can dip their brushes into. Also, you might show them how to blot their brush out a bit on a folded paper towel.

Sprinkle the sugar mixture on top of the tortillas. Spray a baking sheet. Place the tortillas on the baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Watch them so they don't get too brown... ovens vary and so do tortillas! You want them just lightly browned.

While the tortillas are baking prepare the pudding according to the package directions. In making instant pudding it's a lot more fun for the kids to have their very own little whisk that fits their little hand and that they can control and really learn. Yes, it's quicker to throw the pudding in the blender... however, let the kids use their whisks and stir it up by hand!

Place the pudding in the fridge and let the tortillas cool for a short time. Meanwhile, let the kids peel and slice the bananas and the strawberries with a plastic knife. The adult helper will need to peel and slice the mango. Place each fruit in a different bowl, creating a fruit palette for the kids to chose from.

Have the kids measure out about 1/3 cup of pudding on each tortilla (it doesn't have to be an exact measurement on this one) and spoon it onto each tortilla.

Let the creative juices flow and encourage the kids to create a happy face or a design on the tortilla with the fruit. The face can be a smiley face... a silly face... or a design can be created... it's up to the child... the tortilla is their canvas and the fruit their medium! Yum!

The most important part of this little adventure in fruit pizzas is for everyone, including the adult helper, to have fun, laugh and learn. Then, of course, to eat the bounty!

Happy Summer!
Jan McCracken, Culinary Coach for Kids

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Celebrate with S'More Sandwiches!

I don't think I know anyone that doesn't love S'Mores! I know my fond memories of the simple, yet delightfully luscious treats go back to my Brownie and Girl Scout camping days.

Here's an interesting twist on S'Mores that will quickly become a traditional favorite... it's just one of them thangs... while you're having a 4th of July barbecue or if you're off to the park or the beach for a picnic... take the supplies along for these new S'Mores... I'd really like to hear from any of you that try this great recipe...

S'More Dessert Sandwiches

Small store-bought angel food cake loaf

2 milk chocolate candy bars

Marshmallow creme

Note: If you want to substitute toasted marshmallows for the marshmallow creme, just do it!

This recipe will make 4 S'More sandwiches so adjust according to either the number each person wants to devour or to your number of guests!

While the grill is hot, slice the loaf angel food cake in 1/2-inch slices. Place the cake slices on hot grill. Toast until lightly browned (a quick 2 minutes).

If you opt to use the marshmallow creme, spread a tablespoonful on the cake after toasting on one side and place back on grill to toast the other side. Be sure to not walk away from the cake while it's toasting!

Remove cake slices from grill and place half of the chocolate bar on each of 4 of the cake slices. Press cake slice with warm marshmallow creme together with cake slice with chocolate.
If opting for using toasted marshmallows, roast the marshmallows until golden brown and squishy inside. Place the chocolate bar on a toasted cake slice and slide 2 toasted marshmallow per S'More sandwich onto chocolate and press together gently.

Either way you choose... everyone will be asking for "S'More!"

Have a wonderful celebration of our Independence!
Jan McCracken
Culinary Coach for Kids

Monday, July 2, 2012

Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad

One of the things that we are thankful for every day is this great country of ours! Becoming aware of the freedoms that we enjoy are important for us all and I’ve found that there are lots of kids that really love the American flag!

If the kids would like to add a dash of patriotism to your 4th of July celebration, here’s a really easy, yet very symbolic fruit salad that the kids can quickly whip up! And, it’s a healthy addition too :-)

Whipped cream (optional)

Plastic knife
Cutting board
Clear glass salad bowl or individual glass serving bowls

Just put on your Culinary Coaching hat and let the kids do this one! Just guide them through… it might be fun to sing some patriotic songs while the kids are stirring the red, white and blue!

Let the kids wash the strawberries and blueberries in the sink using a colander. Then turn them out on a paper towel. Gently pat dry. Keyword: Gently!

Cut the green stems off the strawberries (yes, this can be accomplished with a plastic knife that the kids won’t get cut on). Peel the bananas.

Slice the strawberries and bananas with the plastic knife on a cutting board. Combine all of the ingredients in a clear glass (or plastic) bowl so the red, white and blue shines through.

Chill and serve! It might also be fun to serve in individual bowls, add a dollop of whipped cream and stick tiny American flags in each bowl as an added small tribute to our flag!

Here's to 4th of July fun in the kitchen cooking with the kids!
Happy Cooking,

Jan McCracken, Culinary Coach