This recipe is from my cookbook The Toddler Café
Makes 12 medium sized pancakes
1 10 ounce box frozen squash, thawed
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1/2 1 lb bag frozen hash brown potatoes, semi thawed or 2 medium potatoes shredded
Dipping sauce of choice for serving
In bowl mix squash and egg well add flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder, with a fork or your hands. Add potatoes continue stirring until combined.
Heat a nonstick sauté pan on medium heat, add oil, place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture in the pan and fry each side about 3 minutes.
Drain on paper towel lined plate.
These can be reheated or held in a 200F oven.
Optional - omit salt and add 1/2 cup French fried onion rings to the batter
I know, I can’t believe it either but yes, Thanksgiving is here again! The leaves are falling all around us, how about making good use of them? Let the planning begin and make sure to involve the kids. As a kid, Thanksgiving always seemed stressful for my parents; running around, cleaning, bringing up chairs form the basement and foreshadowing the negatives of how the day would go. “Would Zedi (grandfather in Yiddish) be in a good mood?" “Oh, and make sure he gets the turkey neck, that will make him happy for sure!” Isn't this season supposed to be about joy?
There always seemed to be a layer of tension being laid down with the table cloth as it was smoothed over the big table. Having people over to the house was more of an performance then a relaxing event about togetherness. Mom is a fabulous cook, she had nothing to worry about in that area. The kids were usually shooed out of the kitchen. As the clock got closer to afternoon, the adults could focus on preparing the meal “in peace.”
As a grown up I can respect that, but as a mother I want my child to be involved, to make the holiday as much theirs as ours. It can be done in a way that makes everyone feel involved.
I remember not being able to wait until we were dismissed from the table so we could go watch TV or play a game. I want my child’s memories to be filled with food, pride, and feeling like a valued part of the holiday preparation. What better holiday to start with than Thanksgiving. Here is a craft that will get the kids excited, it is a nice way to honor the guests too.
Make a point of taking a walk a few days before Thanksgiving and searching out beautiful fallen leaves for this project. Do the project in the days prior to the holiday and use that time to connect with your kids. Once the day comes and you get busy your kids will have a great feeling of being a part of preparation for the day. If you live in a place where there is no "Fall," you can get leaves at the craft store, they will work just as well.
Fall "Leafs" Me Feeling Happy Mobile
A great way to involve the kids is in a craft, get some air make it a fun walk to gather leaves. This particular one is a great way to honor your guests and let them know that you gave thought to who was coming, plus it adds some color and interest to your room.
Items you will need:
Leaves with beautiful fall colors a few more than the number of guests
A branch about 1 foot long
Clear contact paper
Permanent metallic marker
- Have the kids help gather beautiful large leaves, the leaves need to be supple not too crunchy,
- Wipe the leaves with a dry cloth
- Cut large squares of contact paper 1/2 inch larger than your leaf, peel off backing. Lay leaf on one half of the strip, and fold over covering leaf.
- Seal and pushing out air bubbles
- Cut around leaf leaving 1/4 inch of contact paper boarder
- Punch hole in the top of each leaf
- Write each guests name in large letters on each a leaf. I like to use small leaves for kids and large ones for adults
- Tie ribbon through hole and string up
- Tie leaves on to the branch and hang over your table
Tip: go one step further and use photos of your guests kids and hang them from the mobile too!
This is pretty gross, I know but isn't Halloween the time for all things disgusting? This cake has become a Halloween tradition in our house, but we usually take it to a party. What makes this cake even more over the top is that it is served in a real cat box complete with a scoop!
Kitty Litter Cake
1 (18.25 ounce) package German chocolate cake mix
1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (12 ounce) package vanilla sandwich cookies
3 drops green food coloring
1 (12 ounce) package Tootsie™ rolls
Prepare cake mixes and bake according to package directions (any size pan).
Prepare pudding according to package directions and chill until ready to assemble.
Crumble sandwich cookies in small batches in a food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup add a few drops of green food coloring and mix.
When cakes are cooled to room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 of the remaining cookie crumbs, and the chilled pudding. You probably won't need all of the pudding, you want the cake to be just moist, not soggy.
Put cake mixture into well cleaned new litter box.
Put half of the unwrapped tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until softened. Heat 3 or 4 of the Tootsie™ rolls in the microwave until almost melted. (about 10 secoonds) Shape the ends so that they are no longer blunt, and curve the tootsie rolls slightly. Bury Tootsie™ poops randomly in the cake and sprinkle with half of the remaining cookie crumbs. Sprinkle a small amount of the green colored cookie crumbs lightly over the top.
Halloween comes so fast, like a speeding train heading right for you with all the winter holiday cars trailing behind. Make a costume, buy a costume, plan a party, RSVP, buy candy, it is all a little much.
This summer has been so much fun for our family, we traveled, gardened, went to camp, taught camp and were lazy and very busy. We also purchased an old (1973) pop up camper from Craig's list. We fixed it up and took it out and had the best time, we are converts now, and we want to camp as much as we can.
Cooking with kids does not have to be fancy or complicated. Making butter is one of the easiest and best ways to get kids involved and excited about seeing a simple technique to make something we use all the time. We also did this at our Dirt to Dine camp with 30 very excited kids, and they were amazed at the outcome. For this post we just did this in the yard in our jammies!
2. Fill a jar halfway with heavy cream and a pinch of salt and screw the lid on tight.
3. Shake the jar up, down and sideways until the cream thickens and begins to stick together. You may have to help your kids, this can get tiring.
4. The cream will continue to gather into a ball when it is a ball in liquid it is done.
6. Rinse, rinse, rinse your butter it will help it not go sour. Hold the strainer under running water until it runs clear.
7. Put the butter on a board and mash it with a flat wooden spoon or Gnocchi paddle to get out the excess water.
8. Cover and chill.
I was so sad to hear Cookie Magazine has closed. I looked forward to working with them and feel for all the hard workers who have lost their jobs.
There was always a buzz around school starting when we were kids. We would go to the mall and pick out school clothes, a pair of shoes and new supplies. Maybe it is because I grew up in a very cold dark place and we needed clothes to stay warm. Living in Northern California we don't seem to do the big back to school shop like we did as kids. Maybe it is because Bubbi (grandmother in Yiddish) sends clothes to kidlet, or maybe it is because the sun is still burning brightly and the kids are still wearing their summer duds? For what ever reason we needed a reason to get excited about the new school year California style and Cookie Magazine gave us one. I recently started working with Cookie and am loving it. They sent me a School Year's Eve Pack, basically a party in a box. School Year's Eve™ is a
My daughter was so excited when the box came and instantly started planning the party. The kit included some goodies like pencils and blowers, a very cute banner, napkins, recipes, and other goodies.
I added socks for each girl and cute pencils, and tissues for their desks at school. Another great item I added was a discount card from a local art studio called Studio For Art.
You can help out local businesses by promoting them as easily as adding a business card to your birthday gift bags.
To make the cake I bought 3 pieces of cut frosted cake at the store, added green coconut and made quick Rice Crispy treats formed into little apples.
It took about 20 minutes to decorate the
cake and it was very cute. I stuck with the apple theme after a friend suggested it, you know, - an apple for the teacher.
To make the apples, I made 1/2 a batch of Rice Crispy treats and added red paste coloring just after the marshmallows had melted. I spread the mix out on a buttered sheet pad and let it cool slightly. With buttered clean hands make apple shapes. I just happened to find some green shoelace candy and used that for the stems. My preference would have been to use rolled gumdrops for the leaves but I didn't find them until well after I made the cake. Instead I picked out the green leaves from my Autumn sprinkle mix and added them to the top.
To make the "grass" add shredded coconut and a few drops of green food coloring and shake.
I noticed that in the party recipe book that Cookie sent was a recipe I have in my book. Waffle Grilled Cheese, couldn't be easier just toss your sandwich in a waffle iron and press down until it is crisp and melty.
We also had a game or two, the pass the orange game is fun, the girls were having a great time with it. They had to pass it from under their necks with no hands, it was a good laugh.
I can always count on 6 year olds to find a game or make one up, like bowling for chalk. They stood up the sidewalk chalk and used the oranges from the previous game as bowling balls. It was so cute they "kept score" with hash marks it was adorable.
The day of the party it was so hot here and I got really lucky and found a Hawaiian Shaved ice machine unopened at Goodwill for ten dollars. I made sure to snatch that goodie up right away. The girls were beside themselves with frosty icy goodness, as was my husband!
We made the snow cones and used thick mango nectar as the flavoring.
Being a back to school party I did try to incorporate some reading and problem solving like the pass the orange game and reading the signs and napkins. They are headed for first grade and all worked on reading the signs as a group, they did great.
overall it was a very fun way to kick off the school year.
So I hope our photo can win that
1500.00 for our PTA but even if we don't win it was worth it.
I never would have thought that in one week 28 kids could learn as much as they did. This camp took the kids from farm straight to table every day, and they got it, they really got it. Lucky for me, my connection with Eileen Gorden and her great idea and great people, has made this has a reality. She came to me with an idea to start a camp where the kids could spend time on a working farm and then translate the knowledge in to cooking class. Marie Sayles was the brains behind the
- Day 3: Chickens & Eggs
- Animal care, farm chores, chicken diet, harvesting fresh eggs from chickens
- Making chicken stock with whole chicken
- Make fresh egg pasta noodles
- Make chicken noodle and Italian egg drop soup
- Make savory french toast with Parmesan
- Compare raw eggs for color; conventional versus farm fresh free range
- Taste test: fast food nuggets versus free range chicken breast
- Feast on the food they made, discuss and recap the day.
DIRT TO DINE ADVENTURE CAMP
FOR BUDDING YOUNG CHEFS
At Connolly Ranch in collaboration with Chef Michael Chiarello & Bottega Restaurant
Dirt To Dine is week-long summer camp bridging farming, gardening and cooking experiences in a dynamic, hands-on, youth-driven environment. The camp brings your young epicurean’s enthusiasm for all things cooking back to the source of the ingredient’s: land, soil, seeds, animals, plants and more.
Dirt To Dine is set in two locations: the epicurean center of the Napa Valley, Yountville; and Connolly Ranch, Napa County’s only family farm dedicated to education. Visit the website for bios of the "Dirt to Dine" team, click on camps.
It is the peak of freshness for peaches and summer produce. The juicy peaches are delicious running down your chin but is it worth the mess. What about those strawberries, aren't they sweet and delicious too? Why not combine them and make fruit salsa the kids will love. Pair it with some quick homemade bunuelos showered with cinnamon, it is easier than you think.
What is all the talk about Salsa you ask? Well I just happen to have this great Salsa CD from Putumayo to give away. Get it, Salsa and Salsa??
To enter just tell me what other yummy ingredients you might add to this recipe to make your kids gobble this up.
Toddler Cafe is all about being creative with your ingredients so let the ideas flow and win yourself and your kids a great CD.
Enter here by commenting and enter twice by tweeting using "@chefjen salsa contest" in your tweet.
Contest will run until August 16th 12pm I will pick the winner on Random.org. and tweet it or e mail the winner.
Contest is over the winner is Laurie thanks for playing!!
Salsa de Fruta
Recipe From The Toddler Café by Jennifer Carden
This is a version of fruit salad, easy and fun to eat. The sweet tortilla chips or bunuelos add a great crunch.
Makes 2 servings
1 cup diced organic strawberries
1/2 cup diced fresh peaches
1/4 cup small diced crisp apple or jicama
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 large flour tortillas
2 tablespoons softened butter
Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling
Combine in a bowl mix gently with a spoon.
Serve as chips and dip.
To make tortilla chips, (bunuelos)
preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush tortillas with a butter and sprinkle with a generous amount of cinnamon sugar.
Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. When cool break the chips (bunuelos) up in to pieces. Serve the salsa with chips (bunuelos) for scooping.
Tell child they have to shovel the confetti up!
Use a slice of apple as a food pusher to help get the salsa on the chip.
Serve in an ice cream cone
For dinner: Serve salsa on a mild white fish or on a turkey burger
Tip: Add very ripe tomatoes to give this a slightly different flavor.
We dipped each stick in the melted chocolate halfway, and then dragged a fork down the sides to create the grooves.