Posts in the Kids Cooking Club Category

Baked Cornflake Chicken Nuggets

Some days I sit down to write a post and I’m filled with thoughts, a rapid moving, overflowing inner dialogue just bursting to come out. I can barely type fast enough to keep up with the steady stream of personal commentary. Today my mind is quiet (I guess I shouldn’t complain). My kids are doing their homework independently (aliens must have replaced my actual children with look-alike clones), dinner is made and sitting on the counter, and the house is more or less clean. What now?

I was talking to a friend the other day about the hustle and bustle of our respective households. We both agreed that while raising children can be exhausting and overwhelming and frustrating, there is nothing more wonderful than a house filled with laughter and noise and chaos. At realizing how much we actually enjoyed the tumult, my friend threw her head back, laughed out loud and said “beautiful chaos”. What a great way to sum it up.

I think I will keep this short and sweet, take advantage of the momentary quiet, and maybe enjoy a cup of tea….

Here’s an easy recipe for Baked Cornflake Chicken Nuggets….they’ll keep all the “aliens” happy (and maybe even quiet for a few precious minutes)!

INGREDIENTS

Chicken Nuggets:
3 boneless, skinless, chicken cutlets cut into 1” cubes
1-cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups ground cornflakes (I buy a box of cereal and pulse it in the food processor until I have mostly fine crumbs)
1-2-teaspoons poultry seasoning (MSG free. I like Trader Joe’s 21 Blend Salute)
Kosher salt (use sparingly as the poultry seasoning often contains salt)
Canola oil cooking spray

Honey Mustard Sauce: (Just mix all the ingredients together)
¼ cup honey
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1-tablespoon white distilled vinegar or lemon juice
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or 2 teaspoons of Frank’s Hot Sauce

* This recipe for Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce comes from a great website www.pinchofyum.com

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray a rimmed cookie sheet with the cooking oil (I like to do this over the sink to make sure the floor doesn’t get slippery).

Take out three medium sized mixing bowls. Put the flour in the first bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat with flour. Put the eggs into the second bowl. Take out about 5 or 6 pieces of chicken and put them into the beaten eggs. In the third bowl, add the ground cornflakes and the spice mixture. Mix well. Drain the chicken on the side of the egg bowl and add the chicken pieces into the cornflakes. Using a fork (or your fingers) coat with crumbs. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with all the pieces of chicken (you might need 2 cookie sheets). Spray the top of the nuggets with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Put into the oven for about 7-8 minutes. They should look a bit browned on top. Turn them over and cook another 5-6 minutes. Remove and serve hot with sauce.

* I was recently at a restaurant in Nyack, NY called Strawberry Place. They have wonderful, home cooked food that makes you want to return day after day. In particular they make a Buffalo Chicken Wrap. These nuggets would work great in a wrap filled with lettuce, tomato, onion, blue cheese dressing and Franks Hot Sauce!

PRINT RECIPE|    E-MAIL


Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Breakfast can be a tricky meal in my house. During the week the kids are up quite early for school and need to be out the door on the double. On the weekends I like to sleep in just a bit, so they’re on their own as far as food is concerned. It’s really easy to pick up some muffins at the market or maybe some chocolate babka and call it a day. But then I read the labels and think; with just a bit of effort I can really do better than store bought pastries loaded with refined sugar, fat and fillers. Enter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. These muffins are delicious and so easy to make. They are made using just one bowl and you basically throw everything in (I actually Google recipes that use melted butter or oil for baked goods because I hate having to drag out the Kitchenaid). While, I can’t claim to make homemade muffins every week (my name’s not Martha after all), I do make an effort to pick up those brown, over-ripe bananas whenever I see them.

INGREDIENTS:
3 very ripe bananas
6 teaspoons butter (unsalted), melted
¾ cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
1½ cups of all-purpose flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of Kosher salt
½ cup mini chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a mini muffin pan. In a medium sized mixing bowl mash the bananas with a fork until smooth. Stir in the melted butter. Mix in the baking soda and salt. Then mix in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla. Finally add the flour. Stir until just combined. Mix in the chips.

Scoop (about 1/4 cup) batter into each muffin cup. Bake about 18 minutes. Edges will be just lightly browned and the top spongy. Remove to a cooling rack.

*Adapted from Simply Recipes Banana Bread http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/banana_bread/

PRINT RECIPE|    E-MAIL


Eggs

Well it’s a snowy wonderland outside and a chaotic zoo inside. I find that whenever the kids are home from school we seem to eat six meals a day instead of three. Plus snacks. I become the queen of some fictitious cooking show about being creative with whatever is in your refrigerator at any given moment. Basically I have eggs and some old vegetables. Not particularly exciting, but a fun challenge. So I started with Egg Muffins. We had just made these at Young Chefs club to mostly positive reviews. One of my young friends said “I love these” and I said “I’m so glad you like them” and she admonished me by stating “I said I love these, not just like!”

I moved on to hard-boiled eggs. Saved half for snacks and used the other half to make Egg Salad. This is a super easy egg salad and is just as delicious for breakfast as it is for dinner. Yes, you heard me, dinner. Moreover, it’s kind of fun for the kids to pick and choose their favorite way to eat it. You can have toast or English muffins or lettuce cups on the bottom and sliced cucumber or avocado or Sriracha on top. Or really anything you want. When was the last time someone offer you “anything you want?”

Egg Muffins

Egg Muffins with Broccoli, Ham and Cheddar Cheese

INGREDIENTS:
10 eggs, beaten
1 crown broccoli, blanched, florets small chopped
1-¼” piece of ham, small diced
¼ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt/pepper
Cooking spray

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a medium sized bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop mixture into the prepared muffin pan.

Bake about 18-20 minutes or until the tops are just dry.

Easy Egg Salad

INGREDIENTS:
8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
2 Tablespoons onion (red or white), finely diced
¼ cup light Mayonnaise
¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons mustard
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Mix all the ingredients together until well blended.

PRINT RECIPE|    E-MAIL


Lasagna Roll-ups

I have been making Lasagna Roll-ups forever. I have taught this in classes for kids and adults for the past several years. I have sent countless friends and family to my website for this easy, delicious recipe. And I just realized it’s not actually on my website. Ooooops!

We made this great dish today in young chefs cooking club. This is an adorable group of 5, 6, and 7 old boys and girls. The kids did a great job mixing the filling and assembling the roll-ups. They did an even better job of cleaning their plates, literally eating every last morsel of pasta, bit of tomato sauce and fleck of spinach.

The parents were thrilled to see such exuberant eating. Several of them decided to go straight to the market and pick up the ingredients to make these roll-ups for dinner. I felt that that level of enthusiasm for a recipe deserved prompt attention. So here is the now infamous recipe for Lasagna Roll-ups…

INGREDIENTS:

1 32oz. container of Ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 bag frozen chopped spinach, drained
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 Jar tomato sauce
1 box lasagna, cooked according to the box instructions
1 8oz. bag of part-skim, low moisture shredded Mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, spinach, and salt. Lightly coat the bottom of a casserole dish with tomato sauce. Take one long lasagna noodle and lay it flat on a cutting board. Take two tablespoons of the Ricotta mixture and spread it evenly across the entire noodle. Then roll up the noodle and place it seam down in the casserole dish. Continue doing this until the entire dish is full. Then pour some more sauce, making sure all the noodles are covered, and then top with the shredded cheese. Bake this in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling. If the cheese starts to burn cover it with some tin foil.

* You may have some extra Ricotta filling. No worries. Either use it as a filling for an omelet (I just bought the Tramontina 80114/535DS Professional Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan, 10-Inch, Natural Aluminum and I love it. In fact I performed the restaurant flip with my omelet this weekend and earned the momentary respect of my 10 year old son. Need I say more?). Or mix it in with some Israeli cous cous and serve it with a piece of grilled chicken or fish.

PRINT RECIPE|    E-MAIL


The trees right now are an amazing mix of brilliant orange, gold and burgundy colors.  My daughter and I were out the other evening taking a few photographs as the sun set at the end of a wondrous fall day. I was moved by a picture she took of me. She said, “mom, it really feels like you, out here in the freezing cold, racing against the setting sun and doing something you love”. What she didn’t realize, was that the best part of that evening was being out there with someone I truly love, her.  I stood there watching the expression on her face, pure joy, with her red tipped nose and beautiful smile and couldn’t imagine being happier.  I realize as I get older how important it is to recognize those fleeting yet magical moments in life.  This post was supposed to be light and fun, about chocolate covered apple mummies, and yet somehow when I sat down to write this is what came to mind.  There is something poetic and nostalgic about this time of year.

img_0090

While Halloween has come and gone, fall is still alive and well. The smell of apples still lingers in the crisp air.  I have really enjoyed apple season this year. I have a new apple cake with crumb topping that has become a cult favorite in my house (adapted from www.spendwithpennies.com). I also made a wonderful applesauce from Simple Recipes and some better-than-expected Chocolate Apple Pops from www.delish.com (Lauren Miyashiro)….

Now chocolate covered anything is usually a hit, but sometimes there’s just too much stuff on a chocolate covered pop, making it hard to enjoy and ultimately better to look at than to eat. But these pops are really good. And easy. And a great treat to bring to a family dinner party. My mother-in-law told me they were so beautiful and professional looking that I could sell them! I’ve made them a few different ways, first the chocolate dipped pop with colorful sprinkles and then the chocolate apple mummies (or ghosts).

Chocolate Covered Apple Pop

Ingredients:

4 large Honey crisp apples, cut into 4 thick slices each or cut into quarters (no core!)
16 Popsicle sticks
1 bag chocolate chips
¼ cup coconut oil or canola oil
1 cup white chocolate chips
Decorative candy: mini M&M’s, pretzel pieces, broken Oreos, candy eyes, chopped nuts, etc.

Directions:

Take the cut apples, lay them flat, and insert a Popsicle stick through the bottom of the apple and parallel to the counter.

In a microwave safe bowl start to melt the chocolate chips. Start with 20 seconds and microwave in 10-second intervals until melted. The chips may be melted but still holding their shape. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil until smooth and slightly thinned out. Use a bit more oil if needed. Dip the apple pops into the chocolate, allow the excess to drip off a bit and lay them out on a silpat lined (or waxed paper) rimmed cookie sheet. Put them into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

In a clean bowl melt the white chocolate chips the same way as the chocolate chips. Do not over melt. White chocolate is less stable and has a tendency to harden unexpectedly (especially from contact with water or heating too quickly). Whisk in the last tablespoon of coconut oil until smooth. Using a spoon or pastry bag, drizzle the white chocolate over the pops. Decorate with candy, lightly pressing the candy into the chocolate and allow to harden in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

 

Chocolate covered apple mummies

PRINT RECIPE|    E-MAIL