This is Zach’s first year in full day school and one of the things we do to spend time together is cook. On this page, you will find the recipes that Zach and I have been making together. This is where I act as his sous chef. Quite often he picks the recipes, reads the recipes and measures. In fact, he just picked out a new cookbook for himself from Williams Sonoma, so you should be seeing many more recipes on here from him. He has been busy picking out all the things he wants us to make together.
Cooking together is a great activity for us. We love spending time together in the kitchen, it is special time for us. He is learning so many things. Aside from how to cook, he is learning what is healthy, reading the recipes helps reinforce his reading skills and reading and measuring out ingredients, helps to reinforce his math skills. And when we are done, we get to enjoy a delicious snack together and share it with the rest of our family.
You may remember me talking about my little buddy, Cole (my bff’s son and my daughter’s bff). Today he turned 4! To celebrate, he came over and Mia, he and I made Angry Bird Cupcakes. I used Magnolia Bakery’s cupcake and icing recipe, which I have used before and I love. It is simple, easy, quick and tasty.
Recipe: Magnolia’s Vanilla Cupcakes
Recipe from Food Network
- 1 1/2 cups Self-Rising Flour
- 1 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter – softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs -room temperature
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- Mix together the two flours in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In the base of a Kitchen Aid mixer cream the butter until pale and fluffy.
- Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.
- Add the flour in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. Each time, beat until the ingredients are just incorporated.
- Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 way full with batter.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
Recipe: Magnolia’s Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Recipe from Food Network
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter – softened
- 6 – 8 cups Confectioners’ Sugar
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, using whisk attachment, cream together on medium speed butter, 4 cups sugar, milk and vanilla. Beat about 3 to 5 minutes, until smooth and creamy.
- Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to spread well. You may not need to add all of the sugar.
- Separate frosting into smaller bowls and use food coloring (I like Wilton Icing Color paste) to get desired colors.
- Frost cupcakes and decorate.
My kids love snacks. Call anything a “snack” and they are hooked. Everyday when my 6 year old gets home from school he can’t wait for his snack. He loves when I have something homemade and different for him. I love when that snack is a healthy one.Since this cookie is made with whole wheat flour, I feel good about it. And you just dump all the ingredients into the food processor and then just use a cookie scoop to scoop them onto the baking sheet, so it is a fantastic recipe for young cooks.
Recipe: Whole Wheat Scoop Cookies
Summary: Recipe from Joseph’s Grainery
- 1/2 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
- 3/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 stick Unsalted Butter – cold and cut in chunks
- 1 tsp Vanilla 1 Egg Yolk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl of a food processor put the flours, sugar and salt and pulse a couple times to combine.
- Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is just crumbly.
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla and pulse until just combined.
- Scoop the dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet using a small cooking scoop. Bake 17 -18 minutes and cool on a wire rack.
Last week a friend gave me a bunch of apples she had picked at the orchard to make an apple pie. The next day my parents’ brought me more orchard apples, to again, make an apple pie. Clearly, apple pie was in my future for the week. Last week I made 3 different apple pies. The most novel was apple pie on a stick with dipping sauces. I have seen cake pops and pie pops sprouting up all over and I love the idea. My inspiration came from one of my favorite restaurant desserts. Buddakan’s Dim Sum Donuts. A comfort food made mini with a variety of dipping sauces. Perfection! The apple pie pops were a joint effort between me and my 6 year old. We had so much fun. My 4 year old, lover of all lollipops was enchanted with pie that came in lollipop form. I, lover of variety and cute things, was enchanted by having these cute apple shaped apple pies on a stick an being able to dip them in two different sauces. My husband just loved the taste. And my 6 year old, well he loved everything about them!
We cut up the apples into a small dice and spiced them and cooked them. Since the pies are small they don’t bake for as long, pre-cooking the apples ensures they are ready when the pies are. Zach cut out cute little apple shapes out of pie dough with a cookie cutter (okay, okay we confess… we didn’t have an apple shaped cookie cutter but we had a pumpkin and looks about the same in the end anyway) and I inserted a stick, dolloped on a small mound of cooled apple pie filling in the center, and topped it with another apple shaped pie crust cut out. We then crimped the edges with a fork, gave them an egg wash and sugar coating (to get crisp golden tops) and baked them. While they were in the oven, we made a spiced whipped cream dipping sauce and a salted caramel dipping sauce. Both were delicious on their own, but I loved them together! Yum!
Recipe: Apple Pie Pops
- 2 Apples – small dice
- Lemon – juiced
- 1/2 cup Sugar + additional for sprinkling
- 1 tsp – Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp – Cardamom
- 1/8 tsp – Freshly Grated Nutmeg
- 1 tbs Cornstarch
- 1 tbs + 1 1/2 tsp Cold Water
- Prepared Pie Crust – (2) 9″ discs
- 1 Egg Yolk
- Lollipop Sticks
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Dice apples and mix with juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg.
- Cook apple mixture in a pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.
- While apples are cooking combine cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water in a small bowl.
- Mix into apple pie mixture and cook 1 minute longer until liquid thickens.
- Using a cookie cutter (we used a pumpkin shape but you can also just use a circle) cut out the shapes from prepared pie dough. Place the cut outs on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Gently press a lollipop stick into the pie dough cut out. Place the stick 3/4 of the way up the pie dough.
- Dollop some of the pie filling into the center of the dough and top with another cut out of pie dough. Use a fork and press down on the edges of each pie pop to seal and crimp and the edges together.
- Mix together egg yolk and 1 1/2 tsp water in small bowl. Brush the egg wash on to the top of each pie and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.
- Let cool on a wire rack and serve with sauces for dipping.
Recipe: Salted Caramel Dipping Sauce
- 1 1/3 cup Sugar
- 1/4 cup Water
- 3/4 cup Heavy Cream
- 1/2 cup Butter
- 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Combine sugar and water over medium-high heat and cook until it is golden and bubbly.
- Whisk in the heavy cream and cook until it bubbles.
- Whisk in the butter.
- Once butter is melted add in sea salt and vanilla and remove from heat.
- Let sauce cool before serving. It will thicken as it cools.
Recipe: Spiced Whipped Cream
- 3/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 tbs Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Ginger
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla
- Using an electric mixer whip heavy cream and sugar on high speed until soft peaks form.
- Add in ginger, cinnamon and vanilla and continue to beat an additional 30 seconds.
I took my kids to the park today and came home with their best friends. I also came home starving, having packed lunches for the kids but not myself. So when 3 ½ year old Cole turned to me and said “let’s make something” upon walking in the door, my answer was let’s do it! First, I have to tell you I love this boy and he is so completely adorable that there is very little I would refuse him. Second, apart from my son Zach, Cole is my cooking buddy. We decided to make soup. This soup is a complete collaboration between Cole and I. He suggested Strawberry Soup, which sounded delicious and something I have been wanting to make, but I didn’t have any strawberries left. I suggested using cucumbers which I had aplenty. I asked Cole what else we should put in. He peered in my fridge and spied left over honeydew melon. Cucumber-Honeydew soup – YUM! I decided to add cilantro, yogurt and cumin and top it off with some toasted pumpkin seeds. It was at the end that my daughter wandered up wanting to help so she was responsible for the garnishing. It turned out delicious! Not to mention ridiculously easy.
Recipe: Chilled Cucumber-Honeydew Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 Cucumbers – peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
- ¼ of a Large Honeydew Melon (or half of a small one) – roughly chopped
- 1 cup of Plain Low-Fat Yogurt
- ¼ cup packed Cilantro Leaves
- ¼ tsp Cumin
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 tbs Pumpkin Seeds
- In the bowl of a food processor throw in the cucumber and melon. Pulse until it is pureed.
- Add in yogurt, cilantro, cumin and salt and pepper.
- Pulse until pureed and combined. On the stove, toast pumpkin seeds until they are puffed.
- To do this place the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan over medium heat. Stir constantly until they are slightly puffed.
- Garnish soup with toasted pumpkin seeds and a sprig of cilantro and serve.
Cooking time (duration): 10
Number of servings (yield): 2
Meal type: lunch