My favorite place in the world is in my kitchen with my children. The laughter and memories made while cooking and baking together are irreplaceable. This blog lists some of our favorite recipes & experiments in the kitchen. Check back regularly for new posts, and be sure to check each week to get the recipes featured on our Cooking with Mommy online radio show!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Movie Night

Hope you enjoyed today's show! We had a blast coming up with these recipes. Try our twist on some of your favorite movie theatre snacks, and see if you won't want your next movie night to be in your own living room!

Monster Nachos
1 lb. chicken breasts
1 lb. Mexican chorizo
1 lg. can refried black beans
1 pkt. Goya Sazon seasoning packet
16 oz. pkg. Velveeta
1 (4 oz.) can green chilies
Salsa, to taste
Sour cream, to taste
Black olives, sliced, to taste
1 Haas avocado
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Grown-up helper: Cook chorizo in sauté pan for approximately 10 minutes. Drain on paper towel. Season chicken with Southwestern seasoning. Grill chicken breasts (approximately 10 minutes per side for thicker breasts). Slice chicken in thin slices (similar to fajitas).

Mini-chef: Microwave refried beans with packet of Goya seasoning mixed in for 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, using a kid-safe knife, cut Velveeta into cubes and place in bowl. Add 4 oz. can of chopped green chilies to bowl. Microwave cheese mixture one minute and stir. Repeat process three more times (for a total of 4 minutes in the microwave).

Layer chips on platter. With the help of your grown-up helper, spoon refried beans onto chips. Pour melted cheese mixture over beans. Sprinkle chorizo and sliced chicken on top.

Top with salsa, sour cream, and black olives, to taste. Have grown-up helper peel and slice avocado. Place avocado slices on top of nachos. Top with grated cheddar cheese.

Jell-O Popcorn
1 c. white corn syrup
1 c. sugar
2 small pkgs. Jell-O, your flavor preference (enough for 8 servings)
1 bag popped popcorn, light butter flavor

Pour popcorn onto a baking sheet or stone cool. Mix corn syrup, sugar, and Jell-O in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes, stirring after each 30 second (to 1 minute) interval. Have grown-up helper pour Jell-O mixture over popcorn. Bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Stuffed Pretzels
1 can refrigerated pizza dough, thin crust style
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
¼ c. sugar
2 heaping Tablespoons strawberry preserves
Melted butter
Brown sugar

Cut pizza dough lengthwise into three strips. Mix cream cheese, sugar, and strawberry preserves. Place cream cheese mixture in plastic sandwich bag, seal, and cut small slit in corner of sandwich bag. Squeeze line of cream cheese mixture down the center of each pizza dough strip. Overlap sides of dough slightly, and pinch seams down the length of each dough strip, creating on long “rope” of filled dough. Bring each end around, as if forming a heart. Overlap, strip ends, and twist, bringing ends to a rest at the bottom end of the pretzel. Press slightly, being careful not to cause cream cheese mixture to squeeze out. Baste pretzels with melted butter. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon, to taste, on top of pretzel. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown.

Stuffed Soup

Stuffed Soup? "What is that?" you ask. Try this tasty side dish below to find out for yourself! Kids, get that grown-up helper in the kitchen and make some memories!!! Let us know what you think of this recipe. We'd love to hear from you!

Stuffed Soup

1 box cornbread stuffing mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. sour cream
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided

In a large bowl, mix the first 3 ingredients together. Add 1 cup cheese and mix until fully incorporated. Pour into a 2 qt. (or 7" x 11") casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until casserole is warm and cheese is fully melted.

Cinnamon Rolls

We had SOOO much fun making these Cinnamon Rolls in our test kitchen this week. And let me tell you - they are SUPER YUMMY!!!! Be sure to get a TALL glass of milk to wash these down. This also makes a perfect breakfast when you have guests over. Wouldn't this make a great breakfast after a sleepover party? =) Enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls

2 packages Pillsbury Recipe Creations refrigerated dough
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 Tblsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. sugar
1/8 c. brown sugar
1/2 pkg. (4 oz.) cream cheese
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, mix cinnamon, sugar, and brown sugar thoroughly.

Unroll 1 package of dough. Using a basting brush, spread butter on dough. Make sure to cover all the dough. Sprinkle sugar mixture over butter. (We like to use A LOT of the sugar mixture.) When the dough is thoroughly covered with sugar mixture, roll dough into original shape. Cut into 8 slices. Repeat with second package of dough.

Place slices flat side down on a baking sheet. (For best results, use a stone baking sheet.) Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a separate bowl. Spread cream cheese icing on each cinnamon roll. Enjoy!

Ranch Chicken Fingers

We just love these delicious chicken fingers! Forget McDonald's! Kids, get in the kitchen with your grown-up helpers and have FUN making these chicken fingers for dinner!!! =)

Ranch Chicken Fingers

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. flour
1 c. crushed corn flakes
2 packets dry ranch seasoning (recommended: Hidden Valley)
3 eggs

Have a grown-up helper cut the chicken into strips (or nugget sizes, if you prefer). Marinate chicken in buttermilk for several hours or overnight.

In a medium size bowl or pan, mix the flour, crushed corn flakes, and ranch seasoning. In a second bowl, beat the 3 eggs using a fork or whisk. Spray your pan with a non-stick cooking spray or lightly brush with oil.

Removing the chicken from the marinade, dip chicken into eggs, and then dip into the flour mixture. Be sure to cover the chicken fully on all sides with the flour mixture. Lay chicken in pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. (Our oven took about 30 minutes for the chicken to be perfectly cooked and moist.) Enjoy!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Deviled Eggs

This devilish recipe is for my kiddos. They love our monthly church potluck where they get to have deviled eggs each month. We decided to try to make our own at home. Let us know what you think!

Deviled Eggs

1 dozen eggs, boiled, cooled, and peeled
3/4 c. mayonnaise (recommended: Duke's)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika, plus more for garnish

Cut each peeled egg in half lengthwise. Separate yolks into a bowl. Mash yolks with a fork, and add remaining ingredients. Mix until smooth.

Place filling in a sandwich or freezer ziplock bag. Snip a small opening at the corner. Squeezing from the corner diagonal to the cut corner, fill each egg half with filling. Sprinkle paprika on top, and dig in! (I like to chill our deviled eggs in the fridge for 30-60 minutes, so the flavors can fuse!)

Delectable Drinks

Hope you guys enjoy these tasty drinks as much as we do! Use your imagination when choosing flavor combinations for smoothies, shakes, floats, and punch. It's a neverending idea parade that can't go wrong... Well, if it does go wrong, you can just keep trying other combinations! Here are the recipes from today's show! (We will upload the pics sometime this weekend!)

Sunrise Smoothie

1 c. frozen strawberries, slightly thawed
1 c. frozen peach slices, slight thawed
1/2 c. orange juice
1 (6 oz.) container Rasberry Yogurt

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Say hello to morning! =)

Purple Cow Milkshake

4 scoops vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup frozen grape juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup milk

Blend ingredients until smooth. Drink up and enjoy! =)

Sherbet Punch

1 46 oz. bottle Tropical Punch
2 liter Ginger Ale
1 6 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 container pineapple sherbet

Mix equal parts tropical punch and gingerale. Add frozen lemonade concentrate. (You can add less than the 6 oz., if you would like.) Add scoops of pineapple sherbet, and stir gently. This punch tastes a little like a Cherry Limeade. It's delicious!

Soups & Salads

Hope you enjoyed this special 1 hour edition of Cooking with Mommy. First up - Soups & Salads! Kids, we hope you enjoy making these yummy dishes with your grown-up helpers. Let us know what you think!!! =)

French Onion Soup
3 small onions, diced
1/2 stick butter
2 cans beef broth
1 can chicken broth
1/2 c. cooking sherry
1 pkt. onion soup mix
1 loaf french bread
1 pkt. (12 slices) provolone cheese

Saute onions in butter for 3-5 minutes, or until transluscent. Add beef and chicken broths, cooking sherry, and onion soup mix. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 3/4 cup soup in crock-style bowl or ramekin. Slice french bread into 1 inch slices. Lay provolone slice on bread. Place 6-8 bowls on cookie sheet or stone cooking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

4 large Yukon Gold Potatoes
8 slices bacon
2 cans chicken broth
2 cups milk
16 oz. Velveeta cheese
8 oz. sour cream
3 green onion stalks

Microwave potatoes for approximately 10 minutes. Allow potatoes to cool. Microwave bacon for 1 minute per slice. (I microwave 4 slices at a time for 4 minutes.) Remove bacon from plate and pat dry with paper towel. Crumble bacon. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into cubes, approximately 1/2 inch to 1 inch in size.

Slice green onions into thin slices. Cut Velveeta into small cubes for easier melting.

Heat chicken broth, milk, and Velveeta in pot, stirring frequently. Once cheese has melted completely, add potatoes, bacon, sour cream, and green onions. Stir until fully incorporated. Simmer another 10- 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and serve.

Mandarin Chicken Salad

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 c. orange juice
1 tsp. Asian seasoning (recommended: Emeril's Asian Essence)
Romaine lettuce hearts, chopped or torn
1 can Mandarin oranges
1 can water chesnuts
3 stalks green onions, sliced
Sliced almonds, to taste
Chow Mein noodles, to taste
Asian dressing

Marinate chicken breasts in orange juice and Asian seasoning for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Grill chicken breasts over medium heat 6-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through. (If using cutlets, chicken may grill a little more quickly.) Let chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, slice chicken in thin slices.

To assemble salad, put chopped or torn lettuce in a bowl. Top with remaining ingredients and chicken. It's yummy!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Want to add some zing to boring old meatloaf? We sent Kaiya's daddy to the kitchen to create a new twist on traditional meatloaf. Give this zesty meatloaf a try and see smiles on the faces of your family! Hope you enjoy!

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

1.5 lbs Lean Ground beef
1 egg
1 cup fried onions, divided (French’s)
8 Ritz crackers, crushed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
¼ cup ketchup
1/8 cup yellow mustard
¾ cup BBQ sauce divided
Salt & pepper to taste
6 oz. bacon, fried and then crumbled

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, egg, ½ cup fried onions, crushed crackers, ½ cup shredded cheddar, ¼ cup Ketchup, 1/8 cup yellow mustard, ¼ cup BBQ sauce, and salt & pepper to taste. Transfer mixed ingredients into a loaf pan.

Sprinkle remaining fried onions over the top and press lightly into the mixture. Bake 55 minutes. Have grown-up helper remove meatloaf from the oven and drizzle ½ cup BBQ sauce on top of meat loaf. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon and remaining cheddar cheese on top. Have your grown-up helper return the meatloaf to the oven and bake 15-20 minutes longer. Remove and enjoy.

Crafts in the Kitchen

Hey kids! Here are some SUPER recipes to use when you want to explore your artistic talents. Head to the kitchen with a grown-up helper and have fun with the following recipes! I'll add pictures later!

Kool-Aid Playdough

3 c. flour
1 c. salt
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 c. boiling water
2 packets unsweetened Kool-aid (in color of your choice)

Have your grown-up helper bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Meanwhile, mix flour and salt thoroughly. In a separate bowl, add Kool-aid and oil to boiling water. Mix until Kool-aid dissolves completely. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until incorporated. (Add extra flour if needed to get playdough consistency.)

Knead dough until flour is no longer visible. Allow to cool. Play and enjoy. (Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.)

*Note - we divided the recipe in two halves, and used a different Kool-aid color in each half.

Puff Paint

1 can shaving cream
1-2 containers white school glue
Food Coloring

Mix equal parts shaving cream and school glue in the amount you desire. Add food coloring to achieve desired color. (You can make several colors using the above ingredients.)

Bath Crayons

1 bar (3.1 oz.) Ivory soap
1/4 c. to 1/2 c. warm water
Food Coloring

Grate Soap using a cheese grater. Microwave water for 1-2 minutes. Mix soap, water, and food coloring. Knead until the consistency of a very thick dough.

Shape with hands as a ball or crayon. You can also use ice cube trays or cookie cutters. Place crayons in freezer for 15 minutes.

Remove crayons from freezer and allow to dry until hard (overnight or all day.) Enjoy at bathtime!!! =)

Have fun kiddos! Check in tomorrow for another recipe just for you!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tour of Italy

Hope you enjoyed today's show! Let us know how your Italian feast goes. We would love to hear from you! Below are today's recipes. Remember that each recipe serves 8-10 people. So, invite your friends over, and let your kids be proud that they were able to help prepare a meal for company!!!

Sundried Tomato Bruschetta
1 baguette
1 jar Sundried Tomato Pesto (We used Classico brand, found near the spaghetti sauce in your grocery store.)
1 (12 slice)pkg. Provolone cheese
Have your grown-up helper slice the baguette into approximately 20 slices. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of pesto on each slice of bread. Break cheese slices into quarters. Top with 2 pieces of provolone cheese. Broil on high for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese begins to turn golden and bubbly.
Caesar Salad
2 bags chopped romaine lettuce
1 bag garlic cheese croutons
4 oz. fresh parmesan cheese, shredded
Your favorite Caesar dressing
Toss first 3 ingredients. Pour Caesar dressing to taste.
Stuffed Shells
1 (32 oz.) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 c. mozzarella
1 c. fresh parmesan cheese, grated (plus additional for topping)
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 (2lb.) jar spaghetti sauce (your favorite)
1 box jumbo pasta shells
1 (10 oz.) box frozen spinach, thawed and patted dry
Have your grown-up helper boil shells for 14-15 minutes. Drain and rinse under cool water to stop cooking process. Pour 1 cup spaghetti sauce in a 9x13 baker.
Meanwhile, mix ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, and eggs thoroughly. Separate mixture into 2 halves. Add spinach to second half of mixture.
Fill halve your shells with cheese mixture and place in 9x13 baker. Top with 1 cup spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese to taste. (You can top with mozzarella, as well.) Repeat steps in second 9x13 baker with spinach mixture. (You can use browned ground beef or Italian sausage instead of spinach, if you prefer.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until heated thoroughly.
Tiramisu Pudding Parfait
1 cups milk
1/4 c. instant coffee granules (You may use 1/8 cup if you desire a less strong coffee taste.)
1/4 c. sugar
1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip
2 boxes Cheesecake flavor instant pudding (8 servings total), plus ingredients to make pudding
16 Ladyfingers (Need 2 cookies per parfait.)
Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix 1 cup milk with instant coffee granules and sugar until coffee and sugar are dissolved. Mix in container of Cool Whip. (Mixture will be runny.)
In a separate bowl, prepare pudding according to package directions. Chill in refrigerator.
Break Ladyfingers into quarters. Place 4 pieces in bottom of parfait glass. Add 1/4 cup. coffee Cool Whip mixture. Next, add 1/4 cup pudding. Top with shredded chocolate chips as desired. Repeat layers one time. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to eating. (This allows the cookies to absorb some of the coffee mixture. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hurry, Hurry! Eat Some Curry!

Serve this yummy chicken salad in a pita pocket for a nice change of pace to your normal sandwich fare!

Curry Chicken Salad
3/4 lb. cooked chicken (weight after cooking), chopped or shredded
1 c. mayonnaise (We love our Duke's!)
1 Tblsp. curry powder
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery hearts, sliced
2/3 c. sweetened, dried cranberries
2/3 c. chopped walnuts

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Open pita pocket. Layer several lettuce leaves in pocket. Fill with chicken salad. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Thank you to everyone who listened to our Saturday morning edition of Cooking with Mommy today. We chose to postpone our scheduled show yesterday due to Tropical Storm Fay. Although we never lost power, the lights flickered several times before and after the scheduled show time, and there were several tornadoes in the area. We thought it was a safer bet to postpone the show until the bad weather had passed. Thank you for all of your patience!!!

On to the good stuff! =) Below you will find the recipes from today's show. We hope you enjoy our spin on delicious fruit-filled treats!

Fluffy Fruit Dip

Although we didn't get a picture of this first snack specialty, we're sure you'll love it. It's super easy to make, and tastes delicious with any fruit.

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (7 oz.) container marshmallow creme (We used Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme)

Mix ingredients until fluffy and smooth. Serve with assorted fruit of your choice. We recommend strawberries, pineapple, grapes, berries, etc.

Strawberry Soup

This chilled soup is a sweet and tasty way for kids (and their grown-up helpers) to enjoy strawberries!!!!

1 qt. fresh strawberries, tops removed
1/2 c. sugar
16 oz. whole milk (you can use cream, if you prefer)
2 oz. sour cream
3 oz. strawberry yogurt

Put strawberries (with tops removed) in a bowl. Pour sugar over top and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, assemble your ingredients. Put half the strawberry/sugar mixture and half the milk in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Serve cold!

Frozen Banana Salad
This tangy treat is sure to delight your taste buds. This one's considered dessert in our house! Thanks to Sue Turner for this recipe!
2 cups sour cream
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple
1 Tblspn. lemon juice (This keeps the bananas from browning.)
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional; we use walnuts)
1/2 cup sugar
4 bananas, mashed
1 tsp. salt
1 (8 oz.) jar maraschino cherries, quartered (Reserve liquid.)
Mix all above ingredients well. May add just enough cherry liquid to get the shade of pink you want. Pour into 9x9 inch pan. Freeze. Garnish with a dab of sour cream and top with a cherry.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lunchbox Ideas

We hope you enjoyed the show today. We have LOTS of ideas for "thinking outside the lunchbox". Hope you liked these three today! (Remember to try both of the Asian marinades and let us know who your vote goes to. It was a true Asian marinade throwdown!)

Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 head iceburg lettuce, torn
2 Golden Delicious apples, cored and chopped
1/3 cup vidalia onions (optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries (like Craisins)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Your favorite poppy seed dressing

Mix all ingredients except the dressing. Serve in bowls. Drizzle with poppy seed dressing.

Asian Chicken Legs

1 dozen chicken legs, without skin
1 marinade recipe (Choose 1 below)

Marinate chicken legs in marinade for several hours. (We recommend marinating overnight.) Grill over medium-low heat for approximately 20-25 minutes, turning chicken every 5 minutes. Put aluminum foil on end of chicken legs to keep fingers clean at lunchtime! =)

Mark's Marinade
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tblsp. ketchup
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp. ground ginger (or substitute 1 Tblsp. fresh ground ginger)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tblsp. apricot preserves
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 Tblsp. rice vinegar
1 Tblsp. honey
1/2 tsp. grated zest of lemon

In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine all ingredients. Stir until sugar is dissolved completely. Reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from heat and let cool.

Kara's Marinade

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup plum sauce
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 pinch salt

Stir until mixed thoroughly.

Creamy Tomato Soup

1 can condensed tomato soup
1 (15 oz.) can chicken broth
1 lg. can Italian diced tomatoes
1 cup whole milk (For an even creamier soup, substitute heavy cream.)

Heat 1st three ingredients over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until heated thoroughly. Add cream and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat. Blend in blender until smooth. Place in thermos, and enjoy at lunchtime!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Broccoli Casserole

Okay, so I can't vouch for the healthiness of this next one! It's a sometimes side dish, but it is delicious! The recipe we wanted to share with you today is a family favorite from MY childhood. My mom used to make this casserole for everything from potlucks to Thanksgiving to Sunday dinner. If you are in need of comfort, this is a dish for you! (And, it has veggies!!!)

Broccoli Casserole

2 10 oz. chopped broccoli
2 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ cup chopped onion
1 cup mayonnaise (We prefer Duke's!)
1 ¼ cup grated, cheddar cheese

Have your grown-up helper cook the broccoli until heated and drain thoroughly. In a large bowl, slightly beat the eggs with a whisk. Add remaining ingredients to the beaten eggs and mix together. Lastly, add the broccoli and stir. Pour into an ungreased 9 X 13 dish, and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Bake uncovered.

Mmmm! It's delicious! Hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Little Guacamole for You!

Hola! This weekend, we had some culinary adventures with avocados, plantains, and homemade doughnuts. There was a LOT of playtime for us in the kitchen, and the recipe we wanted to share with you today was loads of fun to make!

We find that letting the kids out of the cart in the produce section of the grocery store means we come home with a HUGE variety of fruits and vegetables. It also means the kids are open to trying new things because they helped choose what went into the cart! This week, we came home with apples, strawberries, bananas, plantains, grapes, mango, kiwi, avocados, pineapple, blueberries, green onions, several colors of bell peppers, mushrooms, etc. It's made for a fun week.

Last night, we decided to break out the avocados and make some guacamole! The recipe we came up with is below, and let me tell you! Mommy (that's me!) has REALLY enjoyed it! Hope you like it!


2 avocados
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 c. tomato salsa (your favorite brand)
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dried cilantro

Have your grown-up helper cut a line around the avocado. Twist the avocado to remove one half. Have the grown-up helper place the knife, sharp side down on the large avocado seed and bang the knife gently to stick in seed. Twist the knife gently to remove the seed from the avocado. Using a spoon, remove the soft, green flesh of the avocado from the avocado peel.

In a medium size glass bowl, mash the avocado using a potato masher. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with spoon until fully incorporated! Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

***Tip: We suggest using juice from fresh fruit, but you can use bottle lemon juice, if desired. Additionally, if you have not lemon juice on hand, you can substitute lime juice. you will notice a slight change in flavor, but the guacamole still has a delicious flavor to it.

***Tip: You may use fresh cilantro instead of dried. We actually prefer the fresh, but dried is what we had on hand!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Healthy & Tasty Snacks

We hope you enjoyed the show today. For more details on what your child's nutrition demands, please check out Below are today's recipes! Hope you enjoy them!

Fruit & Yogurt Parfait

1 French Vanilla Yogurt cup, about 6 oz. (Our favorite is Stonyfield Farms with cream on top!)
Fresh Strawberries (sliced) and Blueberries

If using a cream on top yogurt, mix with spoon until cream is thoroughly incorporated. Pour half a container of yogurt into cup. Top with enough granola to fully cover yogurt. Layer sliced strawberries on granola, followed by blueberries. Repeat layers one more time. This makes one parfait.

Black Bean Hummus

1 can black beans
2 garlc cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. tahini
1/4 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt
Juice of 1 lemon

Place all ingredients in food processor. (Be sure to have a grown up helper on hand!) Blend until smooth. Serve with pita chips or veggies (like carrots, celery, bell pepper, etc.)

Strawberry Ice Pops

10 oz. pkg. frozen, sweetened strawberries
2 strawberry yogurt cups (Again, we use Stonyfield Farms cream on the top!)
3 popsicle sticks or spoons
3 small plastic cups or gladware containers
Plastic Wrap (3 squares)

Thaw frozen strawberries. Blend in blender until they are smooth. (Get that grown-up helper to help!) Pour 1/3 container of yogurt into cup. (Mix first if using a cream on top yogurt.) Pour 1/3 blended strawberries on yogurt. Pour another 1/3 container of yogurt on top. Repeat process to fill 2 more cups.

Cut a small "x" in each plastic wrap square. Top each cup with plastic wrap. Insert popsicle stick or spoon through hole in plastic wrap. Freeze overnight.

Tip: To help the ice pop release from the cup, run the cup under hot water for a small period to soften the sides.

Hope you enjoy these snacks!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Almond Fruit Pastry

Straight from our test kitchen to you, we hope you enjoy the following fruity treat! It's super easy to make. The kids can do every step!

Almond Fruit Pastry

1 can crescent rolls
1 pkg. frozen fruit (Your choice. We used mixed fruit because it was on hand. Mixed berries or strawberries would be great, too!)
1 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 Tblsp. sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove crescent rolls from can, being careful not to separate triangles. Lay flat on baking sheet. (Hint: We used stoneware. If you are using a metal pan, you may want to grease the pan.) Pinch all perforations to seal, leaving you with one large rectangle of dough. Fold each side over 1/4 inch to make edge.

Meanwhile, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and almond extract. Spread mixture over dough, stopping at raised edges. Spread frozen fruit over top of cream cheese mixture. Top with sliced almonds.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Breakfast Foods

Hey guys! We had so much fun getting ready for this show. We hope you enjoy these three recipes as much as we do! Have fun getting in the kitchen, getting messy, and making memories!

First up - Mexican Breakfast Pizzas!!! =)

Mexican Breakfast Pizzas
1 pkg. chorizo sausage, sliced
6 eggs
1 to 1 1/2 c. Mexican blend shredded cheese
4 flour tortillas, soft taco size
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)

In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Meanwhile, heat an 8 to 10 inch non-stick pan over medium-low to medium heat. Place 10 to 12 slices of chorizo in hot pan. Pour 1/3 c. egg mixture over chorizo. Before egg completely sets, sprinkle cheese over egg and chorizo. Place tortilla over top of eggs. Press down lightly, and let set for approximately 2 minutes. Flip pizza over in pan, allowing tortilla to cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top. Remove pizza from pan and let cool for 5 minutes. (Repeat process 3 more times.) Recipe yields 4 servings. Try with sour cream, salsa, etc. on the side!

Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 c. milk
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 c. peeled, shredded apples (about 1 lg. apple)

Streusel Topping
1/4 c. flour
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 c. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray. Mix first 5 muffin ingredients in bowl. In a separate bowl, mix last five muffin ingredients. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture until fully incorporated. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix all streusel topping ingredients.

Pour approximately 3 tablespoons muffin batter in each muffin tin. Sprinkle streusel topping over each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into muffin comes out clean. Trust me! They are delicious!!!
Egg Bites

1 doz. eggs
1/2 c. milk
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
1 c. shredded cheese (your choice)
****Other toppings of your choice****

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle shredded cheese in each mini-muffin tin. (You may also sprinkle additional toppings, such as bacon, ham, spinach, chicken, sausage, peppers, onion, etc.) Fill each tin approximately 1/2 full with toppings. Pour egg mixture over each tin, filling to rim. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until egg has set. Egg Bites will puff up higher than the muffin tins, but will settle once out of the oven. Let cool 5 minutes. Enjoy!

(My favorite variation of these Egg Bites is spinach and swiss. Kaiya's favorite is plain cheddar. Juke loves his with cheddar and bacon or ham. As I said, the possibilities are endless with this one, and it is a great breakfast when you are on the go! No utensils needed!!!)
Hope you all enjoyed this week's show! Tune in next week to hear great snack recipes!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Two for the Price of One

Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of update on Monday! I was feeling a little under the weather & slept most of the day. I am happy to report, however, that you will still be getting your Monday & Wednesday recipes today. =) Thanks for these recipes goes to Sue Butler. These are great recipes for kids to make with a grown-up helper supervising.

This is a great recipe for breakfast!

Postman's Smoothie

1 frozen banana, sliced
1/4 cup each of three other frozen fruit or berries (blueberries, strawberries, mango, peach, etc.)
Enough juice to cover fruit in a blender (orange juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, etc.)
1 container (6 oz.) fruit yogurt
1/2 tsp. coconut extract

Place all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth. Stir often in the process. Serve with a straw or garnish with fruit.

This is a yummy sweet treat, just for the kiddos! (Okay, you can share with grown-ups!)

Baked Cinnamon Balls

2 cups crushed corn flakes
1 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 cup chopped nuts
2 tsp. vanilla

Blend butter, sugar, and vanilla using an electric mixer. Add crushed corn flakes, cinnamon, flour, and nuts and mix thoroughly. Roll into one-inch size balls. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. After cooling slightly, roll in powdered sugar. Enjoy!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Delicious Desserts

Today's radio show was all about delicious desserts you can make with kids in the kitchen. Our first recipe with Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. We hope you love it!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 box (20 oz.) Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
1 egg
1 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup cocoa

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Blend eggs and butter in bowl until smooth. Add cookie mix and cocoa.

Stir until thoroughly incorporated. (We recommend using an electric mixer. This is not a very wet mix, so it can be hard for the child or grown-up helper to mix thoroughly - although I usually do it by hand. =) I hate the extra dishes!) If using a mixer, this will take about 1 1/2 minutes.

Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheet. This recipe yields approximately 1 dozen large cookies. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack. Then enjoy!!!

Our second yummy recipe was Mini Caramel Chocolate Cheesecakes. Yummy!

Mini Caramel Chocolate Cheesecakes

**Note: We forgot something!!! On our radio show, we forgot to tell you that we added 1 egg to the cream cheese mixture. We have included it in the below recipe.**

2 T. butter, melted
5 graham cracker sheets
1/8 c. sugar

Cream Cheese Mixture
2 pkgs. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. sugar

24 Rolos candies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray (like Pam).

Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Place 5 graham crackers in ziplock bag and mash until crumb consistency. Mix melted butter, crushed graham crackers, and 1/8 c. sugar. Put approximately 1 teaspoon in each muffin tin and press down.

In large bowl, mix softened cream cheese with vanilla, lemon juice, and 1 egg. Once consistency is smooth, mix in 1/4 cup sugar. In your electric mixer, pour 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream. Start at low speed, increasing to highest speed. Mix until heavy whipping cream has consistency of whipped cream, approximately 1-3 minutes. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.

Place 1 unwrapped Rolo candy in the center of each muffin well. Do not push into crust; let rest gently on top of crust. Pour approximately 1 tablespoon of cream cheese mixture over the top of the Rolo. (Cream cheese mixture will be taller than muffin pan well.)

Place in oven for 25 minutes, or when edges are just starting to become golden. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool on cooling rack. Enjoy!!!

Join us on BlogTalkRadio next Friday when we talk about creative breakfast ideas. And check back on this site on Mondays and Wednesdays for new recipe ideas! In the meantime, go make some memories in the kitchen with your kids!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Build Your Own..., cont.

Okay, so another favorite in our house building on the "Build Your Own.." concept is Build Your Own Pizzas. My husband used to work as a multi-unit supervisor for a pizza franchise, and in my opinion, makes the most FABULOUS pizzas. He's our resident pizza expert, so we often give the job of making the dough to daddy.

Sometimes, though, when daddy's not home (or just doesn't feel like making the dough) we opt for something more easy. Who said that making a meal with kids needs to be tough? There are three options for your pizza dough at home, if you are not taking the homemade dough route. First, is the packaged dough shells. These tend to come in a plastic package, often in the deli/bakery section of your grocery store. Secondly, some grocery stores have pre-made dough patties in the bakery for purchase. They look like moist balls of dough in a bakery plastic bag. Lastly, in the refrigerated case at the grocery, near the canned biscuits, you can find cans of pizza dough.

For easy nights, we often go for option number three. We find it is best to parbake (partially bake) the dough before putting any toppings on it. Set your oven for the temperature on the package. After it has preheated, place your dough on a pan (we prefer stoneware for this), and place in the oven for 6-8 minutes. Keep an eye on the dough. You want it to be slightly hardened on the outside, and starting to become golden, but you do NOT want a fully baked crust. Use your judgement on this folks.

Assemble various pizza toppings. Be creative here. While you can definitely purchase pizza sauce, mozzarella, and pepperoni, you can also branch out with various veggies and alternative sauces. Try an alfredo sauce as your base or cheddar instead of mozzarella. See what veggies or fruits your kids may want to try - or try your hand at a dessert pizza. The possibilities are endless.

Check back tonight, and I will post a pizza recipe to try out with your family. I'm going to check with our resident pizza expert for a creative recipe from his recipe box.

Until then, have fun cooking in the kitchen with your kids!!!

Sorry that it took so long to post this recipe. Apparently, I did not give our resident pizza expert enough notice regarding my need of a recipe. I promise to give him better notice in the future. In the mean time, I am sure you will not be disappointed. As promised, a creative pizza recipe straight from the mind of Master Pizza Maker, Mark.

Hawaiian Summer Dream Pizza

1 can refrigerated pizza dough
1 6oz tub of pineapple cream cheese
½ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 bananas, chopped
1 small can of pineapple tidbits, drained (Reserve liquid.)
1/3 cup coconut flakes
2/3 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup chopped Macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to temperature indicated on pizza dough package baking instructions. Spray a 10x14 cookie sheet with cooking spray. Carefully stretch the dough to the length and width of the cookie sheet. (We sometimes use a small rolling pin for this, although Mark usually uses his hands.)

Bake the dough until lightly golden brown, approximately 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it. As we stated earlier, we don't want it to get overdone. (As this is a dessert pizza, we are baking the crust more thoroughly.)

Remove pizza from the oven and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Mix until smooth and creamy. Apply to pizza dough leaving a ½ inch border for your crust. Evenly sprinkle the following toppings (in order) on the pizza: bananas, pineapple tidbits, coconut flakes, and Macadamia nuts.

Combine brown sugar with 1 ½ tablespoons of reserved pineapple juice. With a spoon, drizzle the brown sugar mixture over the top of the pizza.

Place pizza back in the oven and bake an additional 5-7 minutes. Remove and enjoy!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Build Your Own...

We've found in our home that sometimes the fun in the kitchen is unrelated to the process of cooking. Kids want to feel that they have a part in preparing the meal, but sometimes, they are happy to be part of the assembly process. One of our favorite Family Night dinners is Build Your Own Tacos & Burritos.

Mom or Dad brown a pound of extra lean ground beef with taco seasoning added. If you are feeling adventurous, you can let your child help with this, although I definitely caution you against leaving them unsupervised. The stove-top is can be a dangerous area of the kitchen when you are not watching your child at ALL times.

After the meat is ready, with help from the kids, we assemble bowls of various toppings. Ideas can be endless on this meal. Some of our standard toppings include lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, cheese, Lizano (a delicious sauce from Costa Rica), refried beans* (pinto or black), black beans*, spanish or white rice, etc. (*Hint: We season our beans with Goya seasoning packets, found in the ethnic aisle of your local grocery store.)

Once all of the toppings are selected, we warm some tortillas (flour or corn) and some taco shells. Everyone gets to build his or her own taco and burrito, and we head to the living room to watch a family-friendly movie. Be sure to pull out the picnic blanket to save your carpets!

Other variations of the Mexican Build Your Own... theme include Build Your Own Fajitas and (my favorite) Build Your Own Mexican Breakfast Burritos. Similar to the Build Your Own Tacos & Burritos, when making the breakfast burritos, replace the ground beef with chorizo, a mexican sausage you can buy at your local grocery store or Latino grocery. We also scramble some eggs, and include most of toppings in the original burrito meal. It is a delicious way to start your day!

Do you have a facorite Build Your Own... meal? Let us know! We'd love to hear your ideas!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Our Radio Debut

Today marked our radio debut on Kaiya was at my side as my trusty co-host, and I found that there are definitely some kinks to work out. We can cover A LOT in 30 minutes. I guess we'll have to find more content & create specialized segments, or cut the show back to 15 minutes. My vote is for more content, but I know I can find a million kitchen related things to talk about! Did I mention my favorite place in the world is in the kitchen with my kids? (I like my hubby in there, too! He's a terrific cook!)

As promised, the featured recipe on today's show, Twice Baked Potatoes Delight is listed below.

Twice Baked Potatoes Delight

5 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened (8oz.)
3 T. ranch seasoning (or a 1 oz. pkt.)
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping
1 T. bacon bits

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake potatoes in microwave on HIGH for 16 minutes. Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients, being sure to incorporate fully.

After potatoes have cooled enough to handle safely, cut slice down center of the potato, stopping halfway through the potato. Gently spoon potato out of the potato skin, being careful not to tear the skin. Set the potato skins to the side, to be used later. Using a potato masher, mix the potato into the cream cheese mixture.

Spoon the potato/cream cheese mixture into the potato "pocket" created by the potato skin. There will be a lot of filling, so be generous. Place filled potatoes on a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese 5 minutes before cook time is finished.

Next week's radio show is all about desserts. Join us for this tasty show! I can't wait. Chocolate, anyone?!?!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In the Kitchen with Kids

My favorite place in all of the world is in the kitchen with my children. As I walk to the kitchen to begin cooking dinner or baking some wonderful dessert, my children scurry crazily across the house, racing to arrive at the kitchen first. They are so proud of their aprons and their REAL child-size cookware and bakeware. Their library of children's cookbooks rivals my own collection of cookbooks.

Oftentimes, the kitchen soon is a mess, but the lessons learned and the memories made during that session in the kitchen will carry them throughout their lives. I am sure of it. In the midst of the laughter and sounds of happy taste-testers, my children are learning math, nutrition, and science. They are learning how to read a recipe, and they are learning how to provide for their families when they are older. They are also learning the value of time spent with family.

So, in honor of my three favorite snugglebugs, I am going to keep this journal of our kitchen adventures. Check back often for recipes and ideas to use in your kitchen!

In the meantime, here is one of our EASY favorites:

Cherry Dump Cake (My 5 year old LOVES to make this all by herself!)
1 large can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1 c. chopped nuts (We prefer pecans!)

Grease a 9x13 baker. Layer the ingredients in the order listed above. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until slightly golden. Enjoy!!!