If you are like me, I am not fond of the kitchen.  I am in the category of ‘Have to Cook’ in order for my children to survive. Recently, I have learned that teaching children to cook or even allowing them to cook with us, could prove to be more fun than simply throwing something together.  Try these quick, easy and yet delicious treats with your kids and create more fun times.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

  • 1 stick softened butter
  • Approx. 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 3/4 c. JIF peanut butter (1 18 oz. jar works!)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 1 (12 oz. package) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix peanut butter, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl – adding confectioners’ sugar until proper consistency is reached. 
Roll candy into 1-inch balls and place on wax paper-lined cookie sheet. 
Melt chips and shortening together in top of double boiler.
Keep chocolate mixture in double boiler over low heat while you dip each candy. 
Using a toothpick, dip each ball, covering about 3/4 of candy. Place candy on sheet to cool.

Courtesy of Kulinary Kidz 

Yogurt Smoothie

  • banana
  • 2 8oz. containers of strawberry yogurt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 pint strawberries
  1. Clean and wash the strawberries and make sure they are dry. Peel the banana and slice it into smaller pieces.
  2. Place the fruit into a blender.
  3. Add yogurt into the blender with the fruit. Pour in the milk.
  4. Blend it on the puree level for approximately 2 minutes or until smooth. Makes roughly 32 ounces
  5. To make this into a frozen snack, pour the mixture into a mold or cups and insert a stick (I get the craft sticks from Pat Catan’s)
  6. Freeze for 4-6 hours, run container under warm water and serve.

Makes 6 to 8 popsicles

Courtesy of Kulinary Kidz

Berry Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup Strawberry Kiwi Flavor NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE® All Natural 100% Juice
1 packet Strawberry Sensation Flavor CARNATION® BREAKFAST ESSENTIALS™ Complete Nutritional Drink
1/2 to 1 cup frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries and/or blueberries)
1/2 cup ice cubes

Directions

PLACE Juicy Juice, Carnation Breakfast Essentials Drink, berries and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.

Berry Banana Breakfast Smoothie

Ingredients

1 small ripe banana

1 cup Berry Flavor NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE® All Natural 100% Juice chilled
1 packet Classic French Vanilla Flavor CARNATION® BREAKFAST ESSENTIALS™ Complete Nutritional Drink
1/2 cup vanilla or berry-flavored lowfat yogurt
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries or other berries

Directions

PLACE banana, Juicy Juice, Carnation Breakfast Essentials Drink, yogurt and strawberries in blender; cover. Blend until smooth. Divide shake between 2 chilled glasses and serve immediately.

Fresh Fruit Salad

Ingredients

6 cups assorted fresh fruit (berries, grapes, sliced mango, strawberries and/or kiwifruit)
Juice from 1 lime
3 tablespoons Tropical Flavor NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE® All Natural 100% Juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped mint leaves

Directions

COMBINE fruit in large bowl. Add lime juice, Juicy Juice and mint; toss gently to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

More recipes may be found on Juicy Juice

Fiesta Turkey Mini-Tostadas

This recipe is extremely easy and fun for the kids!

40 Baked Tostitos Scoops

Olive Oil spray

1 pound extra-lean ground turkey breast

Salt (to taste)

Ground black pepper (to taste)

1/4 to 1 cup mild, medium or hot salsa, to taste

Place 10 scoops on each of 4 dinner plates or all 40 scoops on a serving platter.  Place a large nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat.  When hot, lightly coat with the olive oil spray and add the turkey.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking the turkey into bite sized chunks and stirring it with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3-5 minutes.  Stir in the salsa.  Divide the mixture evenly among the scoops ((about 1 heaping tablespoon each) and serve.

Recipe from The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook

Old Bay Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

2 Tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons fat-free plain yogurt

2 Teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Teaspoon Old Bay 30% Less Sodium Seasoning

1 Pound cooked peeled bay shrimp thoroughly drained

12 Bibb lettuce leaves

In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice and Old Bay until well combined.  Add the shrimp and mix thoroughly.

Place all 12 lettuce leaves on a large platter or place 3 leaves on each of 4 serving plates.  Evenly divide the shrimp mixture (about 3 tablespoons each) among the centers of the lettuce leaves.  Serve immediately.

Recipe from The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook

Chocolate-Peanut  Buter Grahamwiches

4 Whole chocolate graham cracker sheets

4 Teaspoon reduced-fat peanut butter

1/2 Cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed

Break each graham cracker in half (so each half is 1 square).  Spread  1 teaspoon peanut butter evenly over the inside of each of 4 halves.  Spread 2 tablespoons whipped topping each evenly among the insides of the 4 remaining halves.  Sandwich the crackers together to form 4 sandwiches, each with a layer of peanut butter and a layer of whipped cream topping.  Transfer to an airtight plastic container and place in the freezer. Freeze for about 2 hours or up to 1 month. Serve frozen.

Shrimp and Corn Chowder ( A little more work, but delicious!)

4 oz. sliced bacon

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Onion, chopped

Kosher salt and pepper

½ lb. Yukon gold potatoes (peeled if desired) cut into ½-inch pieces

1 cup dry white wine

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1 cup corn kernels (cut fresh from 1 ear or frozen and thawed)

¾ lb. medium peeled and deveined shrimp

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Crusty bread, for serving (Optional)

  1. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until crisp, 5-6 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; break into pieces when cool.
  2. Wipe out the saucepan and heat the oil over medium heat.   Add the onion, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the potatoes, wine and 2 ½  cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, 12-15 minutes.  Stir in the celery, corn, shrimp and cream, and simmer until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 3-4 minutes. Top with the bacon and parsley.  Serve with the bread if desired.

***Recipe courtesy of Woman’s Day Magazine, September 2011 edition, page 170.  

Sixteen Minute Beef and Bean Burritos

  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1/2 whole Medium Onion
  • 1 can (7 Ounce) Mexican Tomato Sauce Or Enchilada Sauce
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Cumin, Oregano, Chili Powder, Garlic To Taste
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Refried Beans
  • 3/4 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 12 whole Burrito-sized Flour Tortillas
  • Extra Grated Cheese, For Sprinkling
  • Extra Sauce, For Drizzling
  • Cilantro Leaves, Optional
  • Optional Filling Ingredients: Mexican Rice, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Green Chilies, Pico De Gallo

Preparation Instructions

Brown ground beef with onion and season to taste. Pour in sauce and simmer over low heat. Add water if mixture gets too dry.

Heat refried beans in a saucepan. Add cheese and stir in till melted. Keep warm.

Heat tortillas in microwave for one minute.

Spread a small amount of beans on each tortilla. Add meat. Fold over ends, then roll up. Place two burritos on a microwave-safe plate. Drizzle red sauce over the top and sprinkle with more grated cheddar. Microwave for one minute, or until cheese is melted and burritos are very hot. Serve immediately.

OPTIONAL: Fill burritos with any optional ingredients you like. (I love them full, but my boys like them very plain.) 

You may find this recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s website! (She has pictures too!) 

A Soothing Recipe for Sore Throats (For Kids!)

When your child sucks on one of these zingy citrus star cubes, she’ll be getting a little burst of vitamin C and a delicious, cooling treat.

1/4 cup boiling water

1 bag tangerine orange herbal tea (Celestial Seasonings)

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 cup orange-tangerine juice

1.  Heating a heatproof measuring cup, pour boiling water over the tea bag and allow it to steep, covered for 4 to 6 minutes.  Remove and discard the tea bag, then stir the honey into the still-warm tea.

2.  Add the juice and pour the mixture into specialty ice cube molds.  Leave little room for the mixture to expand as it freezes.  If using a standard ice cube tray, fill it only one-third full to keep the cubes small. Freeze solid.  Makes about 3 trays of small cubes.

Peanut Butter Fudge Sundae (The Healthy Version)

2 teaspoons chocolate syrup

1 ½ teaspoons reduced fat peanut butter

½ cup fat-free churned chocolate cookies and cream ice cream (chocolate or vanilla ice cream are good too-try Breyers)

1 tablespoon fat-reduced aerosol whipped topping

1.  In a small bowl, stir together the syrup and peanut butter until well combined.

2.  Spoon the ice cream into a small bowl.  Drizzle the peanut butter mixture over the ice cream, top with the whipped topping, and serve.

Recipe from The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook

6-Minute Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

If you would like a very quick dessert for the kids that they will enjoy doing with you, try chocolate dipped strawberries!

1 cup of Dolci Frutta

1 package of strawberries

1 sheet of wax or foil paper

Wash strawberries and dry thoroughly with a paper towel.  Warm Docli Frutta according to heating instructions on the can (approximately  90 seconds).  Hold strawberry by the stem and dip enough to cover half of it.  Rest onto the wax paper of foil. Wait approximately five minutes for chocolate to cool and harden.  Serve immediately. DELICIOUS!

Banana Bread (Like Mama Used to Make!)

2 cups mashed bananas                                   2 cups flour

3 eggs                                                                     1 cup flour

1 cup oil                                                                 1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon vanilla                                              1/4 teaspoon salt

***You may add crushed walnuts or almonds for the nut-lover in you.

Combine banana, eggs, oil, and vanilla (nuts if desired)  and mix well.   Sift together flour, sugar, soda and salt and add to banana mixture.  Pour batter into greased and wax paper lined 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until done. (Use knife and stick in the middle of the loaf. If it comes out clean, then it is done).  You may fill greased muffin pans 3/4 full and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.( Makes 16 muffins)

The Best Chili EVER!

1 lbs ground beef or turkey

2 cups chopped onions

2 packages McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix

2 cans (15 ounces) kidney, pinto or black beans

2 cans (14 ounces) diced tomoatoes

2 cans (8 ounces) tomato sauce

2 cans green chili

Cook ground beef and onions in large pot until meat loses read color. Drain fat.  Stil in seasoning mix and all remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Good with shredded cheese and sour cream on top.  Also good with corn bread.

(Submitted by Ilene Lonker)

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