Tag Archives | cooking with kids

WEEKLY MEAL PLAN TEMPLATE DOWNLOAD + MARCH WK 3

As promised, I’m sharing my meal plan templates below in both Photoshop and jpgs… will also share on Instagram Stories (and then save to a “meal plan” highlight) if you prefer to take a screen shot and then use. Let me know if you have any other requests.

So excited about our meals this week. With baseball games starting and the sun being out (yay!) I tried to stick to meals that are simple and easy to adjust — so we can all say “YES!” to impromptu outings and get togethers. Also included a very yummy recipe for Magnolia’s banana pudding for all those that made it (or wish they could’ve made it) to the silos this past weekend. Check it all out below!

m | slow cooker moroccan chicken + couscous

tu |beef + avocado quesadillas (might sub ground beef for refried beans tho)

w | chicken tenders + fries (homemade or takeout) + chopped (or costco) salad — we’ll be at a baseball game in Tacoma so plan on bringing a salad and then stopping by our favorite local spot for a few orders!

th | crispy breakfast pita

f | DAD’S CHIOCE + HAPPY HOUR– johan’s pick was kabobs on the grill (lots of ideas HERE!)

sa | spicy mint beef + rice with warm edamame

su | easy turkey lettuce cups

breakkie | muffins are always a welcome change of pace early in the morning or as a snack. we enjoy this recipe! the copycat sausage breakfast sandwiches were a big hit (plus we bought the sausage patties from costco) so we’ll be making more this week. i should’ve written “eggs” since everyone likes theirs differently (not just hardboiled) but eaten in any form with a fruit smoothie strikes a perfect balance anytime of day but especially in the morning!

lunch | chicken salad (make a batch at the beginning of the week) pitas are fun, stuffed or as a dip. homemade lunchables are my favorite to pack and parfaits just seem like a good way to spice things up!

snack | this pudding recipe is so good… perfect for a playdate treat! trying to do more prep work at the beginning of the week to make things run more smoothly with our schedules filling up, including veggies to snack on. these apple monsters are a fun snack too!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD via Dropbox.

If you don’t have a Dropbox account, it’s super easy, doesn’t cost anything and won’t clog up your email with junk either.

Let me know if you have any trouble and don’t forget to share with your friends!

xo, Rae

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MINI MAKERS: HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOW SNOWMEN

Whatever your personal feelings are about marshmallows I urge you to set them aside and try this recipe asap! They taste like sweet, fluffy clouds and are the perfect addition to a winter hot cocoa routine. We turned this batch into snowmen using icing but have also used candy eyes and are dreaming up ways to embellish them for Valentines day too.

There’s a recipe and video below to help with steps and show the consistency of each mixture. Just to clear up any possible confusion, we recorded this video in October hoping to get a “ghost marshmallows and hot cocoa” post up before Halloween but ran out of time. Then last month I thought, gosh it would be fun to make “marshmallow snowmen” and decided to take pics to share with you guys BUT forgot to get any images of the steps (oops!). So, we pulled footage (just off my iPhone, lol) and pieced it together. YAY! Consider yourself warned, tho. You know those sweet “cooking with kids” episodes and segments where the children stand looking prim and proper, waiting patiently for their turn to add ingredients or be in charge of whisking? Welllll, this is not one of those videos, lol. When the kids get involved in the cooking in our home, things get silly and messy in a hurry! I’m sure you can relate!?

These images crack me up because I seem to be smiling through the chaos, but I honestly don’t remember Espen and Poppy pestering each other like the pics imply. Anyways, if inviting kids into the kitchen with you sounds more overwhelming than fun, I highly suggest having them take turns being your sous-chef. Things tend to escalate quickly when there’s more than one helping!

HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOW RECIPE

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup water, divided into 1/2 cups
  • 3 packets unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (optional)
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • optional: sprinkles, food coloring, icing gel or pens, candy eyes

Here’s How:

  1. Butter the inside of a 9×9 inch pan and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1/2 cup of water and sprinkle all 3 envelopes of gelatin over the top. Let sit.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add remaining 1/2 cup of water, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Stir to combine and then bring to a rolling boil. Continue boiling for about 1 minute or until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees F. No need to stir while it boils and be very careful not to spill or splash (and keep kids in a safe spot) as it is so, so hot!
  3. Next mix gelatin mixture just enough to break up clumps. Slowly (and carefully) pour in sugar syrup. Turn mixer to high (make sure it doesn’t splash!), add vanilla and whip until thick and gooey/fluffy (see video for reference). Approx 10 minutes. You can also add food coloring or sprinkles towards the end of this step too!
  4. Using a spatula, scrape into prepared pan and spread evenly. Grease a square piece of plastic wrap using cooking spray and cover the marshmallows (so the mallow and wrap are touching). Let sit for 6 hours to overnight.
  5. When ready, whisk together the corn starch and sugar and sprinkle the powder mix over your work surface (a tray or cutting board would work). Run knife around the edges of the pan to loosen and then turn out marshmallow slab on top. Sprinkle the top with powder mix. Lightly grease a knife with cooking spray and cut marshmallows as desired. (Or use cookie cutters!)

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

We’re prepping for a big snowstorm over the weekend so you can bet these will be on our menu and activity list.

What’s the weather like where you live?

xo, Rae

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MINI CHICKEN (OR TURKEY) POT PIES

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I’m not a huge fan of stew-like dinners you guys, but the chicken pot pies we made last night were so tasty almost everyone went back for seconds. Since the meat in this dish can easily be substituted and we’ll all be needing ways to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, I thought I would share! 

MINI CHICKEN (OR TURKEY) POT PIES

Makes 8 individual pot pies, takes 50 minutes start to finish

You’ll Need:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 8 tablespoons of butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large potatoes, diced small (or use frozen diced potatoes)
  • 1 large carrot, diced small
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts or turkey meat, cooked and chopped (or sub for a rotisserie chicken!)
  • Basic pie crust (I used almost 3 boxes of store-bought — 6 round sheets) 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 Ramekins 
  • Mini alphabet cookie cutters, optional

Here’s How:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a large sauce or soup pan over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue stirring over medium heat for 4 minutes.
  2. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Pour in milk and cook for 4 more minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat and add potatoes, carrots, corn, mushrooms, and meat.
  4. Cut pie crust into 8 circles big enough to fit inside the ramekins (optional) and press into the bottom of each. Cut 8 more circles slightly larger than the rim of your ramekins and use cookie cutters to personalize. Set aside. 
  5. Fill ramekins with mixture and cover with pie crust, folding edges around the outside and crimping with a fork. Brush with egg and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until crust is golden brown and crispy. Let cool before serving!

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There were a couple nights last week that Johan played with the kids outside while I cooked in a quiet kitchen. Being able to dice, boil and dish without someone clinging to my leg, resting on my hip or sitting on the counter chatting my ear off was like a little slice of heaven.

That being said, I do love sharing the kitchen and dinner duties with a little helper or two and Griffin happens to be the most passionate about it. Especially this time of year when it’s dark, cold and rainy outside.

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Don’t let the giant pretend bite of food fool you. Despite all of his cooking efforts, the only part of the dinner he ate was a few nibbles of the cooked pie crust. Stinker. I’ve never heard of a cooking enthusiast that doesn’t like eating though, so I’m holding out hope that he’ll outgrow his picky palette!

Anyone else dealing with a  picky eater lately?

How do you use up turkey dinner leftovers?

XO, Rae

 

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SWEET BITES: MINI NO-BAKE CHEESECAKES

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Kitchen activity is sparse during the summer months and I actually appreciate the break but ever since Espen and Tilly took a cooking class with their friends a couple weeks ago, we’ve all been more inspired to spend time making and baking. Over the weekend, Ozzie, Tilly and I made these cute and delicious lemony no-bake mini cheese cakes. They don’t require too many ingredients or any time in the oven, and are easy enough to make with littler kids (if you don’t mind a little crumbly mess).

Try out the recipe below… They are delicious and sweet and would be even better with a few berries on top!

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MINI NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE (makes 12)

For the Crust, You’ll Need:

  • 15 graham crackers
  • 2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

For the Filling, You’ll Need:

  • 1-1/2 cups (13 oz.) cream cheese, at room temp.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 – 14 oz. can sweeten condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice

Here’s How:

  1. Grease standard muffin tin and line each cup with strips of wax paper… See picture above. The strips make it easier to remove the cheesecakes from the tin.
  2. Roughly break graham crackers into a food processor. Add allspice and blend until finely crushed. Add butter and process until well combined.
  3. Press crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of each muffin cup to form your crust. Use the bottom of a glass to press down if needed (Tilly liked this part). Place in freezer while you make filling.
  4. To make the filling, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add lemon zest, vanilla, condensed milk and lemon juice. Beat until mixture is creamy — about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove muffin tin from freezer and spoon filling into each cup.
  6. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Lift mini cheesecakes using waxed paper liners.

The hardest part is waiting for the cheesecake to set, but it’s so worth it!

XO, Rae

P.S. – Here’s a healthier breakfast or snack version of the mini cheesecakes you might enjoy.

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