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DooF-a-Palooza:Unique Family Food Fest

Posted on 21 May 2011 by noelskitchen

Doof-A-Palooza sounded like a storybook character to me when I first heard about it. It’s actually a kid-friendly family event that’s fun for the entire family. It’s a totally free celebration of healthy and sustainable food. My good friend Michelle Stern from What’s Cooking With Kids will be there cooking on stage. The event this year is tomorrow (Sunday, May 22, 2011) from 10 AM – 5 PM at Jack London Square in Oakland.  Here are some details on the event:

The 3rd annual DooF-a-Palooza, is a free admission food and family festival for children of all ages and adults. Like the wildly successful prior two festivals at Google Headquarters, DooF-a-Palooza, a food-backwards, table-to-source, food educational experience, includes contests, games, entertainment and fun hands-on activities with growers, chefs, purveyors, businesses, and cookbook authors all filmed and streamed live online.

Check out DooF-A-Palooza’s  website HERE for more detailed information.

Stay tuned for our family’s adventures there and photos. It’s our first year going and I can’t wait!

A Quick Note From Noel: Just a quick announcement to let you all know that I am having my site designer Christa Jensen from Affordable Web Designs  make some improvements to my site to allow my readers a more pleasurable experience when visiting the kitchen. If you happen to stop by and can’t find something on the site– not to worry it will be back to normal soon!

Stay tuned..

In the meantime, you can still follow me:

  • Subscribe to my RSS feed
  • Follow me on twitter: @noelskitchen
  • Like my fan page on Facebook: Family Meals Matter Cooking Club
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Sharing Time in the Kitchen with Your Kids:A Guest Post

Posted on 18 May 2011 by noelskitchen

Today’s post is brought to you by Sarah Morris. Sarah shares another great way for families to learn to engage with one another not just at the dinner table but having fun working together to create a wonderful family meal.

Enjoy today’s post!

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Enjoying a meal with your family is often the best part of anyone’s day, but engaging family members in the cooking process is often overlooked as a great chance for gaining more time bonding and working together. Even getting younger children involved is possible, so that no one feels left out.

 Dr. Mary Zurn, vice president of education for Primrose Child Care Facilities, says:

“The kitchen is often the most popular place in the house for families to gather. It’s a place for learning and sharing, where the family can enjoy quality time. Children can also develop a sense of responsibility by participating in daily tasks,”

 Parents can keep the kitchen safe and fun for children by following this simple recipe:

  1.  Engage your child meaningfully. Think about what tasks your child can do independently. Completing simple jobs like mixing batter, rolling dough and measuring water can boost a child’s sense of pride and accomplishment. Tearing lettuce, adding sprinkles to sweets and shaking parmesan onto pasta are other safe, satisfying tasks children can easily accomplish. Even very young children can get involved – give them some pots, pans and wooden spoons so they can pretend to cook with you or use them for music-making. The tuneful accompaniment will let you know they’re safely engaged and give them a way to feel like they’re helping too.
  2. Set some ground rules. Children need supervision when they’re in the kitchen, so establish a list of basic safety rules and make sure children are always within sight. Teach children to wash their hands before and after handling food to avoid spreading germs. Discuss on a regular basis what’s safe to touch and what’s not. Make sure the handles of pots and pans are turned inward on the stovetop so you and older children don’t accidentally bump them and spill hot liquids or food.
  3. Build up skills step-by-step. Children can develop many essential skills in the kitchen, such as following recipes or counting slices of bread. For more advanced skills, start slowly and have your child master easy tasks before attempting harder ones. Teach older children to use a knife by starting them off with cutting soft items like cheese and cooked noodles with a dull spreader. As your child’s coordination develops, they can move on to slicing or sawing vegetables and fruit with a plastic knife.
  4. Keep it fun. Cooking can be messy even without children, so don’t stress over the “oops” moments. If the cookie batter ends up on the floor instead of the baking sheet, offer some guidance and let your child try again. You can make cleaning it up fun too!

When your meal is complete, be sure to compliment your sous chef on a job well done. Offer them the first taste of whatever you cooked together and ask them what you should make next time. Bon appétit!

-Submitted by Sarah Morris on behalf of Primrose Schools.  Sarah has written a few articles connecting cooking and mealtime with parenting. You can join in on the conversation about parenting, education, nutrition, healthy families, and much more at www.drzandfriends.com

http://www.primroseschools.com/

Coming Up Next: Doof-A-Palooza Unique Family Food Fest

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Chicken Soup for the Girl’s Soul:A Recipe For Young Girls

Posted on 04 May 2011 by noelskitchen

 

A few years ago, I was in Chicago attending my Pampered Chef National Conference. One of the speakers was Jack Canfield, author of many of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books and author of the book Chicken Soup for the Girl’s Soul. I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Mr. Canfield while I was in Chicago. What an inspiration! Needless to say, I purchased his Chicken Soup for the Entrpreneur’s Soul and a couple others. I refer to them often when I need a little inspiration.

Over the weekend, we went to the Community Book Swap, a great place to freecycle books, magazines, records, and CD’s.  This is where I picked up a copy of the Chicken Soup for the Girl’s Soul. I immediately thought our daughter would enjoy reading a book that answers some of those questions young girls always have. Finally, a book that covers issues for girls only! The universal “coming of age” events of a preteen girl-first bra, first crush, physical changes and emotional mood swings. Chicken Soup for the Girl′s Soul is a book by girls, for girls, where readers can find encouragement, support and positive advice about the challenges of being a preteen girl.

Chicken Soup For Young Girls

There’s something so comforting about a bowl of Chicken Soup. when you’re sick, what’s the first thing that’s ordered? Chicken Soup. Here’s a great Homemade Chicken Soup that will warm up anyone’s soul:

Chicken Soup Recipe for Young Girls

 

Ingredients:

4 chicken leg quarters, skin and fat removed
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

  • Combine chicken, broth, water, onion and garlic in (8-qt./7.6 L) Stockpot over medium-high heat; bring to a boil.
  •  Reduce heat to a simmer; skim fat and foam off top using Skimmer. Stir in bay leaves and half of the parsley. Simmer 45 minutes, skimming occasionally.
  • Remove chicken pieces from Stockpot and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  • Meanwhile, add carrots and celery to soup; simmer 15 minutes.
  • Remove chicken meat from bones; discard bones and return chicken to soup. Stir in lemon juice. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with remaining parsley.

Yield: 6 servings (8 cups)

 Enjoy a bowl of this soup with a great book!

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Cakes On A Stick

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Cakes On A Stick:How To Make Cake Pops

Posted on 22 January 2011 by noelskitchen

I was thrilled to find this fun kitchen item at our thrift store and couldn’t wait to make something fun. These are cute and fun treats your kids can help make and they’ll just love eating them off the stick. Here’s an easy and basic recipe for these fun treats!

 Cakes On A Stick

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups cake mix
2 large eggs
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1 can store bought frosting
1 cup sprinkles, chopped nuts, ice cream toppings, small candies or gummi candies

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray pop form with non stick spray.

With an electric mixter, beat the water, eggs and oil for 30 seconds on low, then turn to high and beat for an additional 2 minutes.

Place 2 heaping Tablespoons of cake batter into each form.

Bake for approximately 12 minutes or till cooked through. Remove cakes from oven and invert immediately onto a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cake bater.

When the cakes have completely cooled, you may stick the pops in them and continue to decorate.

Place the store bought frosting with lid and foil completely removed in the microwave on high for 30-45 seconds depending on the power of your microwave. Carefully remove from the microwave, stir well.

Place sprinkles, candies or nuts on a plate. Dip eack cake on a stick into the frosting, hold over for a few seconds for excess to drip off. Then press pop each side into sprinkle and place on a wax paper line tray to dry or onto a cooling rack.

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Kid’s Stove-Top Rice

Posted on 10 January 2011 by noelskitchen

This is a recipe for kids and their parents, but mainly for kids. This recipe is written so that kids can cook dinner, for the most part unsupervised. This recipe is part of my Cooking With Kids Week. All week long, I’ll be sharing kid-friendly recipes the kids can make for dinner and when you step into your house after a long day, you should hear from your kids “Wash your hands, make a salad and set the table–dinner is ready in half an hour.”

In this week’s newsletter, I shared with my subscribers, a kid-friendly recipe~Chinese Chicken served with Kids Stove-Top rice (recipe below) and a Pear Salad.


Kid’s Stove-Top Rice

1 cup white rice

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon butter

Directions:

Place water and salt in a medium-size saucepan. Place the pan on medium-high heat and bring water to a boil. Slowly add rice and butter. Turn heat down to a simmer, place lid on and simmer for 20 minutes.

When rice is ready, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

Cook’s Tip: A see-through lid is a great help. You can watch and check the rice without removing the lid and letting the steam escape.

Servings: 4

The recipes I’m creating this week are designed for 4 people, however make the necessary changes if these portions are not right for your family. My timetable for weeknights aims for 6:30pm dinner time, but if this doesn’t suit your household, use an adusted schedule that does. In fact, feel free to write in any notes, directions or substitutions in the comment section below.

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