Friday, May 27, 2011

Week FIVE: Recap!

Taste Buddies class this week was a blast... it was all about pizza! This is the first time I have made pizzas in class with NO CHEESE! We made a veggie pizza, chocolate sauce, and a cookie pizza with homemade cookie dough.

I'd like to give a special thank you to Avery's mom, Kim for taking and sharing the photos shown here! It's so nice to have these beautiful visual records of our special time together. You can see more photos from Kim, from previous weeks here. Thank you, Kim!!

Grownups, this is a great snack for you too. I loved watching the Taste Buddies eat raw vegetables -- we even had a few who loved eating raw broccoli. They are starting some great eating habits!

This recipe starts with instructions for making homemade cookie dough -- and it's one of the best I've ever used! I encourage everyone to mix the dough with their bare hands. It's more fun that way and helps you to feel connected to the food. This makes one huge cookie!
Next, we made the chocolate sauce for the pizza. If you make this at home and the butter isn't blending well into the sauce, toss it into a double boiler on low heat and it will melt together nice and smooth.
Finally, the assembly! I loved this part of the class. The kids went to town decorating their cookie pizzas with fruit, chocolate sauce, cookies, and gummy candies. They were so creative!

Week FIVE: Veggie Pizza and Cookie Pizza

  • 1 ready-made pizza crust
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 envelope powdered ranch dressing mix
  • 2 cups raw vegetables, chopped fine (we use broccoli, cauliflower, carrots,
  • cucumbers and tomatoes)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Bake the pizza crust, without toppings, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  3. Stir together the cream cheese, sour cream, and dressing mix. Spread on the crust.
  4. Top with raw vegetables.

from At Home Cafe
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Chocolate Pizza Sauce
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray the pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Stir the egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter and vanilla together until mixed.
  3. Add the flour and baking soda to the mixture. Spread or pat the dough into the greased pizza pan, using the back of a spoon or a piece of waxed paper pressed with your hand.
  4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool.
  5. While crust cools, make chocolate sauce. In large bowl, cream confectioners’ sugar and cocoa.
  6. Add the milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat until smooth. Spread on cooled pizza crust.
  7. Top with your favorite treats like sprinkles, colored sugar, mini chocolate chips, gummy worms, silver balls, mini-marshmallows or M&Ms.
Note: To cut preparation time in half, use 1 tube of refrigerated sugar cookie dough. Pat into greased pizza pan and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Week FOUR: Recap!

Taste Buddies was quite an adventure today! We made chicken pot pies, strawberry salad, and homemade icing. With help from the moms, we used a KitchenAid mixer for the first time to make icing!

We used crescent rolls as dough for our chicken pot pies, instead of pie crust. We put a pinch of flour on some parchment paper and rolled out the dough before molding it into individual mini pie tins. Next we poured veggies and chicken into the pie tins and drizzled them with a special sauce that Mr. Mark made, instead of the cream of mushroom soup that the recipe calls for. (I'll include the special sauce recipe in my next post!) We then baked the mini pot pies following the directions on the crescent roll package, plus broiled them for a 2 more minutes, so they were brown and crispy. This was a delicious comfort meal!

This is a great, easy summer salad. Grown-ups enjoy this as much as the kids do. I always like to put extra strawberries in mine -- especially now that they are in season!

Icing is so fun to make! To make icing extra spreadable and easy to use, you can add tablespoons of any kind of milk to the butter and sugar, until it's your desired thickness. I like to make icing to taste, so feel free to experiment with making it with extra butter or sugar. Yum!

Week FOUR: Chicken Pot Pie, Strawberry Mozzarella Salad and Icing

  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 (10 1/2-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 cooked chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen vegetables, thawed
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Press 1 of the pie crusts into a pie plate.
  3. In a bowl, mix the soup, broth, and vegetables with the cubed chicken.
  4. Pour the mixture into the pie shell. Top the mixture with the second pie shell.
  5. Press all the edges of the pie crust with a fork to seal and poke holes in the crust.
  6. Bake for 30-45 minutes.

  • 1 heart romaine lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) container of strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
  1. Tear or cut lettuce into bite-sized pieces to fill 3 cups lightly packed.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  3. Toss the lettuce and half of the dressing.
  4. Split the coated lettuce among 4 salad plates.
  5. Toss the strawberries with the remaining dressing and place 1/4 of the berries on top of each mound of lettuce.
  6. Top each with cheese and sprinkle with basil.

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk or light cream, to make icing smooth and spreadable
  1. Cream butter, salt, and vanilla, beating with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar gradually, beating after each addition.
  3. Add 3 tablespoons milk or light cream, beating until smooth.
  4. Beat in more milk until desired spreading consistency is reached.
Makes about 2 1/3 cups of frosting, enough to frost tops and sides of an 8-inch 2-layer cake or a 10-inch tube or bundt cake, or about 1 dozen cupcakes.

Week THREE: Recap!

This week we made fettuccine sauce, homemade croutons, salad dressing, and fruit dessert cups in class. Had it not been for the beautiful fruit downstairs at Whole Foods Market, we wouldn't have made the fruit cups. I'm a sucker for fresh fruit... and decided at the last minute to add it in today's menu!

The trick to the fettuccine sauce is to occasionally stir it so that it doesn't burn. This was a hit with the Taste Buddies students! There was no pasta left at the end of class to take home -- this is a great recipe, sure to please the whole family.

Croutons are best made with day-old bread. However, if you don't have yesterday's bread at your disposal, you can heat fresh bread in the oven at about 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until it's crispy on the outside. This was really fun for the Taste Buddies to make because we used kitchen tools that look like paint brushes, and they "painted" the croutons with olive oil. They were so good on their own that some people didn't even bother putting them in their salad!

This is such an easy dessert, and allows kids to practice chopping fruit. I grabbed some pre-packaged shortcake cups and a bunch of different kinds of berries. We topped the shortbread with blackberries, blueberries and chopped strawberries. Add some whipped cream, and you have a crowd-pleasing and fresh dessert.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Week THREE: Fettuccine Alfredo Sauce, Croutons and Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

from At Home Cafe
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  1. Pour cream into a medium saucepan and add salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  2. Bring cream to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and toss with Parmesan cheese.

from At Home Cafe
  • 1 pound day-old bread, preferably sourdough
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Slice bread and cut into 1-inch cubes, enough to make about 4 cups.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, cheese, garlic, oregano, and thyme.
  4. Add the bread and toss, coating well.
  5. Arrange the croutons in a single layer on a baking tray and bake until golden, turning to brown on all sides, about 15-20 minutes. Cool.

  • 3/4 cup salad oil (see note)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper (or freshly ground black pepper), to taste
  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and mix for about 10 seconds or until fully combined.
  2. Transfer to a glass bowl and let stand for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.
  3. Give the dressing a good whisk immediately before serving.
NOTE: Any oil labeled “vegetable oil” or “salad oil” is fine for this recipe. You can also use any light, neutral-flavored oil like safflower, canola or soybean oil.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Week TWO: Recap!

This week, we celebrated Mother's Day with a Mother's Day brunch! We made homemade waffles, yogurt parfaits, and fruit flowers.
Dads: These recipes can help you and your little ones create a thoughtful breakfast to surprise the special lady in your life! :)

This is the best homemade waffle recipe I have ever tried -- they were so light and fluffy! We topped them with whipped cream and syrup and strawberry jam.

This is such an easy recipe! These yogurt parfaits would make a great last-minute breakfast, and are also fun for a play-date or kids party, because your little guests will certainly enjoy picking out their own parfait combos.

We made our own version of fruit skewers with chopsticks instead of actual skewers, for safety. We used cookie cutters (I recommend the tin cookie cutters, not the plastic ones) to cut pineapple slices into fun shapes. Next we sliced strawberries and used a melon baller to scoop canteloupe! After stacking the fruit onto the chopstick, we gave it one last beautiful touch -- a sprig of mint. The mint not only smells and tastes lovely, but it added a "leafy" quality to our fruit flowers. Beautiful!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Week TWO: Mother's Day Brunch!

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  1. Preheat waffle iron. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine first 8 ingredients and stir with a whisk until blended.
  3. Pour into a small pitcher or measuring cup.
  4. Pour batter onto the waffle iron and cook until crisp and golden.

  • 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons grated apple
  1. Combine yogurt with grated apple and set aside.
  2. Start with a handful of granola in the bottom of a glass.
  3. Next, add a layer of yogurt-apple mixture and honey, followed by more granola, and repeat until glass is full.
  4. Serve immediately.

  • Pineapple
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Toothpicks
  1. Slice pineapple and use flower cookie cutters to cut flowers out of pineapple.
  2. Cut cantaloupe into round small balls.
  3. Using a toothpick to secure, stack round cantaloupe ball on top of pineapple to look like a flower.
  4. Place grapes and strawberries pieces on “stem” of toothpick.
  5. Repeat with remaining fruit.