By GourmetKosherCooking.com for Matzav.com
Even though we have to wait a whole extra month before Purim comes around, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start bringing in the extra dose of joy to our households right away. A wonderful way to get the kids excited and in a happy Adar mood is to include them in some fun cooking and baking ventures. Nothing’s better than getting a little messy in the kitchen with Mommy (and Daddy, too!). Whether it’s soup, salad, dessert, or a twist on macaroni & cheese, the kids will feel proud and excited to try something they made (mostly) all by themselves. Here are a few recipes to try out with the youngest members of the household.
For even more fun kid-friendly recipes, go to www.gourmetkoshercooking.com.
1½ cups crushed Ritz crackers (about 35 crackers)
2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, divided (you can use a mixture of mozzarella and cheddar or any cheese combination that you like)
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 cups cooked elbow macaroni (about 8 ounces uncooked), drained and kept hot
2 large eggs, beaten
½ cup milk
¼ cup sour cream
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 8 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan.
In a bowl, combine the crackers, 1 cup of the Cheddar and the melted butter. Divide the mixture among the prepared muffin cups and press firmly into the bottom and up the sides.
In a large bowl, mix the macaroni with ½ cup of the Cheddar. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sour cream, cold butter pieces, and salt. Stir the milk mixture into the macaroni.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the macaroni mixture into each cracker crust and top with the remaining Cheddar. Bake until the cheese is browned and slightly crispy, about 25 minutes. Allow the pies to cool slightly before unmolding and serving warm.
As a prelude to making this recipe with your kids, read Marcia Brown’s STONE SOUP. It tells the story of three hungry soldiers who come into a village and cleverly trick the peasants into sharing their food-by making a lavish soup out of seemingly nothing but stones. Like the soldiers’ soup, this recipe turns basically whatever vegetables you have on hand into a hearty meal. The kids love plopping a real stone into the broth, as we’ve described below, but if your pantry’s low on stones, you can let the potatoes fill that role.
1 stone, big enough that it won’t get lost in the soup (quartz is a good choice because it won’t break down in cooking)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped fine
1 large carrot, cut into coins
3 medium red-skinned potatoes (unpeeled, and cut into halves)
1/2 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 large garlic clove, pressed
6 cups chicken broth (or a combination of broth and water)
1 medium zucchini, diced large
1 medium yellow squash, diced large
1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
2 cups cooked elbow macaroni, or other soup pasta (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
The first step is for your child to scrub and wash the stone thoroughly. Then, for an extra cleaning, she can drop it in a pot of water to boil while you prepare the rest of the soup together.
In another large pot, heat the oil, then sauté the onion on medium-high for 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the celery, carrot, potatoes and red pepper, sautéing for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, and then add in the broth. Using a spoon, fish the stone out of the other pot, add it to the soup and bring to a boil. Add the zucchini, squash, corn and pasta, cooking another 8 minutes or until the zucchini is the desired softness. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Before serving, sprinkle on the croutons, then ladle-minus the stone-into individual bowls.
Serves 6 to 8.
Taco Salad Ingredients:
1 can green or black pitted olives
3 tomatoes, diced
¼ of a red onion, chopped
3 heads romaine lettuce, washed and chopped for salad
2 avocados, diced
Tortilla chips, broken in pieces
1 ½ cup mayonnaise
7 oz. good quality salsa
1/3 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon chili powder
Mix dressing ingredients together and shake well. Pour over salad right before serving. Add chips and toss again. Serve immediately.
Makes 10 ice pops.
3 to 4 ripe bananas (1 pound)
1 1/2 cups yogurt
3 tablespoons sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup fresh blueberries
In the bowl of a food processor, puree bananas until smooth. Add yogurt, sugar, and lemon juice; pulse to combine. Remove half of the yogurt mixture; set aside.
Add blueberries to processor, and pulse until just combined. Layer blueberry and reserved yogurt mixtures into ten 1/3 cup ice-pop molds. Using a wooden skewer, swirl the two flavors together. Insert ice-pop sticks. Transfer to freezer until frozen, about 8 hours.
Dip molds quickly in hot water to unmold.