Sunday, August 14, 2011

Have a Kid-Friendly Kitchen and Recipes

Some of these tips may be "common sense", but I have found that common sense really isn't that common. Hopefully you will see something new, but maybe your kitchen is already kid-friendly! Did I miss something? Let me know and I'll add it to the list!

TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR KITCHEN "KID-FRIENDLY":

1.Store matches, lighters, sharp utensils and household cleaners in a cabinet accessible only to adults.

2.Put child-safety latches on all lower-level cabinets.

3.Unplug appliances when not in use and keep cords out of reach of children.

4.Never pour hot liquid near a child and never leave hot drinks within reach.

5.Use the back burners of the stove and turn pot handles toward the back.

6.Watch out for tablecloths - since small children enjoy pulling on the cloth, glasses and plates can come crashing down.

7.Keep stools and chairs away from counters and stoves.

8.Be sure to keep alcohol locked away from children.

9.Many kitchen accidents occur within seconds. Use a child-safety gate, if possible, in the doorway to keep children out of the kitchen completely when you are in another room.

COOKING WITH KIDS - LET'S BEGIN!

1.Before starting any food preparation, review basic hygiene with young cooks. Have them wash their hands with soap and warm water as long as it takes to sing "happy birthday." An apron will protect clothing and a Twix-it Clip is perfect to keep long hair away from food.

2.Help your child identify and assemble all the equipment needed for the recipe. Teach less-experienced cooks techniques such as measuring and the difference between liquid and dry measures (use the Measure-All Cup).

3.Show your children how to cut, slice, and chop foods safely. Introduce children to kid-friendly cutting/slicing tools such as the Egg Slicer Plus, Apple Wedger, Crinkle Cutter, and Food Chopper.

4.Kids will warm up to breakfast with "Eggs in a Nest." Kids can use any Cookie Cutter to cut a shape out of the center of a slice of whole wheat bread. Melt a teaspoon of butter on the 8” Saute Pan or spray with oil with the Kitchen Spritzer. Place the bread on the griddle and break an egg into the cut-out shape. Cook until egg is set and bread is golden brown. Flip the nest over, cook until egg is slightly firm and bread is golden brown, about one minute.

5.Kids can create fun lunch sandwiches by cutting slices of bread, cheese, and deli meat with any cookie cutter. Stack cheese and meat slices between bread slices; secure by poking a pretzel stick through the center of each sandwich.

6.If French fries are the only potato your kids will eat, try "Baked potatoes a la Mode." Potatoes "baked" in the microwave are quick and easy, and they're a great way to introduce kids to the microwave oven. Pierce a potato several times with the Hold 'N Slice; microwave on HIGH until tender. Split potato; top with shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream. For "Stuffed Spuds," core the center from a large potato. Fill with finely chopped broccoli and shredded cheese or seasoned ground meat; wrap in aluminum foil and bake 1 hour or until done.

7.Let the kids make their own pizzas! You can prepare dough ahead of time and store the rolled-out rounds in the freezer (stack them between sheets of waxed paper). Have each child top the dough rounds with his/her favorite toppings (pizza sauce, shredded cheese, chopped veggies, and sliced pepperoni) to make funny faces, clowns, etc. Place on a flat baking stone and bake according to recipe directions. If you're pressed for time, refrigerated biscuit dough, bagels, pita bread, or English muffin halves make great crusts.

8.Next time your kids have a snack attack try these quick fixes: "wrinkly" carrot or cheese sticks (Crinkle Cutter); melon balls (Core n More); apple and peanut butter wedges (Apple Wedger). Flavor popcorn with finely grated Parmesan cheese (deluxe Cheese Grater); cinnamon-sugar (Flour/Sugar Shaker); or melted garlic butter (Garlic Press/covered micro-Cooker).

9.For healthy "warm weather" treats, kids can spoon their favorite flavored yogurt into Ice Shaver Tubs and freeze. For fast fruit pops, cut wedges of watermelon with the Crinkle Cutter. Slide a flat wooden stick into the fruit; wrap in plastic wrap and freeze. For milkshake lovers, try "I-Can-Do-It-Myself-Milkshakes." Put 2-3 large scoops of vanilla ice cream or Frozen Yogurt into the Quick-Stir Pitcher. Add chocolate syrup and 1 cup cold milk and plunge until thick and frothy!

10.Kids love "mini" foods and many of our dessert pizzas such as Taffy Apple Pizza and Banana Split Brownie Pizza can be made into personalized creations. Instead of making 1 large cookie or brownie, make smaller, individual crusts and have kids top their own. Kids will love using the Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan to make bite-size cupcakes, muffins, and other sweets.