Cooking Simple With Your Family

Collage of adults cooking with their children - Cooking Simple With Your FamilyWe have been interviewing Keisha T. Prosser – The Mobile Cooking Teacher on Using Your Cooking Skills To Teach Others About Good Nutrition (March. 15, 2016) and  The Mobile Cooking Teacher – Inspiring A New Generation Of Cooks (March. 19, 2019). To see the interviews again just click and follow the above links.

Keisha T. ProsserSplendid Recipes: Today we are going to let Keisha explain the right time to start teaching your children cooking skills. Okay Keisha, we pass the platform over to you.

Keisha: Thanks Randy. Do you have children? Have you ever thought when would be a good time to start teaching my child how to cook? But not only cook, but cook healthy meals.

It is true we are all busy, but our children will not always be with us, and they need to know the importance of COOKING. And it doesn’t matter if they are a girl or boy, we all should have some basic cooking skills.

Okay, so when is a good time to start teaching your children? Let’s talk about age groups and what are some skills they can learn during those ages.

Teaching Children Age Appropriate Cooking Skills

Here are the age appropriate cooking skills to teach your children.

Preschoolers – 6 years old

young boy learning to cut with a knife - Cooking Simple With Your FamilyThis age group can help preparing fruit and pasta salads, help with setting the table, and for those who can read, they can read the recipe ingredients and directions with you. Doing so will help them learn to follow recipe directions.

They can measure ingredients, learn how to use a food timer, including a meat thermometer. They can help with making smoothies by allowing the child to place the ingredients into the blender.

This is also a wonderful age group to let help with young girl helping to make cookies - Cooking Simple With Your Familybaking cookies, as they can learn the effort that goes into making one of their favorite snacks.

Explain to them how herbs and spices flavor a recipe. You might think teaching this to a preschooler to 6 year old would be something they wouldn’t understand, which may be true at first. But repetition is key to teaching children the skills of cooking.

Other things this age group can help with in food preparation is preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner, helping with menu planning, as well as helping to clean up the kitchen after eating.

This age group is the right time to start and teach them the importance of eating healthy.

Ages 7-12

young boy learning to cook - Cooking Simple With Your FamilyContinue with what they have learned up to age six, that is measuring ingredients, making smoothies, menu planning, and help with cleaning the kitchen.

Ages 7 to 12 is a good age group to start teaching kitchen prep work, that is cutting up fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and cheeses that will go into the recipe you are preparing.

Continue with teaching them the importance of healthy eating, flavoring foods with herbs and spices, including following and reading recipe directions.

 

Ages 13-18 

 teen boy preparing a recipe - Cooking Simple With Your FamilyThis age group can start learning to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner by themselves.

They even make their favorite cookies on their own, including learning how to cook different cuisines, like a simple Asian stir-fry or Mexican food, like tacos.

They still should be encouraged to read and follow recipe directions. At this age let them sit with a paper and pencil and plan out the weeks menu.

Letting them do this will help them learn appreciation for planning ahead to eat, instead of waiting to the last minute when you are really hungry, and may go for some junk food.

Cooking Simple

We all would like meals to be done in 20 minutes or less, at least I do.

young girl cooking - - Cooking Simple With Your FamilyHere are some simple ingredients you can teach your child to mix together to form different recipes in the kitchen.

You can do 3 easy things with these ingredients: Lemon, Garlic, Salt, Sugar, Olive Oil, and Onion.

Salad Dressing: Lemon, Olive Oil, Garlic, Onion, Salt and Lemon Zest.

Marinade: Lemon, Garlic, Onion and Olive Oil

The ideas are endless with these simple ingredients.

Having your family helping in the kitchen more is one way to make sure everyone is eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.

Preparing meals together brings you closer as a family. You are teaching your family how to cook healthier and smarter.

Remember, the heart of the home is in the kitchen, and a healthy kitchen, is a healthy heart.

Splendid Recipes: Thanks so much Keisha, for taking the time out to share all that you have with us on teaching good nutrition through cooking, inspiring future cooks, and cooking together as a family.

Keisha: No thank you Randy for this opportunity. And I appreciate any one who would like to follow me on any one of the social net works I am on.

Splendid Recipes: Yes follow Keisha on any one of the following social net works and keep up with the latest adventures of – The Mobile Cooking Teacher.

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The Go Green Initiative Starts In Your Home

The Go Green Initiative Starts In Your homeIn 2002 the “Go Green Initiative” was started in Pleasanton, California by Jill Buck. The program is all about environmental education and a stewardship program that is located in all 50 US states and in 13 other countries.

The goals of the initiative are to teach and help others learn to conserve and protect natural resources for future generations, and to protect human health through environmental stewardship. Their focus is on…

  1. Recycling and Waste
  2. Water
  3. Energy

What does it mean to “Go G.R.E.E.N.?”

Generate less waste

Recycle everything that cannot be reused

Educate the community on eco-friendly options

Evaluate the environmental impact of actions

Nourish discussions and activities that integrate environmental education into existing curriculum

children running at schoolThough the “Go Green Initiative” is all about helping schools create a campus-wide culture of conservation by teaching kids how to be environmental stewards, we all can contribute to the initiative, though we may not be in school.

Do you have school aged children, or grandchildren in your home? Why not set an example for them by getting involved with the Go Green Initiative, starting in your home. How? By using household cleaners that are earth friendly.

One of the goals of “The Go Green Foundation” is to educate young people about climate change, global warming the earth in a woman's hand with green grass and blue sky in the back groundcrisis and sustainable living practices (Go Green Foundation).

Let’s focus on the later, sustainable living practices.

Going green and using the power of all natural green products to clean your home, can help keep you and your family healthy, as well as keep the environment healthy. This is a great place to start, that is to initiate, and practice sustainable living at home.

Here are some great examples of all natural green products to clean house, that you can prepare at home in your very own kitchen.

Cleaning Wood Floors

1/2 cup white vinegar

3 drops orange oil

3 drops lemon oil

3 drops grapefruit oil

cleaning wood floors with earth friendly products2 drops tea tree oil

1 quart water

Put into a hand sprayer and apply to wood floor, and clean with a damp mop.

General Purpose Bathroom Cleaner

 General Purpose Bathroom Cleaner 1/2 cup baking soda

1/4 cup vinegar

3 drops tea tree oil

2 drops eucalyptus oil

1 drop thyme oil

 5 drops orange oil

5 drops lemon oil

Carpet Cleaner

8 ounces baking soda

5 drops grapefruit oil

 Mix ingredients in a jar, covered with a lid. Shake out on to carpet and vacuum up. It is also recommended for use in a steam cleaner when cleaning carpets.

Carpet Cleaner

cleaning the carpot with all natural earth friendly cleaners 8 ounces baking soda

5 drops grapefruit oil

Mix ingredients in a jar, covered with a lid. Shake out on to carpet and vacuum up. It is also recommended for use in a steam cleaner when cleaning carpets.

Bathroom Mold and Mildew Cleaner

 Bathroom Mold and Mildew Cleaner4 ounces water

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

3 drops lemon oil

1 drop clove oil

5 drops tea tree oil

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle, and spray onto tile and other surfaces that have mold or mildew, and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing off.

Dish Washing Soap

 1/2 cup castile soap

1/2 cup vinegar

1 quart water

6 drops lemon oil

natural earth friendly dish soap2 drops geranium oil

3 drops tea tree oil

Mix in a soap dispenser, and add to dish water, and mix in.

Castile soap originating in the Castile region of Spain, is not the same as caster oil soap. Castile soap is made from 100% olive oil, were as caster oil soap, is made from the caster seed, and therefore is considered a vegetable based soap.

The More You Know

Old Farmers 2016 AlmanacYou will find Wikipedia and other sources referring to castile soap as a vegetable based soap made from 100% olive oil, when in fact olives are not a vegetable, but a fruit.

The natural all green recipes were adapted from the Herbal Remedies Magazine – published by Harris Farmers almanac.

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Roasted Herb Chicken In Red Wine

Roasted Herb Chicken In Red Wine

There are many varieties of vinegar’s. Like red wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, rice vinegar, cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar, and white vinegar.

Vinegar’s are used for pickling, de-glazing pans, marinating meats, making sauces and is found in some desserts. White or cider vinegar’s are even used for house cleaning and disinfecting as well.

Commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine is red wine vinegar, and is a common staple in most French homes. Most red wine vinegar’s can be matured up to two years. White wine vinegar is tangy in flavor and can be used in place of lemon juice in sauces like, Hollandaise and Bearnaise sauces, can also be used in making vinaigrette’s, soups, and stews.

It’s also an excellent base for homemade fruit or herb vinegar’s. Wine or white distilled vinegar’s are flavored with herbs, spices or other seasonings, like garlic, basil and tarragon, making a tasty and aromatic addition to dressings.  As for fruit infused vinegar’s, they are that commonly done with balsamic vinegar’s, like raspberry, blueberry or pomegranate.

From the kitchen to cleaning house, doing the laundry, and even used for medicinal purposes, vinegar is the most versatile of products, and versatile is defined as “capable of turning with ease from one thing to another.”

Our featured recipe is – Roasted Herb Chicken In Red Wine -, and yes it uses red wine, and red wine vinegar. Here is what you will need.

herb - wine marinade for Roasted Herb Chicken In Red Wine2/3 cup red wine

6 tablespoons tomato paste

3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked from steams

3 sprigs marjoram, leaves picked, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

½ cup red wine vinegar

3 1/2 pounds of chicken parts, legs, thighs, or breast, with bone and skin

Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, optional

1 pound tri-color baby potatoes, do not peel

3 small red onions, quartered

6 carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise

½ cup water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

chicken marinading in herbs and red wineMix together the wine, tomato paste, thyme, marjoram, and vinegar. Season the chicken with salt and pepper (optional), then place in a large bowl with the wine mixture. Coated the chicken pieces well, and set aside in the refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

vegetables arranged in a glass baking dishPlace the potatoes in a medium to large saucepan of cold water, cover, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes, drain.

Arrange the onions, carrots, and cooked potatoes in a large glass baking dish and pour in the water. We were not able to purchase the tri-colored baby potatoes, so we used small red potatoes cut in half.

marinated chicken and vegetables in a glass baking dishArrange the chicken pieces skin-side up on top of the vegetables. Pour the marinade over the chicken-vegetable layer. Cover with tin foil and roast for 30 minutes.

Roasted Herb Chicken In Red Wine - fresh out of the ovenRemove the foil and baste the chicken with the cooking liquid. Roast another 15 minutes, uncovered, or until the skin is crisp.

Platted - Roasted Herb Chicken In Red Wine and VegetablesPlate and serve.

Here’s another recipe using white wine, that we are sure you will also enjoy. Link here to view: Roasted Chicken Drumsticks and Vegetables with Mustard-Tarragon Sauce. You will enjoy the aroma of the fresh tarragon, in this recipe!!

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South Of The Border Chicken Tortilla Soup

South of The Boarder Chicken Tortilla SoupTortillas are used faithfully in Mexican cuisine as bread is used in the United States. There are corn tortillas and flour tortillas, which are mostly consumed in Northern Mexico.

Tortillas are a main food staple eaten daily in all Mexican households. Just as you would walk to the corner store for Tortilleriaa gallon of milk, so do Mexicans walk to the corner and buy tortillas from the “Tortilleria” were machines spit out dozens of corn tortillas hourly. I personally know this, as I lived in Mexico for 5 years, and bought one dozen tortillas about every two days.

Tortillas are also used to make a Mexican inspired South Of The Border Chicken Tortilla Soup, which by the way is our featured recipe.

Here is what you will need.

6 tablespoons avocado oil, divided

6 corn tortillas, cut into 1×1-inch strips

1 small white onion, dice

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups of non-gmo natural chicken broth

1 cup water

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon chili powder

1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen non-gmo sweet corn kernels, thawed

2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt (optional)

Diced avocado, and fresh chopped cilantro, for optional garnish

frying tortilla stripsPlace a large ceramic coated frying over medium heat. Next add 3 tablespoons of avocado oil. Once the oil has warmed add the corn tortilla strips and fry until they are crisp.

fried tortilla stripsRemove from heat and using a slotted spoon, remove strips from oil and place onto a plate and set aside.

A ladle of South of The Boarder Chicken Tortilla SoupNext 3 tablespoons of avocado oil to a 4 quart soup pot. When oil is heated, add the diced onions, minced garlic, diced bell peppers, and saute until fragrant. Next pour in the chicken broth, water, cumin, and chili powder. Stir to mix all ingredients. Next add the black beans, sweet corn, and shredded chicken.

South of The Boarder Chicken Tortilla SoupBring the soup to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Ladle soup into soup bowls and garnish with the tortilla strips, diced avocado, and chopped fresh cilantro.

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Natural Cleaners For Healthy Household Cleaning

Natural Cleaners For Healthy Household CleaningPlant based products not only help keep us healthy, but they also can do the same for our environment. Using essential oils and other plant based products to clean your home, not only makes it healthier, but can keep you healthy as well.

Using oils derived from plants and flowers, mixed with some other food products we use weekly if not daily in our cooking and baking, like lemons, salt, vinegar, and baking soda only makes since.

Most modern day cleaners that are purchased might help clean the home, but they do have toxic chemicals as well. Chemicals we breath in, and absorb into the skin. These toxic chemicals are endocrine disruptors, meaning they can effected our health in a negative way.

Common Toxic ChemicalsIn the USA, the “Toxic Substances Reform Act” (TSCA) was passed into law in 1976 to limit the use of toxic chemicals.

When passed into law, TSCA approved more than 60,000 chemicals that existed prior to 1976, and only 200 of the original 60,000 chemicals have been tested for safety, with only 5 of them being restricted for any use (Safe Chemicals – Healthy Families).

But to date (2015) there are still over 80,000 chemicals in use, with some of them in household cleaners.

The most common is triclosan, which has been linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and low levels of triclosan have shown to disrupt thyroid function. Treatment of waste water does not remove all of the chemical, and therefore ends up lakes, rivers and water sources. Triclosan is also very toxic to aquatic life (EWG’s Guide to Triclosan).

Natural Household Cleaner Recipes

It doesn’t make any since to bring toxic household cleaners into your home, when there are natural cleaners available.

Using vinegar, lemons, baking soda, salt with added essential oils, will get your home just as clean as any toxic chemical, but without the unhealthy side effects.

Be sure to purchase therapeutic grade and organic essential oils. Be sure the Latin name is included on the bottle.

wood floorCleaning Wood Floors

1/2 cup white vinagar

3 drops orange oil

3 drops lemon oil

3 drops grapefruit oil

2 drops tea tree oil

1 quart of water

Add all of the above to a hand sprayer and apply to the wooden floor and mop.

Mold and Mildew Cleaner 

bath room4 ounces of water

1/4 distilled white vinegar

3 drops lemon oil

1 drop clove oil

5 drops tea tree oil

Mix all of the above in a spray bottle, and spray on ares of the kitchen or bathroom that have mold or mildew. Let sit 20 minutes before rinsing away.

spray bottles General Purpose Cleaner

1/2 cup baking soda

1/4 cup vinegar

3 drops tea tree oil

2 drops eucalyptus oil

1 drop thyme oil

5 drops orange oil

5 drops lemon oil

Mix all of the above in a small spray bottle.

carpetCarpet Cleaner

8 ounces of baking soda

5 drops grapefruit oil

Mix in a small jar. Cover with lid. When needed, shake out onto carpet, let set about 5 minutes, and vacuum up. This solution can also be used in home carpet cleaning machines.

washing dishesDish Washing Soap

1/2 cup castile oil

1/2 cup vinegar

1 quart of water

6 drops lemon oil

2 drops geranium oil

3 drops tea tree oil

Mix all of the above in a container and use when ready to wash the dishes.

Article Inspiration By: Herbal Remedies Magazine (2016)

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Asian Spicy Poached Chicken

 

Asian Spicy Poached Chicken

This Chinese-fusion dish is usually served at formal functions and gatherings, such as weddings. You don’t need to wait for any special event to enjoy this dish. You will need a few spices, 30 to 40 minutes of your time, and voila, you will have your own Asian Spicy Poached Chicken to enjoy at your dining table.

Here is what you will need:

1 to 2 pounds chicken thighs with skin and bone-in

1 small stalk of lemongrass

Peel of half an orange

1 stalk celery

1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 ounce piece fresh ginger root

1 red Thai chili

2 green finger chilies

2 pieces star anise

½ a red onion

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

Some fresh filtered water

Half a cup coconut oil or olive oil

preparing to cook Asian Spicy Poached ChickenBegin by placing cleaned chicken pieces in a pot or pan with enough water to cover the chicken. Add in the lemongrass, orange peel, celery, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for 15 to 20 minutes.

pouching chicken for Asian Spicy Poached ChickenWhen the chicken done, you can the cooked dish as is, but this won’t be Asian Spicy Poached Chicken without the spicy part! So let’s continue.

spicies for Asian Spicy Poached ChickenFor the spicy ‘sauce’ gather the peppercorns, onion, chilies, star anise, oil, ginger, and caraway seeds. Slice the ginger, onions, and chili.

cooked spices for Asian Spicy Poached ChickenIn a small sauce pan over medium heat, place all of the spices and oil into the pan. Slowly heat up to infuse the oil with the spices.

pour spices over Poached ChickenAfter about 5 minutes of the spices steeping in the oil, pour the ‘sauce’ over the drained chicken pieces. You can strain the oil off if you want, but the traditional way of serving this dish is with all the spices left in the oil.

close up detail of cooked Asian Spicy Poached ChickenThis dish is best enjoyed with a side of mixed vegetables. If you do strain the oil off, save it and use it as a dipping sauce or pour it over steamed vegetables for a great flavor. Enjoy your Asian Spicy Poached Chicken.

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Green Apple Cider Cups

Green Apple Cider CupsHere’s a great article I found – The Benefits of Apples as Part of Your Health Care Regimen.  Before you click over to read it, here is a great recipe Splendid Recipes and More prepared using green apples, though you can use your favorite color and variety.

Green Apple Cider Cups, for those cold nights next to a warm fire place. Here is what you will need.

Large apples, red or green and the number depends on how many cider cups you want

Juice of one lemon

Apple cider, homemade or store-bought

Cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, allspice or star anise for garnish

On a cutting board surface, use a paring knife to cut off tops of the apple. Next, using the paring knife, outline where you’d like the “rim” of your apple cup to be, about 1/4″ wide.

Use a spoon to carefully begin scooping out the center of your apple until you have a nice “cup”.  A melon baller can work just as well. Take care not to cut through the bottom or sides of the apple when hollowing it out as the cider will leak out.

If the apples do not sit level, use the paring knife and just slice off 1/8 inch or less off the bottom.

When you have the inside of the apples hollowed out, brush some lemon juice over the inside of the apples, to prevent them from browning.

Fill with your favorite apple cider, garnish with a cinnamon stick and any other of your favorite spices, and serve.

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The Benefits of Apples as Part of Your Health Care Regimen

The Benefits of Apples as Part of Your Health Care Regimen

We have always heard the expression, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” and that saying could have a lot of truth to it, and here is why.

Benefits of Apples

The high content of pectin and fiber found in apples promotes good digestion, helping to maintain low insulin and glucose levels within the blood stream. Apples help you feel full for longer and is thought to lower serum cholesterol.

Studies have shown apples can help prevent asthma in children before they reach five years of age. The fruit also protects the lungs of adults, lowering their risk of asthma, bronchitis or pneumonia. Click Here to Read More…298 words

 

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