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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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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Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

close up of Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

This salad has flavors of the tropic’s, as it contains mango, avocado, and coconut sugar. It is a quick and easy recipe to prepare.

mango tree with ripe fruit Did you know that mangoes are eaten fresh more than any other fruit in the world?

The mango has been around for some 4,000 years now, and it is biologically a close relative with other flowering plants like the cashew and pistachio trees.

The mango trees originated in sub-Himalayan plains, and there are over 1,000 different varieties, with the Hayden being the most popular.

Mango_tree_Kerala_in_full_bloom

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Mango trees grow up to 115–131 feet tall, with a crown radius of 33 feet. The trees live a long time, as some specimens still fruit after 300 years. Though not a related tree spices, avocado trees can grow just as tall.

When preparing this recipe, it reminded me of our visited to the south of Mexico were the mango trees grow profusely. We seen young children throwing rocks up into the trees to bring down a mango. Yes, they threw a rock up 115 to 133 feet, and never missed to bring down a ripe fresh mango.

Now for our featured recipe: Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

shredded chicken

Preparation is for two servings.

1 large cooked chicken breast, without bone or skin

3 tablespoons mango puree

3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (Link Here For Homemade Recipe)

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

Shred the cooked chicken breast into a medium bowl and mix with mango puree, mayonnaise, and sugar. Set the mixture aside.

For the Guacamole

1 avocado, seeded and peel removed

1 small tomato, without seeds

2 garlic gloves

2 teaspoons powder coriander

3 tablespoons chopped yellow onion

1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon lemon juice

fresh lemon lime water1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

5 to 6 whole pepper corns

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend together for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside.

Unless you have another use for the other half of the citrus half’s, and including the juiced half’s, you can either freeze the juiced rinds and save for zest in another recipe, or slice them up for lemon-lime water.

Plating The Salad

Now that you have your chicken mixture and guacamole prepared, let’s start to plate it.

plate of baby greens

Add a mixed few hand fulls of baby greens, like spinach, chard, beet greens, and arugula.

baby greens and Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

Next, using a 5 inch in diameter ramekin, fill chicken mixer to the top, and invert it over the baby greens.

Mango Guacamole Chicken Salad

Next, spread some guacamole carefully over the chicken mixture, and enjoy.

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Stuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn Salad

Stuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn Salad

Did you know a chipotle is a smoke-dried jalapeño? Yes, the word chipotle comes from the Nahuatl word chilpoctli which means smoked chili.  The people’s who lived in Mexico before the Aztec civilization are thought to have invented it.

The jalapeño chili is used in Mexican-inspired cuisines, such as Mexican-American, Tex-Mex, and southwestern dishes from New Mexico. Read our article and learn more on the differences in Mexican and Tex-Mex food: Mexican vs. Tex-Mex: What is the Difference?

Jalapeños come in different varieties, sizes and heat or spiciness. The chili loses little of its heat through the smoking process, and many enjoy both its spiciness and the natural wood smoke taste that accompanies it.

Though its used traditionally in Mexican cuisine, the chipotle now enjoys a broad range of uses throughout the USA and Canada.

Our featured recipe is a southwestern USA inspired  delight, and here is what you will need to prepare: Stuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn Salad.

fresh ingredients for Stuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn Salad

4 small sweet potatoes, baked (read here about Sweet Potatoes and Their Benefits)

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

1 cup corn

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

liquid ingrdients for Stuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn Salad

Vinaigrette:

2 limes, zested and juiced

juicing limes for Stuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn Salad1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 teaspoons raw honey

2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh pepper, optional

vegetable mix for Stuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn SaladIn a large glass bowl, add the black beans, corn, onions, and cilantro. Stir to combine. In a smaller bowl, mix together the lime zest and juice, oil, honey, adobo, salt and pepper. Pour over the black bean mixture and toss to combine.

Stuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn Salad -close upSlice an opening down the center of  the baked sweet potatoes. Spoon vegetable mixture to stuff the potatoes, and have yourself a…Stuffed Sweet Potato with Chipotle Black Bean and Corn Salad. Plate and serve.

Can be served as a stand alone dish (as it contains protein with the black beans), or served as a side dish, and can be served as a party favorite dish. Enjoy the possibilities with this easy and simple real food recipe.

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What We Do When We’er Not In The Kitchen

Cooking on the Stove

On our About page of Splendid Recipes and More it explains saying, “We offer recipes with regards to taste, your health, and feeling good while eating. The “More” in our web-site title is all about what we offer besides delectable recipes.”

If you are a regular reading of our site, you know all about the extras we have posted about besides food recipes. We’ve even had a few blog guests.

We who love and enjoy to cook and bake in the kitchen do so because we want to make others happy, and it is a stress reliever, oh and not to forget, eating is a lot of fun.

But do we have other interests besides cooking and baking? Some of you who read this blog are writers, you collect and write about news topics or short stories and the such. Some of you even write poems, or just take photo shots and post about them.

But I guess I can say that we all have other interests. Those of us here at Splendid Recipes and More have several interests, including a hobby outside the kitchen, and as a matter of fact, outside in my back yard.

View the video to find out. Let us know as well as others, what your interests are outside the kitchen, by leaving your comments below!! Please enjoy the video!!

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Beef Steak Fajitas

Beef Steak Fajitas

We’er always craving Mexican food here in the kitchen of Splendid Recipes. Our featured recipe though is not authentic Mexican food, but a Tex-Mex style food with Mexican ingredient influence. If you didn’t get an opportunity to view our Blog Guest speaker on the Tastes of Mexico then link here. In one of the posts the guest speaker talks about Mexican Food verses Tex-Mex Food.

Now for our featured recipe and here is what you will need:

1 teaspoon ground Mexican oregano

1 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 ½ pounds flank steak, fat trimmed

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced

1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced

1 small white onion, thinly sliced

1 small purple onion, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons avocado oil

6-8 corn tortillas, warmed

In a small bowl mix together the first six ingredients and set aside.

Seasoned beef strips  for Beef Steak Fajitas

Trim fat from flank steak and cut into 1 x 2 inch strips. Next, with ingredients from small mixing bowl, season beef strips and set aside.

Sliced peppers and onions for Beef Steak Fajitas

Next, seed peppers, and thinly slice. Next thinly slice both onions, then mix together and set aside.

steps to cook Beef Steak FajitasWith a large ceramic coated frying pan over medium heat, add avocado oil. When oil is hot add beef strips and cook on all sides, about 2 minutes. Add, pepper onion mix, stir in and continue to cook until meat is done to your preference (145 degrees for medium…155 degrees for med-well…160 degrees for well-done). Read our article: Keeping Your Family Safe with a Reliable Meat Thermometer.

Beef Steak Fajitas focusing on beef and corn tortilla

Plate the Beef steak Fajitas and serve with warmed corn tortillas.

 

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Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

Fajita is a Tex-Mex pint sized term for little meat strips. The word fajita did not appear in print until 1971, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The exact time in which the dish was named fajita is unclear.

Fajita is taken from the Spanish word “Faja” meaning “strip”, “band”, “sash”, or “belt”, and that would make sense, as fajitas are strips of meat.

Fajitas are really a Tex-Mex invention. The ingredients used are some popular ones used in Mexico. But the Mexican did not make the first Fajita.

We did have a blog guest speaker who spoke on this matter about Mexican verse Tex-Mex food on May 5th of this year (2014). The theme was Tastes of Mexico.  Read more what our guest speaker had to say on this matter. – HERE-

Now for our featured recipe: Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas, and here is what you will need.

Spices for Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

1 teaspoon of dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon of dried ground cumin

1 teaspoon of dried minced garlic

Place all of the spice in a small mixing bowl.

lime juice, olive oil and sea salt for Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

To the dry spices add 3 tablespoons of lime juice (fresh juice  from half a lime), 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan salt or sea salt. I personal use Himalayan salt as it has all of the trace minerals the body needs, it is unlike table salt which has had all other minerals remove. Also when using sea salt or the Himalayan salt you can use less, than you would if using the table salt.

Now that the wet ingredients have been added, mix in well with the dried spices. Set the bowl aside.

one pond of chicken breast for Gralic Lime Chicken Fajitas

 

You will need one pound of chicken breast. It may not seem like much, as one pound is two breasts, but once they have been cut into to strips, you have plenty of meat, for 4 to 6 servings.

using plastic bag to marinade chicken strips

I don’t like using plastic bags or any plastic container to store left overs, as plastic doesn’t breath, and the food spoils faster. I only use plastic freezer bags to freeze vegetables and meats. But I make an exception to marinade meat, as it is in the bag a short time.

Take the chciken strips and place them into the bag and pour in the spice mix, using a spatula to scrape the bowl and get every drop of mix. Seal the bag and put into the refridgerator for 30 minutes or more.sliced sweet peppers and yellow onion for Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas

Before removing the meat from the refrigerator to cook, slice into strips 6 to 7 sweet peppers using red, orange and yellow colors. Also cut into thin slice one small yellow onion, and set aside.

cooking Garlic Lime chicken Fajitas

 

Heat a large ceramic coated frying pain on medium-high heat. Add the chicken and any marinade, and cook for 5 minutes while stir continuously. Next add the sweet peppers and onion, mis in and continue to stir while cooking for 2 to 3 minutes more or until the vegetables are tender-crisp and the chicken is cooked through (165 degrees internal temperature).

Garlic Lime chicken Fajitas -up close-

Warm some 100% whole wheat flour tortillas and spoon chicken mixture and roll up. Serve with assorted toppings, if desired.

Here we have a side of quinoa with black beans, onion, corn, and chili pepper mixed in. We prepared the quinoa according to packaged instructions, using one cup of quinoa, and one cup of chicken broth and 8 ounces of tomato sauce.

For dessert, check out our favorite coffee cake: Chocolate Mexican Coffee Cake, and to be honest with you, we don’t know if it is a Mexican recipe original, but it sure tastes good!!

 

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