January 19, 2010

Salad People

I had an idea quite awhile ago to make a cookbook for my kids. I wanted it be easy to understand and follow for even non-readers (with help, of course), so my plan was to use photos of the ingredients and steps of each recipe. I actually started making and taking pictures of some of the recipes I wanted to include, but never got much farther. Starting and not finishing projects happens to be one of the things I am really good at. 

Anyway, I'd still like to continue with this little cookbook project, but in the meantime, there are some great cookbooks for kids available. I bought this one awhile ago, and it mostly just sat on the shelf for awhile. But recently, I've decided to start using it for our Family Night snack. We made a Family Night jobs rotation, so each person has a turn to be in charge of one part of our Family Night. For now, the Man and I are taking turns planning the lesson/activity, and the kiddos are rotating through song, prayer, and snack. So each week, before we go shopping, whichever kid is in charge of the snack for the next Family Night chooses a recipe from the cookbook. Then they help make it before Family Night. 

So far, the kids have been excited about it. They love getting to choose whatever they want out of the book. We've tried a few recipes so far (see pics below), and the kids have loved them. The only one that they didn't much care for was the Cool Cucumber Soup that the Girl chose to make this week. I'm not really a fan of cold soups, so it wasn't my favorite either, but I'm glad we made it and the kids tried something new. The Salad People were a big hit. The kiddos actually ate more than one bite of veggies, so I call that a success.

This cookbook even has fun step-by-step illustrations to make it easier for kids to follow the recipe.

The Girl was in charge of the snack for our first Family Night of the year, and she chose the first recipe in the book. All it took was a pear half for everyone, a dollop of yogurt, and a bunch of cut up fruits and veggies, raisins, etc.

You end up with something like this:

She also chose a drink. And let me tell you, she was very determined to juice those lemons. She wanted to squeeze as much juice as she could out of each lemon before she would hand them over to me to squeeze.

A spoonful of partially frozen cranberry juice concentrate added to each cup was supposed to create the "sunrise" effect. Ours wasn't partially frozen, so I'm not sure if it looks the way it would have if we followed the directions perfectly, but it looks sort of sunrisey, don't ya think?

The Boy chose the snack for our next Family Night. It was super yummy, but a bit on the oily side. Next time we make it, I'll try using a little less oil than the recipe calls for.

 I predict that this year we may experience some cooking catastrophes – mixing mishaps, tsunami-ish spills, burned-out blenders, etc., but it's all worth it… I think.

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