Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

Cheddar Cheese Crackers {#KidsCook}

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

As luck would have it, I was assigned preschool snack duty on the day of the kids’ Halloween parade. Obviously no ordinary fruit and crackers would do, so I decided it was time to make some homemade cheese crackers. The tot and I headed to the store in search of Halloween cookie cutters, but came home with these adorable woodland animals instead. I used the owls for Halloween, and, as her class is the Penguins, you can bet there will be a batch (or several) of penguins in the near future!

healthy preschool halloween snack | foodietots.com

I tweaked a couple recipes to make a simple version, using part all-purpose and part white wheat flour. (White wheat is a lighter whole wheat flour made by King Arthur flour.) I might try all white wheat next time, but for now these turned out light, cheesy and crisp. Lots of homemade cheese cracker recipes call for cayenne pepper, but I skipped that since I was serving them to three-year-olds. A dash of ground mustard powder was enough to boost the cheesy flavor. Try them and see what you think!

Kids Cooking Tip: All the mixing is done in a food processor, so be sure to enlist the little ones to press the button on and off. Older kids can help grate the cheese. And of course, rolling and cutting is always a fun task for little helpers.

Cheddar Cheese Crackers | FoodieTots.com

Recipe: Homemade Cheddar Cheese Crackers

Makes 3 dozen small crackers

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • optional: sunflower seeds or pepitas

Instructions:

  1. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  2. Place first six ingredients in food processor and pulse a few seconds at a time, until mixture is crumbly.
  3. Add milk and pulse a few more times until dough begins to stick together.
  4. Press dough together and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. On a lightly floured cutting board, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into 1-inch squares or use a small cookie cutter to cut shapes. Use blunt end of a wooden skewer to poke eyes, or if cutting into squares, poke each in the center. If using seeds, press firmly into the dough.
  6. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes, until edges are golden. Cool completely on cooling rack, then store in airtight container.

Jack O’ Lantern Grilled Cheese #KidsCookMonday

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

This was intended to be a quick post about a healthy and fun pre-Halloween lunch, but of course my six-year-old had other plans. Oh, he was amused enough by the first sandwich, but then he asked for a second. And then he said it wasn’t scary enough. So I told him the jack o’ lantern was saying “Boo!” — to which he replied that he needed to see the word bubble to believe it. You can see how that went below…

Jack O' Lantern Grilled Cheese

First, though, the recipe — though it’s pretty simple. Whole wheat sandwich bread, a touch of pumpkin butter, and a blend of shredded cheese. A large pumpkin cookie cutter shapes the sandwich, and small cookie cutters are used to cut out the face. The cheese does ooze through while cooking, though, so the face won’t look quite so perfect when you’re done. *I* think that adds to the charm, but it depends how tough your critics are…

Recipe: Jack O’Lantern Pumpkin Grilled Cheese
Makes 4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices wheat bread
  • butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used a blend of cheddar and gouda)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin butter

Instructions:

  1. Cut bread into pumpkin shape. Use small cookie cutters to cut out a face in four of the slices.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium low heat.
  3. Spread 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin butter on the bottom slice of bread and place in pan. Cover with 1/4 cup shredded cheese and the face side of bread. Cook 1-2 minutes on each side until golden bread. Repeat with remaining slices of bread.

Note: Straight pumpkin puree can be substituted for the pumpkin butter — a good way to use up any leftover puree after baking.

And, as promised, here’s my first “Boo!”…

pumpkin grilled cheese sandwich

… but he said it had to be ON THE PUMPKIN to count. No pressure or anything.

halloween grilled cheese sandwich

Needless to say, next time he’ll be in charge of “carving” his own sandwich. ;)

What We Ate During Summer Vacation

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

watermelon for breakfast … on Whidbey Island, Washington

breakfast on whidbey island

and fabulous coffee, cheese & donuts in Portland, Oregon

foodie tots eat portland

we rode on planes (4), trains (2), boats (2) and automobiles (many); saw cool critters (at the Oregon Zoo/Multnomah Falls); and there were birthday cakes, too (x 2)

on the road

& you?

Eat Your Greens on St. Patrick’s Day

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The boy is having a St. Patrick’s Day party at Pre-K today, and of course everyone was asked to bring in something green. We were brainstorming ideas and the first thing that he came up with was peas. I have to say I was more than a little proud that he thought of naturally green things first, and vegetables at that — though it didn’t take long before he was asking for green cupcakes.

green veggies for st. patrick's day

We celebrated St. Patrick’s at home a little early with an “Irish” fondue party last weekend. I boiled potatoes, blanched broccoli and sliced raw green peppers. I was hoping that the cheese sauce would entice the boy to try the peppers, but no such luck. At any rate, if you’re struggling with green veggies in your house, sometimes a simple dip (hummus or homemade ranch) can make all the difference. And fondue — a warm, cheesy dip — is fun for the whole family.

Irish fondue

Recipe: Irish Fondue

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound Landaff or Caerphilly cheese*
  • 1/4 pound Gruyere
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons Irish ale (like Harp)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 clove garlic

Serve with: vegetables, raw or blanched, boiled potatoes, sliced apples or pears, and cubes of bread.

Instructions: Set up your fondue pot. If you have the kind with a glass pot that sits inside a larger metal pot, add boiling water to the larger pot and light the flame to keep it warm. (If you have an electric fondue pot, you can cook the cheese right in the pot. I don’t, so I started it on the stove.)

Cut your garlic clove in half and rub down the inside of a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan. Pour 1 cup beer into pan and heat over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk flour into 2 tablespoons beer to make a smooth slurry.

When beer is warm, add shredded cheese, whisking until melted. Slowly whisk in flour/beer slurry, then let cook, stirring frequently, for a couple minutes, until thickened.¬† Pour into the fondue pot (the inner glass pot, in my case) and set over the flame to keep warm. You’ll want to stir the cheese periodically as you eat to keep it from hardening on the bottom.

*About the cheese: Landaff is a wonderful cheese made in New Hampshire that you may be able to find in Whole Foods. It’s an American version of the traditional Irish Caerphilly. If you can’t find either of those cheeses, try a mild cheddar (Dubliner of course is always good for St. Patrick’s Day).

Tips for Fondue with Kids:

  • Obviously this recipe does have alcohol — most cooks off while cooking. I haven’t tried this yet, but I suspect you may be able to make this recipe with sparkling apple cider if you prefer.
  • It may be easier to spoon some fondue into a small bowl for dipping — to avoid messes and burnt tongues!
  • Ask your kids for suggestions of what to dip — the boy asked for peanuts, so I added a small bowl of them to the spread. (And no, I don’t believe he actually dipped them, he’s just been on a peanut kick lately.)

Crustless Asparagus Quiche (Meatless Monday)

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Asparagus with eggs, take two… Yes, I have a thing for eggs and asparagus. While a traditional quiche is ideal for Sunday brunch, this crustless version is perfect for a fast weeknight supper — just serve with a side salad and some bread. Of course, if you’re more prepared than I, you can make this with a pre-made frozen pie crust.

crustless asparagus quiche

Recipe: Crustless Asparagus Quiche

Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus
2 stalks green garlic
4 large eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup milk
sea salt and pepper

Instructions: Preheat oven to 375. Oil 8-inch square glass baking dish.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium high heat. Sauté asparagus, stirring once or twice, until partly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic to pan for the last 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Fold in ricotta, then garlic and asparagus. Pour into baking dish and cook 25-30 minutes, until set and puffy. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. Makes 6 servings. Enjoy!

Farms of Origin: eggs, Valentine’s Country Meats; milk, South Mountain Creamery; ricotta, Blue Ridge Dairy; asparagus, Black Rock Orchard; green garlic, Farm at Sunnyside (all but milk from the Falls Church Farmers Market).