As of late, my oldest, who will be six in a few short months (cue tears), has been very interested in helping me cook. He pulls his little IKEA chair up to the countertop while I’m prepping for each meal. It’s terribly cute. We’ve been checking out kid-friendly cookbooks from the library and he’s been helping me come up with meal ideas.
It’s these moments, where we talk over saucepans of oatmeal, and over racks of herbs and spices, that we bond over life, and that we share the same language of love – for each other and for food.
So, I am starting a new series on this blog about kid-friendly recipes that are easy for the little hands. These recipes will be simple, but delicious.
Easy Roasted Chicken & Vegetables
Serves 4, with leftovers
One whole fryer chicken
Preheat the oven to 425F. Place tin foil down in a roasting pan. Spray the pan with Pam. Place the whole chicken in the pan (make sure you take out all the innards and that the chicken is patted dry). Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place the plan into the oven to roast.
Chop up the vegetables and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and rosemary. You can place the around your chicken, but I did them separately, so that they wouldn’t get too dark in the oven. I placed them in the oven about 25 minutes after the chicken. Bake the chicken for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Let the chicken rest for about 7 – 10 minutes before slicing. Pour the juices into a saucepan and add a tablespoon of cornstarch. Whisk to make gravy.
Have you ever heard of Fairy Bread? It’s this magical dish served at parties in Australia and NZ, where slices of white bread are slathered with butter and liberally covered with nonpareils (or hundreds and thousands, as they’re known as there), and cut into triangles. This is my take on it. I made sunbutter and strawberry jam kebabs and turned them into Fairy Bread kebabs. It’s Friday. It’s time to celebrate. It’s the end of the week. We made it!! I also packed orange flavored dried cranberries, oyster crackers, red grapes, gingerbread muffins, and peas and carrot mallow candies…because PEAS AND CARROTS CANDY!!! They were one of my favorite candies growing up. I’d spend my allowance on those things at the mall candy store. Along with sour peach gummy rings, sour gummy belts, Jelly Bellies, licorice, Warheads, gummy sharks, gummy colas, and pretty much anything else I could get my hands on. I digress.
For today’s lunch, I made a chocolate chip pancake sandwich (with sunbutter and raspberry jam). I also packed a mandarin orange, pineapple, dried fruit (dried coconut, dried ginger, dried dates, raisins, dried cranberries), and one gold chocolate coin.
Tomorrow is Wednesday. The week is half over. I’d call that a victory.
I made sunbutter and raspberry jam sandwiches. I also packed pineapple, red grapes, oyster crackers (with dinosaurs walking in them), and gingerbread muffins.
Well, oopsie poopsie, I haven’t posted lunches in….um, a while! During Christmas break, we were so busy doing fun activities, okay, surviving, we didn’t so much do fun lunches. We ate. Square sandwiches. But, now I’m back.
So here are two fun lunches I did (amongst MANY others, I can assure you 😉 ).
I packed pizza, chips, oranges, grapes, blueberries (for Bigs), and frosted brownies for dessert. These are all things I’d like to have at a slumber party. Wouldn’t you?
For the brownies, I used this recipe:
And for Bigs’ lunch tomorrow, I went with a deli(ish) theme. I made a sunbutter & jam sandwich. I also packed Cheez-Its, pickles, a mandarin orange, a gingerbread muffin, and a chocolate coin. I’ve never actually had any of this at a deli, but whatever.
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
– T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
Wishing you a beautiful New Year’s Eve and a blessed 2016!
Okay, Friends! If you don’t have any cookies baked yet, you’re either not going to or you don’t have any quick, easy ideas. I can’t help you with the former, but here is a great recipe for the latter. My boys and I whipped these up today (for Santa and Mrs. Claus).
They are rich with butter, crumbly in the best kind of way, and packed with vanilla and almond flavors. I can almost guarantee that you have all the ingredients already (don’t quote me on that).
1 C butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
2 1/4 C APF
1/4 t salt
1/4 t almond extract
1/4 t vanilla bean paste (or extract)
5-7 drops of green food coloring
Preheat oven to 400F. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the flour, salt, egg, almond extract, vanilla bean paste (or extract), and food coloring. Roll the dough into little balls and form a hole in the center (I used an icing tip). Put on the sprinkles. and place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or just before the cookies turn brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
My boys also made these little masterpieces:
I let them go nuts with M&Ms, sprinkles, marshmallows, and icing. I think Santa will both enjoy them and go into a cookie coma!
Memories were made and that’s all that matters. <3
The Merriest of Christmases to you and your families! May you feel God’s love and know the real reason behind this special season.
Here is one last lunch for the year! I actually made it last week, but forgot, in typical fashion, to post it.
I made a cross shaped apple butter sandwich. I also packed pita chips, yogurt covered raisins, cheese, red grapes, and an Italian almond cookie.
I only have one more special school lunch to make for this year, after today. I don’t even know where the time has gone!
**Red Dye #40 alert…below**
For tomorrow’s lunch, I made an ornament shaped sunbutter and apple butter sandwich. I used lots of colors to make it festive. I also packed pita chips, red grapes, colby jack cheese, a mandarin orange, and two little peppermint meringues that I made yesterday.
Gingerbread is my absolute FAVORITE. I could eat it errday. Forrealz.
In honor of that, here’s my boys’ lunches for tomorrow:
I made gingerbread boy shaped apple butter sandwiches. I added details with Food Writers and chocolate covered sunflower seeds (which I also threw in the lunchbox, as well). I also packed snap pea crisps, red grapes, carrots (Smalls), corn (Bigs), yogurt with gingerbread boy sprinkles, and Trader Joe’s gingerbread boy cookies.
Gingerbread 4 life.