Chow fun is a classic Chinese noodle dish often served with beef. The fresh rice noodles (ho fun) typically used are very wide and sliced into strips before cooking, but I’ve never seen them in our local international groceries, so I substitute L or XL bahn pho (dry Vietnamese rice noodles). Though not authentic, it’s very close and works for us, but if you can find them I highly recommend giving it a try with the real thing….
Cooking With Kids
When I started making quesadillas for lunch several years ago, I had no idea how much our boys would fall in love with the classic Mexican cheese sandwich. They hang around and watch as I lay a tortilla on the skillet, sprinkle the cheese, and top it with another tortilla, and they keep an eye on it and tell me when it’s ready to flip. And Builder Guy is now into burritos, filling them with everything he loves about Mexican food….
Peanut butter is a snack and sandwich staple around our house, whether for toast, sandwiches, crackers, celery, or just on a spoon the old-fashioned way. Our boys are particularly fond of peanut butter and banana sandwiches on whole wheat bread. Peanut butter is very easy to make at home, and there is a tremendous difference between the flavor of store-bought and homemade peanut butter. Plus, your own homemade peanut butter won’t have a bunch of preservatives and you can control the amount of salt and honey in it, a win-win all around. You just need peanuts, peanut oil, sea salt, honey, and a food processor….
It’s time for another post for The Kids Cook Monday, our chance to show how children can help in the kitchen and make meals more of a family time. For more information on how to start cooking with your whole family, visit The Kids Cook Monday website.
This particular soup is easy, I mean really easy; a perfect soup for the kids to help make. We were very proud that Builder Guy, our 8-year-old son, made this almost completely by himself, and he was proud of his work, too….
This is a special post for The Kids Cook Monday because today is the launch of their new website, which has recipes and tips for cooking with kids, including some instructional videos to help you get started in the kitchen. Getting the whole family involved in preparing meals and eating together not only fosters good communication, it also is a chance to learn a valuable life skill. We garden and cook with our children because we want them to learn where food comes from and how to eat healthy, and because we feel doing those things together is the best way to show that we believe food is important. For more information on how to start cooking with your whole family, visit The Kids Cook Monday website….
Some kind of Mexican food is on our menu every week, whether it’s tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, soup, whatever. It’s a meal our boys always look forward to, especially if there’s guacamole, too. We always have beans on the side, black beans being our favorite. We spice them up with onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle powder, and Mexican oregano and add some tomato sauce or prepared salsa for tomato flavor….
When our boys see Asian dishes on the menu, they tend to get excited. Builder Guy inevitably asks if we’re having Chinese dumplings with the meal, Top Gun requests Chinese chicken and broccoli whether it’s on the menu or not, and Monkey Boy says he just wants chicken (or a lollipop). Fortunately Monkey Boy generally comes around once we start eating, so we are progressing out of the annoying overly picky phase.
These chicken lettuce wraps are one of their favorites because they like the chicken and they like that it’s finger food. They are perfect for this week and the Chinese New Year celebration, and they make great party appetizers. I’ve doubled the original recipe from Helen Chen so we can have leftovers because the boys enjoy taking it to school and eating it for lunch with brown rice. They also like to help make it, though either Michael or I still take over on the stir-frying. As they grow older and learn more about kitchen safety we’ll give them more opportunities to get behind the wok….
It’s time for another post for The Kids Cook Monday, and this time our boys chose one of their favorite breakfasts, waffles. Around our house breakfast can also be dinner and the boys enjoy waffles any time of the day. Serve healthy whole wheat waffles with fruit and a vegetable omelet or frittata or and you’ve got a great meal….
Today I start a new series on the blog, something that we thought would fit perfectly with our cooking philosophy. Today is my first day to participate in The Kids Cook Monday, a program sponsored by Johns Hopkins, Columbia University, and Syracuse University that encourages families to cook together by getting the kids in the kitchen. We think it’s a great idea and in our own home we’ve witnessed the boys’ eagerness to help with meals, especially their favorites, and how much more likely they are to try something new when they’ve helped prepare it. So a couple Mondays a month we’ll post recipes that the kids can help make….
We are a family of readers, and my boys love the time we spend every day reading stories together. When the boys were very young, I began choosing books about food, wanting to introduce them to a healthy, well-rounded diet as soon as possible. These are some of our family’s favorite books with food themes. The books are geared toward ages 0 to 6 for reading aloud, though some older children could read these on their own. I read these books with all my boys together, and though Monkey Boy (age 2) doesn’t necessarily understand some of the story, he still enjoys looking at the pictures and laughing along with his brothers. If you have children in the 7 to 9 age range, they may still enjoy hearing these stories or may even want to read to their younger siblings.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
“In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf.”
A caterpillar emerges from the egg and goes in search of food. My boys have fun counting all the things the caterpillar eats.