Friday, May 20, 2011

Radical Cooking - Kids in the Kitchen


Outside the take out box
Better, faster, easier, fresher....healthier


Cooking is jam packed with the good taste of learning.

Zoey and grandmom Linda
at a recent "Kids in the Kitchen"
class at Cheesecake Farms
Math, eye/hand coordination, reading skills and environmental consciousness are just a few of the learning experiences that take place every time you whip up something good to eat.  And let's not forget the yum factor, our reward for all that learning! 

Start kids in the kitchen as soon as they show an interest.  Give them age appropriate tasks and let them cook right along side you.  The good food you'll be showing them how to prepare will provide them with a life time of health, confidence and well being. 

In a world filled with fast food and take out, it's time to bring your kids into the kitchen and let the learning begin.... what a radical idea!

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Pizzas waiting for the oven
Pita Pizza

Everyone loves pizza and this home made pizza is so easy that even the youngest child can take pride in the results.  Children ages 9 and up are OK by themselves. Younger children will need your help.

The pita bread gives a more authentic pizza type crust than English muffins, bagels or French bread with the added bonus of a little geography and/or culture conversation about where in the world this type of bread originates. 

PS. No kids around?   No problem.  This recipe is even easy for adults!

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Makes 1 individual pizza
Baked pizza will have a crisp crust
Microwaved pizza will have a soft crust

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1 pita bread
1/4 cup pizza sauce (recipe below)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Sprinkle of shredded, fresh oregano (optional)
1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil

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To bake:  Position oven rack so pizza will bake in center.  Preheat to 400 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with baking parchment.

(No advanced preparation is needed if microwaving.)
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Spread sauce on bread leaving about 1/2 inch around the edge without sauce.  Sprinkle evenly with cheese.  Top with oregano, if desired.  Drizzle with oil.

To bake:  Bake in preheated oven till cheese melts - 8 to 10 minutes.

To microwave:  Place pizza on a heat safe plate and cover lightly with plastic wrap, baking parchment or an inverted bowl.  Heat until cheese melts.  Do not over heat or the crust will get rubbery.

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Pizza Sauce
Pizza sauce is thicker than pasta sauce so it doesn't run off the pizza.
Zane and his mom Holly smile at
their success!

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (not puree)
1 (6 to 8 oz) can tomato paste
Salt to taste

Whisk together.   Cooking is not necessary.

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Age Appropriate Skills Children Will Learn/Use/Reinforce with This Recipe

Measuring
Recognizing ingredients/colors/shapes/textures
Understanding the connection between garden and table (growing fresh herbs)
Reading (the recipe)
Learning about different cultures (Middle eastern pita bread/Italian Pizza)
Fractions
Eye/hand coordination
Working together/working alone
Completing a task
Being rewarded for a job well done

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