Saturday, June 30, 2018

Kids' Summer Cooking 2018, Week 2

This was a busy week with swim lessons for all four kids, doctor and dentist appointments for all six of us (some of us had multiple), pet sitting a bird, a gymnastics competition for April, a concert in San Francisco and youth group for Keanna, some bowling time for all the kids, an A's game for all of us and my parents, and a family outing to the opening of a community dog park.

Even with all the busyness and activity, we still required each kid to prepare one dinner. This week's menu was really fun and delicious:

The challenging one this week was April's menu. She specifically requested to make homemade French fries and not start with frozen ones in a bag. I knew that I would have to do the actual frying for safety reasons and that is a task that needs full attention, so I recruited Bapa (my dad) to help April grill her burgers in the backyard. Of course, the grill was also too hot for her to actually handle the meat on it, so we gave her as many jobs as we could so it was still her meal. For the French fries, she cut most of the potatoes.

April cut.

I fried.

They were soooo delicious!

For the burgers, my dad taught her how to evenly season the meat, how to avoid cross contamination when working with raw meat, and how to form patties.


Notice April's hanging out in the trampoline while Bapa does
the hot work of cleaning the grill.

When the meat was just about done, he let her put the cheese slices on the patties.


Hopefully in the near future, I'll have time to blog the process of making chimichangas. They are so easy and so good!

This coming week, the kids have double duty. Not only do they have to make one dinner, but they each have to make something to take to a 4th of July celebration. I'm looking forward to seeing what they all pick!

Monday, June 25, 2018

April's Summer Fruit Salad

My kids are frugivores (animals that eat fruit). We have to ration the fruit so they don't eat themselves into some serious tummy troubles. Our staple fruits are apples (Fuji and Granny Smith), bananas, and oranges. I buy those all year because they are almost always reasonably priced. But now that it's summer, other fruits have gone down in price! This week I bought peaches, nectarines, cherries, blueberries, and strawberries. The kids are loving the variety.

About two weeks ago, April wanted to "make something with fruit." So I gathered what fruit we had at the time, and we threw together a fruit salad. It was an instant hit, and she has since made it two more times. The great thing about April's fruit salad is that you can use any fruit you want or that you happen to have on hand. Besides the fresh fruit I mentioned above, she has also used canned mandarin oranges and frozen peaches.

One thing to note is that you will want to adjust the amount of brown sugar depending on your personal preference and the sweetness of the fruit you use. You can also substitute other types of sweeteners if you prefer not to use brown sugar.

As the salad sits in the fridge, the juices will start to come out of the fruit so be sure to eat it within a few hours or up to one day of mixing it.

Regardless of how you make it, this fruit salad is sure to be a great addition to any summer meal.

April's Fruit Salad
5 c. bite-sized fruit pieces
1 c. Greek yogurt
2-3 Tbsp. brown sugar (or more or less depending on preference and sweetness of fruit)

Put all ingredients in a large bowl. Gently and thoroughly mix until brown sugar is dissolved into yogurt and all fruit is evenly coated.

Knife skills are valuable for children to learn.

Beautiful colors! This batch contains pitted and halved cherries,
blueberries, strawberries, Granny Smith apples, and Fuji apples.

April loves it when she has properly packed the brown sugar
and it retains its shape.

Stir gently so the fruit doesn't get smashed.

Enjoy the fruit salad of your labor!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Kids' Summer Cooking 2018, Week 1

Summer vacation!! Woohoo!! After a whirlwind of a finish to the school year, a graduation celebration, and a couple road trips, we are settled into our summer routine. More about all that later. But that means the kids are cooking dinner! Each kid is cooking one dinner each week.

Week 1
Keanna: creamy pesto with bow tie pasta and Greek salad (Kimiko's salad recipe here)
Lukas: pancakes (see Kimiko's recipe here)
Koda: pizza with homemade dough (focaccia as the crust!)
April: baked potatoes, chili, and broccoli

Meanwhile, as the kids are enjoying swimming lessons, summer reading time, play dates, and more time outside, I am preparing for next school year. For the fist time, I will be teaching a video production elective. Consequently, I'm having to produce some example videos to show my students what my expectations for them are. Using pictures I had readily available on my phone, I threw this video together while experimenting with Adobe Spark. Enjoy!

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