Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cookin' with the Kiddos

So one of my unofficial goals for the year was to try new recipes. I have a pile of new recipes that I want to try that just seems to grow and I never make time to try them, so this year I thought I would try to change that. This week I managed to try four new ones! The cool thing is that two of them I did with the girls. They are always so excited to help out in the kitchen, but I rarely take the time I need to let them help. Two of the recipes I used this week were geared more towards kids, so I thought they'd be perfect. I also thought that if they helped cook the meals they'd be more likely to eat them without complaining! lol

So, the first one we tried was out of a Kraft Food and Family magazine--which is a great magazine that comes out a couple times a year and has family friendly and budget friendly (though not always diet friendly) meals. This one was called ham 'n cheese calzones. The girls helped me spread out the pizza dough and put the ham and stuff inside, then they helped close them up. It was fun and the sandwiches were quite tasty!

Then, Friday night we ended up with a family night at home so I figured we might as well try another recipe. This one was from Rachael Ray's magazine, in the section specifically for cooking w/ kids, and it was called Samurai Soup. It looked like the girls favorite wonton soup at Hong Kong Chef, so I thought they'd have a ball making the wontons. And they did!! Erik even got recruited to fold the wontons!

Samurai Soup

Serves 8

1/2 lb baby bok choy, halved lengthwise and crosswise, white and green portions separated

1/2 pound ground pork (i cooked it)

1/4 c soy sauce

1 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

2 tsp honey

1 tsp sesame oil, plus more for drizzling

40 wonton wrappers

one 32 oz container chicken broth

1/4 lb snow peas, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces

1. In a saucepan of boiling water, cook the white bok choy portions for 1 minute, add green portions and cook til wilted. Drain, rinse with cold water and squeeze dry; finely chop and transfer to medium bowl. Stir in pork, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, the oyster sauce, ginger, honey and 1 tsp of sesame oil.
2. Arrange 1o wonton wrappers on a work surface and top each with a rounded teaspoon of the pork mixture. Moisten edges and fold over in half; press edges to seal. Working with 1 at a time, bring the tips together and pinch to form 10 bundles. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and pork filling.
3. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth, 1 cup water and the remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce to a boil. Cover and remove from heat.
4. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the dumplings, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowls, add the snow peas to the broth, cook for one minute, then ladle over the dumplings. Drizzle with a few drops of sesame oil.

And enjoy! :-) The girls ATE it up, it says that there are 8 servings but the four of us ate it until it was gone and then waddled around the house w/ full bellies. It was great!
Another recipe I tried this week and was extremely pleased with was a quickie from RR's magazine again. It was in her "take five" where people share recipes with five or less ingredients. I love them because they are usually easy. This is one for French Onion Soup--which I normally love and its nice to have an easy recipe for it!
2 large sweet onions, sliced thinly
1 cup dry red wine
two 14.5 oz cans beef broth
one 5 oz bag seasoned croutons (about 2 cups)
4 thick slices Swiss cheese
In a deep skillet heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and softened, about 15 minutes. Add the wine and bring to boil. Pour in the beef broth, lower the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes; season with pepper. Preheat the broiler. Divide soup into 4 ovenproof bowls, top each with one-quarter of the croutons and a slice of cheese. Set the bowls on a rimmed baking sheet and broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden, about 1 minute.

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