My youngest son wakes up, comes in the kitchen and asks to help make baguettes with me. The kitchen is toasty with a fire burning, aromatic flavors are filling the air and with his cheery little face looking at me for an answer. How can I deny his request. It is truly a welcomed and marvelous gift he is giving me
The early morning hours are a fantastic time to be together and bond. Chatting about the day's activities, his siblings, and solving all the problems in the world that are important to him seem to be our early morning topics. I think the simple, repetitive movements of kneading are almost hypnotic to him and his mind begins to wander and the questions begin to form..
I find baking with my children to be such a gratifying and productive activity. Working together to produce a product from beginning to end, is such a rewarding process. Using these opportunities to have difficult, funny, or everyday discussions is allows us to stay in touch with each other's worlds. Kneading bread, or rolling it into shape is so fun for them that they lose themselves in the activity. I also have found that using bread dough helps calm them at times too. All their frustration in taken out on the dough. and in the end we have something delicious to eat.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
|Chocolate and Lemon Whoopie Pies|
My children age 13, 11 and 7 are always a part of the cooking and idea giving process. When the whoopie pie idea session begins they come out with some very interesting combinations like peanut butter cake and strawberry jam filling, strawberry cake and cream cheese filling, red velvet cake with lemon filling, chocolate cake with lavender filling etc. I think they try to out do each other with the most interesting combination. As we begin to experiment, my children are always there to taste test, add their comments on how to make it better or just to give their final O.K.
Try our recipe for our traditional whoopie pies and enjoy baking with your family.
Chocolate Whoopie Pie Recipe
2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in a standing mixer. Add egg and vanilla. Sift all dry ingredients into medium sized bowl. Alternate dry ingredients with milk until all is mixed well. Using a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon full onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 14 minutes. Remove from baking sheet until completely cooled.
Put equal parts Fluff, crisco, and powdered sugar in standing mixer with a whisk attachment. Mix until well blended add a teaspoon of vanilla. Fill whoopie pies.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Historically, Vermont sweetness substituted much of the sugar production banned during the Civil War. Cane, beet, and other sugars produced in the South were not available, so all Northern states began using maple syrup as their sweetener. Therefore, Vermonters know how to use maple syrup in a variety of ways.
Even with such a rich history in sugaring, it is still no easy task to sugar in Vermont. With winter temperatures changing frequently, one gambles on the exact time to tap our Maple trees. Once a tap or hole is made in the tree one has about 1 month to retrieve as much sap as possible from a single tap. After that the tap, due to wind and weather will dry up. Temperatures of 35-40 degrees in the day and 20's at night are perfect for the sap to run or drip from a maple tree. There is only a 6 - 8 hour period of time when the sap runs. The trees release this sweet liquid that is then collected and boiled until sweet and delicious maple syrup is made. 40 gallons of sap makes 1 gallon of syrup, so you can imagine the time it takes to boil sap to syrup. Once the syrup is made, My Kids' Kitchen experiments with the product by making "Maple Walnut Scones", "Maple Oat Bread", "Maple Pumpkin Butter", "Maple Walnut Granola", "Maple Cream Frosting", "Maple Donuts" and "Maple Vinaigrette Dressing" just to name a few.
We use maple syrup as a substitute for sugar, this adds another element to any dish we make. Try making one of our favorite maple recipe:
MAPLE VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette
3/4 cup of Maple Syrup
A pinch of Pepper
2 cups of Olive Oil
Mix balsamic vinaigrette, pepper and maple syrup into blender. Slowly add salad oil then olive oil until they are well blended. Toss green salad with vinaigrette and enjoy!