September 20, 2013 by Scott Klepach
Text and photos by Juanita Farris
One of my favorite things about the holidays is making seasonal meals with my family. It’s something my husband looks forward to the most. I usually make one recipe a week as a countdown to Halloween, but this year I decided to have one “Spooky Feast” day. Here are five recipes to get your family excited for October 31!
Breakfast: Pumpkin Hot Chocolate and Flap Jack-o-Lanterns
Warm up with hot chocolate and seasonal pancakes!
Pumpkin Hot Chocolate
(Adapted from The Harvest Table)
» 3 cups hot milk
» 2 tablespoons sugar
» 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
» 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
» 6 tablespoons of your favorite hot cocoa mix
1. Combine hot milk, sugar, vanilla and spice in a blender. Process until frothy.
2. Pour into 3 to 4 coffee mugs, filling each 2/3 full.
3. Stir 2 tablespoons of hot chocolate mix into each cup, stirring until blended.
4. Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
(Adapted from The Harvest Table)
» 2 cups all-purpose flour
» 2 tablespoons sugar
» 1 tablespoons baking powder
» 1/2 teaspoon salt
» 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
» 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
» 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
» 2 eggs, beaten
» 1 3/4 cup milk
» 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
» 2 tablespoons melted butter
1. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in a large bowl.
2. Whisk eggs and milk in a separate bowl. Add pumpkin and butter.
3. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just blended. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls into a greased hot griddle or skillet.
4. When bottom is almost done, make a pumpkin face on top with raisins.
5. Cook until done and serve with syrup
Lunch: Pumpkin Hot Pockets
(Adapted from TasteofHome.com)
Have your kids help you make this silly lunch. You can use any cookie cutters you want. (We used a ghost and pumpkin cutter.)
» 1 package refrigerated pie crust
» 3 tablespoons honey mustard
» 1/2 pound ham, thinly sliced
» 1/2 cup Swiss cheese
» 1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
» 2 egg yolks
» 4 to 6 drops of red food coloring
» 1 egg white
» 2 to 3 drops of green food coloring
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll pie crust into a 15-inch circle. Using a floured cookie cutter, cut out eight pumpkins. Repeat with remaining dough.
2. Spread mustard over eight pumpkins. Layer with ham and cheeses to within 3/4-inch of edges.
3. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with enough food coloring to achieve orange color.
4. In another small bowl, beat egg white with green food coloring.
5. Brush orange food coloring over the edges of pie crust. Top with remaining pumpkins. Press edges to seal.
6. Brush stems with green mixture and the pumpkins with orange.
7. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until browned.
Dinner: Snake Stromboli
(This is our version of a recipe we found on FoodNetwork.com)
This was the first seasonal recipe we made after having our son. It’s become a tradition we look forward to all year long!
» 1 16-ounce refrigerated pizza dough
» 1-8 oz. can of marinara
» 4 oz. mozzarella cheese
» 4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
» 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers
» 1 can of chopped red pepper
» 1 package pepperoni, sliced
» Assorted food coloring
» 1 strip roasted red pepper
1. Roll out pizza dough and press onto sprayed pan.
2. Spoon sauce into center of dough and top with cheese, peppers, and pepperoni. Be careful not to over stuff the Stromboli; it will leak while baking.
3. Wrap the dough up to resemble a snake and make an S-shape. Press two olives into one end to make eyes and the slice of red pepper to make a tongue.
4. Decorate the snake with food coloring.
5. Bake until golden, 30 to 40 minutes.
Dessert: Witch Hat Cookies
(Adapted from pinterest.com)
» 1 package of fudge-striped cookies
» 1 bag of Hershey Kisses
» Vanilla frosting
» Green food coloring
1. Lay cookies on plate, stripe-side down.
2. Mix food coloring into frosting and pipe a ring around the center of the cookies.
3. Attach a Hershey Kiss to the center of each cookie.
* Juanita Farris is a former optician who loves her new stay-at-home mom job. After a busy day of playing with her 1-year-old she loves to read, cook and write.
July 25, 2013 by Scott Klepach
By DR. DAVID POMMER
What does your back to school shopping list look like? Number 2 pencils, glue sticks, Pee Chee folders or even (if you can find one) a Trapper Keeper? Before you head to the checkout line, let’s take a detour to the breakfast aisle.
Breakfast is an important way to prepare for the school day as well.
About 8-12 percent of school-age kids skip breakfast, and in teens this number creeps up to 20-30 percent. Many kids will opt for sleeping in an extra 15 minutes rather than eating a bowl of cereal. Some may choose to skip breakfast to try to lose weight (this typically backfires; more on that later).
We do know there are many benefits to eating breakfast. Children do better in school, have increased concentration and more energy. The fiber consumed can help with weight control and lower cholesterol. Calcium builds stronger bones (helping children for decades to come) and Vitamin D helps with absorbing that calcium and may boost immunity.
The misconception of weight gain from eating breakfast was debunked in a 2008 study in the journal of Pediatrics. This study showed teens who ate breakfast daily had a lower BMI (body mass index) than teens who never ate breakfast or occasionally ate breakfast.
Before we discuss what to eat, let me address things that might be in our shopping carts that we should take out. First, if your child has energetically argued that a marshmallow-based cereal is a critical part of the four food groups, kindly explain to him that it is not, and remove it from your cart. The nursery song goes, “Do you know the muffin man?” Well, we probably shouldn’t. If your toaster is exclusively used for Pop Tarts, that habit should probably change. And if you are giving your breakfast order at a drive-thru window, that habit should change as well.
What are some healthy alternatives?
One of my favorites is dry cereal that I throw in a sandwich bag and eat on my commute. This could include oat squares or mini-wheat biscuits. Cereal bars and granola bars are also healthy options. Fresh fruit, dried fruit and yogurt could also be eaten on the way to school. Try toast with peanut butter, or spread peanut butter on a pancake and roll it up. Even though our culture has frowned upon carbohydrates in general, kids need healthy carbs to give them energy for the school day.
Ideally, the more food groups you can have for breakfast, the better. And if you can sit down and eat breakfast with your child, that would be marvelous. If there’s not enough time for breakfast, earlier bedtimes may be in order (perhaps for both you and your child).
As a parent, you set the best example of what your child should be eating for breakfast. If this article has been good food for thought, keep it in the front of that new Pee Chee folder. You may now head to the checkout line.
* David Pommer, MD, is a family physician with Selah Family Medicine. He is a graduate of Whitworth University and the University of Washington School of Medicine.
from the kitchen of Glenna Hagler
12-18 large eggs
8 oz Swiss cheese, grated
Half and half or whipping cream
Parmesan or Romano cheese
Olive oil, for the pan
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 casserole dish with a small amount of olive oil. Spread an even layer of Swiss cheese on the bottom of the pan. Place eggs on top of cheese without breaking the yolks (if you can!).
Pour enough half and half or whipping cream to fill in the gaps made by the eggs. Be conservative on the liquid here — use just enough. Too much will increase your baking time.
Bake in oven about 10 minutes, just long enough for the eggs to look a bit cooked but not done. Remove from oven and top with Parmesan and paprika and return to oven.
Cook another 10 minutes or until set. Serves 4-6 people as a main course. You may substitute Cheddar, Colby or Monterey Jack cheese for the Swiss.
from the kitchen of Ingrid Rodgers
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Mix
2 lbs all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1/3 cup olive oil
As a time-saver, you may prepare the potatoes the night before and soak them in water to cover. Drain, and proceed.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large plastic bag, add all ingredients, close and shake to coat potatoes evenly. Place potatoes into a shallow baking pan and discard bag. Bake, stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender and golden brown. Serves 8 people.
from the kitchen of Adrienne Humfeld
1 package store bought crescent roll dough
1/2 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
Splash of water
Preheat oven to package directions and roll out dough on a prepared cookie sheet (using cooking spray if needed). Cut and separate dough into perforated triangles.
Place 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate chips in center of triangles. Beat egg with water to thin it out a little for an egg wash. Roll up crescents, and brush with a small amount of egg wash. Bake to package directions until deep golden in color. Serve warm.