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.
May 30, 2013 by Scott Klepach
Food & Text by Jill St. George & Robin Salts Beckett
Photos by George May
Having a barbecue this Independence Day?
Don’t forget the dessert! Try these easy and delicious kid-friendly sweets.
Large pretzel sticks, white chocolate chips, sprinkles
In a double boiler, melt white chocolate chips until they are smooth and creamy. Coat the top half of the pretzel stick with white chocolate. Cover with red and blue sprinkles and then prop upright in a glass until the chocolate hardens.
Strawberries, marshmallows, angel food cake, chocolate chips, wood skewers
Rinse and cut the tops off of the strawberries. If strawberries are large, cut them in half. Cut the angel food cake into bite-size squares. Alternate strawberries, cake and marshmallows on the kabobs. Set aside. In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips until they are smooth and creamy. Put melted chocolate in a sandwich bag and then cut off a very small corner of the bag. Rotate the kabobs while drizzling chocolate over them. Carefully arrange them on a plate and let chocolate harden in the refrigerator.
Yogurt and popsicle trays
Depending on the number of folks you’re feeding, get the same number of blueberry, cherry and vanilla yogurt (one small container of each flavor can be used for 3-4 small popsicle trays). Then just layer the yogurts, pop in the freezer to chill and enjoy! Adding a bit of food coloring to the blueberry and cherry will help these patriotic pops pop!
November 28, 2012 by Scott Klepach
By Robin Salts Beckett
If you get a minute for yourself, this is what we think you should do with it!
InStyle Magazine — I’m not saying I’m some sort of fashion plate — I’m not. Often my wardrobe consists of what is clean, mostly unwrinkled and somewhat matching. But I do love fashion, and I get a ton of inspiration from InStyle magazine. (I’ve found that all my magazines are like little surprises in my mailbox…well worth the cost of a subscription.) InStyle includes a regular feature that pairs one item — say, a tunic-length cardigan — with myriad different options, some I certainly wouldn’t think of myself. It’s helping me break out of my matchy-matchy mindset. And if all else fails, and I’m wearing khakis and a twin-set again, it’s just plain fun to read.
The PediSpin — Let’s face it gals, sometimes our feet just aren’t that pretty. And bi-weekly pedicures are not usually an option, as much as I enjoy them. Nonetheless, with our hectic schedules and active lifestyles, our feet get the brunt and often look it. Enter the PediSpin. Like a mini-sander, it rids heels and balls of feet of coarse calluses and rough spots. And it’s completely painless. AND it’s only $14.99 at Target!
Ah, my morning latte — I’m a latte drifter and frequent many espresso stands for my daily cup of energy, but one of my favorite little coffee joints is Espresso Express on Tieton Drive. They’ve got great coffee, wonderful flavors and consistent quality. But what I really enjoy is their customer service. They are just so darn sweet! Their service — and coffee — is so good that I’ll even drive several blocks out of my way in order to get my latte there. All that, and they give customers a chocolate-covered coffee bean, too. Now that’s
the way to start your morning. Espresso Express • 3706 Tieton Drive • Yakima • 509-452-3004
May 25, 2012 by Scott Klepach
Don’t settle for the humdrum … use fun and usual ingredients to give your backyard campfire S’mores that little extra kick.
Use a dark chocolate bar for this one. Then put a dollop of raspberry on the chocolate, then smush your ‘shmeller in between.
This one requires special marshmallows, so if you’re in the mood to get really fancy, you can order your own off of websites like >>>>>. Just replace your regular ol’ marshmallow and impress your tastebuds.
Nutella and banana S’more
Get your two regular graham crackers, slice some bananas on one side, then spread the other with Nutella. Add marshmallow if you really want, but we think it sounds delicious without.
Petit Ecolier S’more
Easy peasy. Put a nice warm marshmallow between two of these European chocolate “biscuits.” Yum!
July 21, 2009 by Robin Beckett
Hey Mom, do you need a quick idea for a summertime treat or after-school snack? Fruit smoothies are easy and fun. Let the kids design their own flavors, or scroll down for a few of our favorite recipes.
3 — The third-best thing about making smoothies is that you don’t need to run to the store: If you’ve got a cup of yogurt, a handful of frozen berries and an overripe banana, you’ve got a smoothie. Or, maybe you open the fridge and find just two gulps of orange juice and the last scoop of vanilla ice cream: Voila! Creamsicle.
2 — The second-best thing about making smoothies is that they’re delicious.
1 — Best of all? You just cleaned out the fridge.
It’s OK to experiment:
- Try using different juices, including vegetable juices.
- Add a handful of carrot or celery slices. Once it’s blended, the kids will never know they’re eating vegetables.
- Add a scoop of peanut butter.
- Substitute milk for juice, or juice for milk.
- 8-ounce servings are too large for young kids. Make popcicles with leftover mix.
1 cup milk, plus more if needed
1 cup frozen or fresh blackberries
2 ice cubes
1 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons sugar
A few drops of vanilla
In a blender, puree the berries with the ice cubes and milk. If you like, strain the mixture into a bowl to remove the seeds. Rinse the blender. Pour the mixture back into the blender. Add the yogurt, sugar and vanilla, blending the mixture until smooth. If it’s too thick, add more milk. Makes three 8-ounce servings; serve immediately.
1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 or 6 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Three servings; serve immediately.
1 cup vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup chocolate milk
1 banana, cut into chunks and frozen
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Three servings; serve immediately.
July 1, 2007 by Robin Beckett
Dry snacks: low-sugar cereal, small pretzels, mini rice cakes, animal crackers.
Dried fruits: raisins, cherries, apricots, coconut flakes.
Nuts and seeds: Peanuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds.
Directions: Combine any or all of these ingredients into an airtight container and toss gently to mix. Stores for weeks.
June 1, 2007 by Robin Beckett
from the cabin of Janet Gallant
1 lg can sliced peaches
1 pkg white or yellow cake mix
1/4 lb butter (1 stick)
Prepare charcoal (abt 35 pieces) for dutch oven cooking. Rub inside of the dutch oven with cooking oil, place 8 pieces of hot coals under the dutch oven, and 20 pieces on the lid.
When the oven is hot, pour peaches and juice into the oven. Add the dry cake mix on top of the peaches. Cut the butter into pats (small chucks) and place on top of the cake mix. Lightly dust everything with cinnamon. Place the lid back on the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
Check cake with a clean straw or knife: Sticking the straw into the cake mix. If the straw comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, add charcoal to the oven and bake another 10 minutes. Check again.
May 30, 2007 by Robin Beckett
from the cabin of Janet Gallant
1/2 cup milk (doesn’t matter what kind; chocolate milk makes chocolate ice cream)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla (try other flavors)
zip-lock freezer bags (pint and quart sized)
Add these to a pint-size zip-lock freezer bag; zip closed. Place that bag in a larger (quart or bigger) zip-lock bag. Add ice to fill larger bag 1/2 way, plus 6 tablespoons salt (rock or regular). Zip that one closed and shake, turn, toss and mix the bag. In about 5-10 minutes you will have cold hands and yummy ice cream!
Janet’s Tips: Don’t try to double this recipe, as it doesn’t seem to work. Rinse all of the salt off of the small bag before you open it. BE SURE TO USE FREEZER BAGS; the others are too thin. Hold onto the zipper part of the bag at all times. The bag does get cold, so gloves are recommended. Kids will have jumping around and shaking the bags. The ice cream thickens and you’ll need to eat it with a spoon. Melts very fast.