Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fun in the Kitchen

So today was "fun in the kitchen" day.  And we did have fun!  Okay -- well actually it was more of a "mindful eating" challenge but you know -- my kids are great eaters!  So we just went for the fun.

First, we made these cool and easy bird feeders.  At least two of these little ones have sensory integration issues so this turned out to be a great exercise for them.  The combination of sticky gelatin and  lumpy birdseed was a good challenge.  The Blitz may or may not have eaten a couple teaspoons of the stuff.  What can I say, it was relatively edible.

Our second project was to mix up a batch of "real" fruit chews.  We have a section in our grocery that sells all this dried fruit I don't buy because it's full of sugar but then I thought, "Why not for a treat? Better than that artiticial stuff they call 'fruit chews'"  So we bought 3 packages based solely on pretty colors.  The kiwis were full slices so I cut them up; they required a sharp, heavy knife.  We mixed them all up with some mixed nuts.

I fogot to photograph the mixing but arent' they pretty?

Finally, before I knew today was cooking day, I had decided to mix a giant batch of meatballs to cook 2 ways.  Pepper had already mixed the meat, so all that remained was seasoning, shaping and cooking.  I knew it was risky but decided to have all the kids help.  I made them promise, promise, promise not to taste it and they had fun, fun, fun!

To make life easier for all of us, I readied a tub of warm soapy water for hand washing afterward.

I like a mix of ground meats for meatballs and I use the leanest available of each type;
  • 86% lean Ground beef, about 2 pounds
  • Ground pork, extra lean, about 2 pounds
  • Ground white turkey meat, about 1 pound
  • Italian sausage seasoned ground turkey, about 1 pound
I use about two pounds the mix to make the filling for this stuffed cabbage; it is a really wonderful seasoning so I use one head of Napa to wrap as many as I can, and the rest I just steam as plain meatballs.  They freeze great.  Notes:  I do not use onions (allergic).  You can use chicken stock and they are still great; I always have dashi stock so I use it.  Dashi stock is really easy to make -- Google it. 

The  rest goes for these Crock Pot Meatballs.

In between we had plenty of time for hanging our bird-feeders, playing in the unexpectedly sunny, warm day and saying good-bye to our little foster friend.   For fun, I gave them an all "round" supper; we made the Asian meatballs for tonight, so I made their rice into little balls, gave them a Satsuma orange (peeled of course), and Spinach Knobs.  They were in heaven with their round food.  For some reason it was really funny.

Another great day!  I am richly blessed!


  1. Yumm! Cooking together is so much fun!

  2. We've made those bird feeders too...they made great Valentine's day gifts for the grandparents!! So funny I thought your picture of the dried fruit was a rock collection they do look very pretty!!