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May 29, 2004
Issue #006

*******Table of Contents:*******

1. Tropical Delights
2. Grandma's Home Cooking Tips
3. Picture This Birthday Cake
4. Your Chance to Win a Kids' Cookbook


1. Tropical Delights

Since moving to South Florida I've had a chance to discover some of the flamboyant flavors of the tropics. With summer around the corner, it's the time of the year (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) to follow the Beach Boys advice and have a "tropical drink melting in your hand." This time of year use as many fresh fruits as possible in your recipes.

I've put together some tropical recipes kids will enjoy making:

Tropical Fruit Salad

1 container plain or vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 pint strawberries, sliced in half (stems removed)
1 cantoloupe, sliced (seeds and rind removed)
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled and chopped

In a large bowl mix yogurt and honey. Add orange juice and stir. Mix in fruit, mint, and lettuce. Add pistachios, saving some to sprinkle on top.

Tropical Smoothie

1 cup soy milk
1 cup ice
2 tablespoons coconut cream
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 banana

Blend together.

Chicken Kabobs

2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 can pineapple chunks
1 green pepper
1 onion

Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes. Mix soy sauce and honey together (heat in a small pot on low heat and the honey will become more liquid and mix easier). Then marinate chicken in honey soy mixture for 30 minutes. Slide chicken cubes, pineapple chunks, green pepper slices, and onion slices on skewers. Grill on each side, approximately 5 minutes per side. Watch carefully because the sauce can burn.

2. Grandma's Home Cooking Tips

My dear Grandma passed away recently. Grandma showed her love for us by cooking. One of the ways we remember our loved ones, especially Grandmas, is by the love and care they put into the food they prepared for family. Those recipes are passed down for generations. Grandma loved home cooking and I'd like to share a few of her tips.

Paper Bags - Grandma always cooked her Thanksgiving turkey in a paper bag. She swore that's what made it juicy and tender. She also used a paper bag filled with flour, salt, and pepper to shake each piece of chicken for her fabulous fried chicken.

Cream - I always thought Grandma made the best mashed potatoes. One day I watched her make them and she looked at me with a big grin. The secret is to use lots of cream, she told me.

Here are a few of Grandma's favorite home cooking recipes:

Chicken Fried Steak

3 pounds round steak, sliced and tenderized
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon Accent seasoning
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons shortening

Sprinkle meat with half of the salt, pepper, and Accent seasoning. In a bowl mix together eggs, milk, and the rest of the salt, pepper, and seasoning. Use a fork to mix well.

Dip each steak slice in flour, then milk mixture, then flour again.

Kids, make sure to have an adult fry the steak for you. Put shortening in a skillet. Brown steak on each side. Remove from the skillet. Pour out the leftover shortening. Put the steak back in the skillet. Add the water, cover with a lid, and let simmer for half an hour.

Brilliant Bass

Bass or other fish fillets
Lemon juice
Worcheshire sauce
Seasoning salt
Bread crumbs

Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place bass or fish fillets on the foil. Spread fillets with butter. Top with lemon juice, Worcheshire sauce, fresh parsley, and other seasoning. Put bread crumbs on top and more butter.

Bake at 375F for 10 to 15 minutes.

Tea Party Sandwiches

Pimento cheese spread
Cream cheese
Green olives

Use a cookie cutter, can, or glass jar to cut bread into shapes. Spread one side with pimento cheese and the other with mayonaise. Put them together and ice like a cake top with cream cheese. Place a half of an olive on top of each little sandwich. These are wonderful sandwiches for parties.

3. Picture This Birthday Cake

Got a kid's birthday coming up? One picture perfect idea for a birthday cake is to take a favorite photo of your child to a bakery and have them reproduce the picture on a cake. I spoke with my local baker recently and she told me the technology for their equipment is the same as a photography lab. Only instead of using ink to print on photo paper, the baker uses food coloring to print onto the cake. The result is a beautiful cake.

Another way to put your kid on the cake is to have the photo laminated. Spread icing on the cake. Then place the laminated photo in the middle of the cake. Spread an assortment of different candies and lollies around the cake to make a "picture frame" around the birthday kid.

4. Your Chance to Win a Kids' Cookbook

Please take just a few minutes to fill out this cooking video survey for me and you'll have a chance to win a free kids' cookbook. Thanks for taking time. I really value your opinions! Click here to fill out the survey.

Happy Kid Cooking!

Clarissa, mom chef
Easy Kids Recipes