Here is the latest issue of Recipes Express, the Easy Kids Recipes Newsletter. I hope you enjoy!

July 8, 2004
Issue #007

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

1. Grill it Up
2. Toddler Finger Foods
3. Cool Cake Idea
4. Kids Cook Book Winner


1. Sizzling Easy Grill Recipes

Summer's the perfect time for cookouts. Grill it up with family and friends with a backyard barbeque or poolside party. Grilling is fun and healthy - and kids love to eat grilled foods if you use lip smacking sauces. Here are a few grilling tips:

1) Be safe. Make sure an adult does the grilling or at least supervises older kids.

2) Scrape and brush the grill rack before you barbeque . This is an easy way to clean the grill and it also prevents sticking.

3) Use the right cooking utensils. Make sure you use a nice stiff grill brush, an extra wide spatula, and super long tongs.

4) Add plenty of charcoal. Always keep the fire wider than the area where your food is grilling. Always wait for the fire to die down. Don't rush the grilling. Give yourself plenty of time. Don't cook over flames, always over hot coals. Spread coals apart if fire flames up.

5) Resist the temptation to keep lifting the grill lid. Instead watch the clock.

6) Marinate or sauce it up for flavor. Marinate meats, experiment with differents sauces, use herbs, smother with olive oil. Marinate meats overnight to tenderize. Apply sauce in the last 15 minutes of grilling to avoid burning.

7) Don't limit yourself. Grill everything, not just meats. Be adventurous and throw some shrimp on the barbie, grill fish, and experiment with grilled veggies, too. Eggplant, squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn with husks, mushrooms, and onions are all delicious on the grill.

Get the Kids Involved in the Burger Fun!

One fantastic way to get kids involved is by letting them make the burgers. Wash hands well, then shape the burgers into patties. Add an egg or bread crumbs for firmer burger patties. The key to a good burger is not to handle the beef too much. Mix and shape, don't overmix or keep reshaping. The meat actually gets tougher if you overhandle it.

There is an art to flipping burgers - you should only flip once. Also, you can keep the juices in the burger by not pressing down on the patty with the spatula.

Taco Burgers

1 pound ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
salt and pepper
grated cheese
picante sauce

Add taco seasoning mix, salt, and pepper to ground beef. Mix and shape into burger patties, then grill. Top with grated cheese, avocado slices, and picante sauce.

Green Salmon Steaks

4 salmon steaks (or fillets)
4 small limes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
pinch of sugar
a few sprigs of fresh cilantro, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped

Juice two limes and mix with olive oil, a pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper (add minced ginger for more of an Asian flavor). Pour over salmon, cover, and marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Then grill in lightly oiled foil for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with fresh lime quarters, cilantro, and spring onions.

2. Finger Food for the Hungry Toddler

My son, Luke, is 11 months old now. He's ready to move on from the soft, mashed baby foods and his appetite is increasing. This is my fourth time to have a toddler in the past eight years, so I've done this before. Recently, Sarah, mother of a one year old in Australia, asked for some recipes and advice for feeding a toddler when you're on the go. Click here to read my article on toddler finger food ideas. And feel free to add any advice or submit your easy recipes for feeding toddlers.

3. Cool Cake Idea

Since most of us (with the exception of our Southern Hemisphere friends) are experiencing scorching weather right now, the kid birthday cake idea of the month is a swimming pool cake.

Cool Pool Cake Recipe

1) Bake a 9" round cake.
2) Take one packet of blueberry instant gelatin (Jello) and follow package instructions.
3) When Jello is nearly set, gently stir to break it up.
4) Once cake has cooled, cut out a one inch deep hollow circle for the pool.
5) Ice the cake.
6) Next spoon the Jello into the pool.
7) Just before serving, place toy dolls, toy beach ball, or other decorations in the pool.

4. And the Winner is...

Many thanks to the hundreds of people (kids, moms, and dads) who took the time to contribute ideas for the recent cooking video survey.

Congratulations to Sarah from Canada, who won the cookbook, Batter Up Kids Delicious Desserts: Sweet Treats from the Premier Children's Cooking School.

This creative cookbook is spiral bound with wipe off pages and a chef hat. Author, Barbara Beery, runs a kids cooking school in Austin, Texas. Her website is Barbara's new cookbook has fun and easy kids dessert recipes such as this one for candy-coated dragonflies:

Candy-Coated Dragonflies

1 pound vanilla candy coating or vanilla almond bark (use 8 to 10 squares)
Food coloring, optional
8 (8-inch) pretzel rods
16 large classic-shaped pretzel twists
Assorted decorating sugars or sprinkles

1. Melt candy coating according to package directions. Remove from heat and pour into 2 or 3 small bowls. You may add 2 to 4 drops of food coloring to each bowl. Stir to blend color.
2. Place pretzel rods on foil-lined cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray (about 3 inches apart from each other). These are the dragonflies' long bodies.
3. Carefully spoon the warm melted candy coating over each pretzel rod to cover completely.
4. Now dip each pretzel twist in the candy coating and place one on each side of the upper half of the pretzel rod. The pretzel twists should actually rest on top of the pretzel rod and just barely touch one another. This forms the dragonfly's wings.
5. Sprinkle each dragonfly pretzel with colored sugars or sprinkles.

Makes 8 dragonflies.

Excerpted from Batter Up Kids: Delicious Desserts by Barbara Beery, Marty Snortum. Copyright © 2004. (Reprinted with permission from the author.)

Happy Kid Cooking!

Clarissa, mom chef
Easy Kids Recipes


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