Flame Free Treats
& Easy Menus for Kids and Dads
by Kate Heyhoe
From Kate's Global Kitchen mailbag...
You can call me Willie. As you probably know Mother's Day is coming up and I wanted to cook something for her. My problem is that it needs to be inexpensive, I have to be able to make it without her knowing, plus I'm only 10 years old. Have any ideas? Please e-mail me back.
That's so cool that you want to cook something for your mom. But keeping it a surprise can be tough, especially if you plan to use the stove. Here's a few ideas that will show your mom how special she is without using the stove. They also won't cost break your allowance, and they aren't too difficult to create (or hard to hide when you're making them as a surprise)...
- Fresh fruit skewers: Look for bamboo skewers in the picnic or Asian aisle of the store. Thread them with fresh fruit like strawberries, banana chunks, and orange slices, for instance (if you use apple slices, dip them in lemon juice to keep them from turning brown). If you can melt some chocolate easily, drizzle it on top, or drizzle a thin stream of Hershey's chocolate sauce in a can on the skewers. You can also dust them with powdered sugar by sprinkling the powdered sugar through a small sieve or strainer over them (be careful: this can be messy!). Serve them on a large plate, garnish with some fresh mint leaves if you have them, and if you have some ribbon, tie a bow on the handle end of each skewer.
- Cookie cutter decorated sandwiches: Use any type of cookie cutter—hearts are nice, but pick one(s) your Mom will enjoy. Cut out the shapes from some bread slices. Spread a cut out bread piece with whipped or softened cream cheese. You can either leave the sandwich open-faced or top it with another bread cut-out. For open-faced sandwiches, decorate them with ingredients to make happy faces, hearts, or other designs. To decorate a sandwich made with two slices of bread, spread some more cream cheese or soft butter or margarine on the sides, then roll the sides in colorful things like paprika, dillweed, finely minced parsley, or finely shredded cheddar cheese. You can also add sliced or chopped ingredients inside the sandwich, or mixed in with the cream cheese. Cucumber slices tastes great with cream cheese, as do radishes, chopped nuts, sunflower seeds, fresh berries, and olives. Use your imagination! Be sure to cover the sandwiches with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out until ready to serve for breakfast, lunch for afternoon tea.
- Icing decorated cookies: Cooking in the kitchen can be tough to hide from your mom, but you can buy plain sugar or ginger cookies and decorate them. The spice aisle carries icing in tubes and other decorations, such as chocolate sprinkles, colored sugar and edible silver beads. The fun here is that mom will get an "original" piece of edible art made expressly for her by you! Another trick is to heat chocolate chips in the microwave (use a microwave safe bowl) until mostly melted, then spoon them into a small zip top bag. Squish them down to one corner of the bag, then snip the very corner off the end of the bag (make a very small cut). To decorate, squeeze the melted chocolate through the cut tip to make your favorite design or write a name or message on the cookie. You can also do this to decorate brownies and cupcakes, and you can melt white chocolate chips and peanut butter chips for piping as wellrFood Collages: If cooking something is too hard to do or to keep as a secret, consider making a "painting" or collage using food products. Take a heavy piece of cardboard and glue beans, rice, pasta, other grains, spices and herbs to make a picture. I used to do this for my mom, and she loved it—she couldn't eat the gift, but she could keep the pictures for a long, long time.
Hope you and your mom have a great Mom Day—let me know how it turns out!
For an elegant Mother's Day Menu that dads and kids can make together, pick up Kate Heyhoe's book Cooking with Kids for Dummies. It features easy but delicious recipes that can be prepared in advance, including Poached Pink Salmon, Asparagus with Grainy Mustard Sauce, Orange-Scented Couscous, and Tropical Berry Ambrosia. Try these and other recipes out at cookingwithkids.com.
The Cooking with Kids for Dummies book also contains a portable Dad's Day Summer Picnic with kid-friendly recipes for Grilled Ruby-Red Grapefruit Chicken, Cool-as-a-Cucumber Dressing and salad, Faster-than-5 Black Bean Salsa, and luscious Peach Cobbler. Yum!
This Month in Kate's Global Kitchen:
5/01/99:—Happy Mother's Day! Flame Free Treats & Easy Menus for Kids and Dads
Kate's Mediterranean Menus for May...
5/08/99—Finger Foods: Stuffed Artichokes & Antipasti
5/15/99—Chicken Paillard Party
5/22/99—White Beans for Summer Salads
5/29/99—Greek Summer Supper: Grilled Shrimp in Ouzo
Copyright © 1999, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
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This page created May 1999