Every Friday afternoon our young chefs happily gather around a large table to mix, measure, roll, dip, stir, sprinkle, mash, poke, pour, pound, whisk, spoon, shake and taste. The occasion is Kindergarten Cafe
- our weekly excursion into "fun with food".
This can manifest with such simple delights as hot chocolate on a wintry day or popcorn made in the hot air popper (a truly exciting experience for the under six set!). Or it can entail more complex fare such as Oreo turkeys (at Thanksgiving). Whatever the outcome, it seems to be the process that keeps 'em wanting more. Learning how to peel a banana or squirt whipped cream out of a can is sometimes enough to satisfy our energetic tykes.
Two brave moms offered to lead the Kindergarten Cafe cooking class recently with hands-on recipes designed to maximize student interest.
Barby taught the kids how to make Vanilla Snowballs with a recipe by Anne Coleman. These are easy no bake treats that require little preparation.
1 12-ounce package white chocolate chips
4 cups popped popcorn
2 cups fruit flavored O's cereal (Fruit Loops)
1. Microwave the chocolate chips in a bowl for a minute or two.
2. Put popcorn and cereal in a large bowl and mix together
3. Pour melted chocolate over cereal and popcorn and stir until coated well.
4. Drop by 1/3 cup into cupcake liners.
5. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes until hardened.
This was a roll up your sleeves and dig in activity. It was also very sticky due to the fact that we had to substitute the white chocolate chips with marshmallows because of a child with a severe nut allergy (Note: be sure to read all labels carefully. Although some products do not contain nuts they are manufactured on equipment that also processes nuts and can cause an allergic reaction).
By the end of the lesson we were calling Barby our very own Rachael Ray
due to her easy go-with-the-flow style and quick wit.
Several weeks later Dana volunteered to teach the children how to make Cake Pops
also known as Lollipop Cakes, Cake on a Stick or simply Cake Balls. It is evidently the latest sensation and quite fabulous.
1 box cake
1 container of frosting
1. Bake a cake, cool and crumble.
2. Add in frosting and mush it all together.
3. Roll the mixture into little cake balls.
4. Place a lollipop stick into each ball.
4. Dip the balls into the confectioners sugar and water mixture.
This recipe required some in-advance preparation, Dana had to bake the cake beforehand, but everything else was done with the class. Each student had a specific task to complete which seemed to include lots of jumping up and down with excitement and anticipation.
Dana provided a few options for decoration but these culinary masterpieces didn't last long enough for much adoration. How many bites does it take to reach the center of a cake pop? Evidently only one!
We send out a huge thank you to our fun, patient and generous moms for sharing your time and talents with us. You make kindergarten even more fun!