Autumn is in the Air: Time to Turn on the Oven and Bake a Cake

 

I love the fall…cool crisp mornings and warm sunny afternoons.

Here in Colorado, the aspen leaves will be turning to gold, while back in New England where my daughter and her family live; the maples will be wearing flaming headdresses of scarlet, crimson and purple.

 

Many parents will be helping their children plan their Halloween costumes and decorate the house with pumpkins and sheaves of autumn wheat and Indian corn.  Years ago, our local library had an annual pumpkin-painting contest and all of my children looked forward to choosing the “perfect” pumpkin to decorate and enter…hoping to win the coveted first place prize ribbon.

 

As the weather cools down, many of us start getting out the muffin pans and cookie sheets in preparation for holiday baking.  I encourage parents to include their children in meal preparation…and holiday baking is an especially fun time to have your kids in the kitchen. If you are looking for simple child-friendly recipes, you’ll find dozens of them in my book, Show Me How!

Here’s a wonderful recipe for Carrot Cake that doesn’t appear in the book.  It’s special enough for festive occasions, but simple enough so that young children can help.

 

The best thing about this cake is that it is very nutritious (one pound of carrots in each cake) and easy on the digestive system.  I recommend it for anyone who suffers from IBS or GERD problems.

CARROT CAKE

You will need: 1½ cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, 1½ tsp baking powder, ¾ tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 egg beaten, ½ cup canola oil, 1 tsp vanilla, zest of 1 orange, 1 pound baby carrots grated, ¾ cup pineapple chunks with juice (about ½ cup), 2 bowls, 1 Bundt pan lightly greased, blender or food processor.

  1. Mix in large bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  2. Mix in another bowl: brown sugar, beaten egg, canola oil, vanilla, orange zest.
  3. Use a blender or food processor to grate the carrots and add the pineapple chunks and juice and blend until fairly smooth.
  4. Add the carrot/pineapple mixture to the brown sugar/egg mixture and stir well till blended.
  5. Add this to the flour mixture and stir gently but thoroughly..
  6. Pour/spoon into lightly greased Bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  7. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.  After 30 minutes or so, turn upside down on a serving plate and allow the cake to continue cooling.
  8. For storage, cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator up to one week.

                                                                     For parents who are local to the Colorado Springs area

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE

STAYING HEALTHY

THIS SCHOOL YEAR!

SHOW-ME-HOW STORY-TIME PROGRAM

Saturday, September 24, 2011

12 to 12:45pm

Family Christian Store: 7165 N. Academy

719-598-1500 to RSVP

Or email vivian@positiveparentalparticipation.com

  • Bring your young children and listen to a story
  • Help your child make a simple craft project
  • Get a free flyer: Have a Healthier School Year

Vivian Kirkfield is a local author, former kindergarten and Head Start teacher and mom of three. Her parenting program and award-winning activity book for ages 2-7, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking, has helped thousands of parents build self-esteem, develop pre-literacy skills and create a stronger parent-child connection.

Make-A-Meal Mondays: Child-Friendly Sweet Raisin Irish Soda Bread

Some of the bakers with some newly baked bread

Image by National Library of Scotland via Flickr

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day…here’s a simple Irish Soda Bread recipe that your child can help prepare.

You will need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 Tb margarine
  • 1 beaten egg (reserve 1 Tb)
  • ¾ cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 Tb honey
  • Large bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Greased baking sheet

The bread is supposed to serve 16, but it will probably be less, because everyone will want seconds and thirds. 🙂

1.   In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2.   Cut in margarine until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

3.   Combine raisins, beaten egg (minus the 1 Tb) and buttermilk.

4.   Add this to the flour mixture and stir until moistened.

5.   On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough gently for 1 minute.

6.   On a greased baking sheet, shape dough into a 6-inch round loaf.

7.   Cut a 4-inch cross, ¼ inch deep, on the top.

8.   Brush with reserved tablespoon of egg.

9.   Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes until golden and cool on rack.

Important tip: When I made bread with my own children and the children in my daycare group, we always made enough dough so that EACH child could make his or her OWN small bread.  The families of the daycare children definitely looked forward to our bread-making day each week…and how proud each child was, clutching his wrapped bread loaf as he made his way home!

Why do I always encourage parents to invite their young children into the kitchen to help cook and bake?

When your children help measure and mix the ingredients, they are gaining a sense of competence and confidence, two of the building blocks of high self-esteem.

When you spend time with your children, participating joyfully in an activity, your children understand that they are worthy of your precious time and they are people of value…these are also important factors in acquiring a positive self-image.

Would you like 99 other simple child-friendly cooking activities?

Just visit my website and buy a copy of SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING…still on sale for 50% off the cover price!  This is a unique resource for parents, daycare providers and preschool teachers.   It also provides 100 easy eco-friendly craft projects and 100 summaries of picture books your young child needs to hear.

Oh, and don’t forget…we are awarding a CRAFTY EASTER BASKET, filled with craft supplies for your preschooler, to ONE LUCKY WINNER!  If you purchase a copy of the book, you will be automatically entered to win…otherwise, you can fill out the contact form on my website for a free entry.

Please stop by tomorrow for Quotable Timeless Tuesdays.

Make-A-Meal Mondays: President’s Day Special

A pair of cherries from the same stalk. Prunus...

Image via Wikipedia

Every four years, the citizens of the United States have the opportunity to choose a new president who will hopefully lead the country on an upward path of economic and social reform, while staying within the budget.

Every day, three times each day, moms (and sometimes dads) have the opportunity to choose a new dish to serve to their families that will hopefully provide good nutrition and good taste, while staying within the budget.

Hmmm…have you also seen the similarity between running the country and running a household? 🙂

It is true, though, that the responsibility of putting high quality, highly nutritious¸ good-tasting, affordable meals on the table is a heavy one.  I thought that since today is President’s Day, I should offer up a recipe that includes CHERRIES as one of the ingredients.

Why cherries you might ask? 

I’m sure most of you know the story of our first president, George Washington, and the incident with the cherry tree.  As it was told when I was in school, young George went out into the garden with a new hatchet and chopped down a young cherry tree.   When questioned by his father as to whether or not he did it, George replied, “I cannot tell a lie.  It was I who chopped down the cherry tree.”   His father, impressed with his young son’s honesty, did not punish him, but praised him for telling the truth.

Of course, the moral of the little tale is that we should always tell the truth…no matter what we have done or what the consequences of our actions might be.  I know this is what we teach our children…and this week I’ll be examining the topic of honesty in many of my posts.  And, if you are looking for any information or resources about President’s Day, hop over to Mirth and Motivation.  The author of that blog is the consummate researcher…a great writer and funny to boot!  And she is having a Mega-Blog Hop…if you join, you will meet a bunch of awesome bloggers!

But for now, I’d like to provide you with a recipe for lovely child-friendly fruit crisp…full of super foods…and with the option of using cherries (sometimes they are available only in season and can be quite expensive) or substituting other fruits.

CHILD-FRIENDLY COLORFUL FRUIT CRISP

You will need: 5 cups mixed fruit, washed and then sliced if necessary (peaches, plums, apricots, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, apples), ¼ cup white sugar, ¼ cup orange juice, 1 tsp lemon juice, 3 Tb flour (for the fruit), ¼ cup flour (for the topping), 2 cups rolled oats, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ cup healthy margarine softened, a greased 9×13 inch pan, and 2 large bowls.

1.     In a large bowl, gently toss fruit with white sugar, orange juice and lemon juice.

2.     Sprinkle with 3 Tb flour, toss gently again and spread in the greased pan.

3.     In another bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and the remaining flour. 

4.     Add the margarine and mix till crumbly.

5.     Sprinkle crumbly mixture over fruit.

6.     Bake 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees until fruit is tender and topping is golden brown.

7.     Serve warm or at room temperature.

8.     Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge.

9.     Serves about 12.

This recipe has so many super foods: oats, orange juice, lemon juice, cinnamon and all of the fruits…even though it is a dessert, you can rest easy giving it to your family because it is so high in nutrition and fiber while being fairly low in added sugar and fat.  Plus, it is really simple to prepare…your young children will love to help with the measuring and mixing.  It’s only one of the 100 easy-to-make child-friendly healthful recipes you’ll find in my new parenting book, on sale now for a limited time on my website for half price!  Check it out…I think you’ll be glad you did…it takes the hassle out of planning activities with preschoolers.

I hope you’ll stop by tomorrow for Quotable Timeless Tuesdays…for an honest look at honesty.