Saturday, 11 December 2010 by Irene Hoofs
Caramel Popcorn Lollipops by Damaris from Kitchen Corners
Thanksgiving transitions beautifully to Christmas in our home. Last week we jumped on the gratitude wagon and wrote letters to Santa. It started off like this, “Dear Santa I’m thankful for...” and then I had my 4 year old list all the toys he got last year. He only remembers his favorite like the Go Fish cards I got him at the dollar store on a whim. Then we wrote Santa about the things we need. This involves socks and underwear, boring stuff. Then we wrote Santa what we wanted. I for one want new cook books. My husband would like a new surf Board, Enzo tells me to write down jelly beans and quarters, and our baby just wants molars so she can actually chew. Being a young mother of two young children is physically exhausting but at the same time I’m thankful that things are somewhat simple right now. Jelly Beans, quarters, and baby teeth, how lucky am I? I’m glad my kids are content with simple things, for the time being. For example, who would of thought that caramel popcorn on a candy cane stick would of made a little boy so happy?
Caramel Popcorn Lollipop
1 cup popcorn kernels
⅓ cup brown sugar
⅓ cup butter
⅓ cup light corn syrup
⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk
12 candy cane sticks
1. Pop the popcorn on medium heat over the stove top. If you want to use microwave popcorn you will need two bags.
2. While the popcorn is popping mix the sugar, butter, light corn syrup, and sweetend condensed milk on a small sauce pan over medium heat until it is well incorporated and begins to bubble.
3. Put the popcorn in a large bowl and pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn. Mix gently so as to not break the popcorn, making sure that the popcorn gets fully coated with caramel.
4. Gently form popcorn balls around the tips of the peppermint sticks so as to create a lollipop shape.
5. Place on top of a tray lined with wax paper to keep from sticking to each other.
by Damaris from Kitchen Corners
Friday, 12 November 2010 by Irene Hoofs
Polenta Crust Pizza by Damaris from Kitchen Corners
The Polenta Crust Pizza is naturally gluten free and perfect for toddlers
Today our bag of flour came to an end. That's a 50lb. bag of flour that we keep under the sink. Today, alone, my husband used 15 cups and I used another 2 cups. Bread and donuts were made. It's always a little surprising when we run out of flour, it's absurd how much we consume. Not to say that I don't love bread and donuts. I do, but still 50lb. is a lot.
I've been thinking more about trying out gluten free recipes. My son has two close friends with gluten allergies. I have a close friend who became gluten intolerant during her 4th pregnancy and has never recovered. I also have friends who decided not to consume gluten and have no allergies. All this got me thinking and researching alternatives to recipes that I wold otherwise make with flour.
So today Baby Maria and I made a polenta pizza.
She tried to eat all the tomatoes before I even had a chance to get them on the pizza. I just smile. I have been a tomato aficionada since I can remember, looks like we have another one tomato lover in the house. I have to say she's way cuter at eating tomatoes than I am.
Making polenta is easy. Bring 3 cups vegetable broth to a boil. Then turn off the stove and quickly stir 1 1/2 cups corn meal and 2 tablespoons olive oil. I also added salt, garlic, and Italian seasoning. You can add whatever kind of seasoning you like. Then spread the polenta on a tart pan or a spring form pan and bake at 350* for 30 minutes. This is really important because you want your crust to be somewhat dried out so that when you put your toppings it will hold it's form and not become polenta mush. After you bake the crust add tomato sauce and whatever kind of toppings you like. I wanted to go for something fresh and healthy, so I went for spinach, pumpkin, goat cheese, and tomatoes. Then I baked for an additional 15 minutes. I was thrilled with the end result. It was super delicious. Baby Maria ate all the tomatoes even when they were hot. Then she made her way through the rest of the pizza, topping by topping. She loved it.
I think polenta pizza is great for kids, specially kids who only have 7 teeth. I noticed that Baby Maria had a much easier time eating polenta crust, then flour crust. The polenta crust is softer and the corn meal just melts in your mouth. She is also a huge fan of vegetables (yeah, we'll see how long that will last) and it's fun for her to have a colorful selection on top of her pizza. She uses her little chubby finger to pick each topping off one by one.
Tomorrow we're having leftover polenta pizza for lunch.
by Damaris from Kitchen Corners
Friday, 29 October 2010 by Irene Hoofs
Orange Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween by Damaris from Kitchen Corners
I am mom to Enzo, a boy who loves to cook with me. A boy who likes to create and explore new things. I started cooking with Enzo before he was born. I would spend my last three months of pregnancy making meals and freezing them for future chaotic days. I would talk to him about what I was making and he would answer back with baby kicks.
Our adventures in the kitchen hasn't always been blissful. We've had our share of spills and messes and tears, yes tears. Enzo has recently discovered that not all foods are created equal and that according to his taste buds somethings are yucky. I tell him "Enzo, I will never feed you something yucky. I try hard to make delicious food and because I love you I will always feed you delicious food." He doesn't really believe me and many times he says "no thanks" which is code for "There is no way I'm eating that." So we move on. And we cook some more. Cooking with him has been rewarding in that a)he's actually quit helpful and b)he tends to have ownership of what he creates and in those circumstances he's more likely to try new ingredients and be less picky.
We've been in Halloween mode lately and we're experimenting with different treats and dessert. A couple weeks ago I saw an idea that I loved on a parenting website. It's a hallowed orange cut out like a jack-o-lantern filled with chocolate pudding. Spooky!
I wanted to add a touch of nutrition to the dessert so we added pumpkin. We used instant chocolate pudding which calls for 2 cups milk. However, we substituted 1 cup of milk for 1 cup of pumpkin puree which gave us a creamy pumpkin chocolate pudding. Then we carved our oranges and filled it up to the brim.
Then we made another, and another, and another until we had enough to share with friends. One pudding recipe yielded 6 orange jack-o-lanterns, enough for a small crowd, a very happy crowd.
by Damaris Santos-Palmer, Food blogger: Kitchen Corners