Posts Tagged ‘food projects with kids’

Easy Dairy-Free Vanilla-Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes

June 5, 2009


My son wanted to make cake that was vanilla and chocolate. Since we had just made vanilla yogurt cake, and since I had just seen David Leibovitz’s chocolate cupcake version of yogurt cake on Steamy Kitchen, I thought: Why not make vanilla batter and chocolate batter and marbelize them? Why not vanilla-chocolate swirl cupcakes?


I asked my husband for his vote and he wanted dairy-free, so I substituted soy milk for the yogurt.


Super Duper Easy Sufganiyot

December 23, 2008

I tried to resist. I really did. Even though my sister, who is a fantastic cook, has the cookbook, I shied away from Jamie Geller’s Quick & Kosher: Recipes from the Bride Who Knew Nothing.

I figured that I was not the target audience. I guess I figured wrong.

It was my mother who drew my attention to Ms. Geller’s article in The Jewish Press. My mom loved her Chanukah menu of  spinach balls, crudites, hummus, pita chips, guacamole, charif, and macaroni salad (appetizers), and Caesar salad with herb croutons, ziti, spinach fettuccine, and sun-dried tomato crusted tilapia (main course), with sufganiyot as a dessert. So I gave my mom the recipes.

Flash forward: It is dinnertime and my husband and son keep asking when I am making the latkes and sufganiyot. I assume that either they are kidding or I can placate them with purchased donuts and frozen latkes.  No.

I find potatoes and onions on the counter and my husband kindly offers to get the ingredients for the jelly donuts so that they will be ready in time for dinner. My son pulls up his stool to the counter, all ready to help. Right now.

I bring the potatoes and onions back down to the basement and bring up a box of mix. My son and I make the mix latkes. They are not so good. My son pushes them away and asks about the jelly donuts. I suddenly remember Jamie Geller and her recipe in The Jewish Press (also here with a picture, too).

I cut the recipe down and changed it a bit. I was going to just cut the recipe in half and use 8 ounces of yogurt, but I found a 6 ounce container of vanilla yogurt in the fridge, necessitating cutting the recipe down slightly more. 

My son loved mixing together the ingredients. It was so easy: just dump and stir. They fried up nicely and I stuffed them with strawberry jelly. I let my son shake them up in a bag with powdered sugar. He and my husband were thrilled. They are not quite the same as yeast raised sufganiyot, but they were quite tasty.

Sufganiyot (Jelly Donuts)
6 ounces of vanilla yogurt (I bet lemon yogurt would be excellent)
1 Tbl. sugar
1 egg
3/4 – 1 cup of flour (my son spilled a little of the flour, but it should have been a scant cup of flour)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/8 tsp. salt

Mix together the ingredients and let them rest while you heat up oil in a pan. The instructions say to let the batter rest, covered, for 15-20 minutes. I really don’t know why this is necessary. I just let the batter rest until the oil got hot. Jamie calls for heating 6 cups of oil in a 6 quart stockpot, but I used about 2-3 inches of oil in a 3 quart saucepan because I was making so few donuts. I also did not cover my pot while heating the oil.

How do you know the oil is hot enough? If you a deep frying or candy thermometer, the temperature will be 360 to 375 degrees. I waited until I saw the oil start to move under the surface or shimmer and then dropped in a drop of batter to see if it fried up right away. If the oil smokes, then it is too hot. Safflower oil is a good oil to use.

I made my donuts about half the size that Jamie suggests. I used a heaping teaspoon instead of a tablespoon to drop batter into the oil. I also needed to use a second spoon to scrape the batter off the first spoon. Fry the donuts until they get brown on the bottom and then flip them over. Continue to fry until the donuts are golden brown all over.

Drain the donuts on a paper towel lined plate. When they have cooled, cut a slit in the side and stuff them with strawberry jelly. Piping the jelly in in is best, but I had success just using a butter knife to shove in blobs of jelly. Put the donuts  (just three at a time) in a bag with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and shake until the donuts are dusted with the sugar.

Ice Cream in a Bag

December 8, 2008

OK. Just one more easy food project. Put chocolate milk in a small bag and seal it shut. Put ice and salt in a large bag and drop in the milk bag. Shake it up. The chocolate milk will turn into slushy ice milk/ice cream.

Go here for slightly more detail.

Challah French Toast Waffles

December 8, 2008

 regular french toast waffle

Did you know that you can turn challah into waffles? Well, you can.

bite of french toast waffle

I got this terrific idea from Dorie Greenspan’s Waffles: From Morning to Midnight.

challah french toast slices, ready to waffle

Beat a couple of eggs, throw in some milk. Dip in challah slices. Put the slices on the preheated waffle iron and close the iron. Tip: remove the crust from the challah and try to piece together pieces of challah to fill out the shape of the waffle iron plate. When the waffle is done, it will look like a regular waffle, but taste like french toast! Really cool . . . .

And fun to do with the kids.

challah french toast with syrup

Soft Whole Wheat Pretzels

December 7, 2008

I had a great time making soft pretzels with my son. I made a recipe from Helen Witty’s book, The Good Stuff. Next I want to try the recipe for hard pretzels from that book. And I want to try making cheese crackers, my son’s absolute favorite. Giving him homemade would make me feel marginally less guilty.

Making Pasta with Kids

November 13, 2008

The LA Times’ Amy Scattergood has written an article about making pasta with kids. “Pasta-making is a bit like a kid’s project anyway,” she writes. “Mix flour and eggs together into something that resembles Play-Doh. Then roll it out, cut it into funny shapes, boil it and eat it under a spoonful of sauce.”

She made it sound so easy.


I told my 3 12/ year old we would make noodles. It would be a project. Like when we made split pea soup or oatmeal cookies. “Great!” He said.

His eyes opened wide when I showed him the play-Doh like mass of pasta dough and the pasta machine. He excitedly cranked the handle and watched the dough extrude.

But something was amiss. The dough was coming out somewhat shredded looking, a little lacy, with lots of holes. So we kept folding the dough and putting it through. The little guy was wearing down and cranking more slowly as we put the dough through again and again to smooth it out.

Daddy came to help. “Are you having fun with the project?” He asked. “Daddy,” my son said wearily, “this isn’t a project, this is REAL.”

Finally, I divided up the dough and put through smaller pieces. Success! [note: the recipe, I realize now, says to divide it in four pieces before rolling it out. I missed that crucial instruction, unfortunately. Well, now we know what happens if you don’t divide it up!] We made the dough thinner and thinner (by now, Daddy was cranking). Then we put it through the fettuccine cutter. That was exciting.

The pasta was delicious, but, I’m sorry Amy, that was hard work! Though it would have been easier if I had followed the directions better. Oh well. Next time.