Category: Cooking with Kids

Cooking with Kids DIY Spice Seasonings

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There’s one thing that I really enjoy doing with my son, and it’s cooking!  We recently made a batch of spice seasonings to gift.  Nothing like homemade spices instead of the store bought ones.  You also save a ton of money, too!
We gathered our materials measuring cups, spoons, mason jars and the seasonings.  Then we got started!  Just an FYI it will get very messy!   I also had raffia to decorate and labels for each jar.  We made taco, ranch, Italian, chili and adobo seasonings.

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Categories: Cooking with Kids, Food

Kid-Made Strawberry Banana Nutella Cake

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My 8 yr. old loves watching The Food Network Channel. His favorite show is Cake Wars. He was excited with the “Sea World theme” from one of the episodes.  Hence, his request to make a strawberry banana Nutella cake with crushed walnuts that looked like a shark!  Say what?? My head was spinning! Ha! 
Sadly, I had to burst his bubble. The shark part was a no-go, but I could help him bake the cake he asked for. 
I’m not a baker so this had to be easy peasy!  Plus, I wanted this be an easy-to-bake cake for my 8 yr. old.  
I ran to the grocery store, and wouldn’t you know they don’t sell banana cake mixes! Banana bread mix yes, banana cake mix no. {Sigh} So I figured if I can buy banana extract I can make something happen, right? So I Google on my phone easy banana recipe with extract, and bingo! I found an easy cake recipe that my son could surely follow! Original recipe can be found here.  
I grabbed the strawberries, bananas, walnuts, and the rest of the ingredients for the banana mix.  
Once home, my child was thrilled to see all of the ingredients for his cake, and we quickly got to work.  He mixed the cake ingredients, while I sliced the strawberries. I still wasn’t sure how he wanted to make his cake.  As soon as he poured the cake batter into the cake pan, he started licking the bowl. That’s the best part right? Ha!
Then I placed the cake pan in the oven, and put the Nutella jar in a bowl of hot water to soften it. When the cake was cooling,  I suggested we decorate the cake with Nutella, strawberries, and the crushed walnut. He was all for it! 
I cut the cake in two, and helped him place it on a pizza sheet with aluminum foil. He took care of the rest. I must admit this was the tastiest, and yummiest cake ever!!! He was so proud of his creation, and then asked me when would he be able to bake again. 
I am so happy to help my son explore his different interests.  He came up with this flavor combination all by himself. I initially wanted a chocolate cake (mixes are easy to find!) but he insisted on it being banana.  
What are your favorite cake flavors?? I’m thinking of piña colada cake next, but not sure he’ll like it. 😉 
Categories: Cooking with Kids, Food

Kid Friendly Piña Colada from Puerto Rico

If there’s something that I love and crave often is Puerto Rico’s official beverage: piña colada (without the rum!) 

Of course, the piña colada is a cocktail that has rum in it, but I make it without! It’s just as delicious. It’s like having a slushy explosion in your mouth from the sweetness of the pineapple and coconut! Oh so sweet, and delicious. It’s also so refreshing during the summer or any other time. 
For me it was a flashback of sipping some piña colada during “Las Fiestas Patronales” while listening to music; and enjoying the festivities with friends and family. My husband and son will most likely not have my same memories, but I hope that when they drink the piña colada it will remind them of the tropical paradise that Puerto Rico is. 🙂

There are a few recipes out there, but I mine is super simple! The best thing is that it’s kid friendly! 
15 oz of cream of coconut
15 oz of crushed pineapples
cup of ice
Put in the blender and mixed until ice is crushed. It’s the perfect recipe for kids! 
If you don’t have cream of coconut, and have coconut milk then then you can try the following recipe: 

Receta de piña colada

Ingredientes (Ingredients)
64 oz de jugo de piña (64 oz. pineapple juice)
1 lata de leche condensada 14 oz (1 can of condensed milk)
12 a 16 oz de leche de coco (coconut milk)
1 cucharada de extracto de vainilla (1 tsp. vanilla extract)

Mezcle en licuadora y sirva en copa de cristal. (Mix in blender and serve in a glass cup)

What fun, and delicious beverage from your culture do you share with your family?  Please comment, like, share or pin!
¡Hasta la próxima!

Backyard Barbecue Bloghop: Grilling Season

First Annual Backyard Barbecue Bloghop

Announcing the first annual Backyard Barbecue Bloghop!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be joining other bloggers in the first annual Backyard Barbecue Bloghop!
Of course, the first thing that crosses my mind is grilling season!! My husband loves, loves to BBQ! He even has his own special barbecue sauce recipe (sorry, but my hubby refuses to share his recipe). However, I will share with you a honey barbecue sauce that I enjoy. 
Honey BBQ Sauce
1 1/4 c. ketchup
1/3 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp. liquid smoke flavoring
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder
Combine all ingredients in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
We love this time of the year, and it has become a family tradition even our son has his own barbecue grill! 🙂 My husband usually preps the meat: pork, chicken, ribs, and steaks with seasoning salt, garlic salt, worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Then he sets them on the grill, and slathers them with the barbecue sauce. I’m off the kitchen that day, except for getting the sides ready for example, like baked beans, corn, rolls, etc. We then enjoy the long summer days with some yummy barbecue with our family! 
Grilling season is on! 
Even little one has his own barbecue grill! 🙂 
Please link up below all of your family-friendly summertime ideas below. Share with us your wonderful recipes, activities, and crafts that summer time brings. The linky will be open through July 13, so be sure to come back later in the summer to share more of your great summertime posts!

The Backyard Barbecue Bloghop is brought to you by:

With our wonderful co-hosts:

Categories: Cooking with Kids

Kid Friendly Macaroni Tuna Salad {Cooking With My Little Chef}

My 4 yr. old was inspired to make this recipe: macaroni tuna salad.  He had this for lunch at pre-school one day, and he told me exactly what he needed to make it. 🙂 
Every afternoon, when I pick him up from pre-school I ask him the usual questions, and we talk all the way home. 
I asked what was his favorite part of the day.  His little face lit up, and he told me, “Mommy I made pizza!” Very confident in himself he tells me how to make it. He also told me the ingredients needed were dough, pizza sauce, cheese and two small pepperonis. I said, “Wow, you seem to have become an excellent cook!” (We’ve cooked together chicken pot pies, mini meat loaves, and cookies, and he loves it!) 
Then he immediately says, “I want to make macaroni tuna salad.” I asked him, “So you know how to make it?” He says, “Yes, all I need is white macaroni, tuna, mayonnaise, and pickles (referring to sweet relish) then you mix it up!” I asked him where did he learn this, and he responds that his teacher tells him what they are having for lunch. (I’m assuming she explains what is in it.) 
Luckily I had some frozen cooked pasta that I thawed for 30 seconds in the freezer. I put all of the ingredients on the counter, and let him pour and mix! He was so happy, and told me he that he wanted his macaroni tuna salad for dinner. 🙂 
2 cups cooked pasta 
1/2 cup light mayonnaise 
1/4 cup sweet relish 
1 can tuna in water (drained)
Mix and that’s it! So easy that my 4 yr. did this all by himself! 
Do your children have any fun recipe? I would love to hear about it.  Please comment, like, pin or share. 
Categories: Cooking with Kids, Food

Simple Family Dinner Blog Hop: Mini Meat Loaf Dinner


I am so excited to be participating in the Simple Family Dinner Blog Hop! I’ve found myself quite often at a loss for simple dinner ideas for my family, and during this blog hop that will go on until March 16th you will find tons of ideas for simple family dinner.  Today I will be sharing a family favorite that my little chef has helped me conjure up:

Mini Meatloaf Dinner with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Ingredients for Mini Meatloaf:

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 egg
1 small onion chopped
1 cup fat free milk
1 cup of whole wheat bread cut up in pieces
salt and pepper to taste

For the topping:
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/3 cup ketchup

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, onion, milk and bread. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased muffin pan. (I used 2 muffin pans makes 12 mini meat loaves).
3. In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Mix well and pour over the meatloaf.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour.

Recipe was adapted to a healthier version using fat free milk, whole wheat bread, and lean ground beef. Original can be found here.

Of course, little man was hands-on making the meat loaf!

After he was done with his task, I took over the kitchen to make the mashed potatoes, and green beans. I boiled potatoes and mashed them with my rice masher. Then I cooked some green beans, and made some gravy. I’m telling you my family has enjoyed eating this simple family dinner. Hope you will too! 
Check out the rest of wonderful mom bloggers joining the Simple Family Dinner Blog Hop. You won’t have to worry about wondering what to cook for dinner tonight! 🙂 
 photo SimpleFamilyDinnerBlogHop_zps61b8cafe.jpg

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Categories: Cooking with Kids

Fritura de Puerto Rico: Relleno de Papas Con Un Toque de Japón

Si hay algo que extraño de mi isla bonita Puerto Rico,  ¡son las frituras! Si, si yo sé que no son saludables,  que si la grasa,  etc., etc.,  pero te diré que no hay nada como comerse una fritura de un chinchorro en Isla Verde, o de una guaguita estacionadas al borde de la costa entrando por Cataño (si más no recuerdo antes de mudarme para Estados Unidos ya se habían eliminado); pero siempre uno se encuentra una guaguita o chinchorro que las vende por aquí o por allá. Me encantaría poder tener la oportunidad de compartir esta experiencia con mi hijo y esposo:  ordenar una fritura (bacalaíto, alcapurría, un sorrullo, o lo que se me antoja ahora relleno de papa), y para bajarla un malta bien friiiiiiiiiiiiiia, ¡no tiene precio!  Mi gente Boricua puede entender esto. 🙂
En fin, mientras sueño con estar en Puerto Rico, me conformaré con hacerlas yo misma acá en los Estados Unidos. Para la carne que va adentro de los rellenos de papa que se me antojaba,  encontré una receta de picadillo muy similar a la que mi santa madre hacía y la receta la puedes encontrar aquí.
Ahora bien, muchas recetas de relleno de papas que encontré en la internet son con papas instantáneas (pero si quieres algo rápido y sencillo ver la receta aquí); pero para mi receta yo cociné papas, papas de verdad, nada de procesada. 🙂
Las papas fueron majadas con mi majador de papas (recuerdo cuando me críaba que Mami tenía uno). Luego sazoné las papas a mi gusto, las moldee con una cuchara y adentro de la papa coloque una cucharada de picadillo. Luego con más papa por encima las hice en bolitas.


Antes de freír el relleno de papas se envuelven en harina de trigo o maizena para que no se desmorone al freírlas. Pero yo usé “Panko” son migajas de pan rallado de Japón (para hacer las migajas de pan rallado utilizan corriente eléctrica a través de la masa para que se hornee sin la corteza, creando así migajas de pan rallado más crujientes y no absorben tanta grasa cuando se fríe).  El resultado final: relleno de papa con un toque de Japón que son crujientes por fuera, blanditas por dentro y súper deliciosas.    ¡Se derriten en tu boca…riquísimas!
La primera vez que probé algo envuelto y frito con Panko fueron los tomates verdes como los que ven en la foto.  Esto es un plato típico Sureño y puedes leer más sobre esto aquí.
¿Cuéntame sobre tu comida típica favorita? ¿Es algo que solamente puedes comer en tu país o puedes hacerla en tu casa?
Agradeceré comentes, compartas o dale “me gusta” a mi publicación.  ¡Gracias anticipadas!

Giant Gingerbread Man {Cooking With My Little Chef}

Christmas in our house is not over, and what better way to have fun during these festivities than to make a giant gingerbread man!  Little one loves to help in the kitchen, and this is a simple, super easy to make recipe!  I am by far a baker, so we’re going to make this easy, peasy. 🙂  
So we gathered up the ingredients, and the supplies. We’re ready to start, but wait a minute… little one has a request: he wants to do everything by himself! 🙂 I was happy to oblige since it shows an interest in being independent, and getting hands on with the baking.  I just cracked the egg. He mixed, poured and even looked with amazement how the dry mixture turned all gooey. He also got a kick out of looking into the oven window to see how the gingerbread man was baking. 

I love cooking or in this case baking with little one. It’s another one of our bonding moments,  and it’s a learning process for him. He’s mastering his mathematical skills and learning the science of cooking. He’s learning time management and patience. By setting up the timer, and waiting patiently for the gingerbread man to bake in the oven.  He’s also using his imagination and artistic creativity by decorating the gingerbread man.  
He was really “into” the whole I’m a “chef” now.  He had his apron, and chef’s hat and was very much into character.  After the gingerbread man was out of the oven, I asked him if he wanted to sit and decorate the gingerbread man. I was blown away by his answer, “Mommy chefs don’t sit. They stay standing up.”  Humm, where did my child come up with an answer like that? Maybe looking at Mommy cook in the kitchen, or perhaps from the cooking shows that I’ve watched? I have no clue, but I was very proud of him for wanting to do the whole process all by himself.  
From now on, he’s going to be my designated sous chef when I’m in the kitchen cooking. 🙂  What yummy things have you cooked or baked with your child? Would love to hear from you. Please comment, like or share. 
¡Buen provecho! 
Note: The gingerbread man is still in the baking pan because although we followed the instructions to a tee (ungreased mold) it didn’t come out! So I let little one do his thing with decorating it, and then I cut it out into large pieces. He was happy regardless! 
Categories: Cooking with Kids

Taste from Puerto Rico: Arroz Blanco, Pollo Guisado & Flan

This past weekend I decided to cook a Puerto Rican meal. The menu: pollo guisado (stewed chicken) with white rice. For dessert: flan. 
There was something special about that day, I was nostalgic. I was cooking, hubby was watching football, and little one was playing. The aroma of pollo guisado filled my kitchen and house. For a few minutes, I was transported into Mami’s kitchen in Puerto Rico. I closed my eyes, and breathed in the delicious aroma of chicken, with sofrito, cilantro, and spices. It made my heart warm; and brought so many precious memories.
Growing up I loved going into Mami’s cocina and lifting the lids off the pots to see what she was cooking. Or when she was sofriendo el sofrito (process of putting a little bit of oil in the pot, and putting sofrito on it to simmer) was the best part of coming home. I would peek in the cocina, and she’d say “Bendito mi’ja, ni siquiera he empezado a cocinar” (meaning that all she had in the pot was the sofrito which inundated the house with aromas of ajies dulces, onions, recao, cilantro, and pepper). 
I have so many fond memories of Mami cooking in the kitchen for her family, for her children. I look at my son, and hopefully, I will be the “planting the memory seed” of sights, tastes, textures, and aromas of his Mommy cooking. I want him to remember his Mommy’s special dinner, or when he becomes an adult, he can say wow, that brought back memories of my Mom. I truly love cooking for my family, for my husband, and for our son. Especially when it’s a recipe that I was brought up with. 
Now, speaking of recipes.  Of course, I don’t have a recipe perse of my pollo guisado cause I kind of eye-ball everything. I learned to cook like that from Mami. Haha! But I did look on-line for some similar recipes and the closest one to how I made mine can be found here. Other similar recipes of pollo guisado can be found here, and here

My yummy pollo guisado in the pot. 
Served over rice……. simply delicioso! 
We can’t forget dessert. I have become an expert in making this delicious flan.  It has become my go to dessert for events, parties and gatherings. It’s so creamy, and delish topped with caramelized sugar….ahh, I tell you, take a bite and you’re in heaven!  The original recipe can be found here
¡Buen provecho! Please comment, share and/or like! Love to hear what you have to say.