It's not easy finding a unique kids birthday party activity in Fairfield County. Sure, there is My Three Sons and Pump It Up but what if your kid doesn't want to jump around or collect coins? What if you just want something with more food science and less bouncy castle? With the emergence of the Food Network's 24/7 culinary programming, kids have been acquiring valuable cooking tips during their sick days and developing an interest in all things related to food. In fact, so many of our readers are looking for "cooking themed birthday parties" we decided we had best do some research. What better way to acquire data than to host a cooking party for my five year old daughter chez moi. Read on for Cooking Parties for Kids, Part 1.
Entries in kids activity (55)
Passover can be tough times for the young who need to give up their baked goods, or at least modify their ingredients. Here is a dessert recipe that is both satisfying and simple, and it makes for a great gift.
Kids will enjoy decorating the brittle once it is prepped, and the topping options are limitless. Think marshmallows, sprinkles, candied nuts...you name it!
Our tester felt she could have used half the quantity of butter in this recipe, but taste it yourself and see what you think.
Matzoh Toffee Brittle
School's closed again??!! Don't fret, just keep those kids busy in the kitchen (if you have one working). I found this recipe while browsing thekitchn.com (on a friend's computer, as mine is still out of commission). These Pizza Pops are a great activity for any age, and what child doesn't like food on a stick? Even vegetables are more fun on a skewer.
Just like the 2 dimensional version, these Pizza Pops can be made to suit every palate. Try adding sausage and cheese, ham and pineapple, plain cheese, and so on. When creating your pizza bites, note a good tip from thekitchn.com: Distinguishing the different fillings once the bites are baked might be tricky. Maybe a different topping sprinkled on the top of each batch?
When the pizza bites are cool, just separate them carefully and put a lollipop stick in the middle of each one. Have fun!
(Photos from Nikki from Pizza on a Platter, via Tastespotting)
For those of you with functioning ovens and kids home from school, here is a tasty time consumer. For creative great tasting "homemade" cookies in a pinch, try this shortcut from Jennifer Spaide of Greenchic.com.
As a chef it’s important to know your weaknesses in the kitchen. And I am fully willing to admit that mine is baking. If it’s more complicated than emptying a mix into a bowl, cracking a few eggs, and whisking, don’t expect me to do it well. So you can imagine the panic that pulsed through me when I was asked to bake cookies for some gift baskets.
What, me? Really?! But I was up for the challenge… or the cheat. Don’t tell, but I decided to pull a Sandra Lee and take some “semi-homemade” help from the grocery store by purchasing premade sugar cookie dough. I chose an all-natural brand because it’s a little healthier (no trans fats or high fructose corn syrup).
With the basic batter under control, and a little stress off my shoulders, I was free to get creative with the flavors & fillings. I decided to make three different kinds of cookie: Chocolate Cherry Almond, Ginger Sesame Coconut, and Orange Fig Thumb Drops. These recipes are so simple it's genius (not to toot my own horn, but “Toot toot”).
Chef Nicole has mastered the art of the kid-friendly recipe that works just as well the adults in the crowd. These Asian Turkey Vegetable Potstickers are a perfect hands-on activity for all ages. Personally, all that folding took me right back to those origami craft projects from my younger days. These little GBD packages are deceptively simple to make and very tasty. We also have a vegetarian version below. Try 'em in your house and let us know what you think.
Asian Turkey Vegetable Potstickers
Every year, I buy one of those boxed gingerbread house kits and my kids and I go at it. We glop it together with that glue-like petroleum by-product substance that they call icing, we decorate with the stale jelly beans and mini gum balls they provide, and we call it a day. It’s fun and the kids enjoy it. Do yours? If so, head to the Stamford Museum and Nature Center (SM and NC) this month and next to see how the pros do it. “Visions of Gingerbread: The Sweetest Architects” is the name of the exhibition that the museum is presenting as both a showcase for local bakers and as a fundraiser for the SM and NC.
What snack food is more universal and beloved than pizza? As a play on this perennial favorite we thought we would create a deconstructed pizza that kids could have fun assembling at their desks. Instead of standard pizza crust, we are using tortillas for their flexibility and wrap-ability. Sure, you could cut up some handmade triangled pizza crust, or even pita bread for this one. Build them any way you want.
You will need a few small containers for proper travel, but your children will be the envy of the classroom.
Turkey pepperoni, shredded cheese and tortilla “pizza dippers”
Did Fairfield County seem unusually quiet last weekend as if everybody had gone somewhere? Were you wondering where the party was? I can tell you with absolute certainty that Fairfield County residents were indeed out, but there were no cocktails involved (although now that I think of it....) This was a family friendly affair...Everybody was out picking pumpkins at Jones Family Farms in Shelton CT.
We drove up to Jones on a beautiful Sunday afternoon (of course the weather has taken a turn for the worse since then) and as we pulled into the parking lot, my heart sank. I couldn’t believe there could be this many people on a single farm. It looked like Silverman’s (and not in a good way). But all was not lost. As we left the cars in their neat rows and strolled towards the actual farm, something beautiful was revealed. The vista opened to picturesque rolling hills in the distance and what seemed like acres of pumpkin fields. And these were no half-rate pumpkins. We are talking perfect pumpkins..thousands of them. We were on Pumkinseed Hill, the Fall outpost of the Jones Family Farms.
What's a party without the popcorn? These sweet and salty treats are always a favorite (remove spiders before eating). This recipe lends itself nicely to child participation...as long as they don't mind getting a little sticky.
To amp up the gruesomeness, melt some white chocolate in the microwave or over a double broiler and add 2-3 drops of red food coloring. Then drip the "blood" over the finished popcorn balls.
For a more savory snack, try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to the caramel.
Caramel Popcorn Balls
When I reluctantly moved to Los Angeles at the beginning of this decade, I missed our annual fall apple and berry picking trip so much that I dragged a posse of ex-East Coasters and their small children to the closest orchard (two hours into the desert) to pick apples one hot October Sunday. To put it mildly, apple picking in California is a sad facsimile of the real deal here in New England. The air was heavy, we were sweaty and the only ones enjoying the adventure were the children– they didn’t know any better.
Being back in New England, where there really is a fall season and apples taste like, well apples, we recently took advantage of the pick your own trifecta: September peaches, apples and raspberries and visited Bishops Orchards in Guilford, CT.