29 December 2009

Fun Kid Recipes, Activities Keep Them Busy For Holidays

From Denny: These chefs came up with some great food ideas of keeping little hands and minds busy during those long holiday visits away from home. First up in this video is an adorable cut and paste arts and crafts collage project for collecting images of what they best hope for the New Year of 2010.

The fashion projects are especially clever! They use out of fashion costume brooches as refrigerator magnets. (Now why didn't I think of that one? I was just going through my closet the other day and wondering what to do with those same items. Will definitely use this useful idea.)

Then for the youngest kids they came up with using different colored beans and lentils to create the "sand" for an indoor winter sandbox to for play! Hey, you can always make soup out of it as soon as the weather warms up and they can go outside to play. :) At the end of the video they even offer a few local travel tips to keep kids entertained.

How do you like this cute little bird gif I just found today? He sure is one tolerant bird! Feel free to use him on your blog or site as he is free.

Featured recipes:

Whoopie Pie cookies
Winter Apple Charlotte dessert

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Whoopie pie

From: Chef Jansen Chan, executive pastry chef at Oceana restaurant

Serves: 12


For the pies

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup cocoa
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 3/4 tsp. salt
• 4 oz. (1/2 cup) butter
• 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

For the vanilla fluff filling

• 1 3/4 cup. plus 2 T. sugar
• 10 T. water
• 1 envelope gelatin powder (1/4 oz.)
• 3/4 cup egg whites
• 1 1/2 pounds butter, room temperature (substitute 1/2 pound of peanut butter for butter and omit vanilla for a peanut butter filling)
• 1/8 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


For the pies:

In a bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt together. In a mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Slowly add the egg and vanilla extract. Scrape the bowl thoroughly and add little bit of the dry ingredients. Mix and then add a little bit of the buttermilk. Alternate this process until all the drys and buttermilk are used.

Scoop 1/4 cup of batter on to a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake at 375 degrees F for 15-18 mins., rotating once.

Remove from ovens and let cool on trays.

For the vanilla fluff filling:

Soak gelatin in 2 tbls. of water. In a heavy-duty pot, stir together sugar and water until dissolved. Cook at a high heat until 266 degrees F.

Meanwhile, in a mixer, whisk whites until light and foamy and carefully slowly pour hot syrup into the whipping whites. While still hot and whisking, add bloomed gelatin and continue whisking until cool.

On the machine still, slowly add butter, a tablespoon at a time, until the butter is fully incorporated. Add salt and vanilla extract and mix.

Ready to use immediately.

Winter Charlotte

Chef Jansen Chan, executive pastry chef at Oceana restaurant

Yields: 8” d x 3” h cake pan or 9” d x 2” h cake pan


• One 8” d x 3” h cake pan or 9” d x 2” h cake pan
• 1 loaf of brioche, challah or white bread
• Butter (for coating)
• Sugar (for coating)

For the filling

• 2 pounds Golden Delicious apples
• 2 pounds Granny Smith apples
• 2 pounds Bosc pears
• 1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
• 1/3 cup lemon juice
• 1 cup sugar


For the Winter Charlotte filling:

Peel and chop each fruit. Cut pieces into about 1/2” cubes. Random sizes are OK. Place all ingredients except dried fruit in a wide sauté pan.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for ten minutes, or until juices are released. Turn heat to medium high and continue cooking for another 10-15 mins, or until juices are evaporated. Add dried fruit and transfer to a bowl and allow to cool slightly.

To assemble:

Line the bottom of the cake pan with a circular piece of parchment paper. Butter the top and sides. Then, coat the inside with sugar, releasing any excess sugar.

Cut brioche into rectangles (2” or 3” high, depending on the height of the pan) and triangles. Brush lightly with melted butter. Line the bottom of the pan with triangular pieces, overlapping pieces of bread, butter side down. Line the sides with the rectangular pieces of bread, again, overlapping the pieces of bread.

Fill cavity with slightly hot fruit filling. Don’t worry if the mound is higher than the pan, the fruit will sink and shrink.

Top pieces with any remaining buttered brioche. Don’t worry about being decorative as this will be the bottom of the charlotte. Place a piece of foil loosely on top to prevent overbrowning.

Bake at 400 F for 40 mins, rotating once in the middle. Remove foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before unmolding. Place a plate upside down on the charlotte and flip the entire charlotte. Carefully remove the cake pan, releasing the charlotte. Let cool for an hour.

Serve warm with crème anglaise or whipped cream.

Free Clipart

*** ALSO: 8 Easy Yummy New Years Recipes to Warm Your Guests

*** THANKS for visiting!
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