Posts Tagged ‘kids cooking’

The Great Christmas Eve Flat Bread Pizza Challenge!!

December 25, 2010

“Celebration of the Caribbean Sun”

It’s Christmas Day so of course we had Champagne and pizza last night to Celebrate Christmas Eve. My niece Cait, who had just arrived from DC, and we decided to have fun making them. We planned and executed “The Great Christmas Eve Flat Bread Pizza Challenge.” We started by going to the store where we both brought our favorite ingredients but the rule was that we could use each others ingredients. Since there is noting tough about making flat bread pizza the goal was not to make the tastiest pie but the best looking one.

We both worked our art in secrecy and then placed them on the pan for cooking.

Since Cait had just come down from the miserable weather in the Northeast, she made her pie a celebration of the sun using turkey pepperoni, red onion, and red and yellow peppers. She managed to fit four suns on an 8 inch pie. I made my Santa’s helper with the turkey pepperoni, stuffed Spanish olives, yellow pepper, and anchovy stuffed with capers. We both used the tomato sauce and sliced fresh mozzarella.

“Santa's Helper”

We both ate our own creation but never did declare a winner. She actually believed that her “Celebration of the Caribbean Sun” was superior to my “Santa’s Helper” so there is no accounting for taste in art. But they were fun to make and eat.

Another very successful Christmas Eve celebrated in the Boyd Family Tradition.

Merry Christmas to all and Peace on earth to men of goodwill.


The Life and Most Surprising Adventures of Zachary H

December 2, 2010

On my recent vacation, I had the opportunity to explore the great island of St. Croix in the Caribbean Sea. Before I embarked on any great adventures, my skills of survival were to be tested although my great Uncle John differed with that description. His point was if there is no failure allowed, there can be no test so we settled on describing my meeting each challenge as a right of passage.

The Artifical Wall

The first adventure was the artificial rock wall which was easy despite having no safety harness.

Hand over Hand

Then it was hand over hand across the drop.


Until you returned to the starting point by way of the fire poll.

At The Fire Poll

After that the challenges got increasingly dangerous as I climbed a real cliff to the top of the mountain without safety harness and with loose stones everywhere. I was only the fifth person to achieve this feat and the other four were grownups.

Climbing a Real Cliff

The next challenge was my favorite as I crossed the ravine on a zip slide, once again there was no safety harness or mats to either stop or cushion a fall but which never happened as I held on for the ride.

The Zip Slide

After all that work I became famished and decided to cook some Mac and Cheese from Scratch.

Mac & Cheese from Scratch

Of course a real explorer uses what ever tools are at his disposal and I used my Uncles’ coffeepot as he is prone to do.

Coffeepot Mac & Cheese

That afternoon I decided to do battle with Poseidon and went into the rough surf somewhat reluctantly while my father and Uncle charged in. The next day I was the one to charge into the sea as my Uncle gingerly entered because he said it was cold. I told him it was his Karma to be punished for teasing me the day before about my reluctance to enter the rough and dangerous sea.

Ras Lumumba & Zack

There were other adventures and places visited but one of my favorites was a trip to the Rain forest where I met a Rastafarian Ras Lumumba) who taught me about his beliefs and about all the plants and insects of the forest.

On The Great Swing

Along the 4 mile hike, I climbed the tree house and the huge swing.

Helping to Hoist the Main Sail

Another of my favorites was a trip on the Roseway where I helped the crew hoist the sales.

Captain of My Destiny

After that I took the helm and assumed my position as Captain of my own Destiny.

My apologies to Zack as this is really his Uncle,  Poppa John who is living vicariously through the eyes of his 10 year old Nephew.  It was a great vacation for all.

Hey Zack, I hope I didn’t misrepresent any thing you said or did.

Cooking Adventures with my Grandaughters!

August 29, 2010

While on vacation with me, my Granddaughters love to cook during quiet time. I enjoy it because once they choose the recipe and cook the meal, they eat it without argument. For the most part, they choose meals that are weird and fun to make so we may end up eating various forms of chicken for six days in a row. The only limits I make on the selection process is that it must be real food that I like and we can’t have the same meal every night. The only concessions I make are that I leave out the scotch bonnet pepper and if Cayla chooses a recipe that is really spicy, I may make an alternate meal for Ana.

Pot Roasted Chicken, Ready to Serve!

They prefer the coffeepot for both the weird factor and the convenience. Once the pot is stuffed and turned on, we can go to the beach or do what ever else we want.  One of their favorites and mine is Coffee Pot – Pot Roasted Chicken.

Rot Roasted Chicken Ingredients

The most amazing part is that all of the ingredients actually fit into the coffeepot.

All In The Pot

The chicken is actually a Cornish hen and the onion, garlic and celery mixture is stuffed inside, but it even amazes me that it fits and the girls are fascinated. And yes, if the original recipe calls for Cruzan Rum, I cook with it.

The Girls Checking the Pot, Again

Of course, they ate every single piece of chicken and potatoes and they know that their Mom always saves the juice to make soup so of course they wanted to make soup for the next day so they could make the dumplings. Now no matter how many times I carefully pre-measure the water and tell them to slowly add it to the flour to avoid a sticky mess, they always dump it in and play and I have to help in the end. I cant complain, their dumplings always come out perfect even if the process is a little messy.

Fun Making Dumplings

Of course this had to be done on the stove top to get it hot enough to cook dumplings and, I had to add more chicken, potatoes, broth and the dumplings to build a full pot of soup which only lasted the one day. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention and get a picture of Cayla making a rue to thicken the gravy. I doubt that many of her friends know what a rue is.

Rasta Pasta and Chicken

Another smash hit was Rasta Pasta which has summer squash and green bell peppers and I used Wacky Mac veggie pasta. When I described the meal to a friend, he asked for a sample and there was nothing left. They had it for dinner and then lunch the next day and finished all the pasta and sauce. I am not sure if I agree with purely vegetarian meals for young people because my Mother swore more than a half a century ago that protein was essential for brain development so I still make sure the kids get a portion of meat for dinner and they can eat their nutritionally worthless cereal and jelly bread sandwiches the rest of the day.

Rainy Day Adventure – Meatloaf

April 4, 2010

Rainy days are particularly miserable in winter because there is pretty much nothing to do to really burn a lot of energy so the girls just fuss. Of course I always plan ahead and make sure that there is something that I want to do that will distract them and the easiest is cooking. I had tried meatloaf twice before in the coffeepot and was just dying to get it right. The first two times I tried it (without them), I used a tin can as a mold and the whole mess tasted like nasty plastic.

So on our trip to get my fantastic running outfit, Carson and I looked for the right sized drink mixer and found a stainless steel martini shaker that was the right size. I discarded the top and .punched a whole in the bottom. Anyone interested in the recipe and method can check out for the details.

This blog is about adventures great and small and trust me cooking with kids is always an adventure. It started with neither girl being excited about cooking meatloaf in the coffeepot by using a martini shaker because it was too weird. However, there are certain things that they will do separately or together to help and even learn a little. Ms Ana just loves to use a knife and will happily dice onions much finer than my patience allows.  Turns out Cayla had never broken an egg and was more than willing to try.

Since Ms Ana is always the instigator when it comes to mixing meatloaf or dumplings and she was definitely not interested in making meatloaf in a coffeepot, I got stuck but she did hang around to take my picture and it is a pretty good picture.

Both got involved in opening a can of baked beans and I had to help because they were spending more time fighting over who was going to do the task than actually doing it.

When the meal was done Ana declared that she was not going to eat it and my response was OK go hungry because there was no one else in the house to make her food. Well, Cayla was hungry and started eating and pragmatically asked for her sisters portion which brought Ana back to the table.

They both ate everything and only left me enough to determine that it was actually pretty good.

Hello world!

March 29, 2010

I have had no great epiphanies over the past week or even new discoveries except that adventurers can be great and small. We cooked tortilla pizza and everybody had a good time eating them prior to a birthday movie. Then there was the the workout with three devil woman who wore me out. (Don’t let their appearances fool you as all are devil women who can tire me out and beat me.)

Of course they are all young and thank God healthy so I am lucky to be able to engage in and keep up with their idea of fun. The adventuresome Miss Ana making the pizza above was also one of the devil woman who ran me into the ground. I brought new jogging shoes and my son in law helped choose an appropriate winter jogging outfit that warmed both my body and soul. Yes shopping with him was a real adventure and I even purchased a hat that I would not  have selected without his help.

Of course no birthday would be complete without a shopping spree at Toys R Us. In January, the little one could have all she could carry and this time, the larger one would get a total of 42 dollars which was related to a very poor math grade so she graciously accepted less than she would have gotten with better grades.

Of course, Cait came along to supervise, guide and to teach her cousins to engage in deviant behavior at every opportunity. She reminds them constantly in a joking way to stop acting like children and stop having fun but all they do is giggle and laugh at her. By the way Cait is a 22 year old Chemical Engineer enjoying family fun.

Earlier in the day, we all went to a farmers market and skipped through the area. It was funny. On one side of the market, we got a round of applause from the merchants and on the other, we were told to stop fooling around and grow up. I suppose all of the merchants thought that there responses were appropriate on both sides of the market. We actually brought a bunch of stuff and didn’t bump into anything or anybody while skipping. I believe we purchased everything on the side where we were appreciated.

Joking aide at 245 pounds which is where I started loosing weight, I could not have done much this weekend other than be a couch potato and beg one of the healthier family members to run and get me a beer.  I’m still overweight and wear a heart beat monitor and consulted my doctor before I started working out.  He is an excellent role model, my age better shape and good control of his health who loves the great outdoors.  When I said this all at a family gathering, my sister asked about the heart rate monitor. Her daughter was explaining about optimum performance levels at various heart rates. I said it was far simpler.

Put the thing on and work really hard until it hits 150 beats per minute and then you are allowed to quit.  The only problem with my method is that every time you work out, you have to exercise a little longer and harder before it hits 150 and you get to quit.

I have decided to split my blog in two parts with different goals.  In, I will stick with recipes and methods in making meals for one.  In Too Young to be Old, I will report on family adventures both great and small.