Cooking with Kids
July, 2009 - Issue #57
Kid-powered veggies and dessert will be the most memorable additions to a traditional summer barbecue.

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches
Sterile? No. Messy? Yes. Finger-licking good? You betcha! Adults and kids alike will have a blast making their own ice cream sandwiches.

The Prep
On a counter top or table, create an assembly line of cookies (sandwich cookies like Oreos should be separated in advance), softened vanilla ice cream (leave it out of the freezer for about 20 to 30 minutes, until it's a scoopable but not milky consistency) and plates of crushed "nummies."

The Assembly
Drop about a tablespoon of ice cream (or small scoop for larger cookies) in the middle of a cookie bottom, then gently press another cookie (bottom side down) on top. The ice cream should come to nearly the edge of both cookies. Next, roll your cookie's edge in a pile of crushed "nummies," pressing the goodies into the ice cream. Stick your creamy creations on a wax-paper-lined cookie sheet and pop it in the freezer for at least three hours.

Cookie Options
Chocolate Chip
Maple Leaf Cookies
Nutter Butters

Crushed "Nummies"
Cinnamon Hearts
Heath Bar
Peanut butter cups
Mini chocolate chips

Veggies Kids will Want to Eat
Want your kids to eat their veggies? Including them in the preparation of vegetable kabobs is one way to encourage healthy eating. Certainly they'll at least want to try the veggies to see how all their hard work turned out.

The Prep
Cut the veggies into bite-size pieces before the kids get in on the action. Assorted bell peppers, zucchini, pearl onions, whole cherry tomatoes and mushrooms (cut so that they don't look like mushrooms!) are traditional kabob fare, but get creative and try par-boiled potato and carrot cubes, too, if those are favorites.

The Assembly
Whether you want to teach little kids how to make a pattern or don't care if you end up with a kabob made entirely of onions, supervise the assembly - bamboo or wooden kabob sticks can easily become "swords" in the hands of creative kids. Natural-material kabobs should be soaked in water before veggies are added. Leave at least two inches on each end empty.

The Grilling
After lightly brushing the kabobs with vegetable oil and giving them a dash of salt for flavor, place them on the barbecue - medium heat - for about two to three minutes on each side.

The Eating
Munching food on a stick might seem tempting, but little uncoordinated hands shouldn't be trusted with pointy stuff. Scoot the yummies off onto a plate with a fork

Take Note
While it's not a good idea to add raw meat to veggie kabobs (the cooking times vary widely) - and kids shouldn't be messing with the raw stuff anyway - you can include pre-cooked turkey meatballs for a real treat.
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