kids in the kitchen

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Cooking with kids can be a truly rewarding and fun experience. Not only for them, but for you too! We’re not denying that there will be many messes and maybe some meltdowns along the way, but getting kids in the kitchen builds a foundation that will influence their lives for many years to come. The kitchen provides so many valuable learning opportunities, for kids and adults alike, and we are so excited to share this weeks tips and recipes to help you get started on the journey of cooking with kids!

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S’mores tart

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Chocolate S’mores Tart

Makes: 9-inch tart
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients
crust
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
8 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt

filling
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 ½ cups heavy cream

marshmallow fluff
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Using a food processor or blender, grind graham crackers into crumbs. Add crumbs to a
medium bowl and mix with melted butter, sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix until well combined.

Press crumbs evenly into a 9-inch tart pan, making sure the crust is compact. Pre-bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven and allow to cool.

To make the filling, place chocolate and butter in a large bowl and set aside. In a small
saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the heavy cream while whisking constantly. Bring to a low boil then immediately remove from heat and pour over chocolate. Stir, using a wooden spoon, until chocolate and butter are melted and ganache is smooth.

Pour the filling evenly into the crust and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours, or until completely firm.

Before serving, in the top of a double boiler or a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating on low until a thermometer reads 160°F, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, add vanilla, and beat on high until glossy, stiff peaks form and the mixture is slightly cooled, about 5 minutes.

cherry cream pie pops

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Who could turn one of these beauties down on a hot summer day? Certainly not us. We love that these pops combine some of our favorite things (did someone say: fresh summer fruit and creamy Greek yogurt!?) and they can be versatile with any summer fruit you’ve picked up at the market. Bring on the “fruit” and cream!

Cherry Cream Popsicles

Makes: 10 popsicles
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients
2 cups fresh pitted sweet cherries
¼ cup honey
juice of one lemon
¼ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups whole milk Greek yogurt
¼ cup honey
extra pitted sweet cherries, halved

Directions
Add 2 cups pitted cherries and ¼ cup honey to a blender or food processor and puree. Strain puree through a fine mesh strainer into a large measuring cup and discard any remaining solids.

Add the lemon juice and almond extract to the puree and stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt and honey. Then add about half of the yogurt mixture to the cherry mixture and stir to combine.

Pour a small amount of the cherry mixture into 10 popsicle molds. Layer with the yogurt
mixture, dividing evenly amongst the molds. Top with remaining cherry mixture, leaving a little bit of room at the top.

Push a couple cherry halves down the side of each mold. Insert sticks and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

strawberry biscuit cobbler

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Pies, cobblers, crumbles – oh my! Summer is not complete without these three things. This gooey, fruit cobbler is one to reckon with. Unlike pie crust, which can be somewhat hard to conquer, this cobbler is topped with a sweet biscuit dough that is oh so easy!

Strawberry Biscuit Cobbler

Makes: 8 servings
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients
8 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
juice from ½ large lemon

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
¾ cup buttermilk
heavy cream or milk for brushing
1-2 teaspoons sanding sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a large, deep pie dish, cast iron skillet or 9x13inch baking pan.

After washing and hulling the strawberries, lay them out on a towel and pat gently until dry.

To make the filling, toss strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, vanilla and lemon juice in a
medium bowl. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

For the biscuit topping, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter pieces and cut them into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or fork, until the butter is in pea-sized pieces.

Stir in the buttermilk until the dough is just combined, making sure not to overmix. Use your hands to bring together the dough if needed.

Using a spoon or measuring cup, drop dough onto the strawberries in even portions, flattening slightly. Brush dough with milk or heavy cream and sprinkle sanding sugar over the top of the biscuits.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven until the biscuits are golden on top and the filling is bubbly.

oh me, oh my… sweet summer pie

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We know that the summer temperatures can make it tempting to avoid the oven at all costs— but with the bounty of fruit that summer provides, we highly discourage that! I mean how else would you bake up a gooey strawberry pie? If you just can’t bear to turn the oven on, we recommend turning to a fruity pie pop, homemade ice cream or a no-bake tart. This season doesn’t last long, so check out our recipes this week and take full advantage of this yummy time of year!

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greek meatballs with garlic yogurt sauce

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This easy, inexpensive recipe is perfect for doubling or even tripling for a weeknight crowd. It’s also comforting and full of flavor! Want to save yourself even more time? Make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them —then reheat as many as you need for the meal.

Greek Meatballs with Herbs and Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Makes: 4 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. ground lamb, beef or chicken
1 yellow onion, grated
¼ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest of 1 lemon
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
kosher salt and pepper
mint, chopped for serving
cilantro, chopped for serving
parsley, chopped for serving
cooked orzo or couscous for serving

garlic yogurt sauce
1 garlic clove, chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions
Preheat oven to 425°F. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a deep cast iron pan. Place in oven while heating.

Add the meat, onion, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, lemon zest, parsley, cumin, oregano, cayenne and a pinch of salt and pepper to a large bowl. Using either your hands coated in a bit of olive oil or a melon baller, roll the meat into 2 tablespoon size balls.

Remove the cast iron pan from the oven and drop in the meatballs. Transfer back to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are crisp and cooked through.

Meanwhile, combine garlic, salt, yogurt and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, garnish meatballs with yogurt and chopped herbs with a side of couscous or orzo.

chilled green gazpacho

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To say we live for summer gazpacho…wouldn’t be incorrect! Unlike the traditional red tomato gazpacho, this version uses grapes and cucumbers. It’s a great way to showcase fresh, inexpensive produce and cool off after a hot summer day. The addition of shrimp adds a bit of protein to make the meal more substantial.

Green Gazpacho with Shrimp

Makes: 4 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
3 cups country white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 cup water, more if needed
2 large english cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
¼ cup marcona almonds
2 cloves garlic
2 cups seedless green grapes
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
5 tablespoons olive oil + more for garnish
1 teaspoon kosher salt + more as needed
1lb shrimp, shelled and halved lengthwise
dill for garnish

Directions
In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine 2 cups of bread cubes with vinegar. Add water and set aside 5 minutes to soften.

In a blender combine the cucumbers, almonds, 1 clove of garlic, grapes, yogurt and 3
tablespoons of olive oil. Pulse until blended. Add the soaked bread and salt. Pulse again and puree until smooth (or to your desired texture).

Put the soup in the refrigerator to chill for about 20 minutes, or up to several hours.

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat. Add the shrimp, remaining garlic and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are just done and pink, 3-5 minutes. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon.

Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 3 cups of bread. Cook, stirring frequently, until the bread is crisp and golden, about 5 minutes.

Divide gazpacho among bowls, top with dill, shrimp, bread cubes and a drizzle of olive oil.

healthier spinach chicken alfredo

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It’s not surprising that quick one-pot pasta meals are our go-to when it comes to quick weeknight meals. They’re versatile, quick, and can take the addition of just about any produce you have on hand. We love that this version of alfredo features a lightened up sauce, includes some greens and is oh, so tasty!

Healthier Spinach Chicken Alfredo
Makes: 4-6 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
1 lb. farfalle pasta
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
4 tablespoons cream cheese
1 ½ cups parmesan cheese
2 cups cooked chicken, sliced
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
½ cup green peas
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions until al dente. Drain in a
colander.

While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Turn the heat to medium-low and add flour and whisk to combine to form a roux. Let cook for 1-2 minutes, it should turn a golden brown. Add milk a little bit at a time, whisking constantly to get rid of any lumps. After the milk has all been incorporated, cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened. About 6 minutes.

Add cream cheese and whisk until melted. Then add parmesan and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Add spinach and peas, stirring until the spinach has wilted. Add chicken and stir to combine.

Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Add drained pasta and stir until noodles are evenly coated. Serve immediately.