Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Arabella makes dinner by herself

My 10-year-old was selected for a 5-state research study at West Virginia University called iCook 4-H.

It's a program studying healthy weight in children with the goal of promoting healthy families by getting youth and parents to cook, play and eat together. iCook will promote cooking skills and family meals in an attempt to prevent obesity.

We've been attending cooking classes and setting goals for healthy eating, physical activity and family time. And we've been making videos of some of the foods we've made and games we've played at home. We share them on a special website set up for people in the study in Maine, Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Tonight Arabella achieved her goal of making a complete meal by herself. I stood by to help with hot pans, and filmed segments of her meal prep. She had minimal assistance from Mom and Dad, who helped roll apple dumpling dough.

She planned the menu while following the USDA's MyPlate guidelines.

She served garlic-herb marinated chicken and pineapple kabobs, brown rice, roasted bell peppers and hominy, milk and apple dumplings.

It was delicious.

And I think she appreciates even more now how much effort I put into preparing meals.

1 each large green pepper, sweet red and yellow peppers
2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) hominy, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic pepper blend

In a large bowl, combine the peppers, hominy, oil and garlic pepper; toss to coat. Spread into an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 450° for 14-16 minutes or until peppers are tender, stirring once. Yield: 6 servings.

From Healthy Cooking magazine June/July 2009

3-4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup cold butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

In a medium bowl,  combine the apples, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and clove. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk just until moistened.
Turn onto a floured surface; gently knead 10 times. Pat into an 8-inch circle. Divide dough into 4 or 6 pieces.
Roll each piece into a square, about a 1/2-inch thick.
Place apples in middle of dough and gather up the corners of the dough, pinching to seal.
Place in a glass baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and no longer doughy.

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