Spaghetti With Tuna, Lemon, and Bread Crumbs

The great majority of children love spaghetti.  They love to slurp it, and twirl it, and make shapes with their noodles.  They love it with meat sauce, with tomato sauce, with pesto sauce, and with alfredo sauce.  They love it with chicken, and sometimes even salmon or shrimp.  No matter how you mix them though, it can get a little boring for mom and dad. So it’s time to spice it up a little bit!  Here is a great recipe for spaghetti that both you and your kids will love!

Spaghetti With Tuna

  1. * Gather your ingredients.
    1. - Salt and Pepper
    2. - Parsely – I like some oregano too!
    3. - Olive oil – I do this part to sight.
    4. - Lemon zest and juice (about a teaspoon of zest and 2.5 teaspoons juice, you don’t want too much!)
    5. - Tuna (drain any water out first!)
    6. - Bread!
    7. - Some people add olives, but this is definitely not something necessary.
  2. * Preheat your oven to 350 Farenheit – you will be doing some cooking!
  3. * Mix your olive oil and bread in a blender or processor to create some nice, decent sized bread crumbs. Season with some salt and pepper (And add some garlic if you like that too!)
  4. * Get your water to a boil (add some salt and olive oil into it to make the noodles yummier!). Add the spaghetti in.
  5. * Put those seasoned bread crumbs on a cookie cutter, and bake for 6 – 8 minutes. I always think of trying to get the consistency of a crouton.
  6. * By the time you take your bread crumbs out, your pasta should be close to al dente. When it is ready, go ahead and drain the water (save a little bit on the side), returning your pasta to the pot.
  7. * Now, throw in the lemon zest, a hint more of olive oil, a few tablespoons of lemon juice, and the parsley. Put a tiny bit fo the pasta water into the dish to make it easier to coat your noodles.
  8. * Add your tuna and mix well.
  9. * Sprinkle with Breadcrumbs, and enjoy!

Making unique spaghetti can seem like a daunting task – until you actually do it!  As you can see above, this entire dish could likely be prepared in less than 30 minutes. It is a simple dish, and is even simple enough to have the kids help!

Being able to find something that your entire family can enjoy can be difficult.  Finding something they enjoy that is easy to make can be even more difficult sometimes!  With this dish though, you get something with a variety of flavors that is not overpowering enough to cause a problem. The spaghetti will be enough to entice most children into trying it, and once they do, they’ll be asking for it over and over again!  If your child is a picky eater, this is one of the best ways to begin introducing new tastes and ideas!

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Easy Cookie Recipes for Kids

Cookie Recipes for Kids

Every child gets to the point where they’re interested in learning how to make things in the kitchen.  And this shouldn’t just be a little girl activity.  Some of the best bakers in the world are men and they started by baking with their families.

Here are some ideas for kid friendly cookie recipes that are perfect for the upcoming holidays.

Using Pre-Prepared Dough

This is perfect for young kids who aren’t ready to measure ingredients or use the mixer.  You can get prepared sugar cookie or chocolate chip cookie dough and roll it out.

Kids who are between the ages of three and five will have a great time picking out cookie cutters and cutting the shapes from the rolled out dough.  You can have them help you place the shapes on a baking pan and then decorate them when they’re done.

From Scratch

Preparing the dough from scratch is a great activity for older children.  From about fifth grade on, your kids can accept more responsibility for the cookie baking activity.  Let’s look at some relatively easy recipes that kids will love to do.  These recipes are brought to you by our friends at food.com.

Simple Peanut Butter Cookies

With a prep time of just 15 minutes and a cooking time of 12 minutes, this could very well be the easiest peanut butter cookie recipe around.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of peanut butter, smooth or chunky
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • One large egg
  • Sugar, for rolling (optional)

Directions

Mix peanut butter, sugar and egg together until smooth.  Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart. If you want, roll the cookie in extra sugar before placing it on the cookie sheet.

Press with a fork and press again in the opposite direction for crosshatch look. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 350° but make sure they don’t get brown and over baked.

Place cookies in a cellophane bag and tie with a ribbon. Attach a holiday label so your recipient knows who the cookies are from.

Chocolate Cowboy Cookies

This cookie recipe has a few more ingredients than the peanut butter cookie recipe but it is just as easy to make and delicious.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup margarine or ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed firmly
  • One large egg
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Half cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions

Sift all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.  Blend together the margarine (or shortening) and the sugars.  Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy and then add the vanilla.  Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and mix well.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix.  Drop by teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 12 minutes.  If you like cookies that are crisper, cook a little bit longer.

These recipes are sure to be a hit with your kids and having them as your assistants just might inspire the next top pastry chef.

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Crafty Christmas Present Ideas

Crafty Christmas Present Ideas

Some of the most fun we have at the holidays is when family gets together to think up and make Christmas presents.

And while we could do things like cookie gift baskets or coupons for chores and errands, here are some other awesome gift ideas to make at home. Many of these ideas are courtesy of our friends at witandwhistle.com.

Terrarium Kit

Using ordinary canning jars from the grocery store, place a one-inch layer of pebbles in the bottom. These can be ones you pick up on a walk or you can invest in some at the local home store.

Print a pretty label that says “terrarium kit” and either print out or handwrite some basic instructions on a three by five card that will go into the jar.  Pick up some activated charcoal at the local pet store and add a couple of tablespoons to a small zip lock bag and place in the jar.

Here’s a sample of some instructions:

  • Line the terrarium bottom with stones
  • Sprinkle charcoal on top
  • Add a few inches of potting soil
  • Add some small plants to the soil as well as any desired decorations
  • Place the terrarium in indirect bright light and be careful to water only when the soil is dry

When you’re done assembling the terrarium, place the lid on the jar and wrap the lid with a ribbon and add a holiday card.

Picture Coasters

This is a great present for grandparents or any family member to enjoy pictures from your last vacation or holiday time together.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 inch round, flat cork pieces
  • Glue
  • Card stock paper
  • Printouts of your photos
  • Foam or felt mounting dots

Here’s how to put them together.  Using the cork pieces as a template, trace a circle onto the card stock and the picture to make sure the size of materials match. Spread a thin layer of glue onto the cork then place the card stock on top.  Place another thin layer of glue on the back of your picture and then put that on top of the card stock.  Turn the coaster upside down and stick for mounting dots on the back to project wood furniture.  Voila!

Peppermint Brownie Mix

This idea and recipe comes from our friends at iheartnaptime.net.  If you have some extra canning jars from the store after you finish your homemade terrarium, this is a great way to fill them.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • Another cup of sugar
  • 1 cup Andes peppermint crunch baking chips (or chopped up Andes pieces)
  • 1 ¼ cup of flour (add this carefully because some of this layer will sink into the mints that you have already placed in the jar)
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions

Layer ingredients in a Mason jar, tie with a ribbon and then print the following instruction tag for the lid of the jar:

Mix contents of jar with 1 cup melted butter (two sticks), for eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.  Bake in a 9X13 pan at 350°for about 25 minutes and enjoy.

You can also print out a peppermint brownies label to put on the jar itself.

They’re you have it.  Some crafty Christmas ideas for DIY presents.

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Dessert for Dinner – What Every Kid (Young and Old) Loves

Dessert for Dinner

If you want a great idea to surprise your family, give them dessert for dinner.  This is a terrific treat at the end of the school semester or marking period to acknowledge great grades and achievements.

And this idea isn’t just for kids.  No, adults deserve it too.  So here are a few creative ideas to go along with the usual platters of brownies, bowls of ice cream and boxes of cookies.

Cupcake Cones

This is a fun twist on ice cream cones that substitute the ice cream with cupcakes.  They do take a little bit of time but they are well worth the effort. These ideas come to us from our friends at instructables.com.

Ingredients

Cake type ice cream cones –these are the ones that are squat with a flat bottom rather than the pointy sugar cones

Cake mix

Frosting

Sprinkles for decorating

Empty egg carton – These work well to hold the cupcake cones but cut off the tops of the egg cartons so ink doesn’t burn in the oven

Instructions

Cut the bottoms out of empty egg cartons and place the cones into them.  After mixing your favorite cake batter, fill the cones 2/3 full.  Bake them in the egg carton at 350° for about 30 minutes.  Test for doneness with a toothpick or skewer just like you would for regular cake mix.  Decorate with frosting and sprinkles and serve as an appetizer.

Easy Apple Tart

You can make this dessert look like fruity pizza using some puff pastry and apples.  This recipe is courtesy of Ree Drummond on Food Network.

Ingredients

  • One sheet puff pastry cut in half and then into rectangles
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Three whole apples, cored, halved and sliced with the peels on
  • Caramel sauce (store bought)
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans

Directions

Preheat your oven to 425°. Prepare a baking sheet with nonstick spray and parchment paper.

Place the pastry rectangles on the baking sheet.

In a bowl, combine sliced apples, sugar, salt and lemon juice.  Stir to mix well and let sit.

Next, arrange the apple slices on the pastry rectangles in a straight line overlapping them as you go.  Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Take the rectangles from the pan and arrange on a plate.  Serve with caramel sauce and pecans.

Other Ideas

Our kids always loved the chocolate spin on rice crispy treats using chocolate rice krispies instead of regular.

You can also make individual molten lava cake and serve it with fresh whipped cream.

And for a beverage, how about a root beer float?  Get your favorite root beer and some vanilla bean ice cream and let the kids make their own floats.

Dinner does not just have to be on the nutritious, savory side so treat your family to dessert for dinner soon.

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