Kids in the Kitchen: Make a Pumpkin Cookbook

I’ve already posted about having children make apple and zucchini cookbooks. This another great family or homeschool project. You would first need to do some research about the elements you would like  added to the cookbook.

Some suggestions are:

  • table of contents
  • this for that information
  • measurement information
  • information on the different types of pumpkin
  • information on making homemade pumpkin puree, by baking or boiling
  • information on freezing pumpkin, or the finished recipes
  • how to store roasted pumpkin seeds

They might also want to add a photograph of finished recipes, or one of them making each recipe.  A nice two-page spread should include the recipe and picture on one page, and a journaled story about making or eating the dish on the next page.

It would be fun if they made their book in the shape of a pumpkin. My daughters did this, and bound the covers and pages together with yarn. The covers were made of construction paper.

Have them use only your family’s favorite holiday/harvest pumpkin recipes, so they will have to try them all out first. This can be a lot of fun. Make sure they know how to prepare relevant recipes for the freezer.

Here are some pumpkin recipe ideas:

  • bread
  • muffins
  • pumpkin  cake with cream cheese frosting
  • soups, and soups served in hollowed out pumpkins
  • vegetable medley
  • pumpkin bars
  • pie
  • cookies
  • roasted pumpkin seeds
  • pancakes

Let us know what your children include in their cookbooks!

Shannon

Kids in the Kitchen: Make a Zucchini Cookbook

Like the apple cookbook project, this is another great family or homeschool project that will teach children many skills. You would first need to research what elements you want to add to your cookbook.

Some suggestions are:

  • table of contents
  • this for that information
  • measurement information
  • information on zucchini
  • information on freezing zucchini, or the finished recipes
  • how to clean and shred the zucchini

If they grew the zucchini then they can also add gardening information, and summer and autumn harvest information.

They may also want to add a photograph of finished recipes, or of them making each recipe.  A nice two-page spread might showcase the recipe and picture on one page, and a journaled story about making or eating the dish on the next page.

You’ll want to have them use only favorite holiday/harvest zucchini recipes, so have them try them all out first. This can be a lot of fun. You will also want to make sure that they know how to prepare relevant recipes for the freezer.

When my daughters made theirs, they used construction paper and bound everything together with yarn.

Here are some zucchini recipe ideas:

  • bread
  • muffins
  • zucchini mashed potatoes
  • harvest salad
  • zucchini in stir-fry
  • chocolate zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting
  • soups
  • vegetable medley

Let us know what your children include in their cookbooks!

Shannon

Kids in the Kitchen: Make an Apple Cookbook

This is a frugal family or homeschool project that will teach math, reading, life skills, and more.

What is added to each child’s cookbook depends on their age and skills, but this will be a fun project for them to work on as they learn to help with food preparation during the harvest months.

Some examples of book parts include:

  • table of contents
  • this for that information
  • measurement information
  • information on the different types of apples
  • classification of baking apples
  • information on freezing apples, or the finished recipes
  • why you should never eat apple seeds (hint: poison)
  • a page telling about each family member’s favorite type of apple

They add a photograph of finished recipes, or of themselves making each recipe.  A nice two-page spread would showcase the recipe and picture on one page, and a journaled story about making or eating the dish on the next page.

When my daughters made their apple books, they created them in shapes of apples – the pages and the cover, using construction paper and binding them with yarn.

Have them use only the family’s favorite holiday/harvest apple recipes, so they’ll have to try them all out first. This can be a lot of fun. Make sure that you know how to, and they include the directions for, preparing relevant recipes for the freezer.

Here are some apple recipe ideas:

  • bread
  • muffins
  • apple cake with cream cheese frosting
  • apple bars
  • pie
  • cookies
  • crisp
  • applesauce, apple-pear sauce, apple-peach sauce
  • salads
  • pancakes

Let us know what your children decide to put in their apple cookbooks!

Shannon

Building Memories: Baking with My Grandson

Oh how I love this Little Man. ❤ My grandson is a big helper, and he has mad stirring skills! Just look at him. Little Man likes to help in the kitchen sometimes, so I asked him if he would want to help me bake some chocolate zucchini cake.

I needed to make some for my coworkers, and told him I’d leave a cake at his house as well. He was good with helping so, while his mom was looking for a job not long after they moved to the area, Little Man and I baked.

He was so good about washing his hands. I measured out all of the ingredients and he showed me his crazy good dumping skills.

Little Man was very impatient while spreading the cream cheese frosting. I’d put a scoop on the cake, he’d move the butter knife over it once, then stick his hand through the frosting and into the cake to taste it. What a goober! I had to finish that part on my own.

We chatted about a lot of things while we were making this cake, and we laughed so much. I’ll always cherish our baking time. The memories will, hopefully, stay with me forever.

Little Man is a hoot to bake with. We’ll be making a chocolate mayonnaise cake with peanut butter frosting next. I know these things are not healthy, but they are a nice treat once-in-a-while, and my coworkers appreciate a treat on occasion.

Shannon

Yule Napkin Rings

Part of kitchen wizardry is decorating the table, especially at holidays and sabbats. Napkin rings allow you to add a little extra flair to the table. Different types of greenery and spices make decorating for Yule a simple, fragrant task. You can make these with real greenery to use once, or make them to last with fake greenery. For a non-wasteful sabbat, use fake greenery and store the napkin rings carefully after the sabbat is over. If you celebrate Christmas as well, as we do in our home, you can use these twice each year.

You will need:

(Materials for each napkin ring.)

2 cinnamon sticks

holly with berries

glue sticks

glue gun

  1. Glue the holly leaves into a ring with a diameter between 1 and 1/2 inches. Be sure there are some berries on each ring.
  2. Glue 2 cinnamon sticks together under the greenery, so they form two straight sticks together or an X.
  3. OR place them over the greenery and glue the red berries to the center.

Tips

  • Try different types of greenery.
  • Tie a ribbon around the cinnamon sticks.
  • Let older children, who can handle a glue gun, help with this project.

Shannon

 

Homemade Food Gifts: The Cooks’ Gift

If you’ve taken the time to make the homemade vinegars, oils and butters that have been featured here on the Frugal Recipes blog, then you have a great base for a cooks’ holiday gift. If you have made dried herb gifts, you will be able to add them to this. All of these items, combined with some homemade baked goods, will make a great gift.

Place a combination of these items in a large gift basket, over a dish or tea towel, or other fabric. Tie a bow on, and add a tag.

You can add to this gift if you have affordable ways of obtaining certain other items. For instance, why not add some homemade knitted or crocheted dish cloths to the gift. (My sister makes me a couple of these each year, and I just love them.) A dollar store will net you wooden cooking spoons and rubber spatulas, or even dish towels. I once found two large metal pots at a yard sale for .50 each. They were used, but looked almost new. A thrift shop may net you a hand grater for a quarter, or a couple of whisks. If you’ve been lucky enough to find such deals, create gifts with them.

This would be an easy project for children to put together, as they aren’t really preparing any of the foods themselves.

Tips

  • Combine in a container. No need to wrap.
  • If you choose to use a basket, they can be found affordably at thrift shops.
  • I once found four large baskets at a yard sale for $1.00 each.

What food gifts do you give at the holidays? Please share with us in the comments below.

Shannon

Note: I know sweets and many baked goods are not healthy, and that we really shouldn’t be eating them, but I have family members who don’t limit such things. So yes, I give these items at the holidays. Also, I don’t think it is necessarily bad to treat yourself once-in-a-while. You just don’t want to make a habit of it.

Leftover Thanksgiving Fry Pan Meal

This recipe is frugal because it uses leftovers from you Thanksgiving meal. It’s easy enough for an older child to make.

Leftover Potatoes: You will want to make sure that these are warmed when the pan-fried food is done. You can do this in the oven. Sweet potato is a good choice.

Ingredients to put into pan:

coconut oil

turkey, bite size pieces

leftover veggies from the turkey dinner

add-ins you like: sliced onions, crushed garlic cloves, and parsley.

  1. Melt the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the turkey, veggies, and add-ins.
  3. Cook until all is warmed through.
  4. Put on plates.
  5. Take the potatoes out of the oven and spoon them on the plates as well.
  6. Serve.

Tips

  • Try adding roasted squash to the meal as well.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole

If you’re lucky you wont need to buy anything extra for this, making it a very frugal meal indeed. Children who can use an oven by themselves will find this easy. Younger children can put the casserole together for you to bake.

To make this recipe even easier, prepare it when cleaning up after the Thanksgiving meal, and pop it in the oven the next day. You could also put it in the freezer.

Ingredients

leftover turkey

leftover vegetables

leftover mashed potatoes (any kind)

water

  • Put 1/4 cup water in a baking dish.
  • Cover the bottom of the baking dish with bite size pieces of turkey.
  • Cover the turkey with leftover vegetables.
  • Cover the vegetables with mashed potatoes.
  • Bake at 350* until warmed through.

Tips

  • Squash could be used in place of the potato.
  • If there are varying tastes, or not enough potatoes to cover the casserole, top 1/3 with regular mashed potatoes, 1/3 with mashed sweet potato, and the last third with squash.

Serving Suggestions

Shannon

Baked Cheese Pumpkins

This recipe is great as a snack, or can be made for a Halloween. Children will love helping you make these, once they have cooled.

8 slices paleo bread
4 slices white cheese
pumpkin cookie cutter
  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (can be wiped and reused later).
  2. Place 4 slices of bread on the cookie sheet.
  3. Put a slice of cheese on each slice of bread.
  4. Put a slice of bread over each slice of cheese.
  5. Bake both at 350* until cheese is melted.
  6. Remove cookie sheet from the oven.
  7. Remove the sandwiches from the pan and place on a cutting board. Allow to cool some.
  8. (This is the part the children can do!) Use the pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter cut ghost shapes out of the sandwiches.

This actually gives you eight pumpkin-shaped cheese sandwiches. The cutouts and the outer edges.

Enjoy!

Shannon

Berry Parfaits

I love Parfaits. I like to pretty them up for the children, to turn them into special treats.

  • I put them into sundae cups for a nice treat. Or I use decorative bowls.
  • I have real tea-spoons with long handles that I place in the cups.

Berries are healthy and should be a part of everyone’s diet, with the possible exception of babies. My daughters and the daycare children love these, as do I.

  • Use any type of berries you like, and or combination of berries.
  • Use coconut cream, flavoring it if you’d like with pure vanilla or mint extract.
  • Add toppings such as fresh cherries or dried fruit, if desired.
  • Add seeds or nuts to the top.

All you do is:

  • Put a tablespoon of cream in the bottom of the cup.
  • Layer coconut yogurt and berries until you get to the top.
  • Add your choice of topping(s).

These parfaits are great for:

  • Daycare children to make.
  • Hot summer days.
  • Party treats.

They make great:

  • Snacks.
  • Breakfast ideas.
  • Desserts.

Enjoy!

Shannon

P.S. If you have any parfait ideas that you’d care to share, please post them in the comments. Thank you.

Shannon