Thomas’ zesty flavored oyster crackers

Thomas’ zesty flavored oyster crackers

Today I am thrilled to share a blog post from my nine and a half-year old nephew, Thomas. Even though we don’t live nearby, Thomas has spent quite a few vacations with us in Santa Cruz, from a fussy babyhood through a giggling Spongebob Squarepants-dom to the Renaissance child he has grown to be. Thomas loves to read, plays the piano, is working toward black belt, and can sing a mean Lady Gaga cover. Recently he’s started a computer recycling business too, so watch out world! He’s been learning to cook and is here to share a recipe with us. Enjoy! Hi, I’m Thomas, Maggie’s favorite nephew. [Ed. note: nice try, Thomas, but I think your brother and cousins would like to be favorites, too!] I’ve been taking cooking classes. I have delicious recipes for you. Now, oyster crackers may not seem appetizing but they are. I got this recipe from my grandma. If you want to make it make sure to read the recipe because it is not just a oyster on a cracker.   Ingredients: ¾ c. salad oil (olive oil) 1 envelope (1.0 oz.)  Hidden valley ranch original ½ t. dill weed ¼ t. lemon pepper ¼ t. garlic powder 12 – 16 oz. plain oyster crackers Instructions: Whisk together first five ingredients. Mix with crackers. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 275 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes. The first time I made these my grandma told me to mix the lemon pepper and the garlic power in a separate bowl because the garlic power clumps together. Plus, once you put the garlic powder in the...
Mystery dinner?

Mystery dinner?

So THIS is what the Kids are up to when I’m not home to cook. I saw this mystery meal after downloading the photos on my camera; the home-cooked fare I missed going to see the Stones. Kids cooking for themselves. Nice job, guys:     Mind if I steal the recipe? I’m thinking of adding poblano pepper, red onion and cherry tomato....
Bannocks – gluten free, vegetarian oat cakes

Bannocks – gluten free, vegetarian oat cakes

It’s been an oatmeal kind of autumn around here – there’s something about the cooler weather that calls out for the warmth and earthiness of hot oats, don’t you think? Recently I was having a taste flashback to the bannocks we used to eat when I was a kid living in Sitka, and decided to try and make them for the boys – but there were so many recipes out there . . . I didn’t know where to start. I wanted simple and oat-y; I wasn’t interested in adding flour to make them bread-like. I also wanted to capture all the flavors of a bowl of oatmeal in a simple round patty. So I did what I always do – read a handful of recipes and then make up my own. After a few weeks of tweeking, here I present (drum roll, please!) the perfect oatcake! Oats, egg, and banana are really the only ingredients you need; everything else just dresses the oatcakes up a bit. And if you use leftover cooked oatmeal, you can omit the egg and make it vegan. Seriously, don’t these look scrumptious? And did you ever think you’d see the words “scrumptious” and “oatmeal” together???   The boys LOVE these oatcakes – seriously love them, like a kid might love a chocolate chip cookie. Ok, they are way too old for me to worry about making kid-friendly food, but these totally pass the test. Kid One has even memorized the recipe so he’ll be able to recreate them when the day comes he has a kitchen of his own.   I love them...
Oatmeal muffin magic and recipes for happiness

Oatmeal muffin magic and recipes for happiness

You certainly have a recipe for a perfect roasted chicken or chocolate chip cookies – for some dish that makes you and your family smile – but have you ever considered your recipe for happiness? It’s a little bit harder to describe, hmm? That’s the question the Allrecipes.com team posed to us bloggers at this year’s BlogHer Food ’12 conference, and it’s definitely something to chew over. Food is a way of bringing people together, of showing love, and of sharing a culture – all things that bring happiness. How do you put it all together? I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to do just that – to think about my recipe for happiness and share it with Allrecipes’ Fresh Bites blog. Of course, it involves my children, and cooking, and being creative. Click here to read Muffin Magic – One Family’s Recipe for Guaranteed Happiness. And thank you, Allrecipes, for letting me stop by your blog and share a...

Learn to scramble eggs with California Kid Kitchen

Some families watch baseball, others lean toward Survivor or X Factor . . . we watch cooking competitions. Next Food Network Star, Top Chef, and Iron Chef all reign supreme around our house, and sometimes while we’re walking pup we challenge each other to come up with dishes for outrageous, imaginary Chopped baskets. So it was probably just a logical step for LL to challenge Kid Two to come up with a cooking video of his own. He does cook a bit, and not just by toasting his own frozen waffles. He’s a master of scrambled eggs and Julia Child’s chocolate mousse, he makes pizza dough, minces veggies, and rolls out ravioli. But It took the free time of summer vacation before Kid Two could take his dad up on the challenge, and today presented him with a belated Father’s Day gift – the first installment in California Kid Kitchen: Scrambled Eggs. I just love this so much, on many different levels. In the most basic way, he really does teach kids how to scramble eggs, assuming no knowledge but without talking down to anyone. And it very much captures his laid-back personality, tossing out information when interesting and/or necessary, but not filling empty space with words. No worries that the stove was dirty, or that he used a knife to do the scrambling. Plus, he composed the background music himself! So without further ado, here it is . . . California Kid Kitchen Episode One: Scrambled Eggs. Made with love from Kid Two to LL for Father’s Day 2012. embedded by Embedded...

Cooking with children

Since I’ve been blogging here I’ve loved getting to know so many of you from the comments and email you frequently send. I didn’t realize until last week, though, how far you all come to visit. It was exciting to see from this cool new blog counter I found that Life In A Skillet has visitors from all over the world. Here’s a map; 70 countries and 6 continents are represented, including Columbia, Korea, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Maldives: I got an email recently from someone much closer to home – Dan Gilbert, communications director for Primrose Schools. He had a great suggestion for a guest blog post, and due to his position has some authority. Dan has written a number of articles on everything from bilingual learning to teaching the importance of volunteering and I’m happy to print his article here on “Cooking with Children.” Don’t be shy; grab your kids and dive right in. Cooking with Children by Dan Gilbert Modern day cooking can be fun, addictive and an easy way to teach meaningful lessons. At times the amount of time we spend in the kitchen as parents can take away from the time we spend with our children. This does not have to be the case. Instead, utilize the time you spend in the kitchen cooking or baking by engaging your child. This is not only a great way to spend quality time together, but you can also teach your child valuable skills and life long lessons while having a great time together. As Dr. Mary Zurn of Primrose Schools puts it, “The kitchen is often the most...
Grilled pizza how-to

Grilled pizza how-to

Jack Prelutsky’s pizza poem made me hungry! Since I’m thinking about pizza I thought I should let you in on the secrets of one thing I do really, really well – handmade barbecued pizza.

Traditionally Halloween

Traditionally Halloween

What are the traditions – new or old – you do at this time every year? For me, the process of creating and carrying on traditions is one of the most challenging aspects of parenting for me, in part because my energies and interests don’t always match what the calendar and drugstore displays tell me it’s time to do. We’ve made some progress, though; click to hear how.

Homemade soft pretzels

Homemade soft pretzels

Too lazy to go to the grocery and get a box of frozen soft pretzels, we spent an afternoon experimenting with making them from scratch. It turns out homemade soft pretzels are not at all difficult and totally delicious – epecially when you spend the afternoon making them with your son. Come take a peek at our day and get the recipe to try yourself.