DIY At Home Cooking Camp for Children

SUMMER!!! CAMPS!!! Aaaaaaah!

I was looking at a local children's magazine in hopes to sign my children up for swim lessons this summer when my oldest took it from my hands and began to read about summer camps.
"Mom, this sounds so fun! Look, cooking camp!"
"Sure", I said, "that would be fun! Let me look at it."

One hour a day, far, far away, $150 a child... plus all I could think about is my children sneakily eating tons of colorful icing they gave them when they are teaching them how to decorate cookies...
"Alright kids! Why wait until the summer? We will start our summer cooking camp on Monday!! Call your friends!" And were they excited!

Note: My children are 7 and under, your teenager might want to try something more advanced ;)


Monday morning came and the recipe book was already waiting for them.

CRANBERRY POPCORN DELUXE.
My oldest read the instructions while the younger ones start measuring.
I only helped them with putting it and taking it out of the oven. The rest they had to master themselves.

Here is the recipe:

8 cups of air-popped popcorn
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 slivered almonds
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon of almond extract

In a bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients. In a small saucepan, cook honey, butter and syrup over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and add the almond extract. Drizzle over the popcorn mixture and put in the oven at 325 F for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
If you have any left, store in an airtight container.


Tuesday came and there was a new surprise recipe:

GUACAMOLE.
I think this was everyone's favorite. The kids did not even mind the onion and garlic in there. We served it with tortilla chips, but some ate it with a spoon.

4 avocados
1 package (8oz) of cream cheese
1 small tomato
1/4 onion
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
1/2 lime (juiced)
salt and pepper to taste

Put everything in a food processor except the tomato. Cut the tomato into small pieces and add to the mixture.


Wednesday, DINNER BREAD ROLLS!

It was a quick but necessary thing on my to-do list. I do think it is important for kids to know how bread is made. It is something that doesn't come free. There is work to be done and this work has to be appreciated and bread never to be wasted. I just let the kids play with the dough as it was a play-dough and make little balls. It turned out great!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope Fleischmann's RapidRise Yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 water
2 tablespoons butter


Combine 3/4 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Heat milk, water and butter until very warm (120 degrees to 130 degrees F). Add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 1/4 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 12 equal pieces; shape into balls. Place in greased 8-inch round pan. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Bake in preheated 375 degrees F oven for 20 minutes or until done. Remove from pan; brush with additional melted butter, if desired. Serve warm.


Thursday was a sunny day, so we made some…

POPSICLES!
They were so much fun, we ended up making two kinds. The first flavor was made from a simple fruit recipe- Peaches and lemon juice mixed with a little bit of honey. They were very refreshing and great to eat in our garden as a fun light snack. The second flavor we made was more like a... "don’t you say ‘I am hungry’ until dinner" kind of a popsicle. We made it from 2 cups of coconut water blended with 1 cup of peanut butter. Freeze! Enjoy!


Friday approached and all I had energy for them to do was a fruit salad. They washed and chopped the fruit themselves, and couldn't be happier or prouder for what they have learned.

FRUIT SALAD: bananas, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, peaches, melon ... anything you have available at home.


Happy cooking, happy campers!

 

Maria Dittus

Maria is a downtown girl from Slovakia who by God's grace ended up studying and graduating from Ave Maria University where she fell in love with the Home of the Mother and her husband Rich.

Together they have 4 awesome kids and a little farm in their back yard in sunny Florida. Maria enjoys creativity that comes from homeschooling her children, simplicity in trusting God's perfect plan and solitude that doesn't yet exist in her household.

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