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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Slow Cooker Beef Vegetable Barley Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup barley
2 pounds butcher steak, cut into small cubes
2 medium onions, diced
2 cups carrots, sliced
2 cups celery, sliced
2 cups potatoes, diced
8 cups beef bouillon (made from powder or liquid concentrate is fine)

Add all ingredients into a large slow cooker. You may add a little more liquid, if necessary, to cover. Cook on high for 2 hours, then turn down to medium for 4 (you can let it cook longer if that fits your schedule better), stirring occasionally.

This is even better reheated the next day, and also freezes well.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Home Schooling: Grammar in the Kitchen

Like stories, articles and poetry, recipes also have their own rules of grammar. Have your kids look at a few different recipes, ideally from more than one cookbook or online source, to see if they can figure out how a recipe goes together. They could write out their own recipe for something they know how to make.

What did they come up with? Here are some things they might see.

The recipe has a title.
Just like an experiment, a recipe should first list the materials used (ingredients), and then the method.
Did they notice that the ingredients are listed in the order they are used?*
The instructions should be in chronological order.
The recipe should also indicate how many servings it makes.

Word order and punctuation can also be important, especially in the ingredients list. For example, a recipe calling for:

1 cup of pecans, ground

is asking for a different quantity of nuts than one that calls for:

1 cup of ground pecans

Have your kids grind a cup of pecans and measure the result. How does it differ from the cup of ground pecans, and why?

Was there anything in the recipes they looked at that they found confusing? How would they change it to make it easier to understand?

*Not all recipes are written this way, but they’re much easier to follow if they are.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Parmesan Pork Chop Noodle Casserole

While this one takes a while to cook, the prep time is minimal. If your child is old enough to boil a kettle and use the oven, they can make this themselves.

1 package Knorr Sidekicks Creamy Parmesan noodles*
½ cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon margarine
1 generous tablespoon old style mustard (the kind with visible seeds)
1 cup frozen peas+
1 ½ cups boiling water
2 pork chops
black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325°F. Boil the kettle. Combine the contents of the noodle package in a small casserole dish with the cream, margarine, mustard and peas. Pour the boiling water over top and stir. Lay the pork chops over the top. Cover the casserole dish and bake in the oven for an hour.

Serves 2. Can easily be doubled.

*You can substitute carbonara, or any chicken flavour, if you can’t find the parmesan version.

+You can substitute thawed frozen spinach.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Dinner in 30 Minutes—Ham and Noodle Casserole in a Pot

1 package Knorr Sidekicks Parmesan Pesto Noodles*
1 can flaked ham
1 cup frozen peas

Make noodles according to package directions. Add flaked ham and peas and warm through.

If time isn’t an issue, you can place all the ingredients in a casserole dish, cover with grated cheese, and put in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes.

Serves 2

* or any other flavour you like

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Dinner in 30 Minutes: Beef Teriyaki Fried Rice for Two

How many times have you seen a recipe promising dinner in 30 minutes, only to discover they’re not counting the prep time for the ingredients, or you’re expected to do three things at once? This is not one of those recipes. You will have to get the steak (if frozen) and the rice out of the freezer in the morning so they’ll be thawed when you want to start dinner. Other than that, this really will go together in under 30 minutes.

2 small steaks*
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 box (two pouches) Wong Wing fried rice

Cut the steak into narrow strips. Put oil and soy sauce into a frying pan and add enough water to cover the bottom. Add the steak strips and cook until they reach your preferred level of done. Add the contents of the rice pouches and keep stirring until warmed through. You could also add some canned or frozen oriental vegetables if you want to make it healthier/go farther.

*I like to use Walmart’s Black River angus beef boneless cross-rib steaks—the seasoning on them blends nicely with the rest of the ingredients.