Belgium — According to My Four Year old!

This past spring, after I overheard my daughter Delarai tell her friends she is “French” (because we speak French in the house), I realized I had to spend more time teaching her about the world, her heritage, and the countries her father and I had lived in.

I had a difficult time explaining to her that she is not French (even though we want her to learn French) and that actually she is half Belgian. I decided teaching her about Belgium, her father’s country of birth, and discovered it was much easier for her to relate to Belgium through some of the recipes she loved. You can say this was one of the pivotal moments for the emergence of “Chef Koochooloo.”

This summer, we decided to dedicate a week at my husband’s birth country and after our trip, I asked Delarai what she loved most about Belgium. She listed the following (in order of preference!!)

1.Christine, Frederic and Emma!

People always make the difference on whether or not we like a place. Delarai loves spending time with my husband’s god-parents, and she specially enjoyed her trip to the Grand Place in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, where she saw the City Hall light up.

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2.  Les balles qui brilles!

Delarai came up with her own name for the Atomium in Brussels: The World Expo of 1958 left behind a gigantic structure that shone in the spring sun in the shape of an atom, it is a replica of an iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times, and Delarai loved it much more than even the Eiffel Tower!

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3. Les Gaufres

Need I say more? We have promised Chef Koochooloo to work on some amazing waffle recipes and post them here soon, though we are not sure we can ever compare to those delicious Gaufre de Liège or the Gaufre de Bruxelles!

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4. The BIG Pink Watches!

Delarai loves the interchangeable Adna Watches designed by the talented Alain Denys (who resides in Waterloo, just a ten-minute away drive from where my husband’s family lives).  She was delighted when I told her the watches are now being sold in the US and she insisted we get the pink one for Daddy. I also got five other colors and we continue to have fun changing the bands depending on our activities and outfits.  We specially love using the watch during Chef Koochooloo cooking sessions.

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5. Catching crabs with Papi in Knokke

Knokke, is the most North-Eastern seaside resort on the coast of Belgium. It lies adjacent to the Dutch border; separated from the Dutch territory by the Zwin nature reserve. Even though it was a shocker for us to get used to the cold weather in August, Delarai loved running around the beach in her sweater and catching crabs with Pappi and Mammi!

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6. Cecemel: 

We loved discovering new beers while spending lazy afternoons in the windy beach front, and Delarai fell in love with Cecemel, the best chocolate milk she had ever tasted. Much to my embarrassment at Airport security, I realized she had hidden a bunch of  them in my handbag to take back with us. Sadly, I was not able to find this delicious and supposedly nutritious drink for her here in the US.

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Green Gram Sprouts Salad (Ankurit Moong Salad)

This week we have a very special recipe that celebrates another milestone as we team up with Cheeni For Tots to teach adorable five year olds at Genentech about India culture and cuisine.

Here is the recipe and lesson plan we have prepared for them with. Let us know what you think, and if you wish for us to visit your school with this lesson plan. As they say in India: Svādiṣṭa! (Delicious!)

Country we are exploring: India

Continent: Asia

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Official Languages:  Hindi & English

India has hundreds of spoken languages in different parts of the country.  There are 22 official languages, and over 2000 dialects. English and Hindi are widely spoken by the majority of Indians.

Fun Kid relevant Fact about India:

India’s jungles were the inspiration behind Disney’s animated feature, The Jungle Book. The story was originally written by Rudyard Kipling for his six year old daughter, Josephine. The plot follows Mowgli, a feral child raised in the Indian jungle by wolves, as his friends Bagheera the panther and Baloo the bear try to convince him into leaving the jungle before the evil tiger Shere Khan arrives!

Did you know?

19% of Kids in India do not know how to read or write by the time they reach the age 15.  The main reasons being that they don’t have a school or education facility near by, or their parents don’t have the means to support them.

Conversation Igniters:

  • How would you feel if you could not go to school?

  • What do you think will happen to kids who don’t have a chance to go to school and get educated?

Links to a resource where kids can learn more about this issue or take action: http://www.ashanet.org/ or http://smallstepsfoundation.org/

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English Recipe Name: Green Gram Sprouts Salad

Name of dish in Hindi: Ankurit Moong Salad

Serving Size: 20 people

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Ingredient spotlight: Sprouted Green Gram (or Moong Bean) Sprouts have high nutritional value because they contain fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins and enzymes. They are also called miracle food! Fiber will help you digest better. Protein will make you strong. Minerals & vitamins will add more energy in you!

Ingredients:

• 4 cups of sprouted moong beans
• 2 small or medium sized onions, finely chopped
• 4 medium size tomatoes, finely chopped
• 2 tsp lemon juice
• 1 bunch coriander leaves and lemon slices for garnishing
• Rock salt or black salt as desired

Optional Ingredients:

• 1⁄2 or 1 tsp chaat masala
• 3 boiled potatoes

Big Chef Duties:

• Sprout the Green Gram/Moong
• Cover and soak the beans with three inches of water overnight
• After the beans have soaked overnight or for 8 hours, strain them in a large colander and rinse under cold running water
• Cover the colander with a kitchen towel and set aside for another day
• Every 8-10 hours rinse the legumes and let the water run out, then cover again with the kitchen towel and reset. Once you see tiny little white shoots developing, allow for them to sit another day, continuing to rinse and drain, until the shoots are bigger
• Preparation once the sprouts are ready to prepare the salad
• Chop the onions in small pieces
• Boil the potatoes

Little Chef Duties:

• Peel and chop the potatoes in small pieces
• Chop the tomatoes and coriander in small pieces
• Mix all the chopped ingredients with the sprouts in a bowl
• Season it with salt
• Add a few drops of lemon juice

Learn while you wait activity:

Color a Rangoli (a folk art from India in which patterns are created on the floor) or Diwali Diya (i.e. a lamp) – Print and distribute writing worksheets and coloring sheets from Cheeni For Tots for

Sprouts: http://www.cheenifortots.com/blog/sprouts

Presentation

1. Garnish it with chopped coriander, and lemon slices
2. Serve the sprouts salad fresh for the best taste!

Bon Appetit in Hindi:

Delicious:– Svādiṣṭa!

Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers from Greece

We embarked on our culinary trip to Greece with the help of our Little Chefs from the Montessori School of Los Altos at Greanmeadow. Our thanks go to the School, their amazing teachers, the Little Chefs and their parents for their participation and support.

Country we are exploring: Greece
Continent: Europe
National Language: Greek

Fun fact about the country: There are several islands in Greece where all the houses are small with white and blue windows and rooftops.

Did you know ?

 

A special type of sea turtle, the caretta caretta lives in the Greek waters. This turtle can be as long as 83 inches and as big as 300 lbs! Unfortunately caretta-caretta’s life is not easy! She has to come out to the shore to make a nest in the sand for its eggs. The trip to the shore is dangerous because boats might injure them, fishermen might catch them and other bigger fish and sharks might eat them.

 

Action ideas: What can you do to help caretta caretta lay its eggs safely?

 

Link to a resource for the kids to learn more about this topic or how they can help:

 

Spotlight ingredient: Tomato

 

Tomatoes are excellent sources of antioxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins.  Specifically, tomatoes contain lycopene which helps defend against different types of cancer. Fresh tomatoes are also very rich in potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure caused by sodium (salt). Tomatoes originated in the South American Andes and were first used in food by the Aztecs in Southern Mexico.
As of 2013, the heaviest tomato according to Guinness World Record weighed 7 lb 12 oz and was grown in Oklahoma, USA.
English Recipe Name: Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers
Greek Recipe Name: Ghemista

Serving Size: 3

Ingredients:
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 3 green bell peppers
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 1⁄2 cup rice
  • 2 medium sized yellow onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1⁄2 bunch parsley
  • 2 tbsp dill
  • 2/3 cup olive oil and some for sprinkling at the end
  • 14.5 oz tomato sauce
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 potato (optional)
Big Chef Duties:

 

  • Slice off the top of the tomatoes
  • Use a spoon remove the flesh of the tomatoes and keep it in a bowl. Try to leave the vegetables as thin as possible, leaving just a little of the flesh, but be careful not to poke through their skin.
  • Arrange the hollowed peppers and tomatoes in a baking dish that fits them about right with the hollowed sides facing upward.
  • If there is too much space left in the baking dish cut a potato and add it to keep the vegetables from falling sideways
  • Add the tomato flesh to a food processor and puree.
  • Add the onions to a food processor and puree.
  • While the Little Chef is filling the vegetables, preheat the oven at 360 F.
  • After all vegetables are filled and in case any filling mix is left add it to the baking dish.
  • Pour 2 cups water in the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle 1-2 tbsp olive oil over the vegetables.
  • Bake the stuffed vegetables for 45 min.
Little Chef Duties:
  • Wash the tomatoes, the peppers and the zucchini thoroughly
  • Wash the parsley and the dill thoroughly.
  • Cut the top of the bell peppers while the Big Chef cuts the top of the tomatoes.
  • Remove the seeds and membranes of the bell peppers and discard. Chop the zucchini in small cubes.
  • Chop finely the parsley and the dill.
  • Chop finely the garlic cloves.
  • After the Big Chef has pureed the tomato flesh and the onions, add them in a bowl along with the chopped zucchini, the chopped parsley, the chopped dill and the tomato sauce and the olive oil.
  • Add the rice to the mix.
  • Add salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Use a spoon to fill the tomatoes and the peppers with the mix.

Learn while you wait:

Why does pop corn pop?

Salted, Buttered, Plain? We all love popcorn. But do you know why it pops? The trick is in the kernel. Each kernel of popcorn contains little water stored inside a circle of soft starch. Popcorn needs between 13.5-14% moisture to pop. The soft starch is surrounded by the kernel’s hard outer surface. As the kernel heats up, the water begins to expand. Around 212 degrees the water turns into steam and changes the starch inside each kernel into a super hot gel. The kernel continues to heat to about 347 degrees and the pressure increase until the kernel finally bursts. As it explodes, steam inside the kernel is released. The soft starch inside the popcorn becomes inflated and spills out. A kernel will swell 40-50 times its original size!

As they say in Greece: Kalí óreksi! (Bon Apetit)

Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

French Saffron Toast with Salmon Roe

French Saffron Toast with Salmon Roe

French Saffron Toast with Salmon Roe

Country we are exploring: France            

Continent: Europe

National Language: French

Fun Kid relevant Fact about France:

The French eat snails, frog’s legs and horsemeat!

 Did you know? 

France is the country that hosts the highest number of refugees in Europe. Do you know what refugees are?

Action ideas: How would you help a refugee that might move into your neighborhood?

English Recipe Name: Saffron-French toast with salmon roe               

Name of dish in French: Pain perdu au saumon fume et saffron

Serving Size: 4-6 people

Ingredient spotlight:  Saffron

Saffron has been known since Antiquity as a remedy for all pains, In the East it is also known to bring cheerfulness and wisdom. In certain countries saffron is used to relieve toothache when babies get their first teeth.

Ingredients:

  • 12 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 40ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) crème fraiche
  • 100g smoked salmon
  • Salmon roe, to serve (see Notes)

Big Chef Duties:

  • Preheat oven to 140°C (248 Farenheit)

Let the Little Chef Perform their duties before proceeding with the following:

  • Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat
  •  Fry for 1-2 minutes each side until golden
  • Keep the toast warm in the oven until ready to serve

Little Chef Duties:

  • Use a Mickey Mouse cutter to cut out Micky Mouse shapes from each slice of bread
  • Place the eggs and milk in a bowl and whisk to combine
  • Add saffron and set aside for 45 minutes

Learn while you wait activity:

Color the map of France and point out the Saffron Museum in Boynes, France.

After 45 minutes

  • Dip the bread in the mixture or brush them, and give them to Big Chef
  • After Big Chef fries them, spoon some crème fraiche, smoked salmon and salmon roe on each toast and enjoy!

*Our Chef Koochooloo likes making Saffron French Toast using Micky Mouse Icon Sandwich Cutter

Presentation

Garnish with parsley and slices of tomatoes in olive oil, with a little salt and pepper

As they say in France, Bon Appétit

Leek Tart from Belgium

Today, July 21, is the National Day of Belgium. On July 21, 1831, Leopold I was declared the first king of the Belgians. This anniversary is celebrated throughout the country with parades and concerts. Since my husband is from Belgium I wanted to prepare a festive dinner with Belgian food. I want my daughter to learn more about her father’s country of origin and culture. We started this morning with a Belgian Leek Tart and I want to share this recipe and video with you.

When my daughter and I make this recipe for our family, I always use a dairy free cheese because my daughter is lactose intolerant. I have to admit that it is not easy to find a non-dairy alternative that tastes as good as the dairy cheese. After many trials, I found the best tasting Dairy free cheddar cheese and I would like to share my discovery with you. It is called Daiya and is has all the attributes of traditional Cheddar. I find it at Fresh and Easy. Below is the recipe:

Leek Tart

Leek Tart

Continent: Europe

Languages spoken: 3 official languages: Dutch, French, German (including many non-official languages such as: Flemish and Walloon!)

English Recipe Name: Leek Tarte

Belgian Name: Flamiche aux Poireaux

Did you know? 

Like many European countries, Belgium is composed of a large number of immigrants. Immigrants are people that move from one country into another. Imagine abandoning your language, culture, and way of life! That’s why many kids can have a hard time adjusting to these new countries.

Action ideas: take a look at a map and think about all of the places you and your friends come from! Then look up recipes from those countries on Chef K and get a taste of their background!

Link to a resource where kids can learn more about this issue or take action:  http://www.knowyourcountry.com/belgium1111.html

Ingredient spotlight:  Leeks

Did you know Leeks are…?

Leeks belong in the same family of vegetables as garlics and onions.

The roman emperor Nero ate leeks to make his voice stronger, but this isn’t necessarily true.  However, scientists today agree that leeks are good for your heart.

Serving Size: 8

INGREDIENTS

CRUST

  • 4 tablespoons (or more) ice water
  • 3/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

FILLING

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups Leek Confit

Big Chef Duties:

  1. In a blender mix flour and salt and add butter in small pieces.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll dough to 12-inch round.
  3. Press dough into 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom.
  4. Put baking beads were the tart filling would go and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove baking beads and continue cooking for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove crust from oven and allow to cool.
  7. Pour whisked mixture into the crust.
  8. Transfer back to the oven for another 35 to 40 minutes.
  9. Remove crust from oven and allow to cool.

Little Chef Duties:

  1. Add all ice water and cider vinegar in bowl.
  2. Gently apply water-vinegar mixture to form smooth mixture.
  3. Flatten dough into circular disk (about 6-8 inches in diameter). Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for two hours.
  4. Fold the excess dough inwards making sure that the tart walls are about 1.5 inches high.
    Whisk together milk, cream, egg, egg yolk, and salt.
  5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over bottom of crust; spread leek confit over cheese and sprinkle remaining cheese on top of leek confit.

Learn while you wait:

  • How is cheddar cheese made? Enzymes called rennet are added to milk which separates the milk into curds and whey. The curd is heated, pressed, and combined with salt. The curd is then left to mature as it turns to cheese.
  • The Manneken Pis is a funny statue on a public fountain. It is also the headquarters of the European Union and NATO.
  • Early records of the leek as food go as far back as the ancient Egyptians 4000 years ago!
  • The leek is a national emblem of Wales, whose soldiers historically wore the vegetable in their helmets.

PRESENTATION

  • Present whole and cut servings as required

Teach the kids how to say Bon Appetit in the languages spoken in Belgium:

Dutch: Eet smakelijk!

French: Bon Appétit!

German: Guten Appetit! 
 
 

Persian Cutlets

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Today my little Chef Koochooloo and I were thinking of Madar, my grandmother
who used to make the most delicious Cutlets I ever tasted. The only other person
I knew whose Cutlets were as mouth watering was my aunt Azadeh, who has also
passed away. What better way to share their memory with my daughter than
cooking some Cutletsof our own? I was skeptical whether I could ever reach
the same level of success when it comes to taste, but I figured I could put
the recipe in the Chef Koochooloo template, and add our own flare to it. (Using Mickey Mouse Sandwich Cutters). Here is our recipe, hope you have as much fun as we did in making some delicious Kotlets.

Country we are exploring: Iran

Continent: Asia

National Language: Farsi

Fun Kid relevant Fact about Iran:

On the last Tuesday of each year, children in Iran celebrate the New Year by participating in the Festival of Fire (Chahar-Shanbeh Soori) and jumping over fire!

Bonfires are made in the streets and yards, representing Good thoughts, Good words, and Good deeds. Iranians believe that by jumping over fire, they will have enlightenment, good health and happiness throughout the coming year.

Did you know? 

Girls in Iran don’t always enjoy the same opportunities as boys, for instance, girls are not allowed to play soccer.
Action ideas: How would you feel if you had to live in a country where girls and boys did not have the same opportunities?

English Recipe Name: Persian Cutlets   

Name of dish in Farsi:  Kotlet

Serving Size: 4-6 people 
 

Ingredient spotlight:  Parsley  

Parsley

Parsley is a relative to celery and derives its name from the Greek word meaning “rock celery”. Parsley helps protect you against Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Can you guess what is the most popular herb in the world?

Parsley is a relative to celery and derives its name from the Greek word meaning “rock celery”. Parsley helps protect you against Rheumatoid Arthritis. (Disease that can cuase pain in your joints, speically in fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles).

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sirloin ground beef
  • 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 table spoons finely chopped parsley
  • ½ cup of bread crumbs
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon of each saffron, cumin, turmeric

Pinch of Salt and Pepper

Big Chef Duties:

  • Cut the potatoes in half and place them in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add some salt, and cook until a fork easily goes through them
  • Place the potatoes in a bowl full of ice
  • Grate onion in a large bowl
  • Chop the parsley in small pieces

Let the Little Chef Perform their duties before proceeding with the following:

    • Put some olive oil on the pan and place the patties on the pan with some distance between each. (little trick here! Take a very small piece of the one of the patties and place on the pan, fry it a bit, then taste it to assess whether you need any more spices etc).
    • Once all kotlets are placed on the pan, fry on low heat. Stay near! Flip them when the kotlets seem crispy/darker a bit.

Little Chef Duties:

        • Peel the potatoes and mash them
        • Add the meat, bread crumbs, eggs and spices, salt, pepper to the bowl
        • Sprinkle with the fresh chopped parsley
        • Mix with hands (you might want to wear gloves, this gets messy!)
        • Scoop individually with your hands and roll each into a ball, then flatten. (Iranians usually make oval shapes, but you can have fun with various geometric shapes, make squares, triangles, pentagons, etc.

Chef Koochooloo likes making Persian Cutlet using Disney’s Micky Mouse Icon Sandwich Cutter

Learn while you wait: (Introduce a Math, history or science related fact)

What kind of geometric shapes can you make Kotlets in? Try Diamonds, Hexagons, and Circles

Presentation

Garnish with parsley and some lightly fried tomatoes in olive oil, with a little salt and pepper. Of course Chef Koochooloo had some ideas of her own on how to present her Cutlets!

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As we say in Iran: “Nooshe Jaan!”  (enjoy your meal)

German parsley potato salad

German Parsley Potato Salad

German Parsley Potato Salad

Country we are exploring:  Germany

Continent :Europe

Language spoken: German

English Recipe Name: German parsley potato salad

German Name:   German Petersilienkartoffeln

 

Did you know?

Like many European countries, Germany is composed of a large number of immigrants. Immigrants are people that move from one country into another. Imagine abandoning your language, culture, and way of life! That’s why many kids can have a hard time adjusting to these new countries.

Action ideas: Do you know what an immigrant means? Do you know someone who is an immigrant? What should you do when you meet a new child who is an immigrant at your school?  Do you think California has the same issue as Germany when it comes to immigrants?

Link to a resource where kids can learn more about this issue or take action

Ingredient spotlight:  Parsley

  • It contains three times as much vitamin C as oranges, and twice as much iron as spinach
  • For a natural breath freshener, try a sprig of parsley
  • Parsley contains vitamin A and is a good source of copper and manganese

Serving Size: 4

INGREDIENTS

750g small potatoes
30g butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 dessert spoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

4 Sausages (optional)

 Big Chef Duties:

  • Boil potatoes with salt
  • Melt the butter in a pan, add the skinned potatoes and then sprinkle over the salt.
  • Boil bratwurst, frankfurters, or knackwurst sausages for five minutes

Little Chef Duties:

  • Peel the potatoes
  • Chop the parsley
  • Combine potatoes with salt, and melted butter
  • Sprinkle with the fresh chopped parsley, shake the pan to distribute the parsley and serve immediately.
  • Add the sausages

Learn while you wait: (Introduce a Math, history or science related fact)

What causes bubbles to form when boiling water?

  • As the water starts to get hot, a lot of bubbles will form down the walls of your water container. These bubbles are AIR. Normally water has a lot of air dissolved on it. This is what allows breathing to fish and other aquatic beings. The solubility of gases decreases when the temperature is raised, and that is why the dissolved air bubbles out from the water.
  • Dogs are kings in Germany: they can go just about everywhere: first class restaurants, trains and buses, even clothing shops and bookstores. But NOT in a Metzgerei (butchers) and rarely in a Konditorei or a Bakerei. But guess what, they even have their own pools!
  • Parsley is the world’s most popular herb. It derives its name from the Greek word meaning “rock celery” (parsley is a relative to celery).

PRESENTATION

  • Place the potato in the dish and serve with your favorite sausage.

Teach the kids how to say Bon Appetit in the language of this recipe:

Guten Appetit! Mahlzeit!

Brazilian Potato Salad

Brazilian Potato Salad

Continent: South America

Language spoken: Portuguese

English Recipe Name: Potato Salad

Recipe Name in National Language: Salada de Batatas

Did you know?
Brazil has a total of 274 threatened wildlife species. There are 80 threatened species of birds in Brazil. This is the highest of any country in the world. Humans have cut down over 20% of the Amazon rainforest in the last 40 years, thus destroying many species’ habitats and homes. At the rate we are cutting down the Amazon forest, many species will be extinct in the future.

Action ideas: Ask kids if they know the about the Food Chain or Food Web and how a loss of species could effect the Food Chain. If one species is missing in the food chain, the predator of that species will starve and die because they will have nothing to eat. This creates a ripple effect. Also, the prey of the missing species will grow in size because they are not being eaten by any predators.

Link to a resource where kids can learn more about this issue or take action

Ingredient spotlight: Potato

There are about 5,000 potato varieties worldwide. Three thousand of them are found in the Andes alone, mainly in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Colombia.

There are about 5,000 potato varieties worldwide. Three thousand of them are found in the Andes alone, mainly in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, and Colombia.

During the Alaskan Klondike gold rush, (1897-1898) potatoes were practically worth their weight in gold.

In October 1995, the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space. NASA and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, created the technology with the goal of feeding astronauts on long space voyages, and eventually, feeding future space colonies.

Ease a sore throat by putting a slice of baked potato in a stocking and tying it around your throat.

The word potato comes from the Spanish word patata.

Although it shares the same name, the sweet potato is a root vegetable and only loosely related to the potato.

Serving Size: 6

INGREDIENTS

1 lb red potatoes (regular potatoes will suffice)
1 green onion
1/4 limes or 1/4 lemon
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 stalk celery
1/2 carrot, grated
salt and pepper

Big Chef Duties:

1. Cut potatoes in medium wedges and cook in salted water until done, but not smooshy soft
2. Meanwhile chop up celery and green onion.

Little Chef Duties:

1. Carefully drain the potatoes.
2. Put cooked potatoes into a bowl, while still hot, squeeze lemon over them (I’m estimating it at 1/2 to a whole lemon so add incrementally and taste); stir.
3. Let cool.
4. Once cooled add the mayonnaise,add celery and green onions, then shaved carrot stalk with a vegetable peeler, Stir until mixed but do not over stir or potatoes will become mushy.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors meld.

Learn while you wait:
How is Salt made?

There are two ways salt is collected. One way is collect the salt crystals that are left behind when shallow ponds and bays dry up. The water in these ponds and bays evaporate. Evaporation is when liquid is turns into a gas. The second way to collect salt is to mine it. Deep below the ground, salt is present and can be extracted through mining. These large deposits of salt are the result of ancient underground waterways that have dried up thousands of years ago.

PRESENTATION

Teach the kids how to say Bon Appetit in Portuguese:

Bom apetite

Pizza Garden

Does your family love pizza? Why not grow your own pizza garden?

Your kids love pizza. Dinnertime comes and the pressure mounts: they want pizza for dinner. You, on the other hand want to give them a healthy meal that also makes them happy. What do you do?

pizzaHere is our suggestion: make your own pizza with homegrown, organic, fresh ingredients! Have some space in the back yard? Great! You don’t? No worries, this home garden can happily grow in containers, too. Early July is actually a very good time in the year for you to plant your own pizza garden. You only need to carefully choose the plant varieties and the location of the garden. The most important thing is that you place it in a sunny, warm location, either on your porch, patio or back yard. If you are reading and thinking that you have no particular gardening experience, do not worry. I am no experienced gardener myself, but that is the beauty of this garden: it is great for beginners!

Planting the Tomatoes

To make a delicious pizza, one needs to start with fresh, ripe tomatoes. The sauce is what gives the whole dish its unifying flavor. It ties everything together, so to speak. The best pizza sauce is simply a sauce that combines your pizza toppings and your pizza crust to create a delicious, unifying taste. There are plenty of tomato varieties with different characteristics. The one that makes the most tasty pizza sauce is the Roma tomato.

You can buy the Roma tomato plants at a gardening supplies store, such as Home Depot. Plant the Roma tomatoes in a spot that receives 8 hours of sun per day. You will need to stake, trellis or cage the sprawling plants to keep them off the ground. Make sure to leave at least 18” apart depending on how much space you have. When your tomatoes turn from a vibrant medium green to a light shade and then to red they are ready to be harvested. Pick the tomatoes and never refrigerate them, just store them indoors

Tomatoestomatoes2

Planting the Oregano

What gives pizza the special sink of flavor is of course oregano, either Greek or Italian. Oregano, too, prefers a sunny spot. The plant grows into a small bush; so do not be afraid to harvest it often for continued new growth. Here is the Bonnie plant that will give a subtle, but flavorful taste to your pizza.

Peppers for all tastes

An all time favorite ingredient of Italian pizza is peppers. From sweet and mellow to fiery hot, pepper varieties cover a wide range of preferences. Peppers need a sunny, well-drained spot, too. Planted either in a garden or in a container, peppers benefit from staking. Two of the most popular pizza varieties are the Banana peppers, which are hot and sweet, and the green bell peppers.

Now that you have proudly produced your own organic and fresh pizza toppings, all you need is a great pizza recipe! Stay tuned, it’s coming in the next post!

Banana Peppers

Green Bell Peppers

All Natural Strawberry Lemonade

Country we are exploring: United States  Strawberry Lemonade

Continent: North America

National Language: English

English Recipe Name: All Natural Strawberry Lemonade

Fun Fact about the country: America uses a lot of food-related phrases when describing itself!  It has long been known as a “melting pot” because it is the home of people from all over the world who blend together, but more recently it has also been described as a “salad” because each group also manages to remain unique.  It seems that everyone can agree on apple pie though, since the phrase “as American as apple pie” has long been popular for describing something typically American!

Did you know?

In America, many popular kids books are banned or censored in schools and libraries. Among these books include Harry Potter, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, The Lorax, and Where’s Waldo?

Action ideas: Parents should guide their children’s reading and exposure to books as they see fit outside of school environments. The public library can assist in this process by providing reader’s advisory services, booklists, and other related services in a positive, pro-active manner.

Link to a resource where kids can learn more about this issue or take action: http://www.kidspeakonline.org/, http://www.pabbis.com/

Kids love this country because…
The American city of Los Angeles is the birthplace and home of many popular kids television shows such as Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, and Yo Gabba Gabba. These shows are not only entertaining but have become stuck in young hearts around the world!

Ingredient spotlight:  Lemon  

Did you know Lemons are…?
 
The lemon is native to Asia, around Northeast India, North Burma, and China.

Lemons are believed to be a hybrid between a sour orange and a citron.

Christopher Columbus took lemon seeds with him to the America’s in 1493, introducing the fruit there. 

Due to its high acidic nature the juice of a lemon can be used for cleaning. Lemon halves dipped in salt or baking powder can be used to brighten up copper and clean kitchenware.

The top 5 producers of lemons in the world each year, in no particular order, are China, India, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.

INGREDIENTS

8 large strawberries, halved
2 tablespoons white sugar
7 cups water, divided
1 cup white sugar
2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

PREPARATION

  1. Place strawberries in a blender; top with 2 tablespoons sugar. Pour 1 cup water over sugared strawberries. Blend until strawberry chunks transform into juice.
  2. Combine strawberry juice, 6 cups water, 1 cup sugar, and lemon juice in a large pitcher; stir until blended. Chill before serving.

12 SERVINGS

Big Chef Duties:

  • Handling cutlery and blender

Little Chef Duties:

  • All steps are little chef friendly with big chef guidance.

Practice setting the timer or keeping time with your kids for 30, 20, or 35 minutes and do a Learn While You Wait exercise:
Learn while you wait: (Introduce a Math, history or science related fact)
 
The United States is divided into 50 states. However state each varies in size considerably. The smallest state is Rhode Island with an area of just 1,545 square miles (4,002 sq km). By contrast the largest state by area is Alaska with 663,268 square miles (1,717,854 sq km).

PRESENTATION

  • Serve in mason jars with ice and bendy straws for a fun summer drink!

Teach the kids how to say Bon Appetit in the language of this recipe:
English: Enjoy your meal!