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

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)

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

Potato Salad, an all-time July 4 favorite

Potato Salad

When you think July 4, you think BBQ and when you think BBQ you think Potato Salad! Here is a recipe for a delicious Potato Salad to prepare with your Little Chefs

Country we are exploring: United States

Continent: North America

National Language: English

English Recipe Name: American Potato Salad

Fun Fact about the country: The first man to walk on the moon was American Neil Armstrong on July 21st, 1969. Before Armstrong, the American Wright Brothers invented and built the world’s first successful airplane. Today, kids can look forward to the future by joining NASA’s student programs

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: 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.

Did you know Potatoes are…?

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.

INGREDIENTS

5 pounds red potatoes
6 eggs
2 cups mayonnaise
1 onion, diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

PREPARATION

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender but still firm. Drain, cool and cut into cubes.
2. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.
3. In a large bowl, combine chopped potatoes and eggs. Mix together mayonnaise, chopped onion, green onion, green pepper, and celery. Season with salt and pepper, then mix well. Cover, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

12-15 SERVINGS

Big Chef Duties:
• Placing and removing things from the stove.
• Handling cutlery

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:
The density of Saturn is so low that if you were to put it in a giant glass of water it would float. The actual density of Saturn is 0.687 g/cm3 while the density of water is 0.998 g/cm3. At the equator Saturn has a radius of 60,268 ± 4 km – which means you would need an extremely large glass of water to test this out.

PRESENTATION
• Garnish the salad with some parsley!
Teach the kids how to say Bon Appetit in the language of this recipe:

English: Enjoy your meal!
Did you know? (Bring awareness to an issue that is affecting children in particular in this country)
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.

Vegetarian Paella

Vegetarian Paella is a delicious alternative to the traditional Spanish dish. Little Chefs and Big Chefs roll up their sleeves to prepare a this delicious dish and learn about Spain. Enjoy their cooking adventures in the video.

Country we are exploring: Spain

Continent: Europe

National Language: Spanish

English Recipe Name: Vegetarian Paella

Spanish Name: Paella de Vegetales

Fun Fact about the country: They live in a monarchy, they have a King and Queen and princesses. They love the royal Family. 

Did you know? (Topic that brings awareness to an issue that is affecting children in particular in this country)
The United Nations says Spain’s financial crisis and non-existent job market means youngsters are not eating properly because their parents cannot afford fresh, nutritious food, which will compromise their health in later life. Also, they do not have access to leisure activities and hobbies to stimulate them and improve their cognitive functions and broaden their horizons.

Action ideas: When their parents are facing serious financial problems due to being unable to find work, young children are subjected to constant stress and tension in the home. Ask kids, how would make them feel if they had that situation at home?

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

Kids love this country because…
One of the highlights of Spain is taste of Churros (fried dough, similar to long doughnuts). Churros are dipped in to thick, rich chocolate before eating, and it’s hard to imagine a more toddler friendly combination than fried dough, chocolate, and dipping.

Ingredient spotlight: Bell Peppers

Bell pepper, also known as sweet pepper or a pepper (in the United Kingdom and Ireland) and capsicum (in India, Australia and New Zealand), is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum. Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colors, including red, yellow, orange, green, chocolate/brown, vanilla/white, and purple. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as “sweet peppers”. Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Pepper seeds were later carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread to other European, African and Asian countries. Today, China is the world’s largest pepper producer, followed by Mexico and Indonesia. Peppers are one of the basic ingredients for the vegetarian Paella.

 Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colors, including red, yellow, orange, green, chocolate/brown, vanilla/white, and purple. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as “sweet peppers”. Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Pepper seeds were later carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread to other European, African and Asian countries. Today, China is the world’s largest pepper producer, followed by Mexico and Indonesia.

Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Pepper seeds were later carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread to other European, African and Asian countries. Today, China is the world’s largest pepper producer, followed by Mexico and Indonesia. Peppers are a basic ingredients of a vegetarian paella

INGREDIENTS
● 230 g Snow peas
● 220 g Carrots
● 250 g Red bell peppers
● 220 g Mushrooms
● 200 g Lima beans
● Spring onion
● 1 Clove of garlic
● 1 Tbsp of chopped parsley
● 1 1/3 Cup of green peas
● 10.5 oz Artichoke hearts
● 1 ¼ cup Tomato puree
● 1/8 tsp Saffron powder
● Extra virgin olive oil
● 4 tbsp Paprika
● 2 Lt Vegetable broth
● 3 cups Arborio rice

PREPARATION

● Drill a little oil, and clove of garlic cut in half and the chopped onion and less than a cup of broth salt and cook for a few minutes until soften then remove the garlic
● Then put the vegetables, start first with the ones that take the longest to cook
Carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, cook until they get soft, then ad artichoke hearts and mushrooms, continue to cook and ad more broth as needed
● Add the lima beans cooked before, ad more broth and cook for 10 minutes
● Add the tomato puree and the remaining broth
● Add saffron and paprika
● Stir a little, then add salt to taste and finally add the rice
● Stir one last time, is important to not stir the rice more. Cook in high 7 minutes and turn to medium and cook for 10 more minutes

8 SERVINGS

Big Chef Duties:

● Chop the onion
● Cook the onion-garlic mix for a few minutes until soften, then remove the garlic
● Add saffron and paprika
● Stir a little, then add salt to taste and finally add the rice.
● Stir one last time, is important to not stir the rice more.
● Cook in high 7 minutes and turn to medium and cook for 10 more minutes

Little Chef Duties:

● Cut a clove of garlic in half
● Drill a little oil in the pan
● Put the garlic, chopped onion in the pan
● Add a cup of broth to the pan
● Add all the vegetables: carrots, bell peppers, snow peas
● Add the lima beans
● Add the tomato puree
● Add the remaining broth
● Add artichoke hearts and mushrooms.
● Continue to cook and add more broth as needed.

Learn while you wait:

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.

PRESENTATION
Place the big pan with paella in the middle of the table and let the people enjoy the smell and serve themselves.

Ready to enjoy this delicious Vegetarian Paella?
Teach the kids how to say Bon Appetit in the language of this recipe:

As they say in Spain “Buen Provecho”

 

Fresh and Easy is truly fresh and easy!

I learned about Fresh and Easy from one of my good friends, who visits this wonderful store every week, because she loves the great low prices and hearty food. The Fresh and Easy brand products do not include any artificial colors or flavors, added trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and only use preservatives when absolutely needed. 

Hearing positive comments about Fresh and Easy, I decided to try it. So after work I headed to Fresh and Easy to buy ingredients for the Asparagus Soufflé my daughter and I were planning to make. When I got there, I was welcomed by one of the employees, Jake, who told me about all of the foods that Fresh and Easy carries. I found that there is quite a variety. After I was done shopping, I went through self-checkout, which made it easy to get-in and get-out.

When I got home, it was time to get started on cooking the Asparagus soufflé, an original French recipe that was given to me by my friend. This recipe is not only delicious but also sounds very chic. I was able to get all the ingredients from Fresh and Easy.

Here are the things that I bought:

  • 1 Bunch Green Asparagus                                      receiptFreshandEasy
  • Organic flour
  • Butter
  • Daiya Dairy free cheddar cheese
  • Almond Milk
  • Cage free eggs
  • Chives

The recipe can be found here

FreshandEasy_Dairy_Free_Cheese

 

 

 

 

 

I use Daiya dairy free cheddar cheese and Almond milk because my daughter is lactose intolerant. I think Daiya, which is available at Fresh and Easy is the best dairy free cheese I’ve tasted.

Also, Fresh and Easy is one of the greenest companies I know.  Last year three of their California stores received the silver certification award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) GreenChill Partnership by fulfilling strict requirements.  These stores have avoided harming the earth’s protective ozone layer.  Only about 40 stores in the nation meet this requirement.

At the front of all Fresh and Easy stores, they have an in-store recycling program for plastic, aluminum, plastic bags and glass.  Furthermore, all of their display and shipping materials are recycled or reused.  Fresh and Easy even took the initiative to upgrade their trucks to help minimize their CO2 footprint on the road. I had a great experience at Fresh and Easy and will continue to come here for my grocery shopping needs.  I also want to thank Fresh and Easy for their support on making this post possible.

Kid Friendly Kitchen: The essentials to make your kitchen a perfect and safe place for kids

As many of you know I am now leading the startup “Chef Koochooloo” where part of our mission is to empower families to engage in fun, interactive cooking activities and help parents safely involve their kids in preparing a healthy meal. You can read more about our vision and mission in our last post.

When I started cooking with my daughter I came to the realization that I did not have a kid friendly kitchen. Sadly most of my cooking supplies were adult size, extremely sharp or simply not adequate for my daughter, so I moved fast and bought the appropriate supplies, changed my utensils and made my kitchen a safe and fun space for my girl.

It took me a while to find the perfect kids cooking tools that I wanted my daughter to use during this cooking journey. I spent a lot of time browsing online and found some amazing utensils. Believe me I would have liked to buy them all and make my daughter’s cooking experience something she could safely enjoy at every step, but I had to prioritize based on what she would use the most often. With this in mind, I made a list with the essentials and substituted those for kid-friendly versions, which provided both safety for her and peace of mind for me. Here are some of the items that can be safely substituted and can be used by kids.

  • Cutting tools: Disposable plastic knives are a solution when you first start preparing your kitchen for the little chefs. There’s no risk in giving a young child a plastic knife and it allows them to start getting involved with the hard steps of cooking a recipe, but if you don’t have plastic ware at home or you simply don’t like to use plastic utensils, then you can try the plastic knife from Zliss, is a lettuce knife that allows your kids to be safe while cutting. I use kid-friendly knives I bought from IKEA; they come in a variety of fun colors and they have been very useful for our cooking adventures.

IKEA-plastic-knives

Slizz-lettuce-kinfe

  • Spatulas and Spoons: I have found that silicon spatulas and spoons are better for the pots. This material is safe for kids and is very common. The only recommendation I have is to buy it in a friendly size for the kids to use while making their favorite recipe! Remember that these ones come in a wide range of colors and sizes, pick your favorite one! I haven’t completed my spoon collection but soon would like to have spoons and spatulas from www.cookincolor.com

cookincolor-spatulas

  • Measurers: These are a classic for children, and very easy to get, a lot of companies make them in a variety of colors and with fun shapes. But sometimes just a quick visit to your local store will pay off with fun colored measures in a variety of sizes; just keep your eyes open.

61T6GjXpJ4L._SX522_

  • Mixing Bowls: No kitchen is complete without the mix and match “mixing-bowls” the ones in the link are from Trudeau. The ones that I have are from my local store.

Trudeau-mizing bowls

  • Cutting Boards: Of course if your kids are going to be cutting, they need a safe space to do so. At home we have plastic cutting boards, since crystal, wood or ceramic ones are just too heavy for my daughter. Recently, I saw these flexible, cheap and small cutting boards from For Small Hands. Aren’t they adorable? Definitely the next acquisition for out child-friendly kitchen!

small-cutting-board

  • Oven Mitts: There’s more variety for oven mitts. They usually come in different shapes and sizes, but if you want specific kid-size then you may want to try Growing Cooks since they seem to be quite small, perfect for little hands! I’m looking forward to order these ones next time we buy oven mitts.

oven-mitts-growingcooks

I also came across this brand: Curious Chef, and I have to say they do have a lot of great cooking items for children. Next time I’m buying something my daughter needs to cook I will certainly purchase it from their website. I can’t wait to try some of their utensils soon!

There are many more items that a kid can use in the kitchen, funnels, timers, fun spoons, containers with different shapes and more! Share with us if your kids have any preference for kid friendly cooking utensils!