Category Archives: KidNotes

Mini coconut animal crackers…

Animal cracker, cookie, biscuits…whatever your preferred nomenclature, all seem to jostle the same memories of shoving a chubby, little hand into a circus box of deliciousness, and then toting them around in their neatly assembled stringed box.  These stringed boxes were originally manufactured as a Christmas gimmick to hang on the tree and open and eat on Christmas morning, but the cookies became so popular that they became a regular, and now standard production.  I love the idea of classic childhood snacks, but I also believe in the quality of calories consumed.  I began experimenting with coconut flour and coconut oil, high in fiber and rich in essential fats, and after many recipe flops came up with these beauties.  They are fun to make, the kiddos love stamping the cookie cutters. Depending on the size of the cutters you use, this recipe makes a ton. Use half the dough and freeze the other half for a rainy day, or bake them all off at once for party/play-date snacks.  Little hands will enjoy with ripe, sweet, summer berries!

 

Mini coconut animal crackers…

 

1 ½ whole wheat flour

¼ cup coconut flour

¼ cup rolled oats, coarsely ground in food processor

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

¾ cup unrefined coconut oil

1/3 cup (or less) organic cane sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

2 tbs apple sauce (chunky homemade if possible)

*Make sure wet ingredients are all room temperature or the coconut oil with seize.

 

Sift together dry ingredients, except sugar.  Then blend sugar with wet ingredients. Then slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring by hand.  Then kneed a couple times and form in to a small round disk.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.  Portion dough as you like.  Roll out dough to 1/8” thickness and stamp with cookie cutters of choice.  Bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes depending on size of cookies.  Let cool, and serve.

 

Eat together, toast to each other, and share!

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KidNote…summer berry popsicles…in fall…

So here is my story. I am a hoarder of all things. I get emotionally attached to random objects that arrive in my life and circumstance. I have papers written in high school, my sister’s art work from when she was two (framed I might add), old report cards, photos, letters, notes, and recipes…oh the recipes. I get this way with food too. I try to make the food stretch across the seasons. Continually attempting to preserve the ephemeral.
Summer has come and gone…kind of. Tomatoes are still producing, berries are abundant, and it is still warm beach weather here…for now. Apparently old habits die hard as I began hording my berries from our farm box months ago, freezing them in perfectly airtight single serving portions. Usually, I wait to bring them out on a frosty day to make a raspberry clafoutis or mixed berry pie in the middle of winter. However, I am encountering no problems…so far…finding beautiful, local, organic berries. I write with such hesitation, because although a born and raised Californian, I have lived with intense seasons for the past 10 years. I am still adjusting to the differences in how the food responds to the weather…and frankly loving beach days in October.


I decided I could be a little less paranoid about using up all my berries and made these popsicles that were nourishing and thoroughly enjoyed. These are made with summer sunned berries, ricotta cheese, and coconut oil. For younger kiddos that have not had dairy incorporated into their diet you can always use other frozen milks (breast milk, soy milk) or pureed silken tofu. They are great for those little teethers too!

Summer berry popsicles…in fall…

1 basket of raspberries
1 basket of blackberries
1 container of whole milk ricotta cheese (for those developing brains!)
2-4 tbs coconut oil
popsicle holders

Heat berries separately over the stove and mash gently. Set aside. Heat up coconut oil to a liquid and let cool for 3-5 minutes. Place ricotta cheese into a small bowl and add coconut oil. Add coconut oil to taste. Then layer berries and cheese in alternating layers in a popsicle holder. Freeze overnight. Serve on a hot…fall day…at the beach.
 *If you use a less viscous milk, the layers will not be evident.

Eat together, toast to each other, and share!


KidNote…

It has been a while! We are back after some heartbreaking technological failure…some goodies were lost after our sick little PowerBook finally passed away, but the essentials were saved thankfully.  A good reminder to me to back everything up, I just wish that it hadn’t hit me like drinking a Jolt Cola.

Fall is approaching quickly, although in Los Angeles I am waiting for it to be cool enough to run my oven all day long, baking pumpkin bread and apple crisp.  We are still beach bound at this point. Nonetheless the fall spirit  is tangible.  I bought some delicata squash the other day and its intended use was as a soup. However, given the heat, it ended up broiled, seasoned, and diced over a nice crisp salad. But the process lead to much more than I could have anticipated.

The seeds of this chosen squash were the first things that my daughter and I actually cooked together from beginning to end.  We started with roasting seeds as our first culinary adventure…perfect for fall and an easy to do. I did the slicing of the squash, but with some newspaper on the kitchen floor, she took out the seeds (which she loved), we rinsed them together in a bowl, she spread them (read: threw them) on a baking sheet,  she also salted them which she did ever so gently and methodically from my pinch bowl…and I cracked the pepper.

Watching her made me think of something Barbara Kingsolver wrote, “Cooking is 80 percent confidence, a skill best acquired starting when the apron strings wrap around you twice”.  So a toast to confidence building this fall, enjoy!

Oven roasted squash seeds…

 Seeds of any fall/late summer squash

kosher salt

cracked fresh pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Cut and prepare squash and scoop out seeds.  Rinse and remove any remaining flesh. Salt and pepper to taste. Baked until lightly toasted and dry, about 15 minutes. Time varies depending on the seed size. 

Cook together, toast to each other, and share!