Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Cookin with the Homeboyz

I love to cook. I love to cook from scratch. I love to cook without recipes. I love to experiment. Most of the time my things turn out good, sometimes phenomenal, and occasionally a big disaster. But hey, I LOVE it. I want to pass on that skill set to my kids. Ashley is a good cook already, Kaytee, not so much. (She just doesn't have the passion for it) As for the boys, they love to cook with me and I include them as much as i can. Someday they will make some women very happy because they will be able to serve a meal that is tasty and pleasing without resorting to take-out.

Here are some things we have made in the past week together.

Home-made from scratch cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing. A Sunday morning favorite, warm out of the oven and yummy, yummy, yummy. I make the dough and assemble the rolls the night before but refrigerate them before the second rising. The next morning I pull them out and let them warm up and rise, then bake. So easy and everyone loves them!

The fam loves meatballs. I like to use very low-fat ground sirloin/turkey (or in this case venison) and bulk it up with lots of bread crumbs and such. Streeeeetch that dollar as far as it goes! We stress cleanliness and I make the boys wash their hands TWICE to be able to help in this task. Then I bake the meatballs in the oven on a raised rack to drain off the grease. I like to make a huge batch and freeze a bunch for later.
Two weekends ago we made a huge batch of home-made manicotti and stuffed pasta shells. These are meatless but I can always throw in meatballs in the final cooking. The four-cheese/mushroom stuffing also supplies plenty of protein and flavor and the kids love it. The little guys are quite good at cracking eggs and stirring bowls of whatever.
Levi has progressed to cutting up veggies with a small knife. Here he is chopping the portobellas for the filling. The key to great flavor is the roasted garlic. Whole heads of garlic roasted in the oven with a little olive oil. They turn out sweet, flavorful and so soft, really more like paste. It adds such depth of flavor without the over-powering garlic flavor.
One of our fun faves is what I like to call Circus Cake. Take one boxed white cake mix, follow the mixing directions and then divide into separate bowls. Using neon gel food coloring, create bowls of brightly colored batter. I did four colors this time but feel free to be creative. Spoon the different colors into your greased and floured pans then bake as directed.
Don't look at my cake-decorating skills. I let my helpers assist. This time I split the batter into 3 8-inch layers, but you can do whatever you want.
What a fun and tasty cake. Definitely feels like a party when you serve this. Let your creativity flow and see what you come up with.


Reba said...

I am suddenly very hungry. :) I would love the cinnamon roll recipe. I have often been a cook of convenience (due to work) but lately we have really been making an effort to cook more from scratch. My kids like to help in the kitchen too though I can usually only take on one at a time. That is why you are my superhero. :)

Angie said...

Love the cake!!!!