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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kitchen kids’ favorite ingredient: Wisconsin cheese

(ARA) - Get your kids cooking in the kitchen with a simple recipe. Start with safety. Then, add an interest in learning. Sprinkle a few simple kitchen skills. And finally, mix in great tasting ingredients, including Wisconsin cheese.

Learning to cook is not only a terrific way to express creativity, share ideas and spend time with family and friends, cooking is also an excellent way for children to explore important life-building skills such as how to prepare meals, use math to measure ingredients and discover healthy eating habits.

Even the youngest chef can help plan, create and serve delicious meals. Regardless of age or activity, children always need to work with an adult. From ages 3 to 12, youngsters can take part in numerous skill-building activities, for example:

* Three-year-olds can help wash fruits and vegetables, stir ingredients in a bowl, tear lettuce and pour liquids.

* Four-year-olds can grease pans, peel oranges and open packages.

* Five-year-olds can measure ingredients, cut soft foods with a blunt knife, set the table and make a plate of food look pretty.

* Seven- and 8-year-olds can help plan the meal, roll and shape cookies, beat ingredients with a whisk, find ingredients in a cabinet or spice rack and make a salad.

* Nine- to 12-year-olds can open cans, prepare simple recipes with a limited number of ingredients, use an oven (with supervision), use a knife (with supervision) and shred cheese and vegetables.

These tips, new recipes and educational information about cheese are all offered in a new brochure, Kitchen Kids, authored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. To download the brochure, visit

Get-Stuffed French Toast
Serves eight to 10

1 16-ounce challah or French bread loaf, cubed
1 8-ounce package Wisconsin Havarti Cheese, cut into thin slices
6 large eggs
4 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 12-ounce jar blueberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350 F. Arrange half of bread cubes in lightly buttered 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Top evenly with Havarti; top with remaining bread cubes. Whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, butter, and maple syrup in large mixing bowl; pour over bread mixture, pressing bread cubes to absorb egg mixture. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon over the top. Cover baking pan with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 more minutes or until lightly browned and set. Let stand five minutes before serving. Stir together blueberries and blueberry preserves in a small saucepan over low heat until warm. Serve blueberry sauce over French toast.

Cheddar Olive Pops
Makes 25 appetizers

2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin Aged Cheddar Cheese, coarsely grated
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon paprika
25 large pimiento-stuffed green olives

Preheat oven to 400 F. In large bowl, blend together cheese and butter with electric mixer. Add flour and paprika; mix well. Shape 1 tablespoon of cheese mixture around each olive, dipping hands in flour, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Remove from baking sheet and serve immediately.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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