Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

Get Your Kids In The Kitchen! Seashell Hot Dog Pasta Recipe

[ Post by Lisa Tedder ][ Post on April 6, 2010 ][ In For new Mom's, Pasta ]

Used to be that children, especially girls, were expected to help cook but with both parents working and relying more on fast food, that practice has disappeared.  This has resulted in generations of adults  who can only order pizza because they never learned to make a simple meal.  No wonder children can’t identify basic vegetables like tomatoes and broccoli; they’ve never seen them in their original, fresh from the garden state.

Children should be taught to cook and included in meal preparation from an early age.  Four and five year old children can at least set the table.  Older children can stir and add ingredients.  By nine and ten, children can cook pancakes and chop some fruits and vegetables or peel them.  Some of my best memories of my father are when he let me help him in the kitchen.  My job was to stir and of course, the minute he turned his back, I tasted whatever batter was in the bowl.  Cooking with your children can be a time to share and develop a closer relationship.  Children are proud when you announce they helped with the meal and get a sense of satisfaction seeing the family eat what they prepared.

When cooking with your children, put aside some expectations.  Their efforts won’t be perfect and they may slow things down.  Who cares if the carrots aren’t perfectly peeled or there are lumps in the mashed potatoes?  Children will be slow so resist the temptation to do things for them.  Obviously there are times when you need to get the food on the table quickly so let them help when things aren’t rushed.  Teaching your children to cook will have big payoffs when they are teens.  Teenagers are capable of preparing dinner.  Think how nice it would be to come home from work and find dinner waiting for you!  Don’t leave out the boys.  The time will come when they are on their own and need to do more than pull through the drive thru everyday.

Both my children cook occasionally.  My son is more reluctant but Grace has embraced cooking and often asks to help.  She makes the best buttermilk biscuits and frequently makes breakfast on the weekends.  Cameron is more likely to make desserts but he can make other dishes.  I’m going to share one of the recipes that my kids like to make.  It is easy for the 11 to 13 year old, depending on their previous cooking experience and appeals to their tastes.

Seashell Hot Dog Bake
8 oz. shell macaroni
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. olive or canola oil
1 16 oz. package hot dogs, sliced into rounds
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 large tomato chopped
1 4 oz. can drained mushrooms
1 8 oz. carton sour cream
2 oz. shredded provolone cheese
2 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare macaroni according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, cook garlic and onion in hot oil over medium heat till nearly tender.  Stir in hot dogs and cook until lightly browned.  Add spaghetti sauce, tomato, and mushrooms.  Bring to boil, then remove from heat.  Stir in sour cream and half the cheeses.  Stir in pasta.  Pour into a 2 quart casserole that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Cover and bake about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with remaining cheeses and bake 5 more minutes till cheese melts.

So get those kids in the kitchen and get cooking!  Your job is to teach them life skills; don’t send them out without some basic kitchen know-how.

Upadated on April 6, 2010

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