I was in Target last Sunday and one area of the store was particularly popular, noisy, and a bit frantic: the Back-To-School department. Pencils, erasers, scissors, glue, glue sticks, markers, binders, notebooks, notepads, crayons, rulers, tissues, water colors (does anyone ever use those?), and backpacks are being hurled into carts … often someone else’s cart … and parents are pulling their hair because they just realized that they will have to make yet another trip to another store to cross that last item off the list.
Two words pop into my head and I smile: Empty Nest!
KIDS IN THE KITCHEN
This scene has me thinking about those last summer days before my boys returned to school and a more structured schedule. I can smile about the “empty nest” phase of life because I draw on lots of great memories with my boys. In the summer, I loved the days that they could help me make lunch. One of their favorite things to make were these Alphabet Breadsticks, a recipe from a Pampered Chef cookbook called “Kids in the Kitchen”. Making these breadsticks for lunch was a lesson in measuring, letters and numbers, creativity, and a little bit of science.
When my now 20-year-old son was home for a day last week, I told him I was going to make Alphabet Breadsticks for my blog, he wasn’t about to be left out (of the making OR the eating). It is so much fun to see what designs kids (and adults) will make. I made a tic-tac-toe board and he thought making a “hashtag” was a clever idea. Can you say generational gap?
OTHER KID-FRIENDLY RECIPES
If you are looking for more recipes to make with your kids and advance their cooking/baking skills, here are a few of my favorites:
LET’S MAKE ALPHABET BREADSTICKS
- 1 package pizza crust mix 6.5 ounces
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, thyme, basil, parsley in any combination totaling 1 teaspoon
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup hot water not boiling
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic minced
- pizza sauce
- Melt butter in a small bowl and stir in minced garlic; set aside.
- In another bowl, combine pizza crust mix, herbs, granulated garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Add hot water and olive oil; gently stir until evenly moistened and well combined.
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Sprinkle a cutting board with flour, turn dough out onto cutting board and knead dough 10-12 times.
- Cover and let stand for 10 minutes in a warm place.
- Cut dough into 8 equal parts.
- Hand roll each piece into ropes.
- Shape ropes into letters or shapes.
- Place each on a greased baking sheet, reshaping if necessary.
- Brush breasticks with butter/garlic.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve warm with pizza sauce.