Saturday, March 20, 2010

KidsKitchen

Education has always been important to me, not only for myself but also for my children. I think that children should be taught a well-rounded ciriculum of subjects that should include not only Math, English and Science but also Art and Music. Unfortunately in the current state of our economy and relentless budget costs, Art and Music have been all but eliminated.

Fortunately, my children have the opportunity to attend a Montessori based school. In the classrooms are a group of amazing teachers that really care and are willing to spend their own time to incorporate Art and Music into the daily schedule. In addition to great teachers, the parents donated time and money to build a separate kitchen (with all the kitchen necessities) for the kids to learn the basics of cooking. When learning the basics of cooking we also incorporate math and science into the lesson! After all, baking is a science and cooking is primarily composed using math. ( i.e. ratios in the form of measuring, cups and spoons, liquid and solid measurements)

Once a month I donate my time to the kitchen. I really enjoy this time spent with the kids, teaching them a valuable life skill and seeing the excitement from them in the finished product! Plus, it doesn't hurt that the kids love me and it makes my son feel extra special that day!

This week the teacher requested that I tie in " Horton Hears a Who" to the cooking lesson. Hmmm, what to do? This took a little thought on my part. I remembered a dessert that i'm sure anyone who grew up in the Midwest will remember; from summers at the state fair! Elephant ears, delicious fried dough served hot, topped with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Mmmmmm, so good yet so bad for you.

In my search for recipes I found a simplified version that did not require frying, it's a familiar recipe with a french twist. The recipe gave me the same affect of an Midwest elephant ear but on a smaller scale and with no frying required.

The kids did a great job, enjoyed the process and all went home with a recipe to make for their families!


Palmier (elephant ears)
Makes 48


4 sheets puff pastry (pepperridge farm)
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon
4 tbsp. butter




Thaw out sheets of puff pastry in fridge. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place thawed pastry on counter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Flip over and sprinkle other side with sugar. Roll short end halfway in, then roll other end until the two rolls meet in the middle. Pinch rolls together in center where they meet. ( so they will not come apart in the oven) Cut into 1 inch slices, place 12 on greased baking sheet. Chill at least 30 minutes. Continue process with remaining puff pastry sheets.

Bake 10-14 minutes until sugar caramelized and pastry is lightly browned. Remove and cool.

16 comments:

Chef E said...

Sarah, you do such a great job with the photos and cooking with the kids is just icing on the cake isn't it!

I bet those cookies are a yum on my foodie scale!

~Dana said...

I love practical recipes for kids! Thank you!

Rachel Cotterill said...

That's such a fabulous project to be involved in :) I might have to try this out with my Brownies, too.

Angie's Recipes said...

I love the palmiers. ..flakey and melt-in your mouth!

Cinnamon-Girl said...

What a great idea! I bet the kids had a lot of fun and loved their 'elephant ear' treats!

Sook said...

I always wondered why American schools don't include more music classes... I am from Korea and I had to take music and art classes at least twice a week. I learned notes and how to read music in elementary school and had to learn how to play basic piano. Anyways, I enjoyed reading this post. I'm glad that you do cooking and other things with your kids. That's always good!

bonnie said...

what agreat school..I agree kids need art and music they learn so much from them..great project I bet they had so much fun!!

sweetlife

blessedmama said...

Hmm, looks like a recipe easily veganized and that my children can make. And, yummy! By the way, I totally agree with you on the state of education; that's why my kiddies are home. No guns either. :)

5 Star Foodie said...

How fun that you get to do that! I wish I could teach the kids how to cook at my daughter's school, but I'm pretty sure that couldn't include it in the public elementary school curriculum which is too bad.

Barbara said...

That's wonderful of you, Sarah! It makes me sad to see all the things I used to do at school eliminated. But I do realize the financial drain on schools.
I took Home Ec, Shop (we did woodworking and learned about cars!), and band. We even took part in state band competitions. Do schools still have bands? Some must, I see them marching here and there.
Music (gleeclub was such fun) and art (I took weaving too) are so important.

The Cooking Photographer said...

Sarah you are so cool! Art, music, cooking, and baking are so important. Your kids and their school are lucky to have you.

Laura

Sippity Sup said...

Elephant Eats! I never heard them called that, sure makes it into a kid favorite I bet too. GREG

Krissy said...

your palmiers turned out lovely! i tried making this during christmas and my puff pastry was either too hard or too soft. to make a long story short, it was horrible. i can't wait to redeem myself, lol.
-krissy @ thefoodaddicts.com

玄雨 said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical...................................................

Fresh Local and Best said...

Sarah, I think it is so wonderful that you are helping to foster these kids to becoming better cooks and discerning foodies. This was such a great idea to tie into the book Horton Hears a Who!

欣盈 said...

I do like ur article~!!!..................................................