Thursday, February 4, 2010

Family Baking and Healthy Snacks

We had quite the family bakeoff the other day, and not only did everyone have fun, but the kids displayed amazing prowess in the kitchen, helping me out a great deal, but we also had fun, knocked off most of the day, and made healthy baked goods. A win-win-win situation if there ever was one.

Normally when the kids want to help out in the kitchen, I have to take the word "help" with a grain of salt, because the reality of the matter is, sometimes more helping hands results in more work for yours truly, not to mention more time. The thing is, I don't want to discourage them from becoming comfortable in the kitchen, especially when they are so eager and enthusiastic to help. Plus, it's good for kids to not be intimidated by cooking, it's really not that difficult, and oh so rewarding. And finally, from a guy's POV, knowing how to cook really impresses the chicks.

So, with that in mind, we set out to bake like crazy. On the agenda were mom's raisin bread, which we make every week, some oatmeal-raisin cookies, and some raspberry bars. Throw in some bread crumbs for good measure, and we have a guaranteed stressful time for dad. What more could you ask for.

Usually we make a batch of chocolate chip cookies, which I can literally inhale like peanuts, but I'd resolved to consume my sugar and fat with more complex carbs (it's healthier), so naturally oats and whole grains were in order. I was going to make oatmeal cookies, but A said she could do it, and sure enough, she did them all by her lonesome. Making cookies is not always easy, but she did a stellar job, and I didn't have to help. We went with cookie bars since it's easier, and used pecans instead of walnuts because we like them better. Also, because the eating experience is so involved, it is easy to sequester some flax seeds in there.

N helped me to make the raspberry bars, which requires something akin to a pie crust. On thing I've learned is that a great way to make pie crusts is to use a food processor. Simply amazing. It grinds it up in no time, and no pastry whatever-you-call-them involved. N took charge and made the crust, then spread the raspberry preserves, and then added the top crust. I cut back on the butter and I think it suffered a bit in terms of composition, but was healthier.

And then we were done. Won't mommy be impressed when she sees how much we've done? I also learned yet another great lesson in lightening up and letting the kids do their thing, because they are way more competent than we give them credit for, and sometimes we just need to be reminded of this.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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