Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How to get your kids to eat just about anything.

Last night I was on twitter (as usual) and was talking to all the nice people out there. I got into a conversation about bees, that turned into goats, then into broccoli, then into getting kids to eat it. (Yes is was one of those circle conversations. The ones that go around and around forever and build off one topic then another and so on.)

I talked about how my kids will eat anything. I told them how I did it. So I got to thinking that it is important to let every one know how I did it. But also I am not a Doctor, nutritionist or any thing like that just a lowly Emergency Medical Tech (retired).

I have rules to follow on the baby food part of this. 1. No Honey ever. (Babies can get sick from it.) 2. No meat in the veggies at all. This means bacon grease and fat back too. 3. Texture- it must be smooth at first and gradually build to chunky. 4. No hot dogs or any thing hard your babies air way is as big around as their pinkie finger.

To start them off I did starchy foods like dried beans, baked potatoes, carrots, green peas and such. I mashed them really fine into a paste. I would add a new food every two days. I would also keep the texture completely smooth to avoid chocking. I did not force them to eat anything (they were still getting plenty of milk at this point.) When they got bigger they ate what we had on the table. The meat was always mixed in with the potatoes or beans so they did not have to chew it.

To get my kids to eat when they are  a little older I make up names for foods. Broccoli is baby trees, turnips are roasted icicles, green peas always go into a mashed potato nest and are called bird eggs. Finger foods are great at this time too. Make it fun. If you get inventive to get them to eat just one bite of something they normally will eat it again. I have to play hide the veggie for my husband. He is my picky eater in this house. My two children will eat any thing you put in front of them. I also have them watch cooking shows like Iron Chef America and Good Eats. We get one thing at the grocery store that we have never tried every trip. At the major grocery shopping visit they get more than that. They help plan the meals and cook them too. If you get them involved they are more likely to eat it.

Potato Burgers

This recipe came from a very old cook book. I was exploring cook books for recipes for hamburger meat. (That is hubby's favorite.) I wanted something different than the usual. After the first time making it we started putting it in the line up of normal go to meals.

The mixtures is 1 pound of hamburger meat, one medium shredded potato (you can use a handful of frozen hashbrowns), 3 tablespoons of shredded onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together and form into patties.

Here they are in the frying pan. This shows the ratio of potato to hamburger. Since there are 4 of us I make one patty apiece. Fry these until brown on both sides and done in the middle. Remove them from the pan. Get rid of all but 2 tablespoons of fat. (I leave the shreds of potato in the pan.). Make a rue by adding flour and slightly browning. Then add milk. I mix this together really well then add the patties back to the pan. I thicken the gravy and serve.
Here is the finished product.  I serve this with mashed potatoes, and corn bread. The other vegetables always change.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bee Vaccum

This has nothing to do with cooking and from time to time you will see a post like that on here. We raise pigs, chicken and bees so they are technically food related. This post is on a bee vacuum. Hubby is the bee keeper I am just the educator, picture and video taker and equipment getter.  We researched bee vacuums for a while. They were in price range from $200 to $400. We decided we could build our own. Here is a description of the bee vacuum and the way he built it.

First off let me let everyone know this does not kill the bees. It removes them with out killing them as long as the suction on your machine is not to strong. You can put an adjustable pressure slide on your vacuum but we just used a small vacuum and had no problem with the suction. Hubby tested this one out on a very angry hive. His suit got stung over 200 times in an hour. He came home built this went back and sucked them up and rehived them. No damage to the bees. Just remember not to pick up the inside box by the sides they can still sting thru this.

 Here is the box built out of just plain wood. There are bars in the bottom to keep the inside box  (the one full of bees) from sitting on the bottom and creating to much suction. There is the hose for the vacuum in the front of the box.  When the lid is open you can see the inside of the shop vac.
 This is the inside box where the bees get put by the vacuum. Notice the small screen. You do not want to use something the bees can crawl out of.  Notice the hole in the side of the box for the hose.
 Here is showing the small shop vac used. It is caulked in so there is no air leaking around it. The hinges are standard cabinet hinges.
 Here is the bee box sitting in the box and the vacuum hose is attached to it as well as the out side of the box. The bees go thru this hose into the box.
 There is caulk on the top of the box to form a lock when the suction is on. This is clear bathroom sealant. Put the caulk on when the box is open. Let it dry and when you shut the lid it forms a tight seal.

This took an afternoon to make out of scrap lumber from the bee hive stash. (We build our own hives and I will go thru that part in a few posts.) This cost us very little. We already had the shop vac and the lumber but if I went and bought this it still would not cost any where near $200 to make it.

If you have any questions about this please feel free to ask. If you want more information on bees ask away too. If I dont know it Hubby or his friend will and I will get you the answers.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pillsbury French Bread Pizza

My Family loves Pizza so I am always coming up with new ways to make it. The crust is the Pillsbury French Bread loaf that comes in the tube. I cut it into 4ths. I rolled it out. On all but one I just topped it and cooked it. The one that was different (Hubby's of course) I brushed with melted butter and baked until crisp. I then topped it and baked it. This turned out a really crisp crust.

I have used canned biscuits, crescent rolls, and the actual pizza dough in the tubes also.  I always keep the toppings in the freezer and in the pantry to throw pizzas together at a moments notice. These are great for when the kids friends come over.

Peanut Butter Honey Icing

I am diabetic and a wife of a bee keeper so I am always looking for recipes using honey or ones that a diabetic can use. This is one that fits both.

I got the recipe from another blog and redid it according to taste and what I had on hand. Here is the original and the blog post at the bottom.

Sunni’s Peanut Butter Frosting recipe

1 C. best quality natural peanut butter, smooth or chunky (real PB, not processed stuff like Jif or Skippy), stirred thoroughly before measuring
1/4–1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 C. butter, barely softened

Add salt to peanut butter and stir well to blend. Taste and add more salt if necessary to heighten the peanut butter flavor. Add honey and vanilla; stir. Add butter and beat to combine well.

Makes enough frosting for one large sheet cake, or an 8– or 9-inch layer cake.

Here is what I did. I used regular Peanut butter, and Blue Bonnet Margarine the first time around. I also used a whole stick.  It was a thin consistency at first but after I refrigerated it, it hardened up nicely to a piping consistency. When I used real butter in it, it got thicker in the fridge. It was not spreadable and did not taste as nice. 

This is really good on a chocolate cake. I am also planning on using the real butter recipe for a candy filling for Christmas.