Friday, November 18, 2016

Now offering in Ladera Ranch....

Hands-on Cooking Classes for Kids!

For more Information, Check out our new Website!

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Value of Teaching Kids to Cook.....

Kids learning to cook is a vital and healthy part of growing up. I've had my boys in the kitchen since they were toddlers, and put them to work at an early age. Initially, I would start out keeping it simple and easy. Things that use few ingredients and are one-dish meals are good to begin with for young cooks. Move to the basic foods that are still fairly uncomplicated. Young cooks should be able to prepare at least one good recipe from each of the basic meats, pasta, vegetables, fruit group and an outstanding dessert. Then, they are ready for anything.

I found with my own children, I've tried to teach them first how to cook their favorite dishes. It's all about getting them involved and letting them experiment. I try to bring them in the kitchen and teach them the basics. If they never cook, they will never learn how.  In addition, young adults need to learn to cook so that they can be self sufficient and capable of feeding themselves.

Children like to help at a very young age, but then we chase them from the kitchen. We think their “help” will be more work for us and also are concerned about the dangers. So instead we should take the necessary precautions, teach them the rules of the kitchen and supervise them constantly. Teaching children from a young age builds confidence. It also encourages them to try new things.

In addition to spending time with my boys and doing something I love, it is wonderful to watch them take so much pride in their cooking and manage to have fun in the process.

Remember, when you finally get young people cooking, do not criticize, or they will lose interest quickly. Teach, show by example, and then let them on their own. In most cases, you will be pleasantly surprised!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Pumpkin Pie French Toast

These are amazing!  Perfect for the Fall season!

Yield – 4 servings
Preparation Time – 5 minutes
Cooking Time – 15 minutes


  • 14 slices of your favorite sandwich bread 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin 
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • Butter and syrup for serving  


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, pumpkin and pie spice until smooth.
  2. Dip each side of the bread and cook on a hot, greased griddle or skillet. Flip after 1 – 2 minutes.
  3. Once all are cooked, serve with butter and maple syrup.
  4. If freezing, let cool completely to reduce freezer burn.
Thank you 5 Dollar Dinners for this wonderful recipe! 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad

This is my kids favorite salad to make!! ....great summer recipe!

(recipe adapted from Lauren's Latest)

Makes 4 servings

2 cups shredded chicken
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can sweet yellow corn (or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed)
2 roma tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, sliced
1 head iceberg lettuce, washed and chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 ripe avocados, diced
1 cup crushed tortilla chips

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 tbsp ranch seasoning
1 tbsp taco seasoning


In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients together, excluding the tortilla chips.  

In a small bowl stir all dressing ingredients together.  Pour dressing over salad, starting with about half of the dressing.   Toss to combine, then gradually add more dressing until it is dressed to your liking.  Top with tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps

For a healthy and lighter alternative to taco shells, you can enjoy these lettuce taco wraps. Add your favorite toppings like low fat cheddar, light sour cream, chives, tomatoes or whatever you like on your tacos. Making your own taco seasoning is a healthier alternative to buying packaged taco seasoning, and uses less sodium, no sugar, no preservatives and no msg. It also saves you money if you are on a budget. If you prefer to use the package seasoning, simply replace it with the spices in this recipe.


  • 1 lb lean ground turkey (ground chicken can be used too)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 oz can tomato sauce
  • 8 large lettuce leaves from Iceberg lettuce


  1. Brown turkey in a large skillet. When the turkey is no longer pink,  add dry seasoning and mix well.
  2. Add the onion, bell pepper, water and tomato sauce. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
  3. Wash and dry the lettuce. 
  4. Place meat in the center of leaf and top with tomatoes, cheese and salsa or whatever you prefer. 

Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 2 taco wraps 
Calories: 134.1 • Fat: 1.7 g • Carb: 9.7 g • Fiber: 2.4 g • Protein: 21.3 g • Sugar: 4.3

Courtesy of Gina's Recipes

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Health Benefits of Watermelon

With summer fast approaching, watermelon season is now getting started. Likely a popular choice with kids, this fruit may have become neglected with many adults.
This is too bad though because not only is it a great tasting snack, it is one that will help you lose weight while also boosting your nutritional intake. One of the best things about watermelon is that it contains so much water. Especially during the summer months, hydration becomes so important as you are likely sweating more than usual, further increasing your need. Eating more fruits and vegetables is a great way to increase your hydration level while providing your body with plenty of vitamins and nutrients.
One notable health benefit of watermelon is that it can help reduce the inflammation that those who have asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer and arthritis see. It's always best to try and find natural remedies for your health concerns so this would be a great option for those suffering.
Additionally, watermelon is also very high in many antioxidants, reducing your risk for damages seen by disease causing free radicals. First off, it is an excellent source of vitamin C, with one cup containing about 25% of your recommended daily intake. Next, vitamin A is also found in good amounts, with a one cup serving satisfying 10% of your intake for the day. These vitamins will work together to help to reduce the risk of heart diseases and colon cancer as well as treating the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Another nutrient, lycopene, which is traditionally found in tomatoes, also is seen in watermelon. The best part here is that the lycopene is readily available whereas with tomatoes you need to cook them slightly for it to be released.
The consumption of watermelon will also help you to heal faster as one of the amino acids found in it speeds up wound healing and aids in the process of cell division. Take note however that most of this nutrient is found in the white part of the fruit which unfortunately most people end up throwing away.
The potassium that is seen in watermelon will help to reduce your blood pressure as it works in conjunction with sodium, helping to balance the sodium-potassium pumps.
Lastly, since it does only contain about 50 calories per cup, watermelon is easy on the daily calorie intake total and will help fill you up in the process. This makes it a really great food for any dieter to consume who is looking for a simple way to squash hunger pangs.
When choosing watermelon, look for one that is deep in color and doesn't have many or any white marks on it. If you are buying a half a watermelon and can see the inside, try and have one that has dark black seeds as well and is heavy in weight for its size.
So next time you are looking for a refreshing summer snack, consider having some watermelon. It's a great option for dessert too if you need something sweet to finish off your meal.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Grilled Zucchini Roll Ups

This is a healthy summer recipe that kids of all ages
 love to make and eat!

(Adapted from a Fine Cooking Magazine recipe)
1 very large or 3 small zucchini
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 oz. herbed goat cheese
 7 or  8 kalamata olives, finely chopped
  1. Preheat grill to high heat.
  2. Slice a strip lengthwise from the zucchini to expose the inside of the vegetable. Discard or reserve for another use. Cut the 2 ends from the zucchini to make straight edges. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips. If using a large zucchini, cut each of these strips in half crosswise. This won’t be necessary with small zucchini.
  3. Brush both sides of the zucchini pieces liberally with olive oil. Season well with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Lay the zucchini pieces on the grill at a 45-degree angle (for more attractive grill marks). Cook until the zucchini is very tender, but not mushy, about 3 minutes per side, moving the pieces during cooking to ensure even browning.
  4. Remove zucchini from the grill. Set a wire cooling rack on top of a bowl to give the cooling rack extra clearance from the counter. Drape the zucchini pieces on the rack to cool. This method will stop the zucchini from steaming will cooling.
  5. Place goat cheese in a medium bowl. Stir olives into the goat cheese.
  6. Spread a layer of the goat cheese mixture onto one side of each zucchini piece. Gently roll each piece of zucchini. Serve.

Makes 8 to 10 rolls.