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Tough economic times may have stalled your dreams of traveling, but that doesn't mean you can't take a gastronomical journey around the world-- in your own kitchen.
Cooking teaches kids a lot about math, science, nutrition, following directions, creativity, and, with a few diverse recipes, it can give them first-hand experience with cultures they never knew existed!
The Around the World Cookbook by Abigail Johnson Dodge offers a smorgasbord (that's Swedish for “sandwich table”) of recipes from places near and far, as well as tips and tricks for a kid's first foray into cooking.
Parents may be surprised to learn that their child is pretty adept in the kitchen, with just a little bit of training. Think separating egg whites is beyond your little chef's capabilities? Let your child give prepping a shot, with some of Johnson's kid-friendly suggestions:
Tender-skinned fruit or vegetables (like peaches or zucchini)
- Rinse under cold tap water.
- Pat dry with paper towels
Tough-skinned fruit and vegetables (like potatoes or melons)
- Rinse under cold tap water and use a vegetable brush to gently rub the skin.
- Let dry and peel or slice as directed.
- Arrange the fruit in a colander.
- Pass the colander under cold tap water several times to rinse fruit. Let fruit drain in colander.
- Spread on paper towels and let dry.
- Arrange the greens or herbs in a colander.
- Pass the colander under cold tap water several times to rinse.
- Roll up in a paper towel and gently squeeze dry.
- Holding the egg in one hand, tap the shell against the edge of a bowl. The shell will crack slightly.
- Using both hands, hold the egg over the bowl, cracked side down. Gently pull apart the shell. The yolk and the white will fall into the bowl.
- Use one half of the shell to scoop out any shell pieces.
- Be extra sure that your bowl is very, very clean. Rinse your bowl with warm water and a splash of white vinegar. (Don’t worry, you won’t taste the vinegar!) Pour the liquid out. Dry well with a paper towel.
- Holding the egg in one hand, tap the shell against the edge of a bowl.
- Hold the egg over the bowl, cracked side UP. Gently pull apart the shell, letting the whites fall into the clean bowl.
- When all the white has fallen away from the yolk, discard the yolk and shells. Repeat with remaining eggs. (Do not let any of the yolk drip into the whites or they won’t beat up properly.)
Measuring dry ingredients
- Hold a measuring spoon or a dry-measure cup firmlyin one hand.
- Lightly spoon ingredient into cup—do NOT pack down.
- Run a knife over the rim to level off the top.
- Place cup on a level countertop.
- Pour liquid into measuring cup.
- Bend down to check measuring line at eye level.
Now, let the adventure begin, with these recipes: from bouncing New Orleans, to Bohemian Paris, to the breezy tropics.
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