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Are you getting your kids in the kitchen for only one reason…… eat a meal?  What better way to get them connected to the fun, creative, and learning aspects of food than giving them their very own space in the kitchen!  As parents, we give kids their own space for toys and clothing in their bedroom, and many kids have additional space in the family room to store their video games and books.  But just as important and valuable for life-long learning and health is to give kids their very own kitchen space to store their very own kitchen gadgets, utensils, and doodads.  Be careful not to think of it as another “junk drawer”, but a place where kids can begin a collection of tools, then learn how to use them right alongside you in the kitchen. The fun and learning continues as you find new kitchen tools at the grocery store, kitchen store, and even consignment shops or garage sales.  Kids will be excited and the next step will naturally be learning how to prepare and cook food.

posted by Ben in Family Life,Meal ideas and have Comments Off

Pumpkin Time!

Pumpkins are in stores everywhere, and that’s how you know it’s fall and the busy, crazy, holiday time of year is just ahead. Not only are pumpkins fun for carving into traditional Jack-O-Lanterns and lighting up the dark evening on Halloween, but pumpkins are flavorful and healthy to eat too. Make your own pumpkin puree and explore with the kids the yummy flavor of pumpkin when added to recipes. The amazing versatility and nutritional benefits of pumpkins can be found in recipes for soups, stews, chowders, breads, muffins, cookies, puddings, custards and of course pies. Pumpkins are packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and are a good source of fiber. And don’t forget to have the kids taste homemade pumpkin seeds. Simply rinse the seeds under cold water, spread on a lightly greased baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and bake for about 20 minutes in a 325 degree oven. Yum!

posted by Kathy in Meal ideas and have Comments Off

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s a given that Valentine’s Day and chocolate are inseparable, making this a fun time of year to enjoy, learn, and taste everything chocolate.   The smooth, luscious taste and decadence of chocolate is irresistible.  Try this fun recipe with the kids and share with them a chocolate recipe that’s not only easy to make but also incorporates fresh fruits.  No need to have a fondue pot in the house to enjoy this Chocolate Fondue recipe.  In a small sauce pan, combine 3 squares semi-sweeten baking chocolate that has been chopped into small pieces, ½ cup half-n-half, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Heat these simple ingredients on low for several minutes until smooth, velvety and thickened, then transfer to a small bowl.  Surround the bowl with fresh, canned, and dried fruits that you know your kids love.  Try strawberries, pears, mandarin oranges, raspberries, apricots, and apples.  Be creative and introduce some unusual fruits like Asian pears and baby bananas.  Delish!  A definite fun way to celebrate love and family togetherness.

Happy Valentine’sDay!

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Can’t wait for the weekend?

Can’t wait for the weekend?

Yes it’s Super Bowl Sunday and to me, that means not only football, but food,
friends, and feisty rivalries. Even if you’re just enjoying the afternoon with
immediate family, it’s a great opportunity to prepare some super healthy Super
Bowl snacks. Have the kids help come up with their very own menu for the game
and then have family members vote on their favorites. Only one more day to get
to the supermarket! We’re making mini-sliders layered with fresh veggie
toppings, garnished veggies with dill dip, homemade snack mix, and strawberries
dipped in dark chocolate. While I’m sad my 49ers didn’t make it (next year
guys!), I’m still going to enjoy the game, the friendly competition, my family
and the super healthy Superbowl fixin’s. Oh, and the commercials – can’t forget
them. Make sure to share your favorite part of the Super Bowl with us by
posting on our Facebook or sending us a Tweet. So excited that the big game is
finally here!


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Down the Rabbit Hole

Wow!  Robert and I went to the most amazing gourmet group last night.  The theme was Alice in Wonderland.  We had to climb through a Rabbit Hole, literally, to get to the party.  All recipes served were foods that Alice would have loved:  from cheese cubes that looked like Dice, to Lady Bug Appetizers, Fairy Tale Mushrooms, Cheshire Cat’s Cheese Whiskers, and Hedge Hog Sausage Rolls.  Lamb, (not rabbit) was served with Dill Fingerling Potatoes, Fresh Cucumber Salad and sparkling drinks with the words “Drink Me” printed on the labels.  For dessert Queen Alice, served up freshly baked Shortbread Crowns, Tea-Party Mice cookies, Jam Tarts, and Edible Teacups.  Of course dessert could not be served until the trial was complete –  three blasts from the trumpet sounded and the unrolled parchment-scroll was read aloud.  No wonder Alice had so much fun!   Loved it!

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Kathy’s Blog #4

This week’s recipe reflects its name exactly: Terrific Turkey Chili. Yes, this chili is terrific, incredibly healthy, and has a great story behind it too. The recipe was given to me by Mary Anne Burkman, Director of The Dairy Council of California. The Dairy Council of California has been a proud sponsor of Hey Kids, Let’s Cook! for the past 5 seasons. As the show has grown so has The Dairy Council’s sponsorship, and marketing of the show. Mary Anne adds, “Hey Kids, Let’s Cook! demonstrates that cooking can be a shared family event, with families working together in preparing and sharing a meal.”

This year The Dairy Council will begin promoting Hey Kids, Let’s Cook! to educators and schools throughout the state with the help of their three supervisors, and 15 territory managers. As stated on their website “The Dairy Council of California provides programs for elementary, middle, and high schools, that are research based, and align with the California State Standards in Language Arts, Math, Science, and Health Education.”
Their website also features the companion website,, (this is where the Terrific Turkey Chili recipe came from). It’s a fantastic tool for moms, dads, and their kids to help with healthy meal planning, recipes, shopping lists and more. Mary Anne also says, “ is available to families to help make healthy meals happen, and using familiar ingredients that are often on hand.” Check it out when you get a chance. And as the cold winter evenings begin in your hometown, try the Terrific Turkey Chili recipe and tell me what you think.

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Kathy’s Blog #3

I just love going out into the community and meeting the viewers of Hey Kids, Let’s Cook! This past Friday I had the opportunity to do just that at the Lucky Supermarket in San Bruno, California. Kaila tagged along and we demonstrated fruit salsa and pizza salad, then handed out samples to everyone who walked by. I was so excited to meet viewers Martha, Brandi, and Sally. Sally has two daughters ages 9 and 10. Sally says her kids “really enjoy the show and listen. They identify with the cast members, and watch to see which one is doing which job: the measuring, the cutting, and the stirring.” Sally added that “the show has great life skills.” Brandi has a 15 year old son who loves to cook, and they often cook complicated recipes together. Brandi shared that they “often take the Hey Kids, Let’s Cook! recipes, and add more things to them.” Brandi also added, “I think if you get more kids more involved and cooking in the kitchen, then they eat better”. Martha mentioned that she “just loves the children on the show. They seem like they’re really enjoying it, and it doesn’t seem like a chore, because they seem to be enthused and learning.” (I agree with Martha – the kids are really cute!) I’ll be out again with the kids this Sunday, October 17th at The Big Fresno Fair, 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at the Pavilion Stage. Hope to see you there!

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Kathy’s Blog #2

This week I want to give a big shout out to Save Mart Supermarkets.  With Save Mart Supermarket sponsorship and marketing support, Hey Kids, Let’s Cook! is now in it’s 5th season airing throughout California and Nevada.  Since 1952 a corporate goal for Save Mart Supermarket has been to work with communities and businesses that they serve.  In addition, “Save Mart’s giving is targeted towards children’s humanities, education, health needs, and food for children and families with children.  They are happy support and sponsor many major marketing events including:

  • Toyota/Save Mart 350
  • AMGEN Bicycle Tour of California
  • Thanksgiving Day Run to Feed the Hungry in Sacramento
  • Oakland Art & Soul Festival,
  • Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco
  • Sacramento Gold Rush Days
  • The Big Fresno Fair
  • & The California State Fair

 Be sure to check out their website and you will find money saving coupons, upcoming events, and information to help you plan your own meals, parties and special events.  A special thank you to Chairman and CEO – Bob Piccinini, and the whole team at Save Mart Supermarkets.

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Kathy’s Blog #1

Series #5 is finally here,  with 16 new, mouth-watering recipes for kids to learn how to cook.  I am so excited for you to watch along with your children these fun new episodes.  You will meet the new cast members; Grant, Brennan, and Samantha, and see the most entertaining and engaging new segments:  Farrah on Manners, PyRamid – the rapping mypyramid,  and even take fieldtrips with Emma.  One highlight is Episode #2, filmed at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.  We were so thrilled to be able to set-up our kitchen right on the edge of turn 11, (known as the most exciting turn at Infineon).  We arrived at 5:30 a.m. and began filming right away, because the cars were set to practice at 8:15 a.m.  During this episode you will hear engines roaring in the background, and see the cars taking laps around the track while the kids and I prepare tasty tailgate recipes.   And , what an exciting moment to have NASCAR driver, Marcos Ambrose, come on the set and share with the kids the importance of athletes eating healthy foods.  Join with us on facebook and twitter for more on Hey Kids, Let’s Cook!

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