A Lesson From the Pros

It was free and it was local; this had to mean it was a good thing, right? Well, as it turns out, it was a good thing and we enjoyed every minute!

Our local Williams-Sonoma is currently offering free cooking classes for kids. It seems they started this at the end of 2013, but I am a little behind on the times. So, a few weeks ago, I took a few minutes out of our day to sign us up for the month of May. One month of trial-and-error couldn’t hurt, could it?

Each cooking class is held on a Saturday morning and there are two session times available. We chose to take the later session, as the idea of getting up early on the weekends just doesn’t appeal to any of us.

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We showed up to our first class bright and early, by about a half an hour, just to get our bearings and to ensure a good spot. This gave us a few minutes to peruse the store and spend a few moments talking with the instructor.

Our first class was on fudge! It lasted about a half an hour and all of the kids present were able to participate on some level. The batch the kids made were supposed to be for their mothers, but our instructor also made sure to have a sample ready for all of the kiddos to test out.

So far, the kids are really enjoying this class. My girls tend to be the oldest in the bunch, but that’s okay; we were here for the lessons more than the socialization. Next week, we are going to learn how to make waffles from scratch (well, my kids are going to review this) and to make various toppings which complement our creations. This will also be the best time to sign up for all of June’s classes as well. If we don’t sign up early, we won’t get a spot!

If you happen to have a Williams-Sonoma near you, I highly recommend signing up for a class or two. Besides the fun opportunities to explore in the kitchen, we parents get 10% off anything we decide to buy while our kids are learning. (I’m sure this is part of their Cooking Class #1marketing strategy, but, hey, it works for me!)

While I don’t plan to make this a weekly practice, I did find a steal this week… Star Wars pancake molds (three of them) for only $7. (Remember my impulse buy strategy? This was under $20!) I am currently debating whether or not I want to save up for a few of their gorgeous bundt pans; the Stained Glass one is particularly spectacular. I just wonder how often I would actually use them. Would they be worth the price?

Time to chime in… Have you ever taken a cooking class through a local store; what was your experience like? Also, do you have any specialized bundt pans; how often do you use them?

Easter Fun: Resurrection Rolls

CG_Easter_logoJoin us this week, as we explore memorable and edifying ways to celebrate Easter. We encourage you to take some of the ideas you find and make them your own. Feel free to share your thoughts on each of these projects and join in the fun!

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As much as possible, I like to get my kids in the kitchen and put them to work. They enjoy this fun time as much as mommy likes getting the help; plus, this counts as part of their important learning, too!

Each year, during Easter week, we try to take an afternoon to make Resurrection Rolls! They are sweet, easier than pie, and help remind us of the resurrection story.

Resurrection Rolls

Large Marshmallows
Melted Butter
Cinnamon & Sugar Mixture
Crescent Rolls
Cookie Sheets

We rolled our marshmallows in melted butter, then in our cinnamon mixture, wrapped them in a crescent roll, and popped them into our oven set to 350 degrees for about eight minutes. When they came out, no marshmallow was to be seen.

the-resurrection copy

The purpose of the Resurrection Rolls is to recreate the burial experience most likely to have occurred with Jesus’ body. He would have been anointed with oils and spices, wrapped in linen, and then placed in a tomb. Three days later (or eight minutes by our oven timer) Jesus’ body was no longer to be found; He had risen from the dead!

The kids have more fun making these rolls than eating them it seems. That doesn’t stop me however; the insight gained is more important than the snacking.

What is your favorite resurrection week recipe?

A Matter of Chocolate

Last week the kiddos and I attempted to conduct a science experiment in which we learned how to change a substance from one state of matter to another. I figured we might as well make it tasty as well; right?! So, we decided to experiment with chocolate! Yum! Unfortunately, our chocolate appeared to a bit old (heaven forbid) and the experiment was a flop.

Not to be put off, I bought more chocolate this week and we tried the experiment again, with much better results. In the mood for chocolate? Try this out….

Matter is expressed in one or more of these forms; Solid, Liquid or Gas.  The air around us, for example, is gas. Some matter can be changed from one state into another, like a solid to a liquid or a liquid to a gas.

Steps:

1.  Gather a few rose leaves
2.  Wash the leaves and dry them carefully.
3.  Ask an adult to pour the hot water into the pan.
4.  Carefully place the bowl inside the pan (make sure that the water does not get in the bowl).
5.  Place some of the chocolate in the bowl (the heat from the water will melt the chocolate; it turns into a thick liquid).
6.  Have an adult remove the bowl of chocolate from the pan (with the pot holder) and place it on the table.
7.  Paint the chocolate onto the top of the leaves using the paintbrush

When the chocolate starts to cool, it turns back into a solid and takes on the shape of the leaves.  Peel away the real leaves to reveal the new chocolate leaves.

Easy, right? They turned out to be so beautiful and delicious! For more exciting (and tasty) experiments like this one, make sure to check out Kids Science Experiments.

Okay… now its time to eat some chocolate!