BPK Cooks!
Welcome to the Big Pasture Kindergarten Kitchen.
Each week the kinders and I will be whipping up something fun to share with you. Check back often for pictures and recipes.
Dirt Cups
Ingredients:
1 pkg (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding
2 cups cold milk
1 tub (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed
15 Oreo cookies
10 gummy worms
10 clear plastic cups
Put the cookies in a freezer bag and seal. I let the kinders use our toy hammers and hammer the cookies until they were finely crushed and looked like dirt (They loved that!) Beat pudding mix and milk in a bowl with a wire whisk for about 2 minutes until you see it has thickened up. Stir in whipped topping and 1/2 cup of cookie crumbs.

To assemble: Give each child a clear cup and let them spoon a bit of the cookie crumbs into the cup until it just covers the bottom. Have them scoop a couple of spoonfuls of the pudding mixture into the cup and top with a layer of the cookie crumbs for the "dirt" look. Finish by placing a gummy worm on top. 
Note: The kinders and I used the recipe from the Kraft website. They turned out great but we made a few simple changes. First, if you're making this for a class of more than ten kids double the recipe. Also the "dirt" was the big hit here. So make extra cookie dirt. The recipe said to refridgerate for one hour before serving. We didn't. Delayed gratification is not a kinder strength so they made it and ate it. Hope you have as much fun as we did. A special thanks to Jacob's mommy who stopped by unexpectedly and volunteered to help. Brave woman.
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Crockpot Applesauce
In celebration of Johnny Appleseed's Birthday on September 26, the kinders and I made applesauce. Not having a stove in my classroom, I looked online to find a way to make it with what I had. I found a bunch of crockpot applesauce recipes. They were all super easy and I just took a bunch of them and rolled them into our own BPK applesauce recipe. I hope you like it. The majority of the kinders thought it was awesome and I must say it was pretty yummy and super easy.
Ingredients:
10 Gala apples
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup of water
dash of allspice
dash of nutmeg
In a bowl mix together brown sugar, water, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg and set aside. Peel, core and slice apples. Using plastic knives let the children cut apple slices into smaller chunks  and pour into crockpot. When all the apples are cut into small pieces, pour the sugar mixture over the apples and stir so that all apples are covered in the mixture. Turn the crockpot onto high and cook for four hours, stirring and mashing every so often as apples soften up. When the apples are done turn off the crockpot and mash the apples.  Apples will be very hot so let them cool before eating. 

Note: Because I wanted the kinders to eat the applesauce for snack that afternoon, I put my crockpot on high and cooked the applesauce for 4 hours. However, most recipes I found on the internet suggested cooking the apples on low for 6-8 hours. The apples cooked down quite a bit so if you are making this with a class of students, I would suggest you have at least one apple per student in the pot. This was super yummy but I think next time we will try a few different types of apples to make things interesting.
Check back next week. We're heading to the pumpkin patch and we are going to cook and puree our own hand picked pumpkins and then use it to make cookies. Baking pumpkin cookies from scratch! Yikes! Are we ready for this?
Mini Pizzas
A few weeks ago I picked my son up from my sister in law, Georgi's house and all Seth could talk about was the little pizza's they had made. The next night we had the left over's  Aunt Georgi had sent home with us and I was amazed at how yummy they were and knew I had to do this with my kinders. Georgi, a retired preschool teacher, was happy to give me the recipe.
Ingredients:
1 jar pizza sauce
Refridgerator biscuits
1 bag of mini pepperonis (or whatever topping you like)
1 bag of shredded cheese. 
Dixie cups (three per child)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Open refrigerator biscuits and separate. Flatten and stretch each biscuit as much as possible and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Spread a spoonful of pizza sauce onto each biscuit. Sprinkle cheese onto sauce and top with mini pepperonis. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Parent/Teacher management tip:  For this activity I gave each kinder a plate with two separated biscuits and instructed them on how to pull and flatten each biscuit. Some of our less dexterous kiddos struggled but there's no way you can mess these up. Even those that looked like pizza globs were proclaimed delicious by the little chef. After biscuits were flattened, my helpers and I (thanks Jodi and LaShauna) handed out Dixie cups half filled with pizza sauce and a plastic spoon  and instructed the kinders to put one spoonful of sauce onto each "pizza" and spread it out. Next, we handed out Dixie cups half filled with shredded cheese and when they sprinkled that on we handed out the cups with the mini pepperoni. If you cannot find mini pepperoni, you can place one regular sized pepperoni on each pizza. The kinders loved these little pizzas and I have a feeling we will be making this again. Thanks Georgi for the great pizza recipe!
Biscuits flattened now time to spread on the sauce. Helper Jodi checking out the kinders pizza making skills. Now sprinkle on the cheese!Pizza making is more fun with mommy lending a hand!Okay the pepperoni is on lets get the oven fired up!Snacking on left over cheese.Now that's italian!Pizza and cheese puffs are yummy!We are so happy we finally get to eat!Our kinder helpers, Jodi & LaShauna. Thank you so much ladies!
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Mini Pumpkin Loaves
Well fall has finally arrived in Oklahoma and with it cooler weather. What better way to celebrate nature's finest season than baking some pumpkin bread? Baking with kinders is always interesting and when you only have a toaster oven, you have to think small. That's when we decided to go mini! The results were great. Of course I had kinder mom's LaShauna and Jodi helping so it ran really smoothly.
Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups sugar
1 (16 oz) can pumpkin (puree not pie mix)
1 cup pure vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
2 large eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts
Vegetable spray
5 mini loaf pans (we used the disposable foil ones)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray loaf pans with vegetable spray and set aside. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.

In a large bowl combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water and eggs using an electric mixer on medium speed. Gradually add flour mixture. Mix well. Stir in walnuts. Pour batter evenly into prepared loaf pans until 2/3 full. Bake 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Remove loaves from pans onto wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 5 mini loaves.

Parent/Teacher Management Tip: So that each kinder would be able to contribute an ingredient I put everything into cups. I divided the flour into styrofoam cups so that there were three styrofoam containers with 1 cup of flour each and one styrofoam cup with a 1/2 cup of flour. I did that for the other larger ingredients. For the spices I premeasured them and put them into little paper Dixie cups. As the year progresses and the kinders mature, we will use the actual measuring cups and measuring spoons. The kinders are fairly new at this whole cooking thing and management is the key to making it run smooth. 

Kinder moms, LaShauna & Jodi!Our finished pumpkin bread!
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Yummy Mummies
Instead of asking parents to supply the usual cookies and cupcakes for our fall party and sadly watch them go uneaten by kinders too excited by unwrapping goody bags, we decided the kinders should cook their own food. Parents donated the food items and amazingly the kinders ate and loved their little creations. Which just proves a point. If they make their own party food, kinders, even kinders who are picky eaters, will eat.
Ingredients:
1 package of hotdogs
1 tube of crescent rolls
Mustard
Ketchup
Wax paper (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Parent or teacher: Open and unroll cresent rolls and instead of pulling apart into 8 triangles, pinch together seams so that it makes one large rectangle. We placed a piece of wax paper over rectangle and flattened the rectangle along seams to further insure they wouldn't come apart. Slice dough into 1/2 inch wide strips. Open hot dogs and place on paper towel to dry off. Give each child a hotdog and a strip of dough. Have them place and hold dough strip at the top of hotdog and wind it downward and when they get to the bottom wind it back up to the top and continue until all of dough is rolled around hotdog. Seal the end of the the strip to another section of dough so it stays put. I made sure each kinders mummy had an opening in the dough towards the top of hotdog for the face. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until dough is golden brown.  Decorate by putting two ketchup or mustard eyes on the mummy's "face". For extra fun make spider dipping sauce: Pour silver dollar sized dollop of ketchup into bowl. Shake bowl to flatten ketchup out. Using a squirt bottle pipe mustard  into concentric circles on top of ketchup. Take a toothpick and starting in the middle drag it through several times in a spoke pattern to make web. Dip mummies in the sauce and enjoy! Makes 8 servings.
Double Chocolate Cakies
This week it was agreed between the kinder moms and I that we wouldn't cook because one of our trio (Jodi) couldn't come. However, on the morning of our usual cooking day, I realized I really wanted to cook so I decided to find a recipe I could tackle on my own. My sister in law Georgi had made what she called "cakies" (aka cake mix cookies) a couple of weeks before with my son, Seth. She said they were super easy and thanks to parent-grandparent donations the week before, we had all the ingredients. They were so yummy! Even our picky eaters said they were awesome and the kinders would have eaten them until they were sick if I had let them. Georgi says you can use any cake mix and a variety of ingredients (nuts, dried fruit, etc.) and they turn out delicious so we will definitely be making these again. Jodi and LaShauna I promise to include you two next time!
Ingredients:
1 box of devils food cake mix (18.25 oz)
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Pour cake mix into medium mixing bowl. Stir with fork to get rid of lumps in mix. Add eggs and oil and stir together until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Roll dough into walnut size balls and place on a cookie sheet two inches apart. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes. Take out of oven and let cool five minutes before removing from cookie sheet to cool completely on wire rack. Serve slightly warm-with milk!

Note: We found that a slightly underdone cookie yielded a much better cookie when cooled. When we baked them to doneness, they were slightly dry around the edges whereas the slightly underdone cookie was perfect. Be warned: though the smell of your kitchen or classroom may drive you to gobble these up the moment they come out of the oven, those chocolate chips are hot (I was a little piggy and got a big surprise. Ouch!) Let the cookies cool before giving them to your kiddos.
First the cake mix.
Add the oil and eggs.Stir until it is a thick dough.Fold in the chocolate chips.The finished cookie. These are awesome! Can we have seconds...thirds? Keep the cookies coming!
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