Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cooking With Toddlers

Long, long ago, I maintained a regular weekly feature on this blog, called What-to-Do Wednesdays. It was all about fun activities to do with small children. Remember that?

Well, in the interest of reviving the idea of posting kids' activities, and in homage to a "Spring Break" involving hours on end stuck inside the house during rain, wind, and sleet, while wishing that preschool and toddler-class would start again, I present a recipe for baking with your children.

I've posted a link to this recipe before, but today I'll give you the entire thing right here, because this is how my little ones and I spent the morning: making Herb-Oat Bread to have tonight with the leftover cheese frittata from last night.

I've said before that I do a lot of baking and cooking with my girls. I cook from scratch pretty much every day, and involving Julia and Genevieve in the process is a good way to get things done while also spending quality time with them. They love it. So, anyway, here's what we made today (from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures, by Jeanne Lemlin):

Herb-Oat Bread


1-1/4 c. rolled oats
1 c. all-purpose or unbleached flour
1/4 c. whole-wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. each: dried basil, dried oregano, dried dill
1/8 tsp. crumbled dried rosemary
1/4 c. vegetable/canola oil
1/4 c. honey
1-1/4 c. plain lowfat or nonfat yogurt, or same amount buttermilk (or combination of the two to make the total amount)
2 eggs, beaten

Grease a regular-size loaf pan (about 9" x 5"). Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place oats in a blender or food processor and grind until almost powdery. Pour into a large bowl and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and herbs.

In a small saucepan, heat oil and honey just until blended. Pour into a medium bowl and add yogurt or buttermilk and beaten eggs.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix just until evenly moistened. Do not over-beat. Scrape into pan. Bake 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into center of bread comes out clean. If top starts to get too brown before bread is done, lay a sheet of foil over top of pan and continue baking.

When done, let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely before slicing.

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