No Bake Grasshopper Cheesecake with my New Sous Chef – Cooking with Kids

Cooking with Kids - No Bake Grasshopper Cheesecake | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Meet my new Sous Chef, Angel! With baby #4 on the way, this mama needs lots of help in the kitchen. And my 10 year old is ready to learn.

Seriously, he has been dusting off my cookbooks and doing his research just like his mama when she was a kid. He REALLY wants to make macaroons with me, which is funny, because those are on my “I really want to learn to make these one day” list.

Cooking with Kids - No Bake Grasshopper Cheesecake | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Well one crazy busy morning last week before I had to rush in to work, who is in the kitchen with a half a tub of cream cheese and two eggs wanting to bake a cheesecake? Angel of course. And my finicky shark Jesse was hot on his trail to learn too.

I mean, crazy busy. It was 7:30am. I start work at 8:00am. I had no make up on. My hair was in dire of need of a straightener. But my kids had on their big pleading puppy eyes saying, “Please teach us now!”

My mommy heart strings said, “okay” and I texted work that I’d be a bit late that morning.

Cooking with Kids - No Bake Grasshopper Cheesecake | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

All worth it. In a burst of 30 minutes I quickly taught my boys:
-How to scan the web for a recipe that called for ingredients that you already have on hand.
-How to properly measure your ingredients BEFORE you start cooking.
-And how to time your recipe just right.

These lucky boys got to taste my mom’s simple No Bake Cheesecake version and learn how to make it on the same day.

With what we had on hand of course. We did not have 2 blocks of cream cheese for a standard New York Style Cheesecake. We did not have TIME to bake a cheesecake in a proper spring form pan.

We did have:
1 block of cream cheese
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of sour cream (use nonfat plain Greek yogurt for a tangier healthier cheesecake)
1 tub of cool whip
1 ready made pie crust
1 cup of chocolate chips
So yea, we made this yummy concoction No Bake Grasshopper Cheesecake!

And my boys learned how to “bust a move” in the kitchen!

Cooking with Kids - No Bake Grasshopper Cheesecake | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

This cheesecake is so light, so creamy and refreshing with just the right of amount of cream cheese flavor, it will satisfy any cheesecake craving without the guilt.

And the kids will enjoy as much as mom!

“Sometimes being a mom requires the slightest of sacrifices. But you rarely regret any of them.” -Saundra Contreras

What sacrifices have you made for your kids lately that you thought you’d regret, but really enjoyed?

No Bake Grasshopper Cheesecake

Prep Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Number of servings: 8

Per Serving 277 calories

Fat 15 g

Carbs 32 g

Protein 5 g

8


No Bake Grasshopper Cheesecake

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 6

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz low fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of light sour cream
  • 1 tub of fat free cool whip, thawed
  • 1 ready made pie crust
  • 1 cup of mint and chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl or stand mixer, blend the block of cream with the sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix well.
  2. Mix in the sour cream until combined.
  3. Fold in the cool whip.
  4. Fold in 3/4 cup of the mint chocolate chips.
  5. Pour into a ready made pie crust.
  6. Top with remaining chocolate chips and jimmies if desired.
  7. Chill for 3 hours or until set.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread

Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

I was cruising through Pinterest one day and I stumbled upon the most simple of recipes. It literally showed how to make your own peanut butter with a variety of mix ins, like mixed nuts and CHOCOLATE!

I had to make this with my boys! And of course they licked plenty of spoons.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

All I needed was:

2 cups of roasted and salted peanuts
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 Tb peanut oil

And a food processor!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

We started by pulsing the peanuts in the food processor. We took turns pushing the button and let it spin like crazy at other times.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

It got pretty creamy. We liked it extra creamy so we streamed in some peanut oil.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

And gave it another spin.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Then we added the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

This mixed up nicely-yum!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

This stuff is great on warm toast. I also stuffed some inside of Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes that I made on the same day.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread | Famished Fish, Finicky Shark

Yep, this stuff is mega addicting!

Store this stuff in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 8 minutes

Number of servings: 16

Per Serving 167 calories

Fat 12 g

Carbs 15 g

Protein 5 g

16


Peanut Butter Chocolate Spread

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 5

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups roasted and salted peanuts
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-3 Tb peanut oil

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, pulse the peanuts until they are a chunky consistency, stopping to scrape the sides as needed.
  2. When the peanuts have reached a creamy texture, stream in the peanut oil until it is the desired consistency. More may be needed when adding the sugar and chocolate.
  3. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder with the salt and mix well.
  4. Serve on toast or with fresh fruit, as desired.

Notes

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Merry Christmas Peppermint Krispy Treats

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Merry Christmas! Cooking with your kids is always fun stuff, and around the holidays is the best. Gingerbread houses, cookie decorating and marshmallows and sprinkles light up any kids world.

My finicky shark and I made these Peppermint Rice Krispy Treats for Christmas this year. So simple, so tasty and done in less than 10 minutes. These Jet-Puffed Peppermint Marshmallows are the best thing to hit the holiday season since eggnog. I just added some peppermint marshmallows to my morning café latte mocha and it was delicious!

All you need to make these yummy Christmas Peppermint Krispy Treats:
6 cups crisp rice cereal
1 10 oz bag jet-puffed peppermint mini marshmallows
3 Tb butter
1 Tb holiday sprinkles
2 oz crushed peppermint candies
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Microwave the butter and marshmallows in a large microwave safe bowl for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes.

Pour the mixture over the crisp rice cereal.

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Press into a greased 13×9 inch casserole dish or decorative mold.

Have your kids help with the candy crushing.

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Crush the peppermint candies over the Krispy Treats. This is the perfect job for finicky sharks!

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Sprinkle with holiday sprinkles.

 

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Cut into 24 squares and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Enjoy while watching your favorite Christmas movie.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Famished Fish readers. Enjoy the season.

Merry Christmas Peppermint Krispy Treats

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Number of servings: 24

Per Serving 76 calories

Fat 2 g

Carbs 14 g

Protein 1 g

24


Merry Christmas Peppermint Krispy Treats

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 2

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1 10 oz bag jet-puffed peppermint mini marshmallows
  • 3 Tb butter
  • 1 Tb holiday sprinkles
  • 2 oz crushed peppermint candies

Instructions

  1. Microwave the butter and marshmallows in a large microwave safe bowl for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes.
  2. Pour the mixture over the crisp rice cereal.
  3. Press into a greased 13×9 inch casserole dish or decorative mold.
  4. Have your kids help with the candy crushing.
  5. Crush the peppermint candies over the Krispy Treats.
  6. Sprinkle with holiday sprinkles.
  7. Cut into 24 squares and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

You may also enjoy Jello Jiggler Brain Jammers

 

Lightened Up Charro Beans and Baked Taquitos

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So you’ve ate all the turkey you could eat and shopped all the Black Friday sales you could shop. The holiday season is approaching there is no better time to focus on you. Put the stretchy pants away, remain focused and healthy and get a jump start on your New Year’s resolution, if it’s getting in shape and eating right of course.

That’s what I’m doing anyway. I’ve begun a new Beachbody workout routine by Shawn T called T25. I’m on day 3 and love it so far! But to work the body you need to fuel the body. And I’m gonna do it all around the world.

Starting off with Charro Beans. In case you’ve never heard of this wonder food, it is typically a large pot of pinto beans cooked almost like a soup, with chunks of chorizo, bacon and maybe hot dogs, with a large ham hock for flavor and plenty of tomatoes, onions and chiles. Topped with cilantro it is goodness in a bowl. You can order this dish at many Mexican restaurants by the name of Frijoles Charros de la Hoya, which means Charro Beans from the Pot.

But this doesn’t exactly sound like a clean way to start eating clean, so I’ve made this lighter version, based on this slow cooker recipe by Slender Kitchen, and oh is it good!

Here are the Charro Bean stars:

1 lb pinto beans
1 large onion
2 large tomatoes
2 jalapeños
3 cloves garlic
4 oz lean ground turkey
6 oz Canadian ham
1 Tb bacon grease
6 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup cilantro

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First I quick soaked my beans in the morning. Pick through the beans for any rocks or dirt. Pour them in a large pot or bowl and cover them with boiling water you’ve heated in a kettle. Cover and let them soak all day, about 8-12 hours.

(You can also make these in a slow cooker all day! Pick through and rinse the beans as above and set aside; sauté everything as below; add the veggies to your slow cooker, then add the beans and boiling broth and set it for 8-10 hours.)

After the beans had soaked all day, I rinsed them under clean water and heated another kettle of water. Then I began by chopping the onion, tomatoes and jalapeños, mincing the garlic and dicing the Canadian ham. I browned the turkey and diced ham in the bacon fat in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.

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When the turkey was browned, I added the onion, tomatoes, garlic and jalapenos and cooked until the onions were slightly tender, about 4 minutes.

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Then I added the pinto beans.

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I poured 6 cups of the boiling water over the bean mixture and added 6 tsp of chicken bouillon to make a chicken broth.

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Then I covered the beans and let them cook about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until they were tender and gave when smashed with the back of a spoon.

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That’s it. Then these were removed from heat, ladled into bowls and sprinkled with chopped cilantro for a fresh green taste.

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My don’t those look good! My husband really enjoyed these-he had two bowls and ate it like soup.
Looking for a quick clean eating breakfast? Try making charro beans and egg whites!

Read More »

Bears are Made of Donuts!? Mexican Chocolate Donut Bears

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Sometimes you just have to make food fun, and my boys and I love to make food fun! Even if it means pumping them full of sugar and letting my finicky shark have a little gluten-I love to let them live a little.

One evening after work, my family and I went to run a quick errand at a small shopping strip. As we were leaving, my oldest son Angel spotted a Boba shop. Well this Boba shop, like a large amount of Boba shops near us, also sold donuts. I don’t know about you, but Boba and Donuts are like my carb addiction of choice. I like those big specialty donuts and my most recent favorite Taro Boba.

Well my husband ordered a HUGE Bear Claw donut. My finicky shark, in all his autistic genius innocence questioned, “Bears are Made of Donuts!?”

Which rendered me this brilliant Cooking with Kids post for Mexican Chocolate Donut Bears. I borrowed a Bisquick recipe for this one! I love all these unique flavor choices and will definitely be making some raspberry and pistachio ones. This is Bisquick’s photo here.

donuts

This simple list of ingredients is you need:
For the Donuts:
2 cups Original Bisquick Mix
2 Tb sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg beaten
For the Chocolate Coating:
1/2 cup sugar
2 3/4 tsp unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Oil for frying
For the Décor:
1/4 cup Wilton baking chips, melted
2 Tb chocolate chips
1 Tb decorating sprinkles
Toothpicks if needed
Small paper bag

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Whisk all the dry donut ingredients together.

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Pour in the milk, egg and vanilla and mix well, but lightly.

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Using Bisquick floured hands and a small spoon, scoop out 16 one inch balls and 32 quarter inch balls.  This will make 8 donut bears including 8 heads, 8 bodies and 4 paws for each bear.

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Heat oil in a large pan to 2 inches or a deep fryer to 375F. Test a bear paw. If it browns too quickly, the donut will not cook through and if it browns too slowly, the donut will be too greasy.

Cook the donuts in small batches until browned evenly, about 3-4 minutes.

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Combine the Chocolate Coating ingredients in a small paper bag. As you cook the donuts in batches, drop them into the coating and shake. Remove to a paper towel or another paper bag cut open.

This frog insisted on photo bombing my photo. Or maybe he wanted to steal some donuts, I just don’t know.

Is your kitchen table covered in children’s toys too?

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Get your decorating ingredients out. Melt the baking chocolate to use as “glue”.

Use chocolate chips for eyes, noses, ears, a tail, buttons, whatever you fancy.

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Get the whole spread ready and call out the kids!

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Have them go at it! Use toothpicks to secure the bear paws until it is set.

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Each of my boys inhaled their bears and really LOVED this Sunday morning project.

Mexican Chocolate Donut Bears

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Number of servings: 8

Per Serving 284 calories

Fat 12 g

Carbs 40 g

Protein 5 g

8


Mexican Chocolate Donut Bears

Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 8

*Nutritional value may vary depending upon which ingredients are used.

*PointsPlus® calculated by Famished Fish and in no way endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Ingredients

    For the Donuts

  • 2 cups Original Bisquick Mix
  • 2 Tb sugar
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Oil for frying
  • For the Chocolate Coating

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 3/4 tsp unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • For the Décor

  • 1/4 cup Wilton baking chips, melted
  • 2 Tb chocolate chips
  • 1 Tb decorating sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Whisk all the dry donut ingredients together.
  2. Pour in the milk, egg and vanilla and mix well, but lightly.
  3. Using Bisquick floured hands and a small spoon, scoop out 16 one inch balls and 32 quarter inch balls. This will make 8 donut bears including 8 heads, 8 bodies and 4 paws for each bear.
  4. Heat oil in a large pan to 2 inches or a deep fryer to 375F. Test a bear paw. If it browns too quickly, the donut will not cook through and if it browns too slowly, the donut will be too greasy.
  5. Cook the donuts in small batches until browned evenly, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Combine the Chocolate Coating ingredients in a small paper bag. As you cook the donuts in batches, drop them into the coating and shake. Remove to a paper towel or another paper bag cut open.
  7. Melt the baking chocolate to use as “glue”.
  8. Use chocolate chips for eyes, noses, ears, a tail, buttons, whatever you fancy.
  9. Use toothpicks to secure the bear paws until it is set.

Notes

Additional equipment: toothpicks, two paper bags

What will you decorate your bear with?

You may also enjoy Pigs in a Maple Oat Donut Hole

Never Too Old for Playdough: Pupusas (Salvadorian StuffedTortillas)

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It’s squishy, soft, squeezable and pliable. You can mold it, model it, build it and…eat it? Yes, it’s not play dough, it’s pupusa dough. It’s easy to make and fun to do. Parents, it’s time to put the kids to work for dinner tonight.
Pupusas are thick and chewy tortillas made from masa and stuffed with meat, beans and/or soft cheese. They are traditionally made in El Salvador and are typically served with curtido, a mixture of pickled cabbage, carrot, onion and oregano. The tangy slaw brings out the savory flavor of the pupusa and adds a bit of crunch to the chewy tortilla.
When I told my boys we were making pupusas tonight they were thrilled. They love to help with these. And with the quickness needed in making these to avoid drying of the dough, the help was welcomed by me. And I love teaching my kids in the kitchen.
Chicken, Black Bean and Cheese Pupusas
Cooking Method:
Cooking oil for frying or griddle and cooking spray for grilling.

Curtido:
1/2 head of cabbage (I used purple and green for color)
2 carrots, grated
1/2 white onion, sliced thin
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 Tb sugar
2 tsp oregano
boiling water

To prepare the curtido, combine the cabbage, carrots and onion in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Drain well.

Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the slaw mixture. Let marinate and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.


Masa:
5 cups masa harina (corn flour)
4 cups water
1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in mixer and mix well, or optionally stir well with a wooden spoon. Divide into 24 equal portions. Dough should be soft and pliable.

Filling:
1 chicken breast, about 1/2 pound, cooked
1 cup black beans (I used leftover tangy black beans)
1 cup cheese, any type, soft Mexican cheese is traditional

Combine filling ingredients in food processor to form a paste.

Prep:
Flatten each dough portion with palms of hands into disc slightly larger than palm. Add one rounded tablespoon filling to center of masa disc.
Carefully fold dough over filling to resemble a half moon, almost like an empanada. Pinch edges to seal.
Reshape half moon into circle and flatten, being careful not to let the filling seep through.
Now my husband likes his pupusas fried. They are extra chewy with a nice crisp on the outside. I prefer mine lightly brushed with oil and grilled. So we do both variations. Either way you cook them, they take about 2-3 minutes per side.
Serves 12. Prep 45 minutes. Cook time 20 minutes.
Angel making his pupusa. He really enjoyed this. His friend helped too! And then he rushed off to finish his video game.
Jesse really had fun making pupusas. In fact he was the best at it. I told him this, and then of course, as brothers do, he told Angel and his friend, “Mom says I make them better than you!” Oi, I had to smother my laughter.
Finicky Shark tip: Jesse ate his pupusa without the curtido, and instead smothered it with butter and parmesan cheese, like a Mexican style corn.
These pupusas are done, some fried and some grilled, all delicious!
This is a fried pupusa, cut into quarters for my youngest boy. They look like stuffed tortillas chips, don’t they?

Anyway you serve these up, they are delicious. Try them with sour cream or even guacamole, with fresh pico de gallo, and of course the curtido. These tender crisp delights will be sure to keep you and your children busy in the kitchen, and of course, make wonderful memories. And fill up your tummy too!

What are you going to stuff in your Pupusa?