Monday, June 16, 2008

Boredom Busters in the Kitchen

The Kitchen can offer a wonderful way to cure boredom during the summer. Cook some of your favorite recipes together and enjoy the results. Here are a few ideas.

Magnificent Mac
Take the tried and true macaroni and cheese recipe to a new level. The fun is not only in the making but in the adding of a variety of ingredients to personalize this mac and cheese recipe.
2 cups dried macaroni or pasta (choose your favorite shapes)
12 oz. American Cheese (3 cups shredded)
2 Tbsp margarine or butter
2 ½ cups milk
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
dash of salt and pepper.
Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain and set aside. While pasta is cooking, grate the cheese (allow older kids to help). Melt butter in a medium sized pan. Gradually stir in flour and pepper. Add milk. Stir and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened and little bubbly. Slowly add cheese and stir until melted. Add pasta to the cheese mixture. Place in 2 quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 uncovered for 25 or 30 minutes.
Now that you have your wonderful cheesy noodles, consider adding your favorite extras to the top. Consider cubes of ham, little wieners, potato chips, carrots, another type of cheese, fried onion rings, shoe string potatoes, gold fish crackers.
No Reason Cake
Most of the time we have a reason to bake a cake, whether it is someone’s birthday or a shower or special occasion. It’s a good idea to have a box of cake mix and a couple of cans of icing in your pantry at all times as a potential boredom buster. Making the cake is always fun, especially if you offer to let the kids stir and lick the bowl and spoons. Then comes the joy of icing the cake! Once the cake is iced by all of your little helpers then allow everyone to come up with ways to decorate the top. You may want to choose a random theme. The possibilities are endless (as long as you clean them well): toy soldiers, rubber duckies, small plastic dolls, candies of all sorts, little paper umbrellas, plastic flowers, etc.. Enjoy making and eating your innovative creation.

Breakfast Pizza
2 cans crescent rolls
1 – 2 lbs sausage
6 – 8 eggs
Shredded cheese (your family’s favorite)
Pre-heat oven to temperature on the crescent rolls can. Smooth out crescent rolls over an entire cookie sheet, making sure all seams are smoothed together. Brown sausage, then crumble into small pieces and sprinkle over crust. Scramble eggs and distribute over crust. Sprinkle cheese over pizza. Bake for 16 – 18 minutes or until browned. Serve with salsa or ketchup.

Sensational Summer Salad
One 7 oz package of bowtie pasta 1/3 cup green onions sliced
Two 6 ½ ox cans tuna ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 medium tomato (chopped) ¾ cup Italian dressing
1 green or yellow pepper (cut into strips) 1 – 2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ cup whole pitted black olives ½ tsp salt
8 -10 radishes (sliced) ¼ tsp lemon pepper
Prepare pasta according to package. Drain. Combine pasta, tuna, tomato, pepper, olives, radishes, onion and parsley. In small bowl mix remaining ingredients. Add to pasta/tuna mixture. Toss gently. Cover and chill.

Happy Face Ice Cream Sundaes
Favorite flavors of ice cream
Variety of Candies and marshmallows
Chocolate or Carmel syrup
Place a large scoop of ice cream in a bowl. Squirt or drizzle syrup at the top of the scoop to resemble hair. Place candy or marshmallows to create eyes, nose and mouth. Allow each family member to create their own. Vote on the most creative work of art before eating them.

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