The Piccolo Chef Cookbook

Cooking with your kids is a lot of fun, and it’s the best way to teach them some great healthy eating habits! The Piccolo Chef Cookbook by Tina Fanelli Moraccini and Lilian Palmieri is a healthy way to start getting the kids not only interested in helping you out in the kitchen but getting them to eat it too.P1130664

We’re all busy sure but meal time should be family time also. Why not get them in the kitchen and pitch in on making the meals as well?  The idea being Piccolo Chef is encouraging the kids to be a part of that meal. It boosts confidence and even creativity. My own kids have so much fun helping me make a meal and they are more willing to eat it rather than when I simply just set food down before them. You engage them in the entire process they are much more likely to get something more out of it, and that’s worth all the time in the world. It’s quality time spent as a family and they will have so much fun you’ll want to do it everyday!

 

The cookbook is full of inviting pictures, wonderfully illustrated throughout . Each recipe is easy to read and clearly written directions. There’s tips throughout each as well, nutritional and even kitchen tips to help you and the kids create some wonderful meals. With Chapters on Breakfast through dinner and even snacks you have everything covered. There aren’t any hard recipes in here either, so they are truly kid friendly, and appeal to both adults as well as kids. I really enjoyed the breakfast section, with school in full gear we need healthy yet friendly morning meals and this book had wonderful ideas. The California Frittata was my favorite while the kids begged for the Buckwheat Pancakes.
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Let’s Get Cooking With Our Kids

 

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It’s always good to get kids to help with household chores, and giving children a good basic knowledge of cooking, kitchen skills, and know how is not only important for later in life but also a fun way to bond. Get some fun and interesting (and easy) kitchen wares in stock, and make dinner as well as lifelong memories. (Kids will also have a great sense of pride when the food is presented,)

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Let’s start with the basics- pots and pans. Keep it eco-freindly and safe for the kids by using products that are non-toxic. Some easy to find, and easy on the wallet (but still safe and high quality) choices are the Green Pan and Twiztt collections. You can get all the basics that you need online or in stores near you. Voted “Best in Europe”, the Green Pan is ceramic, non toxic, and contributes to your healthy and sustainable lifestyle. It’s non-stick Thermolon is heat resistant, which means that if you overheat your pan, even up to 450/850, no toxic fumes will be released and the coating will not blister or peel. The food slides off easily (please follow directions, this is not a traditional non-stick pan) while not adding unwanted chemicals to your food. It is easy to clean and store.

For more, go to http://www.green-pan.us or a local Target store.

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Twiztt by Joan Lunden was created with the consumer’s safety in mind- simple, afforadable, and healthy. With no nasty chemicals, this product is truly organic. Made with Thermolon healthy ceramic non-stick coating, it is easy to cook with and not create a mess. These are food kits with simplicity in mind, each set comes with all you need to make a meal with ease. For example, The “Cook, Cut, and Serve” set is complete with stainless steel lid with adjustable steam release knob, melamine bowl for table top presentation. It also keeps food warm and functions as safe pot holder, as well as doubles as serving & mixing bowl. This set also arrives with an easy to clean and sustainable bamboo chopping boar which fits on the melamine bowl, for easy food collection and preperation. All but the cutting board are dishwasher safe.
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Eggplant Parmesan

 

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This is a great family dinner that really doesn’t take much time to prepare. The most work comes from slicing, breading and baking the eggplant pieces but that only takes about fifteen minutes of your time before you assemble then heat the dish in the oven. My kids love this so much I rarely have left overs, and the best thing about this whole dish? It’s meatless!

 

Ingredients

3 beaten eggs

About 3 cups seasoned bread crumbs

3 eggplants cut into 1 / 4 slices. I do it length wise.

1 -1 / 2 cups fresh cut mushrooms

1 teaspoons Italian seasonings

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 cups spaghetti sauce

Directions

For the eggplant- Place beaten eggs in a shallow bowl, bread crumbs in another bowl. Dip the slived eggplants in the egg coating both sides. Coat with bread crumbs. Place on baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes on 400F, turning halfway through. They should be golden brown before you take them out. Finish with remaining eggplant.
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