Family Favorites Cookbook!

The children, teachers and families in one of our classes at CLC Palmers Hill put together a cookbook! The cookbook features a few of their favorite recipes to make together as a family!

At school the class talked about what kinds of foods their families eat. They learned that each of them has a favorite dish. So, teachers asked families to make these dishes with their children and send photos. The class gathered the recipes and created a family favorites cookbook. Each recipe is a personal favorite of someone in our classroom community.

Guacamole Recipe

INGREDIENTS

2 Avocados
¼ Cup Tomato, diced
¼ Cup Onion, diced
½ Cup Jalapeño , deseeded and finely minced
¼ Cup Cilantro, chopped
¼ teaspoon Garlic powder
¼ teaspoon Onion powder
¼ teaspoon Adobo
Lime, to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mash avocados with a fork into chunks.
  2. Add tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder, and adobo.
  3. Add lime squeezed to your liking.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Mix together.
  6. Enjoy with potato chips, tortilla chips or anything else!

Cucumber, Tomato & Avocado Salad


INGREDIENTS

1 Avocado
1 Cucumber
Handful of grape tomatoes
¼ red onion
2 Tablespoons cilantro paste
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Slice and then dice the cucumber.
  2. Slice and then dice the tomatoes.
  3. Cut open the avocado and scoop out the inside. Dice the avocado.
  4. Peel the red onion, remove tops and then chop.
  5. Combine all ingredients with cilantro paste in a large bowl.
  6. Toss with olive oil, add salt and pepper to taste.

Italian Style Stuffed Artichokes

INGREDIENTS

6 whole artichokes
2 Cups Italian bread crumbs
1 lb Italian sausage
½ Cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ Cup parsley minced
4 cloves garlic minced
¼ Cup lemon juice
6 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak artichokes in cold water for 30 minutes.
  2. Cut off the stems of the artichokes. (Make sure the cut is straight so the artichoke will stand flat in the pan)
  3. Slice ¼ inch straight from the top of each artichoke (the prickly part).
  4. Slightly open the leaves to make room for the stuffing.
  5. In a pan, sear the sausage until cooked through.
  6. In a large bowl mix together the bread crumbs, grated cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the cooked sausage and combine.
  7. Fill each leaf of artichoke with the stuffing until they are well packed.
  8. Drizzle the artichokes with olive oil and squeeze lemon juice over top.
  9. Sprinkle salt over the top and sides.
  10. Stand artichokes up in a pot wide enough to hold them all. Add just enough water to cover to the bottom row of leaves of the artichokes.
  11. Add 1 Tablespoon of salt to the water in the pot. Cover and let the water come to a boil. Lower the heat and let the artichokes simmer for 45 minutes or until the leaves are tender. Serve warm.

Southern Salmon Croquettes

INGREDIENTS

3.5 oz high quality canned Salmon (remove any bones)
¼ Cup self rising flour
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 large egg
¼ Cup mayonnaise
1 small onion

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Shape into 6-8 patties.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  5. These can also be baked in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through baking.

Pesto Sauce

INGREDIENTS

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can sub half the basil leaves with baby spinach)
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts (can sub chopped walnuts) or without nuts if that is your preference!
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, more to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix it all together in a food processor until it’s well mixed.
  2. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and it’s ready to serve.
  3. The pesto goes well with bread and pasta, but It could be added as seasoning to any food.
  4. Enjoy!

Rib Soup with Cauliflower

INGREDIENTS

1 gal Water
3 potato
2 carrots
1 yellow onion
4 florets cauliflower
2 pork ribs
2 oz pearled barley
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. heavy cream
Fresh parsley and dill
1 bay leaf
Salt, pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Boil the ribs in water, drain the water, wash the ribs.
  2. Peel the potatoes and one carrot, cut into cubes
  3. Chop florets of cauliflower
  4. Pour water into the pan, add the washed cooked ribs, washed barley, prepared potato, carrot and cauliflower. Put on medium heat, stirring, bring to a boil. Remove the foam from the soup with a skimmer or spoon.
  5. Peel the remaining carrot and onion. Chop onion, grate carrot
  6. Pour olive oil into a small frying pan, add chopped onion, stirring and cook until golden.  Add grated carrots to the onion, stirring, stew 2-5 minutes.
  7. When the ribs and vegetables with barley are cooked, add the stewed onion and carrot.  Add bay leaf, salt, pepper, heavy cream, stir and cook for 5 minutes.  Add chopped parsley and dill, bring to a boil and turn off.
  8. The soup is ready, bon appetit!

Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 ¼ cups milk
1 egg
3 Tablespoons butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine all ingredients to make batter.
  2. Grease skillet or frying pan.
  3. Pour batter onto skillet to form pancakes.
  4. When air bubbles form on top flip the pancakes over. Cook until golden brown.
  5. Serve with butter and syrup. Or try with some fruit and whipped cream. YUM!

Ukrainian Pirogues

INGREDIENTS

Pirogue
3 cups flour
1 ½ cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg

Filling

Potatoes
Onions
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

Filling

  1. Peel and cut potatoes. Boil until soft.
  2. While the potatoes are boiling dice the onion and fry in olive oil.
  3. Drain the potatoes and mash them.
  4. Add salt, pepper and the fried onions to the potatoes and mix them together.
  5. Put the filling in the refrigerator to cool.

Pirogue

  1. Combine together the flour and the salt.
  2. Add the egg to the center of the flour and salt mixture and combine together.
  3. Gradually add the warm water until the dough is soft and slightly sticky. (if the dough appears too wet add some flour, if it is too dry and crumbly add water a little at a time)
  4. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for an hour or until cool and firm.
  5. Use a rolling pin to roll out your dough, about ⅛ inch thick.
  6. Cut circles and add filling to the middle.
  7. Use your fingers to pinch around the edges to close.
  8. Boil for about 3-4 minutes.
  9. When they are cool you can fry them with a few tablespoons of oil if you’d like.

Garlic Tomato Chicken

INGREDIENTS

4 boneless skinless chicken breast fillets
Salt and pepper to season
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon butter, divided
1 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 Cups grape tomatoes, halved
¼ Cup fresh basil, shredded
1 ½ Tablespoons minced garlic or 6 large cloves of garlic

DIRECTIONS

  1. Lightly pound chicken breasts between 2 sheets of parchment paper until they are all the same thickness. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil and 2 teaspoons of butter in a skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Fry breasts on both sides until golden brown and completely cooked through (about 5-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your fillets). Once cooked, transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. Heat remaining butter and oil in the pan. Fry garlic until fragrant (about one minute). Add the tomatoes and cook for two minutes, or until they just begin to soften.
  4. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Add the chicken back to the pan, spoon the tomato/garlic mixture and pan juices over the chicken.
  5. Perfect to serve with a salad, garlic bread, rice or pasta!

Air Fryer Baked Potato

INGREDIENTS

Potatoes
Salt
Pepper
Smoked paprika
Garlic powder
Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Peel potatoes and cut into chunks.
  2. Toss potatoes with oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
  3. Cook in air fryer for 15 minutes at 350-400 degrees

Arepas Colombianas

INGREDIENTS

2 ½ cups water
2 cups arepa flour
1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add water to the flour mixture slowly while mixing until the dough is smooth.
  3. Let the dough sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Form the arepas with your hands.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes each side in a lightly oiled pan over medium heat.
  6. Let cool, use a butter knife to open and put your choice of filling inside.

Banana Bread

INGREDIENTS

4 ripe bananas (may vary)
2 eggs
1 Cup flour
½ stick of butter, melted
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons sugar
½ Cup walnuts (if desired)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Peel and mash bananas in a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Stir until combined.
  4. Pour into a baking dish.
  5. Bake for 1 hour.
  6. Enjoy!

Blueberry Cornbread

INGREDIENTS

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
⅓ Cup milk
Blueberries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease pan, muffin tin or use paper baking cups.
  2. Stir ingredients together. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
  3. Fold in blueberries.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Carrot Bacon

INGREDIENTS

Carrots- as many as you’d like
½ Cup brown sugar
½ Cup sugar
⅓ Cup cinnamon
Water
Butter or olive oil (if you pan fry)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Wash carrots, cut off top and bottom of carrot.
  2. Slice lengthwise into thin slices, or you could use a potato slicer.
  3. In a bowl mix together the brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon. Add enough water to the mixture to be able to cover the carrots. Mix together.
  4. Add carrots to the mixture and let marinade 15-20 minutes.

For Frying

  • Melt butter in a pan or heat up olive oil.
  • Fry slices of carrots in a pan and fry until it is the way you want, crispy or soft.
  • Place slices on a paper towel after frying.
  • Eat now or later.

For oven

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place on a cookie sheet and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  • Adjust time for doneness to your liking.

For Air Fryer

  • Place in a basket or on a sheet in a single layer.
  • Cook at 380 degrees for 5 minutes.
  • Adjust time for doneness to your liking.

Easy Olives and Feta

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup pitted kalamata olives
1 ½ Cups castelvetrano olives (or your favorite green olives)
3 oz feta cheese
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dry oregano
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl.
  2. Toss to coat everything.
  3. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

Celebrate Earth This Spring!

The theme for Earth Day 2021 is “Together, We Can Restore Our Earth.” It is a theme that encourages all of us to celebrate Earth Day with our children.

While Earth Day is celebrated on Thursday, April 22, there are many ways to continue the Earth Day celebration all spring season.

We have put together a list of wonderful activities to enjoy with your preschoolers.

Creating and recycling!

Many of our students at CLC have been recycling and creating both at home and in the classroom this month.

Materials:

  • Recycled items including plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, etc.
  • Tape and glue
  • Paint

Instructions:

  1. Gather and clean recycled items.
  2. Read a story and talk about recycling with your child.
  3. Set up glue and tape for your child to glue or tape the items together.

Questions to ask:

Talk to your child about what they wanted to make. They can use the materials to make a car, a castle… the possibilities are endless!

Plant bean seeds to put in a garden 

Materials:

 

  • Cups or plant containers with children’s name on them which also helps them recognize their name when they are looking for their cup for planting
  • Dirt in large bin
  • Seeds (bean seeds work well)
  • Spoons and small shovels
  • Watering can

Instructions:

  1.  Discuss planting with your child through books, pictures, videos and even have them act out being a plant.
  2. Set up an area for planting with all of your materials. Also make sure that you have an area prepared by a window for plants to grow.
  3. Ask your child to find their cup and then ask them to count out how many seeds you want them to put in their cup or let them choose how many.
  4. Have your children fill their cups by spooning the dirt from the bin.
  5. Assist the children with the water can to water their seeds.

Questions to ask:

Ask your child to predict how long it will take the plant to grow and chart the children’s answers.

Observe cups each day to see if they are growing and chart with children the changes. Let the children water their own plant with assistance.

Children will transplant their plants to the outside garden once they begin to grow.

Bean in a bag experiment

Materials:

 

  • Paper towel
  • Water
  • Plastic bag that will reseal, any size
  • One dry bean seed (pinto, butter or kidney beans from the kitchen pantry)
  • Tape

Instructions:

  1. Fold a paper towel in half. Then fold it in half again.
  2. Wet the paper towel with water. The towel should be very damp, not wet. Put the paper towel in the plastic bag.
  3. Put one bean seed into the bag. Make sure the seed touches the paper towel.
  4. Squeeze as much air as you can from the plastic bag. Then seal it. Make sure the bean is in the middle of the paper towel.
  5. Tape the bag to a sunny window.
  6. Check the seed every day. The seed should start to grow in about five days. Roots and leaves will grow in the next few days.
  7. When the roots are long, plant the bean in a pot or outside in the ground. Visit the bean plant often to check its growth!

Questions to ask:

Explain to your child that the seeds contain a little bit of food for growing the plant. The food in the seed gets used up. Then the plant needs to get its food from the soil to grow big and strong. Tell your child the names of the parts of the plants (root, stem, leaves). Show your child each part of the plant. Ask your child to name things that grow from seeds (grass, vegetables, flowers, beans).

Flower arranging

A flower arranging activity allows children to develop skills using their hands while also allowing them to explore nature!

Materials:

  • Ball of floral foam cut in half and sized to fit inside a strainer
  • Plastic strainer or colander with large holes
  • Flowers (real or fake)

Instructions:

  1. Put the flat side of the foam ball on the table.
  2. Turn the strainer over so it covers the foam.
  3. Poke a flower’s stem into one of he strainer’s holes. Push hard so the stem goes into the foam. The foam will hold the flower in place.
  4. Continue adding flowers until you like the arrangement. Flowers can be moved from hole to hole to change the look of the display.
  5. If you’d like, place the foam in a bowl of water to keep live flowers fresh.

Questions to ask:

Ask children to explain their choice of flowers. What do they like about each flower’s shape or color?

If you use real flowers, encourage children to smell them. Ask the children to describe the scent.

Ask children to look at the flowers’ leaves and petals. Look at different flowers. Compare. What things are alike? What things are different?

For more fun activities like these, order CLC’s Play to Learn Book.

Children’s Learning Centers of Fairfield County (CLC) is committed to providing early childhood education for all families, with direct services and programs focused in health, nutrition & family support for children aged 6 weeks – 5 years of age. Find more information about enrollment, here!