Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Guide to Kids' Holiday Craft Projects

With the holiday season upon us, have the little ones pitch in and make some decorations and/or holiday fare for others to enjoy. Here are some suggestions and how tos for kids’ craft projects: These craft projects are geared toward the 4-7 year old.

Personalized ornaments
Items needed:
Toxic-free glue pencils/sticks
Plain, shiny gold or silver ornaments. The larger ones are preferred since they give a larger working area.
Glitter: different colors; red, gold, silver, green are best
(Put each glitter into its own small bowl)
Papers to cover the table
Pictures of trees and stars

How To Make Ornaments:
Place the papers onto the working area (table). Cover thoroughly.
Have the kids sit around the table.
Give each kid an ornament.
Tell them to be very careful since the ornaments break easy.
Give them each a glue pencil/stick
Tell them to put their favorite person’s name onto the ornament with glue
(Show them by example)
Or...they can draw a Christmas tree, a star, or an angel on the ornament
Once they have completed putting the glue onto the ornament,
Have them sprinkle the glitter over the glue.
They can use a variety of colors, if desired.
Let their imagination go wild!

Personalized Snowflakes
Another great craft project for kids is to make their own snowflakes of different sizes and colors.

Items Needed:
White copy paper
Different colored construction paper
Different sized construction paper (you may have to cut the 8-1/2 x 11” size in half.)
Blunt edged scissors
Crayons or colored pencils

How To Make Snowflakes:
Demonstrate the following before having them start:
Fold the paper in half.
Fold the paper in half again.
Cut triangles along all sides.
Cut triangles of different sizes
For white paper, kids can color as desired.
After done cutting:
kids can write their names on the snowflakes with crayons.

Personalized & Decorated aprons:
For the small cook, nothing would be enjoyed more than to have his or her own personalized apron. Buy a plain apron and let them decorate as their imagination tells them!

Items Needed:
Cotton apron, lighter colors preferred
Permanent magic markers – have red, black, and green available
A large working area such as a table

How to Make a Personalized & Decorated Apron:
Give each kid an apron
Place the magic markers in the center of the table.
Have the kids sit around the table
Explain to them what they are to do
Tell them that they can put their name on the apron. (For instance, show them how they can write “Marie’s (their name) Apron” on their very own apron.
Tell them that they can draw pictures of Christmas trees, stars, angels, etc. on their apron.
Let them know that the apron is a gift that will be used for years to come.

Easy Wholefoods Cooking

In today’s hurried society, many things we once took for granted are now becoming obsolete. A hand written letter, a hand ironed wardrobe (can’t say I miss this one!), and even a hand prepared meal at home. Yes, cooking is becoming a lost art. The fast food society has fit in perfectly with our fast paced lifestyle. The deli sections in grocery stores are more popular than ever. Some very tasty and quickly prepared foods can be picked up here. The same goes for the frozen food section. There is a wide variety to suit any discriminating palate found here. And, it is all so quick!

Recently, our society is ‘going back’ to eating whole foods. There is a growing trend to steer away from ‘foods’ prepared by huge conglomerates who are only interested in the bottom line. We want to touch, smell, and taste our foods as they were meant to be. Many are experiencing health concerns and turning to natural foods to heal their ailments. Most foods have their roots in medicinal purposes. Remember Hippocrates? That is comforting, I believe.

Contact Marie Buckner at 360.613.1085 to schedule a cooking class.

To show how easy it is to prepare your own healthy meal, let us enjoy a full course meal. I promise that it is all quick, easy, and nutritious!

Avocado Pate (serves 4)
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons Neufchatel cheese or cream cheese
3 small roma tomatoes, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
one-half small celery stalk, diced
one-half orange, peeled and chopped

Mash avocado with fork until smooth. Stir in cheese. Add remaining ingredients. Chill in refrigerator prior to serving.
Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or fresh veggies.

Beet and Carrot Salad (serves 3)
one-half cup beets, peeled and grated
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
4 tablespoons yogurt, plain
4 tablespoons pineapple juice
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons raisins

Combine all ingredients together in medium bowl. Mix thoroughly and serve as either a side dish or as topping on your favorite wholegrain. Adjust amount of yogurt per your liking.

Miso Greens Soup (serves 2)
4 cups water
1 green onion, chopped
one-quarter cup miso, light variety
1 cup spinach, chopped
one-half cup tofu, firm variety, cubed

In a small bowl, dissolve miso into a small amount of hot water. Set aside. Place all ingredients in large saucepan, including miso mixture. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Serve with whole wheat pita bread.

Broccoli Bravado (serves 3)
1 stalk broccoli, peeled and sliced (stems & flowerettes)
one-half cup peas
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cups brown rice, cooked and drained
one-half cup veggie broth
1 garlic clove, minced
one-quarter teaspoon each parsley, rosemary, thyme
1 tablespoons basil leaves, chopped (fresh)

In large skillet, place all ingredients except for rice. Cook over medium heat until veggies are tender. Add more liquid to prevent sticking, if needed. Remove from heat. In large bowl, combine cooked rice and veggie mixture.

Tropical Mousse (serves 4)
1 12-ounce box tofu, silken variety
1 mango, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons coconut
one-quarter cup pineapple chunks
juice of one orange, freshly squeezed

Crumble tofu into blender/food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Puree until pudding-like consistency is reached. Adjust liquid, if needed. Serve chilled. Sprinkle with more coconut prior to serving.