Wednesday WOW: NC Sheroes; “Moving Forward”

Sometimes Sheroes are right in our back yard!  They are the ones that get up everyday, no matter what’s going on at home, in their mind, or in their account and make it happen. No excuses , no delays- they are unselfishly walking in their calling and impressing the world one day, move, and thought at a time.

You may or may not  know their names, or ever spoken to them, but you’ve seen them or results of their incredible work. They are “Sheroes; Moving Forward!”

 

 

 

On April 2nd, at 11″30 am, We will honor our sheroes by resting their capes and revealing why they are so bold, brave and unstoppable!

 

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library presents NC SHEROES  “Moving Forward!”

 

THIS IS OUR 2nd year celebrating with MomsRising NC  and my moms group Queen City Stay At Home Moms.

 

We will honor 6 amazing women, who have made significant contributions to the Women’s movement right here in North Carolina.

After an introduction, we will award each Shero. Then go into a Round-table. Come prepared to find out why women matter and should be empowered to have a voice! Bring a child with you. It’s lessons like these that stick with them!

 

Here is our impressive line up!

Tawanna Ross- Award wining Gospel Hip Hop artist

Asha Sims- Gentle Yoga instructor

Melody Gross- Doula

 Nadine Ford – Farmer/gardener

Cassie Pressley- Teen Vegan Baker

Tina B. – Social activist

Special Guest TBA later.

Sweet Right?!  We’ll see you there! This ceremony is complete with  refreshments! So don’t worry about stopping for breakfast. And …Yes bring the kids, we’ll have a station for them to entertain themselves need be.

April 2,2016

11:30 Am

Beatties Ford Public Library, Charlotte NC

All are welcomed and encourage to attend. Free Parking, Refreshments and Admission

RSVP Here or Here! 

 

This is from last year. More videos are on YouTube. (go on and click it, it’ll show)

Advertisements

Smash Cakes: Because your Baby is the King/Queen Of All Babies!

Nine babies and I only had 2 smash cakes! What was I thinking of? They are so cute, fun, and just plain smart!

????????????????????????????????????

I know a great vegan baker in Charlotte NC. See Cassie Sweetz

Who wants a cake a lil hand all over their cake? REALLY??? Lil Mikey can be the cutest thing since Kermit the Frog, but uuugh, I’ll pass on the booger laced slime delight.

A smash cake is typically given to the birthday child at the first birthday celebration and is to be smashed, smeared, enjoyed and eaten by the birthday boy or birthday girl (remember to take lots of photos for the album!). Increasingly, people are making two cakes for the 1st birthday party: a smash cake and the main decorated birthday cake. The birthday guest of honor gets to have fun with the smash cake while the main birthday cake can be enjoyed by the guests, untouched by little hands.

whispered-inspirations-giant-cupcake_ cassie smashed

racheldomesticated-monster-cakeCassie sweetzcake-14

There are several ways to create a first birthday smash cake. A smash cake is usually a mini cake that matches the party theme, however any cake will do. The smash cake can be as simple as a vanilla cupcake (a giant cupcake is perfect) or as complex as a smaller version of the main cake. The possibilities are endless!

Remember to remove any cookie sticks, decorative pix or candles before you serve the smash cake and be sure to spread newspapers under your child’s chair to catch the mess!

Order it from Cassie’s Sweetz or make it your self! Or you can click on the links of each picture for more details.

PRETTY IN PINK CAKE

Rose Levy Beranbaum’s white velvet cake is my go-to cake for birthdays. You can pair it with almost any frosting or filling. Although Beranbaum prefers a non-chocolate frosting on this cake like this one, I think a silky chocolate buttercream frosting works just fine here if it’s not overly chocolate-y.

If you have only two 9-inch pans like I do, follow this recipe to make the first two layers. After they have cooled and you have another pan available, halve the recipe to make a third layer. This will give you three 1 1/8-inch cake layers.

INGREDIENTS:

For The Cake:4 1/2 large egg whites
1 cup milk
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

DIRECTIONS:

STEP 1: MAKE THE CAKE

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with butter and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease tops of parchment paper and dust lightly with flour.

Combine ¼ cup milk, the egg whites and the vanilla in a bowl and set aside.

Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low for 30 seconds. Add the butter and remaining ¾ cup milk, and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (or high if you’re using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 ½ minutes. Scrape down the sides, and add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition.

Scrape the batter into the pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. The pans should be about ½ full. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. You will want the cake to spring back when pressed lightly.

Cool the cakes for 10 minutes, then loosen the sides with a knife or spatula. Remove from pans.

STEP 2: MAKE THE FROSTING

Make your favorite frosting. I am partial to an Italian meringue buttercream.

STEP 3: ASSEMBLE AND FROST THE CAKE

Using a cake leveler, evenly cut the tops off the cake so the layers are equal height.

Spread an even layer of frosting on top of the first cake layer and stick the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the frosting is set. Add the second cake layer and repeat with frosting and freezer time. Add the third layer and spread a thin layer of frosting on top of the cake and around the sides of the cake – this is your crumb coat. Put cake in the freezer for 5 minutes or until frosting is set. Add a final thin layer of frosting to the top and sides of the cake, making sure it has a smooth finish. Place the cake in the freezer, covered, until you’re ready to decorate.

STEP 4: DECORATE THE CAKE

For the final fondant decoration, please see Not Without Salt’s instructions. I used 2 lbs of red buttercream fondant (with some leftover) and 4 lbs of white buttercream fondant (with some leftover). I used “antique white” to cover the cake and “wedding white” to make the strips.

If you’re making a 9-inch cake, you will need another set of hands to help you wrap the fondant around the cake, that is, unless you come up with a better system or technique than I did. If so, please share!

It’s your baby’s first birthday! Let him dig into his first birthday cake toddler-style with an adorable smash cake that’s almost too cute to eat. Almost.

101 More ideas-

Everything Else to Know about Smash Cakes

Just a lot of pretty ideas-

(Be sure to click all of the links in this post for more details)

Capsaicin Cream Recipe

Did I tell you about my “40 by 40” mission? Okay, so here it is. This October, I will be 40. Clothes I loved from years back, I can’t get in them any more. It’s beginning to show in my face and I can’t suck it in anymore. Because of those reasons, I’ve been hitting the gym 5 days a week for a total of 13.5 hours a week. Well, it caught up with me last weekend. I was a mess. I couldn’t move my pelvic area from the front to buttocks. The pain was crippling to say the least.

But the Classes Were Fun! 1436022038506

As the organizer for Queens Fitness, I couldn’t miss a workout!  Sunday Night it came to an end. I was bedridden,broken, and bored! First thing I did was fast. The plan was to minimize trips to the bathroom.  I didn’t want to break anyone’s back either.. Needless to say, I loved the fact that had so many shoulders and hands to take care of me. Yet loathe being dependent.  I pulled out my phone and began to look for low toxic remedies. ( well, I actually call my local herbalist, but it took her too long to respond & I had already taken 2 store brand pain pills ) Here’s what I found:

Cayenne-1400x500

 Capsaicin Relief  Recipe  –

 Capsaicin the substance that makes chile peppers hot, has been found to reduce pain in arthritis patients when topically applied repeatedly over several is weeks.  Researchers have found that it reduces substance P which is found at nerve endings and is involved in transmitting pain signals to the brain.

You will need…
-3 cups of grapeseed oil, or any other oil like almond, jojoba, or olive
-3 tablespoons of ground cayenne                                   -1/2 cup of beeswax
-3 tablespoons of turmeric                                                 -2 tablespoons of ground ginger
-A double boiler

Directions:
Mix together 3 tablespoons of ground cayenne, 3 tablespoons of turmeric, and 2 tablespoons of ground ginger. Add this to 3 cups of grapeseed oil in a double boiler and stir until mixed thoroughly. Warm over medium heat for 5-10 minutes and then add in 1/2 cup of beeswax. Stir until the beeswax has melted completely and everything is blended together, and then remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes take it out and whisk it together and then refrigerate for another 10, blending it once more at the end. Put in a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid in the refrigerator, where it will keep for 1 ½ weeks. Apply as needed for pain, but with this cream, rub in as much as you can and then let it dry before rinsing off. The turmeric will really stain. Important note on use!

INGREDIENTS

  • about 1/2 cup coconut oil 
  • 1 1/4 cups finely grated, packed cocoa butter (I used a cheese grater)*
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne powder
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 15 drops peppermint oil**
  • 15 drops eucalyptus oil
  • 8 drops clove oil***
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder or non-GMO cornstarch (optional – reduces oily finish)

* If you prefer to skip grating and use weight to measure the total should be about 2 oz. THIS recipe came from ‘Massage By Denise’ -go there for the directions…

med

NOTE:
If you don’t want the little bits of spices in there, follow the steps below to get a smooth infused oil to use in the cream (this makes it easier to get absorbed.)
Mix together your oil and spices for whichever recipe you choose to do. Heat over medium heat in a double boiler for 15 minutes, and then remove it to cool and infuse for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, strain through a cheesecloth and reserve the infused oil. After it is strained melt the beeswax in a double boiler, and pour in the infused oil. Stir until blended thoroughly, and then follow the same steps for chilling, whipping, and storing as above.

Warning: These spices stain. Wear an apron or clothes you don’t mind putting at risk when making these.

And the classes will be fun again after I’m back on my feet! QueensFitness

The links is loaded with resources too-

Cayenne 1

Capsaicin

Capsaicin Cream

Chemo Pops

Hope this proves to be a blessing for you as well. If so tell me about it!

QC Supermom

Friday Four: When to send your plate back to the kitchen

You LIVED and planned for Friday, Mother’s Day weekend. At the same time you know that you are presenting a gift as valuable as what you are expecting (your time and money) But there is a disconnect!

poor-customer-service1

Here’s what happened:

You and your husband are sitting in a chain restaurant. The waiter approaches and ask what will you have to drink. Since you’ve already waited 20 minutes just to be seated with the menu, you already know what you want to eat. Your meal is different from your husbands, so you ask that the salad is brought out when his food is ready. All is well as you sip your lemon water, and begin to chat, relax and you know, people watch. (what else do you do when there are no kids to tame?)

bad service

30 more minutes passed and a lop sided salad arrives for you and nothing for your husband. You swiftly ask, “Why is this here? It should come out with everything else. I don’t want to eat before my husband.” The waiter didn’t have an answer. He responds, “I don’t know. I told them to hold it when I went back there.” …Yes, I know. That isn’t an answer.

So here’s how it actually ended: With it being  7:40 pmish’, I knew that I was going out later,so I reserved a lot of my calories. I was hungry,and tired of watching my clock. Once I showed the disappointment in my face, the worn out manager approaches. He too comes with a lame excuse. His reasoning included the fact that one of our orders came from a grill and it took longer. Come on……. (Did they teach him that in management 101?) After he dismissed himself with a “It will be out shortly,” I decided it was time for me to leave.   That was not the place that I wanted my money to be invested in. I do not want to convey in any why they I accepted how they handled this situation. We went across the street to Chilli’s, got seated, served, and receipted within 45 mins AND we saved money!

I used to carry around fake bills (obviously fake, like monopoly or those bills that say "haha, fooled you" on them) for bad waiters.

I used to carry around fake bills (obviously fake, like monopoly or those bills that say “haha, fooled you” on them) for bad waiters.

We ended the night perfectly with Ex Machina, which I though was a good movie. But that’s a whole other blog post! For now, check out my 4 top reasons to leave  or send your food back to the chef.  

1. When it comes to your table like it has made by your 4 year old. Most states have the “law of Merchantibility”: states and product sold must meet minimum requirements for what it is advertised at.

2. When the manager makes excuses for awful service. (He’s not working for tips, what gives?)

3. When the menu have nothing that you REALLY want to eat, AND it’s more than you would normally to pay. (My boys lemonade stand is more impressive!)

4. Leave if you get a chance to see the manger and he looks like he just pulled a double. Chances are he’s overworked/underpaid and overwhelmed.

Complain on the spot to the waiter or waitress. If they don’t sort it out, ask to speak to the manager and tell them why you are unhappy. The restaurant may offer to reduce the bill or give you a complimentary drink but you can’t refuse to pay the bill because the service was poor.

think

See more:

Respect Your Money, it has fueling power!

Bad Service at a Restaurant: What Would You Do?

Restaurant Rights:

 Bad service/food, what can you do?

How often do you complain in a restaurant?

We don’t eat out too often, but when we do we go to a place we know has good food and good service. It’s too expensive to spend all that money on something just to end up disappointed. Speak up with your dollars & have a great weekend ya’ll!

Oh Snap, Take That Back!

So last week I was talking about the new measures congress is pondering for EBT /SNAP families.They want to cut, ban, food items from the SNAP/ EBT budget.snapp

 Billions of dollars in proposed cuts to SNAP in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate budgets despite the fact that one in five kids in the U.S. rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) for their meals each day. Ridiculously, some in Congress are still pushing those cuts.-Elyssa, MomsRising.org

Today, I will play devils advocate. The argument is about high end items, junk food, and cleaning up food fraud. While I do think some items could be re-categorized….nothing should be cut. sna Last week, I gave my friend  a ride to the market to pick up some items. While she shopped, I sat on a bench near the market’s doors and wait for her. A few minutes later I saw a young girl (who couldn’t have been older than 4 or 5) pushing a shopping cart  filled with junk food, soda, microwave pizza, and those big containers of ice cream. And I mean filled. So naturally, this little girl was struggling. The cart was wobbling all over the place and she was using a great deal of strength just to push the thing forward. shit foodThat urked me. I am sad for the children that has to eat that stuff. I’ve seen a child’s face as she has tasted her first pineapple or homemade lasagna.  They WILL eat real food. But again, I can’t tell parents how to feed their family, so I put my hands on my cart and keep it moving. Sure, I’ll look back every once in a while, but I keep moving.  Don’t act like you haven’t done it before. Now check out this gift basket?  A friend shared this on my SHIT EBTsocial media page.What a cruel joke! This type of basket will have your child diagnosed with diabetes in 3 days flat!  There is no real food in here. Re categorize it. Since sugar is a drug… much like alcohol. In closing maybe fake food should be considered fraud and the corrective action should be to teach shoppers how to select better quality, budget shop, and properly store food and why? Just My Opinion. Moms and dads need to speak up and tell Congress “hands off of SNAP!   What FNS is doing about Fraud

States want drug tests for welfare recipients.

(last post on this topic will be this Wednesday) Be Well, QC Supermom

And I DOULA!

I was asked during a recent interview,“How do you handle being a doula when you have young kids?” My answer:I love what I do, I have an supportive family and a wonderful gym membership!” (read more on that here: )  Jabela the doula

I think most moms would do well at it! The truth is, giving birth is strikingly similar to mothering: It’s usually chaotic, sometimes stressful, rarely pretty, never easy. You might feel like you’re failing even when you’re not; sometimes, it will feel impossible. But you’ll press through anyway, because forward is the only option. When you do, your doula will be with you. Not just because she’s been there, but because she loves it and lives it!

For those who do not know what a dolua is I’ll explain. Benefits of a Doula

A doula is “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.

A Birth Doula  Ashley hired  doula Jabelaa

  • Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
  • Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
  • Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
  • Stays with the woman throughout the labor
  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
  • Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
  • Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of the birth experience
  • Allows the woman’s partner to participate at his/her comfort level

Research evidence shows that the quality services of a postpartum doula can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to a family, improve parental satisfaction and reduce the risk of mood disorders.

 

A Postpartum Doula

  • Offers education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester
  • Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying
  • Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and makes appropriate referrals when necessary

Postpartum doula

It’s World Doula Week -Mar ch 22-28th

The purpose of World Doula Week (“WDW”) is to empower doulas all over the world to improve the physiological, social, emotional, and psychological health of women, newborns and families in birth and in the postpartum period.

Here’s a little more information onAshley -with Jabela the  Doula

postpartum-recovery

My doula service, The Pink Grasshopper is named after my oldest daughter.  I have great holistic mom /baby supplies over there.

I’m on Twitter too. Follow me over here also. I’ll start a few raffles soon once I get some traffic over there .

Check out my Pinterest Board!It’s LOADED with hard to find birthing information!

Need to increase your milk supply? Buy these awesome lactation treats! Cassie is a teen baker from Charlotte NC and makes all sorts of GMO, Vegan and Organic treats!  – Cassie Sweetz

Now Go Have A baby and call me in the morning,

QC Supermom

Friday Four: Drop The Food Dye and No One Gets Hurt!

By now you may know that we do not celebrate Easter. But we love to play with our food and for that  reason, we don’t have to wait for a holiday to do so. We have learned over time which plants and fruits to use to give us wonderful colors that the children LOVE! food col

FDA.gov: “Without color additives, colas wouldn’t be brown, margarine wouldn’t be yellow and mint ice cream wouldn’t be green. Color additives are now recognized as an important part of practically all processed foods we eat.”

Huffingtonpost.com: “These dyes have no purpose whatsoever other than to sell junk food.”

100 days of real food Lisa LeakeCSPInet.org: “These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody. The Food and Drug Administration should ban dyes, which would force industry to color foods with real food ingredients, not toxic petrochemicals.” Lisa Leake Of 100Days Of Real Food

So what is a food color? It’s a food color, or color additive, is any dye, pigment or substance that imparts color when added or applied to a food, drug, cosmetic, or the human body.  There are two categories of food colors that are permitted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): certified color additives and colors that are exempt from certification.   Forget all of that. The FDA  will allow questionable “food -like” things in our food. Take the initiative and make your own. It’s not that hard.

Here’s the top four to look out for:

RED- usually has Red 40, crushed bugs The primary reason is to make up for color losses in foods which occur when food is exposed to air, light, moisture,modified, and variations in temperature. (These popular colorants, which today are used to impart a deep red shade to fruit juices, gelatin’s, candies, shampoos, and more)  INSTEAD TRY:

red

 

  • Red cabbage, boiled or juiced
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Raspberries
  • Beets/beetroot (boiled or juiced)
  • Red bell pepper (roasted and pureed)
  • Paprika (add powder directly, or dissolve in water)

For purple/ blue- aka “FD&C Blue No. 1” This sucks because too much of these fun, and pretty food-like items will destroy your gastrointestinal system.  INSTEAD TRY:

Cake pops

 

  • Red cabbage, boiled or juiced
  • Eggplant/aubergine skin, boiled or juiced
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Beets/beetroot (boiled or juiced)

Cassie Sweets make GMO treats of all sorts using plants as color bases*

Green- I know that you don’t want a bladder tumor, but it can happen with an overload of green food dye.     INSTEAD TRY:

 

  • Kale, boiled or juiced
  • Spinach, boiled or juiced
  • Water cress, boiled or juiced

Yellow/Orange – My young boys would grab this JUST because of the color! yellow-drink-bottle-120622

When you eat things with Yellow 5, you lose zinc through your urine and saliva. If you have ADHD, you lose it even faster than someone without ADHD (Ward 1990, 1997). Zinc, an essential trace mineral, is required by hundreds of your body’s enzymes involved with the metabolism of protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol. Zinc is also critical for wound healing, sense of taste and smell, immune system function, bone strength, thyroid function, blood clotting, cognitive functions, prenatal development, and sperm production. Even a mild deficiency can produce a wide range of physical and mental problems. INSTEAD TRY:

  • Carrots, boiled or juiced
  • Saffron (not our favourite choice as it tends to be expensive and imparts a fairly strong flavor)
  • Turmeric (either dissolve in water or add powder directly – it has a fairly mellow flavor that is easily masked)
  • Golden beets (they impart a very dark yellow color – almost brown!)

Tests on lab animals of Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 showed signs of causing cancer or suffered from serious flaws, said the consumer group. Yellow 5 also caused mutations, an indication of possible carcinogenicity, in six of 11 tests.
These risks are just not worth my families health. The first thing you can do is become more food-label conscious. I guess it’s like they say when you know better, you do better!

Here’s more food Insight

Colors That Prevent Cancer: Foods of the Rainbow 

The Dangerous Impact of Food Coloring

Click here for even more scientific information on food dyes

Total Total Wellness,

~QC Supermom

 

Can ya Cook? Nationwide Casting for Cooking Competition Series

Anyone who knows their way around the kitchen usually has that one meal that they make better than anyone else. That one dish that is often imitated, but never duplicated by other family members…What’s your signature dish?

(Right below is my oldest son on the grill at the beach. He could win this contest if you don’t act fast! ) The other image is my meatballs. Not many can duplicate them!

Jervon cooksmeatball

MysticArt Pictures and a Major Broadcast Network are conducting a Nationwide Casting for New Family Cooking Competition Series!

In this good natured show, the man of the house will find out who is the better home cook, his wife or his mother. Casting is looking for fun and entertaining women – both wives and mother-in-laws – who may not agree on cooking methods or how they run their kitchens and who are ready for a friendly, family cook off! Families should have strong cooking skills. Contestants do not have to be chefs, but must be confident in the kitchen.

cook con

Selected families will be flown to New York City for a two-day shoot and will receive compensation.

To Submit: email familycookscasting@gmail.com with:

1) Names and ages of the husband, wife & mother-in-law

2) City and state of residence

3) Best contact phone number

4) A little information of why your family is ready to compete in the kitchen!

Event:       Casting for New Family Cooking Competition Series
Location:   Mystic Arts Pictures,United States of America
Starting on: 02/27/2015
Ending on:  03/19/2015

So if you are you the queen of the kitchen in your family? Now is your chance to show off your skills!! Go sizzle!

Best wishes!

QC Supermom

This is where I got the lead from

 

Wednesday WOW: Let’s Get The Kids In The Kitchen.

four little boys cookingInvolving your kids in the kitchen enhances their appreciation and basic knowledge of different foods and good nutrition. You can teach them safe ways to handle food as well as simple cooking techniques. Plus, the time spent together is invaluable family time and encourages a lifetime of healthy eating.8 yr old shredding cheese

I like to look in various magazines, cookbook newspaper ads,, and even old menus for inspiration on what to cook. Now don’t get me wrong, I have also passed by other people and have secretly drooled at what they are indulging.

For us, not much is off limits. There are many ways to make just about everything healthier and tastier to enjoy.

Here’s how my large family create a healthy meal together.

1. We look to see what we have and note what we need. Coupons can be grabbed from the Sunday paper and online. In the fridge, we look for:

            1. Freshness
            2. Enough  of the ingredient for the recipe
            3. Something everyone can and will want to eat.

2.We determine who will do what. This is based on each ones age and ability to safely follow directions. There are six children in the home ranging from two to sixteen; a helper or two is never hard to find.

For most children you can give the following kitchen jobs:

2-4- year olds children can stir, roll, and even mash ingredients in a large deep bowl. This age group, however, needs very close adult supervision since their dexterity and motor skills are still developing.

5-7  year olds can help with reading  recipes, measuring, juicing, and prepping, and gathering certain ingredients. They may still need reminders to watch their fingers during grating and peeling.

8-11 year olds can cut, use specialty appliances like the panini press, waffle, ice cream maker, bigger knives and maybe even able to roast veggies. Now with a grasp of some basic cooking skills and an appreciation for the rules of the kitchen, young cooks are ready to take on more complex tasks using more kitchen equipment.  Of course, close and constant supervision are required at all times.

12 & up* This group can place and remove food from the oven, and even help create a healthy menu for an entire  week.

Here’s one of our weekly meals. Lasagna

Ingredients:Young boy cooking pasta

  • 1 pound dry pasta
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey* (meat is optional- we use meat alternatives)
  • 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
  • 8 ounces muenster cheese (we dice it our self to save money)
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese (we dice it our self to save money)
  • Sprinkles of salt, flax seeds,and pepper to taste

four  year old cookingDirections-

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.In a large skillet, brown onion and “crumbled meat” over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Layer as follows: 1/2 of the pasta, mixed cheeses,1/2 sauce mixture, remaining mixed pasta, cheeses and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.five year old cooking

Tilapia and Green Tea

Why teach children how to cook?

  • Cooking can be a fun time to bond with your kids, as well teach basic cooking education(importance of proper food safety practices, including food storage and kitchen hygiene ).Your kids will become more independent and confident.
  • Before they leave home, they should know how to successfully cook and eat well when on their own.
  • Teach them the difference between food and highly processed food items. If you don’t have a garden consider starting a container garden and shopping from a farmers market.

Get more information here;

Food A fact Of Life

Why is Farm-to-School Important?

Noodles does NOT come from a can!

ENJOY!- QC Supermom

Friday Four: Habari Gani?

We LOVE to celebrate Kwanzaa! I wish more people knew and lived by the 7 principles. Being that it’s our 5th year celebrating it, I figured I would share everything I have learned thus far about it. Ready? Here we go………

OK, so it’s a pretty young holiday created by Dr. Karenga ( Maulana Karenga, born  Ronald McKinley Everett )y

The name Kwanzaa comes from a phrase of Swahili origin, “Matunda Ya Kwanza”, and translates as “First Fruits of the Harvest”. The holiday is actually based on African agricultural rites and communal activities. One of the holiday’s main goals is to cause those of African descent to look back to their cultural roots as a source of celebration.

Kwanzaa is recognized from December 26 thru January 1 every year. It is not political, religious or related to Christmas. Learn more about the history, purpose and origins of Kwanzaa: http://bit.ly/1liRRP6

Here’s how to celebrate it in your home, community:

1. Decorate your home or the main room with the symbols of Kwanzaa. Put a green tablecloth over a centrally located table, and on top of that, place the Mkeka which is a straw or woven mat that symbolizes the historical foundation of African ancestry. Place the following on the Mkeka:

  • Mazao — fruit or crops placed in a bowl, representing the community’s productivity.
  • Kinara — a seven-pronged candle-holder.
  • Mishumaa Saba — the seven candles which represent the seven core principles of Kwanzaa. Three candles on the left are red, representing struggle; three on the right are green, representing hope; and one in the center is black, signifying the African American people or those who draw their heritage from Africa.
  • Muhindi — ears of corn. Lay out one ear of corn for each child; if there are no children, place two ears to represent the children of the community.
  • Zawadi — various gifts for the children.
  • Kikombe cha Umoja — a cup to represent family and community unity.

2.Decorate around the room with Kwanzaa flags, called Bendera, and posters emphasizing the seven principles. You can purchase or make these, and it’s especially fun to make them with the kids.

3. Practice the Kwanzaa greetings. Starting on December 26, greet everyone by saying “Habari Gani” which is a standard Swahili greeting meaning “what is the news?” If someone greets you, respond with the principle (Nguzo Saba) for that day:

  • December 26: “Umoja” — Unity
  • December 27: “Kujichagulia” — Self-determination
  • December 28: “Ujima” — Collective work and responsibility
  • December 29: “Ujamaa” — Cooperative economics
  • December 30: “Nia” — Purpose
  • December 31: “Kuumba” — Creativity
  • January 1: “Imani” — Faith.
  • Non African-Americans are also welcome to participate in greetings. The traditional greeting for them is “Joyous Kwanzaa.” dhf

4. Light the Kinara daily. Since each candle represents a specific principle, they are lit one day at a time, in a certain order. The black candle is always lit first. Some people light the remaining candles from left to right (red to green) while other people alternate as follows:

  • Black candle
  • Far left red candle
  • Far right green candle
  • Second red candle
  • Second green candle
  • Last red candle
  • Last green candle

BONUS: 5.ba

Celebrate Kwanzaa in a variety of different ways. Pick and choose some or all of the following activities throughout the seven days of Kwanzaa, saving the feast for the sixth day. Kwanzaa ceremony may include:
  • Drumming and musical selections.
  • Readings of the African Pledge and the Principles of Blackness.
  • Reflections on the Pan-African colors, discussions of African principles of the day, or recitations of chapters in African history.
  • The candle-lighting ritual of the Kinara.
  • Artistic performances.

6.Have the Kwanzaa Karamu (feast) on the sixth day (New Year’s Eve). The Kwanzaa feast is a very special event that brings everyone closer to their African roots. It is traditionally held on December 31st and is a communal and cooperative effort. Decorate the place where the feast will be held in a red, green, and black scheme. A large Kwanzaa setting should dominate the room where the feast will be held. A large Mkeka should be placed in the center of the floor where the food is placed creatively and made accessible to all to serve themselves. Before and during the feast, an informative and entertaining program should be presented.

  • Traditionally, the program should involve welcoming, remembering, reassessment, recommitment and rejoicing concluded by a farewell statement and a call for greater unity.
  • During the feast, drinks are to be shared from a communal cup, the Kikombe cha Umoja, passed around to all celebrants.pp

7.Give out the gifts of Kumba. Kuumba, meaning creativity, is highly encouraged and brings a sense of self-satisfaction. The gifts are usually exchanged between the parents and children and are given out traditionally on January 1st, the last day of Kwanzaa. Since the giving of gifts has very much to do with Kuumba, the gifts should be of an educational or artistic nature.

These principles, if followed will be a blessing to your family life. I have seen the enhancements to my tribe and I know it’s because of the year long lessons we receive in just these seven little days of the year.

-QC Supermom

Habari Gani!

Habari Gani!