Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Cooking with Kids: To Die For Blueberry Muffins

My girls asked me to make blueberry muffins when they had friends spend the night.  Of course I wanted extra good ones to impress their friends so I looked for a really good recipe.  I found one called To Die For Blueberry Muffins that truly did look like they might be to die for.  I whipped them up. and sure enough they almost were to die for.  My girls (ages 11 and 8) asked to make them on their own today.  The recipe is simple so I just turned them loose. (We have cooked together enough that they know how to measure correctly, spoon flour into a cup instead of scooping it, etc.)  They did need a bit of help from me, but mostly they did it all on their own.  Our crumble doesn't turn out like the one in the picture, but it does taste delicious.  In the end, that's what matters most, right?

To Die For Blueberry Muffins

Click Here for Original Recipe

Makes 8 - 12 muffins depending on the size of your muffin tins.  Our standard Wilton pan makes 12.

Ingredients:

     Batter

  • 1 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 3/4  C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 C milk
  • 1 C fresh blueberries (we used frozen and it worked fine)

     Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/3 C all purpose flour (we plan to add a bit more next time - our topping was more crusty than crumbly)
  • 1/4 C butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions: 

(My 11 year old mixed the batter all alone.  My 8 year old mixed the topping with just a little help from me.)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 C flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place 1/3 C vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups almost to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.  
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.  This is a great job for younger helpers.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.














Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Radiator Springs 500 1/2 - Cars Toons: Tales from Radiator Springs

My little boy wasn't even alive when the first Cars movie hit theaters and now he's six but it's still a very popular movie, especially at our house.  It seems he can't get enough of the funny characters, especially Mater, who has only gotten sillier in the Cars Toons series of shorts.  This summer The Radiator Springs 500 1/2 was released and we've watched it at least 1,000 times.  If you have a Cars fan but haven't seen this fun short yet, you can watch it below.

Thanks Disney!



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fun with Fractured Fairy Tales

Buy Dog Tales Here
A fractured fairy tale is a classic fairy tale, told with a twist.  My kids love reading them.  One of our favorite books is Dog Tales, a collection of fairy tales featuring dogs instead of people, who have names like Rapawnzul and Little Red Riding Hound.  Cats are always the villains, dogs wear dresses and every story has a funny quirk.

These books are fabulous ways to engage with kids as you read together.  Especially with younger kids who may not be familiar enough with the original stories to really find the humor in the fractured tales, I like to start by reading the un-fractured version.  Then I introduce the silly one and tell the kids I want them to see if they spot any differences between the two.  They love pointing out how the books differ, but also how they are the same.  This is a really great way to truly engage in story time.

Many kids also love writing their own fractured tales.  When they first begin, their stories will probably mirror the ones you've read.  That's okay. They're still building those story teller muscles.  As kids get older and become more experienced writers, their stories will be more original and even more fun to read.  To ratchet the fun level even higher, involve the whole family in writing a new story.  Assign your fastest writer as scribe and start throwing ideas out there.      After the story is written, everyone can have a ball illustrating it.  When you're finished, you'll have a terrific family heirloom.

There are many wonderful fractured fairy tales out there.  Choose one had have fun!