Happy Fall! This month for FoodWorks we show you how to make an easy lunch or hearty afterschool snack: English Muffin Pizzas! What’s great about this recipe, is that older children can safely make them independently using a toaster oven. Adding the jack-o-lantern face makes this snack fun and creative- it may even get children to try toppings they may not otherwise try! The FoodWorks program is a partnership between the museum and Hannaford supermarkets to provide healthy, family friendly recipe ideas and activities.
- English Muffins- try whole wheat or whatever kind your family prefers
- Sliced cheese - or you can use shredded cheese- we chose orange cheese!
- Pizza sauce, your favorite tomato sauce
- Optional toppings: black olives, green or red peppers, pepperoni
You will also need: a cup or round cookie cutter, paring knife, and a spoon
This is almost too easy to call a recipe, but we will walk you through making the jack-o-lantern faces! Children can help assemble these, and they cook quickly in a toaster oven.
- Cut the english muffins in half
- Use a spoon to add your favorite pasta or pizza sauce to the english muffins
- Take one slice or orange cheese, and use a cup to press into it a circular shape. You can also use a round cookie cutter for this step if you have one
- This step needs some help from a grown up: carefully cute triangles for eyes, and a mouth shape out of the cheese
- Alternatively: cut up some ingredients ahead of time, like peppers, olives, and pepperoni, and children can create the jack-o-lantern face on their own pizzas using either sliced or shredded cheese
- Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or cook in the toaster oven for about 10 minutes (toaster oven settings vary, so it’s a good idea to check and be sure they do not overcook)
Alternatives and Variations:
Here are some links to recipes for Jack-O-Lantern Pizzas using various methods and ingredients:
- Pumpkin Pizza Recipe From Pillsbury -this recipe uses a similar method to ours, but they use pepperoni to make the face, and add basil for a pumpkin stem
- Jack-O-Lantern Pizzas From Taste of Home -this recipe adds some ground beef for protein, and they use shredded cheese and olives and peppers to make the faces
- Jack-o-lantern Pizzas Using Pitas From Land-o-Lakes - This recipe uses pitas for a base instead of english muffins, which is a good option for anyone who does not like english muffins.
- If your family does not prefer english muffins, try using pitas like the recipe above, or another pre-made crust that would be quick and easy to assemble.
- Some of the recipes show ideas to make a cat, vampire, or a monster face on your pizzas. These are so fun for Halloween- Enjoy!
By Meredith Brustlin, CMNH Educator
Foodworks is such a fun program that we host at The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire. It promotes healthy eating, families cooking together, and delicious food that you can find at your neighborhood Hannaford!
I have to say, the recipe I’m sharing today is now a favorite of mine. It’s so awesome that I actually kept myself awake a little bit last night thinking about how excited I was to make it again in the morning...it’s true! There’s nothing NOT to like about it!
I am sharing sheet pan pancakes today. This recipe is a huge time saver, it’s an easy one for adults and children to create together, has lots of opportunities for food creativity, and is ready in about 20 minutes--no standing over the griddle for hours flipping flapjacks!
Here’s how to make your own!
First - gather your ingredients
- 2 cups pancake mix (I used Hannaford brand, obviously!)
- 1 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- These are up to you! I used blueberries on one portion of my pancake and raspberries with chocolate chips on another--and left some plain!
- Also, I used frozen fruit for my toppings and it cooks up just fine, but feel free to use fresh or whatever you have on hand.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
- Prep your pan/pans by putting down a sheet of parchment paper and a quick spray of cooking oil.
- I used a 10 X 14 “jelly roll” pan. Just make sure it has edges and isn’t one of those flat cookie sheets. My pan made my pancake quite fluffy--which I loved! If you’d like your pancake a little flatter, use a slightly bigger pan.
- In a mixing bowl, add pancake mix, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until smooth.
- Pour the batter onto your pan and spread it out evenly
- Add your toppings!
- Cooking time will vary depending on your oven and the thickness of your pancake. I set my timer for 7 minutes, checked it, and then set it for an additional 3 minutes. It can take anywhere between 5-15 minutes so stay close and keep checking!
More thoughts (I told you, I really like this recipe):
- I love that this recipe bakes the pancake instead of frying it. Not only does this cut down on the amount of oil used to create the recipe, it also cuts down on mess and clean-up! (And, I don’t know if it’s just me and my old house--but whenever we make pancakes on the stove, our house smells like burning pancake oil for ~48 hours---not the case with this recipe!)
- Instead of a normal pancake mixture that might only use water, this recipe adds in milk and eggs to give it a bit more protein.
- The toppings are so fun! You can really add whatever you want to this. I like that it can all be done in a single pan--so if the grown-ups are craving some blueberries and kids just want plain pancakes, it’s still all finished, warm, and ready to eat at the same time.
Thank you to Hannaford for sponsoring this great program! I hope you enjoy sheet pan pancakes!
Our latest FoodWorks (Sponsored by Hannaford!) event here at the museum was all about healthy desserts and sweet treats. We had a blast and many of our visitors wanted the recipes for our tasty snacks.
Here’s what was on the menu:
KETTLECORN (Popcorn Indiana brand, in the red bag)
- Popcorn is a snack that is a healthy whole grain and a good source of fiber
VANILLA GREEK YOGURT with blueberries and mini chocolate chips
- Vanilla Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and calcium. Blueberries are full of healthy vitamins and a bit of chocolate makes this healthy snack a sweet treat!
COCONUT YOGURT CARAMEL DIP with green apples
- Caramel, usually made with heavy cream, is replaced with coconut milk yogurt in this recipe—which makes it a healthy alternative without all the fat, calories, corn syrup or artificial ingredients.
NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE AND SUN-BUTTER COOKIE BITES
- These cookies are a nut-free alternative to popular peanut butter no-bakes but have a similar flavor! The sun butter also makes them a high protein snack—but they are not high in added sugar!
The only two desserts that required any “cooking” effort (and it was very little) were the caramel dip and no-bake cookies. The recipes for those are below.
Healthy Caramel Yogurt Dip
(Makes about 1 cup)
- One container yogurt (We used So Delicious coconut milk yogurt) (170g)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Put maple syrup, salt and brown sugar in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high in 10-second intervals until brown sugar starts to dissolve (If you do not have a microwave, heat in a small saucepan until sugar dissolves—or you can skip this step and just add the additional ingredients!)
- Stir in vanilla extract and yogurt
- Allow to cool
- This will get thicker if you leave it in the fridge overnight
- Store leftovers in the fridge up to four days.
Original Source: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/10/25/caramel-yogurt-dip/
No-Bake Chocolate and Sun-Butter Cookie Bites
- 1 cup oats
- ½ cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup sunflower seed butter
- 1-2 tbsp milk of choice
- Mix-ins (optional): tart cherries, dried blueberries, chia seeds, coconut flakes
- Place chocolate in microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between, to melt (or heat in a saucepan on the stove)
- Stir in sunflower seed butter, milk, oats and other add-ins (if using). Add splash of milk.
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper and drop cookies on using spoons
- Place another sheet of wax paper on top and gently “smush” them down
- Refrigerate at least two hours and then enjoy!
Have fun trying these healthy desserts at home!
Later today, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire will host our third Mini Iron Chef Challenge as part of FoodWorks, our partnership with Hannaford Supermarkets. Museum Educator Meghan, who led our last FoodWorks event, is back at the helm again.
The original Iron Chef started in Japan in 1993, with the dubbed versions airing in the United States on The Food Network becoming so popular that Iron Chef America debuted on the network in 2005 and is still producing episodes today. A hallmark of each episode of Iron Chef in all its incarnations is the secret ingredient.
Secret ingredients from the history of the television series include such diverse selections as Asparagus, Eggplant, Lobster, Tilapia, Beets, Ostrich, Mango, Apples, Squid, Coconut, Wild Chinook Salmon and Zucchini.
During past CMNH FoodWorks Mini Iron Chef challenges, the secret ingredients were revealed to be applesauce and vanilla yogurt. What will today’s secret ingredient be? We can promise you that Ostrich and Wild Chinook Salmon will definitely NOT be revealed to be this year’s secret ingredient!
Each Adult/Child pair will be making pizza for our panel of judges. The teams have been given a list of ingredients that will be available to them. How will they react when they find out the secret ingredient? How will they adapt it to the recipe they’ve been practicing at home?
Stay tuned for pictures, the Judges’ Results, and a report on all the delicious fun!
My name is Meghan and I am an educator at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire. I want to tell you about a great event I recently led as part of our FoodWorks series.
Every two months, CMNH – in partnership with Hannaford Grocery Stores – hosts an edition of our FoodWorks series. In the past, we’ve focused on creating quick and nutritious meals, educating families about food allergies, and hosting our own Local Roots Food Fair. FoodWorks is a great series that focuses on healthy eating for the whole family. There are many reasons that we love the FoodWorks events, but what I enjoy most about it is getting to work with Heidi Kerman, Registered Dietician for Hannaford. Having Heidi on hand to answer the many questions museum families have about nutrition makes a fun event extra educational. (It’s ok, you don’t have to tell the kids that’s it’s educational! That can be our secret!)The ever-helpful Heidi
Heidi has given CMNH visitors great tips for picky eaters, exciting ways to introduce children to new food, and pointers for how to make your meals as healthy as they are tasty.CMNH Educator Jenaya offers crock-pot support to one of our visitorsCrock-pot Lasagna is a great and easy meal on a cold day!
Our most recent FoodWorks event was, “Crock-pot Cooking for Kids!” I had never cooked in a crock-pot before so I was a little anxious. I decided on three recipes to cook up for the event. I spent the day before the event preparing the ingredients for one recipe that people typically associate with crock-pots – chili – and two recipes that people definitely do not associate with crock-pots – lasagna and applesauce! Despite my initial worries, I found out pretty quickly that I had nothing to worry about! The recipes were simple and tasty, and were loved by adults and children alike.
I’d like to share with you some of the recipes we made at our Crock-pot Cooking for Kids event:Our crockpot applesauce made the whole room fill up with wonderful apple scents!
These recipes are allergy-friendly and easy to change to suit your family’s needs.
We all had so much fun. Our visitors even got in on the action, helping us make a new batch of our delicious chili! I hope that if you missed this awesome event you will be able to join our next CMNH/Hannaford Food Works event in March where we will be having our own Mini Iron Chef competition! This year it’s a special pizza edition!
Meghan B. (and the whole CMNH Team!)Meghan prepares for some Crock-pot Cooking!