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Announcement: Sunday, March 14, 2021: Apple Pi Pie (because its Pi Day)
Mar 14th, 2021 by Max Koster

Welcome to kidscookdinner.com, a website I (Max) started with my sister Alex to talk about food, kids cooking it, and world hunger.  To learn more about our website and the hunger-relief charities we support, scroll down to About KidsCookDinner.com. To learn what we are cooking today, stay right here.

Today, because it’s Pi Day (March 14, or 3.14), we celebrated by making, of course, Apple Pi Pie.  (Pi, as most of you know, is the ratio of the circumference of any circle to the diameter of that circle which is always approximately 3.14).  March 14 is also Albert Einstein’s birthday so that’s another reason to celebrate.  We don’t always celebrate Pi Day, but here are a couple of previous attempts:

Apple Pi Pie 2014

Apple Pi Pie 2014

Apple Pi Pie 2018

Apple Pi Pie 2018

For the apple pie, you need

  • 2 sheets of store-bought pastry*
  • 5 large apples
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

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*recipe for homemade piecrust is below if you want to make it from scratch.  Honestly, it’s better made from scratch.  Store-bought is more convenient but doesn’t taste as good. (Trader Joe’s is easy to use but tastes and looks a bit more like bread dough than pie crust.  Pillsbury is more pastry-like.)

To make Pi Pie, it helps if you have a Pi cookie cutter as well.  We have made it cutting out Pi shapes by hand, but that’s pretty difficult (see 2014’s attempt). Also, I recommend Gala apples: if you use more tart apples such as Granny Smith, you will need to increase the amount of sugar.

The first step is to thaw the pastry if it’s frozen.  Either leave in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for 45 minutes or so.

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Once it’s thawed, roll each sheet out into a circle, keeping it between the wax paper if possible, and place it in the fridge to rest

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Peel the apples, quarter, and slice thinly.

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Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and stir into the apples.

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Then remove one of the pastry rounds from the fridge and place over a 9-inch pie pan.

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Trim extra pastry from around the sides and fill with the apples.  Dot with cut up pieces of butter.

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The next step is to prepare the top of the pie. Remove the other pastry round from the fridge and use your Pi cookie cutter to cut out a couple Pi shapes (or if no cookie cutter, cut by hand)

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Let the top rest in the fridge again and then place gently on top of the filling.  I also decorated the pie with the Pi shapes I had cut out.

Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for 15 minutes and then turn down the heat and cook for another 30 minutes (checking every so often to make sure not to brown).

Happy Pi Day!

 

Ingredients for Pie Crust (if you want to make from scratch)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5-6 Tablespoons ice cold water

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.  Add the butter pieces and combine using a pastry cutter or 2 butter knives.  When the butter is in pea-sized pieces, add 5 tablespoons of butter and form into two balls.  Add additional water sparingly if needed.  Let two balls of pastry rest in the fridge for 15 minutes and then roll out into rounds and follow the directions above for making the pie.

Announcement: Sunday, March 7, 2021: Slow Cooker Turkey Chili and Buttermilk Biscuits
Mar 7th, 2021 by Max Koster

Welcome to kidscookdinner.com, a website my sister Alex and I started 5 years ago to talk about food, cooking, and the issue of world hunger.  With COVID-19 the issue of hunger has gotten even worse, so please consider donating to a hunger-relief charity such as Action Against Hunger (AAH): DONATE HERE.  To learn more about why we started the website and AAH, scroll down a few posts.  To see what we are cooking today…stay right here.

Turkey Chili

Today I decided to make turkey chili in the slow cooker. It’s really easy and only takes about 15 minutes of prep time.  (The recipe is loosely based on Laura KKH’s recipe on allrecipes.com).

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Here are the ingredients you need:

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (15 ounces) can of chopped tomatoes, juice included
  • 1 (15 ounces) can of red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounces) can of white kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounces) can of black beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika*
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red chili flakes*
  • 1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder*
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin*
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*If you don’t have all these spices, just use 1 Tablespoon of chili powder instead, and if you want it spicier, double the chili flakes. The amount of red chili flakes here (1/2 teaspoon) will give you a little heat but not too much.

The first step is to heat the oil and cook the ground turkey until evenly brown.  I like to use a stainless steel pan because then I can use a metal spatula to break up any chunks.

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Meanwhile add the beans, tomatoes, and onions to the slow cooker pot. I bought pre-chopped onions which really made this easy.

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Using a slotted spoon, add the turkey to the slow cooker (to prevent too much of the cooking oil in there)

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Add your spices.

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Let cook! 4-5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

About 1/2 hour before serving, add the frozen corn.

Serve with rice and whatever toppings you like: we usually have it with sour cream, cheddar cheese, avocado or guacomole.

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Buttermilk Biscuits

Hi, this is Alex.  Today I decided to make buttermilk biscuits because we had leftover buttermilk (I made red velvet cupcakes two days ago, which called for buttermilk, and we had a lot leftover.) There are a lot of good recipes online but I used one I found on livewellbakeoften.com. Other than buttermilk, all the ingredients are typical baking ingredients.

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Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Teaspoons sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 3/4 Cup cold buttermilk, plus more to brush tops of biscuits

The first step is to preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Then chop the cold butter into small cubes and put the cubes in the fridge to keep cool while you do the next step.

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The next step is to whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt) and line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat (or parchment paper).

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Then add the butter cubes and cut them into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter.  If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can use 2 blunt knives working against each other.

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Once the butter is mixed into small pea-sized pieces, add the cold buttermilk and gently work it until the dough comes together. I started with a spoon but ultimately had to use my hands. Form a ball, trying to incorporate all the crumbs.

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Place the dough on a lightly floured surface.  Gently roll it into a rectangle and then fold it in thirds.  Turn it, flatten it into a rectangle and fold in thirds again. Repeat this one more time.

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Then pat or roll it into a 1/2 inch rectangle.  Cut 2.5-inch rounds and place on a baking sheet.  When you are cutting, try not to twist just go straight down.  Combine any scrap pieces to make additional rounds but try to cut as many out the first time as possible as the more you work the dough, the less it may rise.  These will be a little free form but will taste great. You should get about 10 to 12 biscuits.

Brush the top with a little buttermilk and bake for 15 minutes.

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Serve with butter, jam, or honey (or even with chili!).  For dessert: red velvet cupcakes which started this whole buttermilk episode.

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Puffed Apple Pancake
Mar 15th, 2021 by Alex Koster

Puffed Apple Pancake is a fairly simple yummy Saturday morning treat that doesn’t take much effort and is perfect if you have extra apples that may be close to going bad. After cooking the apples in cinnamon sugar, an egg mixture gets poured on top, then the mix gets baked until it puffs up and is ready to serve. The more specific recipe that we use is below, but of course, tweaking it by adding more cinnamon or sugar is always an option:)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Peel and slice 4 apples
  3. Mix ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and 5 tbsp sugar (adjust for preference).
  4. Combine the sugar mixture and the sliced apples
  5. Melt 6 tbsp of butter in a shallow pan or skillet, remove 2 tbsp butter and set aside in a bowl.
  6. Add apples to the remaining 4 tbsp of butter
  7. Cook at medium heat until apples are tender but still hold their shape.
  8. In a separate bowl combine 3 eggs, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ cup of all-purpose flour, ½ cup milk, and the 2 tbsp melted butter  (previously set aside)
  9. Beat until smooth
  10. Spread apples evenly on the bottom of the skillet and pour the batter on top. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and puffy.
  11. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy
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