I spent this past weekend with my three grandchildren, and we had SO much fun! Things have been a little stressful (Earthlife 101 stuff) for them lately, so it was nice to just laugh and play for a few days.
I taught them how to play Chinese Checkers and they beat the pants off me more than once. But best of all, we worked in the kitchen together. First I taught them to make homemade Tootsie Rolls, and they were fantastic! How cool to have this favorite old timey treat without all the chemicals and other junkie additives! Here's the recipe:
HOMEMADE TOOTSIE ROLLS
3 C powdered sugar
1/2 C Karo syrup
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 C baking cocoa
1/2 C instant milk powder (powdered milk)
Mix Karo, butter, and vanilla together well. Add cocoa and dry milk. Mix well. Add powdered sugar, little by little. This mixture will get stiff and seem dry. Now it is time to knead it. Just be patient and keep kneading. When we made it, we slipped into a panic over the dryness and added a couple Tbsp extra butter. It didn't hurt the taste at all, but the result was a very soft candy. I recommend you stick with the recipe, be patient and work it out. When all the sugar is mixed in, divide the candy in balls, refrigerate for an hour or so, then roll each ball into ropes and snip candy into desirable sizes. Have fun!
(My granddaughter is going to make another batch and take it to her home-ec teacher. I think it'll be a big hit.)
The next day my other granddaughter and I poured over a fun cookbook (Smokey Valley Recipes--a Nevada book) looking for something for Saturday night dinner. We settled on "Oooey Gooey Nachos" and homemade strawberry shortcake. Then we took a walk to the store to get the ingredients. It was so much fun slicing and chopping and mixing with these darling granddaughters. And let me tell you, dinner met with rave reviews! Here's the nacho recipe:
OOEY GOOEY NACHOS (serves 6)
1 container (16 oz) sour cream
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 C shredded Swiss cheese, divided
2 C shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 can (13 oz?) chili
1 jar (13 oz) salsa
Mix sour cream and cream cheese together until smooth. Add 1 C Swiss cheese, 1 C Cheddar cheese and mix well. Put in microwavable serving dish (2 qt) and heat through. Serve over tortilla chips with remaining shredded cheeses and all your other favorite additions. We had chopped fresh tomatoes, chopped green onions, sliced black olives, diced avocado, and shredded lettuce. We inhaled this and I can see it becoming a family favorite.
And can I just brag? My oldest granddaughter (she's 13) was in the kitchen doing the dishes, wiping the counters, mopping the floor--getting the kitchen all ready for the next morning. I commented to her that I just love working in a clean kitchen and she told me how much she loved waking up to a clean kitchen--a clean house! My grandkids are adorable and I am so proud of them--and especially proud of the wonderful job their mamma is doing with them.
Anyway, I just wanted to share my joy tonight--family is what it's all about, isn't it? And don't you love how meals together make the sweetness in life that much more sweeter? I hope you like these recipes, and I hope you'll share YOUR family stories and recipes with us. We're all in this together and there's nothing nicer than the inspiration we gather from one another. So until next time, here's to having a blast with YOUR grandkids, and of course, here's to making family dinner hour possible!