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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Summer Vacation Has Begun!

By Sherrie Norris

It’s hard to believe that the kids are out of school for summer break, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that life is easier for their parents. Most moms (and dads) began working out a plan months earlier for childcare, transportation to special events and life, in general, as so much has changed in recent months and demands on the family seem to be intensified.

Having older children at home to help care for and cart the younger ones around is a tremendous help for many families, but I know of many others who are struggling to juggle the heavy load just to make it from one week to another.

And, in all cases, adequate nutrition is always a big concern, since school-age kids are now unable to receive the breakfast and lunch meals that are easily accessible during the school year.

Thanks to local food pantries and some churches, there will be food available in the High Country area to make sure our youngsters do not go hungry.

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With costs of food and basic necessities on the rise all around us, we’re all forced to make better decisions in all areas of our lives. 

We’ve got a few simple ideas here this week that we hope will help with the challenges that families are facing during what should be a fun and carefree time. Let’s try to make the best of what we’ve got and take nothing for granted. 

For those who can, as you do your weekly grocery shopping, take advantage of those buy-one-get-one-free specials at your local supermarket. Bag one for you, and the other for one of the food pantries or someone in your neighborhood. Drop it off on your way home and feel good because you were able to help someone else.

Little Piggies

1 pkg. hot dogs (cut in half)

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2 tubes refrigerated biscuits

8 slices American cheese (cut in half)

Wrap each hot dog piece with half of a cheese slice. Then stretch the biscuit and wrap it around the hot dog and cheese. Cook as directed on the biscuit package. Serve with ketchup, mustard, or BBQ sauce.

PB&J Waffles

Mini or regular frozen waffles

Banana slices

Peanut butter

Jelly

Toast waffles; layer with peanut butter, jelly, banana slice, and top with another waffle. 

Kid’s Trail Mix

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4 cups Chex cereal 

½ cup dried fruit bits 

½ cup raisins 

½ cup peanuts 

½ cup M&Ms

Put into a large Ziploc bag and shake to mix. A great snack for anytime of the day.

Banana Rolls 

6 bananas

½ cup peanut butter 

¼ cup coconut

¼ cup rice cereal

Peel and cut bananas in quarters crosswise. Spread with peanut butter. Roll in coconut and rice cereal. Serve immediately or chill until served.

Fruity Brownie Pizza
  

1 box brownie mix

1 container strawberry flavored cream cheese

1/3 cup powdered sugar 

Fresh fruit (kiwi, berries, bananas, etc.) 

Chopped nuts (optional)

Chocolate sauce (optional)  

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Spread on lightly greased pizza pan. Bake at 350° F. for 7-10 minutes until done in center. Let cool. In small bowl, mix strawberry flavored cream cheese with enough powdered sugar to make it creamy. Spread over cooled brownie. Top with sliced fruits. Sprinkle with nuts and drizzle chocolate sauce over if desired. Cover with plastic wrap and cool in refrigerator for 2 hours. Store leftovers in fridge. 

Fun-Filled Bar Cookies

1 pkg. refrigerated cookie dough of choice 

1 (7-oz.) jar marshmallow crème

½ cup peanut butter

1 ½ cups corn check cereal

½ cup miniature M & M’s

Preheat oven to 350. Grease oblong baking pan. Remove dough from wrapper and press into pan. Bake for about 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Drop by the spoonful the marshmallow cream and peanut butter onto hot cookie base Bake 1 minute more. Carefully spread marshmallow cream and peanut butter over cookie base. Sprinkle cereal and chocolate pieces over mixture.  Cool completely before cutting into bars.