Cold, rainy days are the perfect time to crank up the oven and tackle that recipe you've always wanted to try.
Recipes don't have to be reserved for moms and dads, however. Chef Beverly Seleb, who teaches the Cooking with Kids program at Ivy Tech's Culinary Department, says several recipes are perfect for families to make together, including for dinner.
Pizza, for example, can allow kids to use their creativity when deciding on toppings, while snacks with names such as "Owl Barf Balls" get kids excited about spending time in the kitchen.
Not sure what to make? Seleb says some common baking staples that recipes call for include flour, sugar, powdered sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, chocolate (sweet and unsweetened), dried fruits, peanut butter, cinnamon, canned fruits and unpopped popcorn.
"There are air popcorn makers that are good for kids to use," Seleb said. "Pop the corn and add different toppings like chocolate or spices."
With any of these ingredients, she says, parents can enjoy a day in the kitchen with the kids. The following are a few of Seleb's favorite recipes that are kid-friendly.
4 plain bagels, split
24 slides of pepperoni, 1/2 cup of sausage or another choice of topping
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup marinara sauce
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Place bagels, cut-sides up, on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
Top the bagels with sauce, cheese and the topping of your choice. Be creative by adding a mix of vegetables and fruits such as pineapple. Have fun decorating with shapes and colors.
Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Strawberry-Chocolate Stripes Parfait
2 containers (6 oz. each) of low-fat vanilla yogurt
1-1/4 cups of frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed (divided)
1/4 cup flaked coconut (divided)
12 Keebler Fudge Stripes cookies (divided)
2 cups of sliced strawberries
In a medium bowl, fold together yogurt, 1 cup of the whipped topping and 3 tablespoons of the coconut.
Slightly break up 8 of the cookies.
In four 10- to 12-ounce parfait glasses, alternately layer the yogurt mixture, cookies and strawberries.
Spoon a dollop of the remaining 1/4 cup of whipped topping on each.
Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut.
Place the 4 remaining cookies on the top of the parfait glasses to garnish your creation.
Owl Barf Balls
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon cocoa
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter (smooth may be used as well)
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup pretzel stick, broken into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup coconut flakes (optional)
Mix the butter, sugar, milk and cocoa in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium-high, stirring until smooth.
Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well combined.
Allow the mixture to cool enough to touch it. Drop the mixture by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet.
Refrigerate cookie sheet for 10 minutes.
Remove the cookie sheet from the fridge and form the dropped cookies into elongated "balls."
Cookies may be refrigerated for two weeks or frozen for two months.
Note: This recipe also may be used with rice cereal, graham crackers, raisins and mini marshmallows.