Dining In

Kid-Friendly Kitchen Creations
By Nancy Finch, Food Columnist

Dining InAnd then the day comes in the summer when the wail is heard, "What can we do?"

Or, the family has gone to the beach or to a vacation cottage — maybe you’re in a camper — and it rains, it rains and it rains. Then the mother wails, "What am I to do?," aside from saying, "forget this, let’s go home!"

To the rescue: the kitchen!

Nana Pops are easy "make-your-own" popsicles. The trick was trying to find popsicle sticks. If you aren’t successful, use wooden skewers, two to a popsicle. They serve the purpose of a popsicle holder just fine, and they’re a lot easier to find.

And there is that old faithful many of us tried for a first "cooking" experience — Rice Krispie Candy. But we’re suggesting a new twist — colored and flavored.

Even little ones can dip marshmallows in chocolate to make Marshmallow Truffles, licking fingers all along the way.

Rice Krispie Candy

bullet5 T margarine or butter
bullet9 c (16-oz. pkg.) mini-marshmallows
bullet1 envelope (13-oz.) unsweetened
bulletsoft drink mix, any flavor
bullet9 c crisp rice cereal

Directions: Grease 15- by 10- by 1-inch pan. Microwave margarine in large microwavable bowl on high 45 seconds or until melted. Add miniature marshmallows. Toss to coat with margarine. Microwave on high 21/2 minutes or until smooth when stirred, stirring every minute. Stir in drink mix. Immediately add cereal, mix lightly until well-coated. Using greased spatula or waxed paper, press into prepared pan. Cool. Cut into squares or shapes with cookie cutters.

Top of Stove Method: Melt margarine in saucepan on low heat. Add marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Continue as directed.

Marshmallow Truffles

bullet38 to 40 jumbo marshmallows
bullet2 c (12-oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
bulletchopped peanuts or pecans
bulletmulti-colored sprinkles

Directions: Arrange marshmallows on tray. Freeze 15 minutes. Microwave chips in microwavable bowl on high 2 to 21/2 minutes or until smooth when stirred, stirring every minute. Dip marshmallows into melted chocolate. Turn until coated. Roll in chopped nuts or sprinkles. Place on waxed paper-lined tray. Refrigerate or keep in cool, dry place. Makes about 3 dozen.

Nana Pops

bullet1 c low-fat chocolate milk
bullet1 ripe banana, peeled, broken in half
bullet2 T chocolate syrup
bullet1 t vanilla extract
bullet6 3-oz. paper drinking cups
bullet6 popsicle sticks or 12 4-in. skewers

Directions: Combine all ingredients in blender. Cover with lid and blend at high speed 1 minute or until thickened. Pour into cups. Cover each cup with aluminum foil, make a slit with a knife in the foil, insert a popsicle stick. If using skewers, use the sharp end to make a hole in the foil. Insert two four-inch skewers, side-by-side into the hole. Freeze until firm. To serve, dip cup into warm water. Slide out the pop. Makes 6.


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