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Triumphs for junior cooks.

Playtime and appetites have a way of merging on active summer days. When the simple ingredients for the following treats are on hand, young cooks can engineer their own refreshments. Some require no cooking; those that need heat use the microwave oven. Once mastered, most of these dishes are easy enough to be duplicated from memory.

The cheese crisps are merely Cubes of cheese melted in the microwave oven to make crisp wafers. A sprinkling of chili powder or a few sesame seeds dress up the crisps. You need cooking parchment on which to melt the cheese; it's available in some supermarkets (next to the waxed paper) and cookware stores.

if your young cooks are familiar with tools, they can make dip for the melon cubes and spread for the little rice cakes in the food processor with the plastic blade (or metal blade, if they are very careful when cleaning up).

The cheese crisps, melon bites, and rice cakes are also quite suitable for grown-up refreshments.

Scaled down to snack size from a chili dog is the chili pup: half a frankfurter heated in a small bun with chili and cheese.

And when a sweet is in order, use the microwave Oven for peanut butter and chocolate fudge made in a big measuring cup-or fancy s'mores, warmed one at a time.
 Cheese Crisps
 About 1 teaspoon chili powder or
 sesame seed (or 1/2 teaspoon of
 3 ounces jack or Swiss cheese, cut into
 1/2 -inch cubes

Spread chili powder or sesame seed (or a combination) on a piece of waxed paper. Turn cheese cubes in chili powder to coat on all sides.

Set a piece of cooking parchment (about 12 in. square) in a microwave oven; arrange 3 cubes, at least 2 inches apart, on paper. Cook on full power (100 percent), turning parchment several times, until cheese melts, bubbles, and gets slightly darker in color, 1 or 2 minutes. Let stand until cool and firm, about 2 minutes. Lift off paper.

To make each additional batch of crisps, wipe off parchment with a paper towel and add 3 more cheese cubes. Eat crisps or put them in a jar or plastic bag and keep airtight up to 2 days. Makes about 3 dozen pieces.

Per piece. 9 cal.; 0.6 g protein; 0.7 g fat; 0 g carbo.; 73 mg Sodium; 2 mg chol,
 Honey-Spice Melon Bites
 1 small package (3 oz.) cream cheese
 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1 tablespoon honey
 1 tablespoon lemon juice
 1/2 medium-size (about 3 lb. whole)
 cantaloupe, honeydew, or other
 similar melon, seeded

In a food processor with plastic or metal blade, whirl cream cheese, cinnamon, honey, and lemon juice (or beat together with a spoon until well mixed). Scrape mixture into a small bowl. if made ahead, cover and chill up until next day.

Cut melon half in half again. Cut flesh from peel with a grapefruit knife, then cut meat in about 1-inch cubes and pile into a small bowl. Spear each melon piece on a toothpick and scoop through cream cheese mixture to eat. Makes about 30 pieces.

Per piece. 20 cal.; 0.4 g protein; 1 g fat; 2.6 g carbo.; 11 mg sodium; 3 mg chol.
Rice Cake and Radish Snack
 1 hard-cooked large egg
 1 small package (3 oz.) cream cheese
 About 2 teaspoons prepared
 12 small (2-in.-diameter) rice cakes
 6 or 8 red radishes (ends trimmed),
 Salt and pepper

Peel shell off egg, then break egg into pieces. Put pieces into a food processor with plastic or metal blade. Add cheese and whirl until well mixed. (Or mash egg on a plate with a fork, then add cream cheese and mash until well mixed.) Add mustard to taste.

Spread egg mixture equally on each rice cake. Slice radishes over each cake to cover cheese; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 12 pieces.

Per piece: 27 cal.; 1 g protein, 7.5 g fat, 2.3 g carbo.; 37 mg sodium; 27 mg chol.
Chill Choose Pups
 2 chicken, turkey, or beef frankfurters
 (3 to 4 oz. total)
 4 pieces (about 1 oz. total) cheddar
 cheese, each about 1/2 by 2 inches
 4 small (about 3-in.-long) soft oval
 dinner rolls, split almost in half
 1/4 cup canned or homemade chili
 without beans
 Prepared mustard (optional)

Cut frankfurters in half crosswise; cut a slit about 1/2 inch deep in each piece. Lay a piece of cheese in the slit in each piece of frankfurter, then nest each piece in a roll. Spoon about I tablespoon of the chili into each roll.

Fold a square (about 12 in.) of waxed paper loosely around each sandwich. Heat sandwiches, 1 at a time, in a microwave oven on full power (100 percent) just until roll feels warm, about 30 seconds. Fold back waxed paper and add mustard to taste to sandwiches. Makes 4.

Per sandwich: 201 cal.; 7 9 g protein, 11 g fat; 18 g carbo.; 6 10 mg sodium; 30 mg chol
Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge
 1 small con (5 oz.) evaporated milk
 1 cup granulated sugar
 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine
 1 cup (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate
 baking chips
 3/4 cup or 1/2 jar (7-oz. size)
 marshmallow creme
 1/4 cup peanut butter
 1 teaspoon vanilla

In a 2-quart glass measuring cup, combine evaporated milk, granulated and brown sugars, and butter.

Cook the mixture, uncovered, in a microwave oven on full power (100 percent), stirring once or twice after mixture is hot enough to dissolve sugars, about 2 minutes; then cook until mixture boils and bubbles vigorously, 2 or 3 minutes. Continue to boil for 4 minutes.

Using a potholder to protect hands, lift cup from oven and quickly add chocolate and stir until melted. As soon as chocolate melts, quickly add marshmallow creme, peanut butter, and vanilla and stir until well mixed; scrape into a buttered 8-inch-square pan. Let fudge stand until pan is cool enough to touch, then cover fudge with foil and put in the refrigerator until firm, 45 minutes to I hour. Cut into 1-inch squares. Makes about 5 dozen pieces.

Per piece.. 52 cal.; 0.6 g protein, 2.5 g fat, 7.4 g carbo.; 16 mg sodium; 2.8 mg chol
 Snazzy S'mores
 8 rectangular petit beurre cookies
 (French-style butter cookies), about
 1 3/4 by 2 1/4 inches
 1 bar (about 2 1/4 oz.) white chocolate
 with almonds
 2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate
 baking chips
 4 marshmallows, each about 1 inch

Place 1 cooky, bottom side up, on each of 4 small paper plates. Top each cooky with 1/4 of the chocolate bar and 1/4 of the chocolate chips.

Put 1 plate in a microwave oven; cook on full power (100 percent) until chocolate just begins to soften, about 30 seconds. Set another cooky, bottom side up, on same plate and set a marshmallow on plain cooky.

Continue to cook until marshmallow just starts to puff, about 10 seconds. Remove plate from oven and press filled sides of cookies lightly together.

Repeat to make each additional s'more; eat while warm (take a little bite first to be sure s'more isn't too hot). Makes 4 servings.

Per piece: 189 cal.; 2.6 g protein; 20 g fat; 23 g carbo.; 56 mg sodium, 7.7 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:The Good Foods of Summer: A Special Section; recipes
Date:Jul 1, 1990
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