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Recipes for Parents

Play Dough for Kids

Put ¼ cup salt and ¾ cup water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil on the stove. After the mix­ture boils, add ¼ teaspoon food coloring (or more) of your choice.

Take it off the heat and add 1 ½ teaspoons vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon alum, and 1 cup all-purpose flour. Stir everything together till it forms a ball, then scrape it out onto a stain-proof surface and let it cool a few minutes. Then squish it with your hands till it gets smooth. Store in a plastic bag with a zipper top.

Health Balls Candy

1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup raisins
1 ½ cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups powdered milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup honey

With clean hands, mix everything together and shape into one-inch balls.

Put 2 cups crisp rice cereal into a plastic bag and crush it with a rolling pin.

Roll the Health balls in the crushed cereal and put them in a square plastic container with a lid.

Elaine’s Potato-Corn Soup

4 large potatoes, diced
2/3 cup chopped onions
2 ribs celery, sliced ¼” thick
1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can cream-style corn
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 ½ cups milk
8 slices Velveeta cheese

Cook potatoes, onions, celery, salt and pepper in the chicken broth until tender, about 10 minutes. Add corn. In a separate saucepan, melt butter and add flour; stir and cook about a minute. Add milk and bring to boiling, stirring with wire whisk to smooth out lumps. Add Velveeta cheese. When melted, add milk mixture to cooked vegetables. Heat together and serve with a green salad. Makes 4 generous servings.

4-C Vegetable Soup

½ head small cabbage, rough chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally 1/8” thick
4 ribs celery, washed, trimmed, and sliced 1/4 “ thick
1 ½ cups cauliflower florets
3 tablespoons butter
1 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 teaspoon McCormick seasoned salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 (12 oz.) can V-8 vegetable juice or 1 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
2 small zucchini, quartered and sliced ¼” thick

Coat a large pot with non-stick spray and melt butter in the pot. Add the “4-C” vegetables: cabbage, carrots, celery, and cauliflower. Stir fry vegetables to “sweat” them and brown slightly, then add the chicken broth, garlic, seasoned salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook vegetables about 6 minutes. Add V-8 juice and the “plus” vegetable – zucchini, and cook for an additional 4 minutes. If desired, stir in 1 ½ cups cooked corkscrew pasta. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches using homemade bread for a special treat!

Elaine’s Brown Bread

2 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3 teaspoons salt
½ cup dairy sour cream
2 cups whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur)
4 cups white bread flour (I use King Arthur)

In large bowl (I use my old big green bowl from Tupperware) dissolve yeast in warm water. In a separate bowl, beat egg, oil, honey, sugar, and salt together and add to yeast. Using a mixer, beat in the whole wheat flour; clean the beaters. With a wooden spoon, add the white flour 2 cups at a time. When mixed fairly well, turn dough out onto lightly floured countertop and knead well, putting some vegetable oil on your hands. Add a bit more flour to obtain a good kneading consistency until dough isn’t sticky anymore. Knead 5 minutes, folding and pressing down repeatedly. Place a bit of oil into your large bowl and put dough into bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in your oven (with the light on for a bit of warmth) until doubled in bulk. Punch down, shape into 3 loaves (1.24 lbs each) and place in 3 greased bread pans. I use glass pans, size 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½”. Let dough rise until 1” higher than pan, then bake at 350 ° for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and butter the tops of the loaves. Turn out on its’ side onto paper towels and let cool.

Slice. (I use an electric knife for even slices) and store in heavy plastic bags I ordered from the internet: //

Freeze what you don’t eat right away, and enjoy.

Get-Your-Greens Salad

1 ½ cups torn butter bliss lettuce
1 ½ cups baby spinach, stems removed
1 ½ cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup sliced English cucumber, quartered
¾ cup celery sliced ½” thick

Mix all together and serve with Hot Bacon Dressing: In skillet, fry 4 strips bacon.

Remove bacon and fry 4 finely-chopped green spring onions; add a bit of olive oil.

Then add 3 tablespoons flour, ½ cup sugar, 1/3 teaspoon salt, and a dash of black pepper. Stir well to combine. Then add 1/3 cup vinegar and 2 cups water, and cook until bubbly and slightly thickened. Add more water if necessary. Serve warm over spinach or any green salad. I put this recipe together myself from the spinach salad served at Bob Evans Restaurant. Makes 5-6 servings.

Mother’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 ½ sticks butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips

Pre-heat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Clean beaters. Stir in flour, salt and soda and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and mix well.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake first sheet on bottom oven rack for 6 minutes. Move to top rack, and put next sheet full in on bottom rack for another 6 minutes. Rotate this way until all cookies are baked. (Spend less time in the kitchen!) If your oven tends to run hot, decrease the baking time to 5 minutes for each rack. Remove from baking sheet with a metal spatula onto a long strip of parchment paper and let cool.

I pack mine in quart freezer bags, 16 to a bag, and put them in the freezer to keep them fresh. Thaw a pack as needed, or fill a decorative paper plate with cookies to take to a neighbor like Becka and her mother Elva did. Note: you can substitute peanut butter, vanilla, or cinnamon chips for the chocolate chips if you prefer.

Elaine’s Apple Slice Cake

1 stick butter, softened
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored. Slice each half into ¼” thick slices
Cinnamon sugar for top: (Mix ¼ cup sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon)

Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Put butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs into a large bowl and beat together with electric mixer. Add flour, salt and baking powder and milk. Beat well.

Pour into a greased and floured 13 x 9” cake pan. Stick 3 slices of apples across the cake, beginning close to the edge along the 9” side. Cover the cake with apple slices evenly spaced in rows about ¼” apart. Sprinkle top generously with cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Note: with adult supervision, this is an easy cake even a child can make with success.

Try it!