Italian Biscotti are a Family Favorite

Hi, Izzy here. Have you ever tried biscotti? You probably have.
Knead Your Dough with Love
Celebrate a Job Well Done!
You may have just forgotten what they were called. They are the crunchy, oval-oblong shaped biscuit like cookies that you'll often times see in the indie, local coffee shops. They are sometimes known as the "twice baked" cookies. They were first made in Prato, a province in Tuscany, Italy. You can find biscotti in specialty markets. I think you can also buy them in bulk at larger chain stores as well. Well, I see them often, because I make them with my mom at home, a lot. They are absolutely delicious and they are not that hard to make. I'm part Italian ya know, so I love an opportunity to eat a delicious Italian treat, and celebrate my Italian heritage at the same time. You can find dozens of recipes for biscotti on the internet. I love the ones with nuts, dried fruit and fresh citrus zest (orange zest is my favorite). You can also make chocolate and nut versions. Sometimes we like to dip them in a ganache and let the chocolate harden on the cookies.
Making homemade biscotti, you end up with a really sticky dough, so flour your work surface and hands well. You portion the dough out into two or three loaves. You bake the dough and remove it from the oven so it can cool slightly. Then you reduce the oven temperature. You slice the loaves width wise into half inch pieces. You turn them cut side down on a
parchment lined baking sheet and you bake them for about 15 minutes.
Measure with precision
You remove them from the oven, flip them on the tray so the alternating cut side faces down. You bake them for about 15 additional minutes. I let me mom deal with all the hot oven stuff. She always asks me to stand back while she's moving the trays in and out of the hot oven. It's important to follow the rules of the kitchen, since I'm only two. I recommend that my peers and fellow toddlers out there, listen to their parents carefully in the kitchen. You'll keep your parents happy. You'll stay safe. As a result, you'll end up doing more cooking in the kitchen and having more fun.
My favorite things to do with biscotti are to eat them and to pass them out to friends and neighbors, so they can enjoy them as well. My recommendation to you is to get in the kitchen with your parents. Try something new. Biscotti might have seemed difficult before you read my post, but now don't they seem totally approachable? Cook with confidence and laugh a lot while you're in the kitchen! Cheers, Izzy


Make Homemade Tortillas

Hi, Izzy here. We like to make homemade tortillas in our house. They make the house smell great. Everyone can get involved. I like to help my mom knead the tortilla dough after we mix the ingredients together. Then we section the dough into little balls. I love rolling the dough into little balls. It's fun! Then we flatten the little tortilla balls in the cast iron tortilla press. We then throw them from hand to hand in the air (to lighten the dough a bit). Then we put them on the heated comal to cook them. My my mom handles flipping them on the comal for me (since it's hot). I always try to adhere to the safety rules in the kitchen, since I'm only two. Some day though, I'll look forward to flipping the tortillas on the comal myself. It's fun to think up fun fillings for the tortillas. Sometimes my mom
slow cooks pork ribs to fill the tortillas with. Sometimes we just fill them with rice and beans. My favorite thing to do is to enjoy a nice warm tortilla, hot off the comal, with a little bit of real butter. Yum! Check out the recipe on the back of the Maseca package. I've had some of my friends over to help me make tortillas too. I had them bring various toppings and we had a tortilla party. Most of all - have fun and spend lots of time laughing in the kitchen! Share some of your stories with me in the comments section. Have you ever helped your parents
make homemade tortillas? Cheers,  Izzy.


Rainbow Cookies that Sparkle

Hi, Izzy here. I want to show other youngsters out there how to have a blast with cookie dough. My mom helped me make a basic sugar cookie dough recently (you can find a number of easy sugar cookie recipes online). I had to adhere to mom's warning to avoid eating the delicious dough until the cookies were baked (due to the raw eggs in the dough). Your parent can help you find a recipe with or without eggs in it, but I recommend waiting to eat the
dough until the cookies are fully baked, either way. After our cookie dough was completely mixed together, we divided the dough into 4 sections. We mixed in a pinch of edible food color gel to each section (we ended up with a red section, a blue section, a green section and a yellow section). We pulled little pieces of each of the colored dough sections and rolled the gathered dough into little balls. We placed the little dough balls on a cookie sheet and baked them. Each cookie turned into a unique piece of artwork. Some of the cookies reminded me of impressionist paintings I had seen in
my mom's art books. We also added sprinkles to some of them to enhance their sparkle. We had an absolute blast making these cookies. I can't wait to make them again soon. My suggestion to other kids out there is to one - wash your hands first, two - get your hands dirty in the kitchen, three - laugh a lot while you're doing it. Laughing a lot makes your caretaker smile too! Oh, and most importantly, share the delicious cookies with your friends and neighbors. Nothing draws people together more, than a shared snack or a meal.


You're Never Too Young, Thanks Mom.

Hi, Izzy here again. Just a reminder that I'm two years old. Today I was reflecting on how grateful I am that my mom exposed me to the kitchen when I was younger. Here is a picture of me at 6 months old. She used to cut fresh vegetables and fruits and let me smell them and suck on them (big pieces of course, so I wouldn't choke on them). She also supervised me the entire time. I remember smelling the large, freshly diced, rounds of yellow and green zucchini, carrots, parsnips, purple potatoes and sweet potatoes. I liked the tangible aspect of holding onto the different vegetables. I also liked being able to smell the sweetness and uniqueness of each vegetable. Plus, she started teaching me the various colors: purple, green, yellow, orange, red, etc. In fact, "purple" was one of my very first words. My mom used to also set cooking utensils and objects on my highchair tray. I used to grab the measuring spoons, measuring cups and little bowls. I always enjoyed sucking on a freshly picked lemon. Anyways, I just thought I'd blog again today about my love and passion for food, which was engendered largely by my mom, when I was only 6 months old. I've always enjoyed smelling freshly made food in my kitchen at home. It just makes me feel "at home". Thanks again, mom. I love you. Izzy.


Young Chef on the Rise

Hi, Izzy here. I'm 2 years old. I love to help my mom in the kitchen. Cooking and Baking are passions of mine. I like to dance, draw, kick the soccer ball, play with friends, read and build with blocks too, but being in the kitchen is the ultimate highlight of my day. This week, I helped mom bake mini banana muffins. They are delicious to eat, but even more fun to make! I really believe that a mini muffin is superior to a large muffin, because you get more muffin top per square inch in a mini muffin, hence my preference for mini muffins. At any rate, here are a few pictures of me in the kitchen. I'm working on getting my videos, more pictures and more recipes up as soon as possible.

Hopefully I can get more toddlers and young kids
excited about helping their parents out in the kitchen too. I love to help my mom shop for local, organic, fresh ingredients. My mom and I share awesome quality time together in the kitchen. As a toddler, I learn to follow her instructions. I also learn about the importance of abiding by certain rules, like not touching hot or sharp things in the kitchen. It's really important to listen to mom and dad. But, because I am such a good listener, I get to do the really fun stuff in the kitchen, like: knead dough with my hands, roll out homemade tortilla balls and flatten them in the tortilla press, whisk eggs, sugar and butter together, and on and on. 

Well, you're catching me in the early stages of my culinary journey. If you want to join my blog as a follower, that would be cool. Just click the "join this site" underneath the "members" button in the right column of my blog. Thanks for supporting my effort to get my peers and friends cooking in the kitchen with their parents!

Cheers for now.