Mini Savory Treats - Good for Mind and Body

Hello. 3 Year Old, Chef Izabella (aka: Chef Izzy), here. My mom and I have been cooking up a storm lately. A current food trend in our home, has been baking and cooking mini savory treats. Mini treats are filling and nutritious. We like to throw garden fresh herbs and vegetables into them.  Here are links to four of my favorite mini savory treats.

1) Mini Chicken Pot Pie Empanadas
2) Mini Puff Pastry Meat, Cheese and Basil Sandwiches
3) Mini Frittatas
4) Mini Quiches

I'm three, so I like mini treats. I have found however, that adults and kids alike, both enjoy food served in mini portions. In French they call a single bite appetizer an "amuse bouche". This is usually served like an appetizer, before serving the main meal, it's just slightly smaller.

We believe that mini treats can be served as an appetizer or as the main dish. If serving as a main dish, just note that your recipe may only serve 4 as a main dish, whereas it might serve 12 as an appetizer.

Small bites or mini treats tend to get gobbled up rather quickly. I've observed at parties and gatherings, that trays with small bites on them, are usually half empty within the first half hour. It's usually a good idea, to have more treats on reserve, to replenish the food trays.

As a toddler, I am really into practicing my counting skills. When my mom and I make small treats, I like to count them, throughout the process as we make them. I count the dough rounds for our empanadas or mini quiches, as we cut them out with biscuit cutters. I count the mini muffin tins as we line the muffin pans. I count the final empanadas as I brush the egg wash onto them. When we plate our mini treats onto a serving platter, I even count them one more time. We tend to gobble a few along the way, so our starting number is often less than the final morsel count.

We like to use fun cookie cutter shapes whenever possible. We use fun shapes to cut out mini servings of our large frittata rounds. We also use fun shapes to cut out our puff pastry dough for our mini sandwiches. We eat with our eyes first, so pretty garnishes, fun colors and fun shapes appeal to me as a toddler. When food looks fun, I'm more inclined to try it!

I also gain incredible dexterity and motor control, while assembling and making small treats. For instance, when I brush the egg wash onto the puff pastry or empanadas, I am careful to brush just a small amount onto each treat. I am careful to avoid dripping excess egg everywhere. When I scoop mini muffin batter into mini muffin tins using a small ice cream scooper, I am careful to get the batter into the tin, not all over the pan or counter. I'm as careful when I spoon quiche filling into my mini quiche shells in the mini muffin pan. When I cut out dough rounds with a biscuit cutter, I do it with intention and precision, carefully placing the biscuit round on top of the desired dough area. I try to maximize the number of dough rounds I can get out of the rolled out dough. I have learned that I must visualize what I'm going to do before I do it. I also work slowly and carefully. There is no need to rush the process. Practice does make perfect!

So, the point is, HAVE FUN WITH FOOD. Parents and guardians, get in the kitchen with your little ones. We love to spend quality time with you, especially in the kitchen!

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