Weekly Food for Thought with having fun with kids in the kitchen, "Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home" by Kathryn Gordon, Anne E. McBride and more.

Teaching kids how to find their way around the kitchen is a good way to encourage them to think creatively and get excited about eating well.


Here are some suggestions on how to have fun together in the kitchen:


* Fun with shapes. We all know how much fun cookie cutters can be for children. Take that idea to the next level by encouraging your children to sculpt their own shapes when baking items like cookies. Have them trace the pattern they'd like to use on cardboard or a thick piece of paper, and use it as a template. 


* Batter up. Get kids involved in the cooking process when making food they love. Turn over the spoon, and let them mix batter for that next batch of pancakes as an opportunity to introduce them to basic cooking activities. You can also encourage them to top their creations with a unique variety of toppings like bananas and granola.


* Start from scratch. In kids' minds, noodles come from a box and bread comes from a bag that you buy from the store. Having children help make bread, pasta or pretzels from scratch can be a fascinating experience for them, and it will help them appreciate how their food gets to the table.


-- ARA


Tip of the Week: Too much salt


Many Americans exceed the recommended amount of salt consumption. Many foods already have high amounts of salt and sodium, so adding salt at the dinner table only builds on this. If you are having trouble kicking the salt habit, try adding hot pepper sauces to spice up meals, or combine a salt-free blend of herbs to add flavor to food.


-- EatRight.org


Easy recipe: Tuna Melt Fries


2 (6-ounce) cans of tuna fish (packed in oil)


1/2 red onion, diced


1/4 cup mayonnaise


2 celery branches, diced


Salt and fresh ground pepper


1 (20-ounce) bag Alexia Parmesan Lemon Waffle Fries


12 small slices of cheddar cheese


3 Roma tomatoes


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain oil from tuna and add to a large mixing bowl. Add red onion, celery, mayonnaise, salt and pepper to the bowl, and combine ingredients. Set aside.


Bake the Parmesan Lemon Waffle Fries according to the package instructions. When finished, top each fry with a spoonful of the tuna mixture, and top with a slice of cheddar cheese. Heat in oven until melted. Remove from the oven, and top each fry with a slice of Roma tomato. Serve immediately. Makes 12 to 15 servings


-- Alexia


Did You Know?


March is National Nutrition Month, Berries and Cherries Month, National Peanut Month and Caffeine Awareness Month.


Food Quiz


Which British cheese in the list is a Scottish goat's cheese?


A. Kelsae


B. Inverloch


C. Pentland


D. Dunlop


-- funtrivia.com


Answer is at bottom of column


Wise to the Word: Reduce


Culinarily, to boil a liquid (usually stock, wine or a sauce mixture) rapidly until the volume is reduced by evaporation, thereby thickening the consistency and intensifying the flavor. Such a mixture is sometimes referred to as a “reduction.”


-- epicurious.com


Number to Know


405: One venti mocha frappuccino with no whipped cream is 405 calories.


 -- calorieking.com


The Dish On …


"Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home" by Kathryn Gordon, Anne E. McBride


Macarons, the stuff of bakers’ candy-coated dreams, have taken the world by storm and are demystified here for the home baker. With dozens of flavor combinations, recipes are structured with three basic shell methods—French, Swiss, and Italian. With dozens of flavor combinations, recipes are structured with three basic shell methods—French, Swiss, and Italian.Try shells flavored with pistachio, blackberry, coconut and red velvet, filled with the likes of sesame buttercream, strawberry guava pâte de fruit, crunchy dark chocolate ganache and lemon curd.


-- Running Press Book Publishers


Food Quiz Answer


B. Inverloch


GateHouse News Service