There’s nothing like ripe tomatoes just off the vine or straight from the farmer’s market. Caprese Salad is one of the Gerasole family favorites. There’s no cooking so even the youngest member can get involved using a plastic knife to cut the cheese and their little fingers to pluck the basil leaves. Children can also make decisions about what pretty plate to use.
Have an adult slice the tomatoes. Ripe tomatoes can be difficult to cut because of the difference in texture between the tough skin and the softer inside. Plus, the round shape of the tomato makes it way too easy for a sharp knife to just slide off and possibly cut you instead.
Meanwhile, you can cut the Mozzarella with a butter knife.
Arrange the tomato slices and slices of cheese on plate.
Place the basil leaves in a pretty design.
Drizzle a little oil over the salad using a zigzag motion.
Sprinkle on a little salt and a little pepper.
Your salad, in the colors of the Italian flag, is done!
This recipe was kindly given to us by Ms. Karen Duffin from the Red Spirit Retreat. She lives in Southwest Michigan AKA Blueberry Country. The secret to this fabulous blueberry pie is reserving some of the blueberries until the end of the cooking so they stay plump, separate and firm.
2 prepared piecrusts Ð one for top and one for bottom
Rinse the blueberries in cold water and let them drain.
Turn the oven on to 400 degrees. You want it to preheat.
Select a medium sized saucepan. Put in 4 cups of the blueberries. WeÕre going to save one cup to put in at the end so that there are some whole berries in the filling. This will give it a wonderful texture and flavor.
Next, add the lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and butter. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat. If it's okay with grandma or whoever is helping you in the kitchen, stir the mixture carefully while it heats. And we mean very carefully. Melted sugar can get much hotter than boiling water and the bubbles in the mixture can pop and send hot sugar flying. So ask for adult help as the mixture starts to get hot.
Take the pot off the heat and add the last cup of uncooked blueberries for that fresh berry flavor.
Let the mixture cool a little bit. While it's cooling, put one prepared pie crust over a 9 inch pie pan. You want the crust to "drape" evenly over the sides of the pan.
Pour the filling into the waiting piecrust. Now take the second pie crust and drape it over the top.
A good trick we learned after we did our filming is to roll the bottom crust up over the top crust and squeeze it down. This makes the best seal and keeps the filling from oozing out from between the layers.
Now you can "flute" the edges. Using your thumb and first finger, squeeze the crust gently to make ridges. What you're trying to do it to make the two crusts into one solid edge.
Next, you need to cut a few little slits on the top of the pie to let the steam out as the filling continues to cook in the oven.
Put the pie into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until top crust is pale golden brown.
This recipe is great for children under the age of 5 to make. They will be thrilled because the final product is not a kid’s desert. It’s a desert that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
The biggest challenge for the littlest cooks is getting the sugar into the small bowl. You might wind up with sticky stuff on the floor but just chalk it up to fine tuning your child’s eye-hand coordination!