As a mother of 11 children, you can imagine that I’ve heard just about every excuse for not eating new or healthy food! I’ve had many moms come to me in exasperation saying, I need help for my picky eaters.
As with all parenting, we must remember that we can’t dismiss the relationship aspect in this challenge. We must approach this issue in an attitude of love and support. Here are a few other tips that can be helpful.
Help for Picky Eaters
1. When serving the meal consider the size of your plates and the portions you’re serving. Did you use age-appropriate portions or did you use adult portions? In our culture today, many of us have lost the perspective of what a serving or portion is. It’s not uncommon for our portions to actually be two and three times more than they should. We can teach good eating habits when we become aware of the servings on our own plates and start dishing up the proper portions.
2. When offering a new food to the family, consider the natural tendency to reject anything new. To prevent this obstinacy, talk about trying this food out at least two weeks in advance. Have the child help you find recipes for the new ingredient (use the internet for photos that make the dish look inviting). Have the child help in the kitchen as you cook. Finally, don’t neglect these moments to share memories of your personal experience trying new foods.
3. Don’t insist that they “eat it all” all of the time. I’ve found there are times that I require my children to “eat all” of something, however, most of the time I give my children choices. This is what you might hear at my table:
Child: “Mommy, do I have to eat my tomatoes?”
Mommy: “No, you don’t. However, if you don’t eat your tomatoes, you don’t eat again until dinner time. No snacks or treats.”
OR I might say,
“No, you don’t. How many do you think you could eat cheerfully? Let’s try to eat that many.”
OR I have often been heard saying,
“No, you don’t. However, if you don’t eat your tomatoes, you have to eat all your onions (or another food that has nutritional value).
Stop the Food Fight
Did you notice how I started each of my replies with, “No, you don’t”? Wording our replies wisely is vital. Make sure that your first response tells your child that you are there to help them make good choices. Quite often, when we speak carefully, we can avoid power struggles with our children.
Giving choices helps in those times when I say, “Yes. Today, Mommy wants you to eat all your tomatoes.” I’ve found that giving choices and making sure I keep a good healthy dose of flexibility, has proven very successful to overcome the “food fight” with my picky eaters. Of course, if I have a child being defiant, I will require they practice obedience. I do my best to make sure we avoid these challenges at the table. I’m confident that the table should be a place of trust, offering good growing experiences with fun conversation and happy memories.
I will choose to work on my child’s obedience in other areas so that food doesn’t become a fight.
Have these ideas been a helpful springboard? Do you have more ideas to offer? I am sure our readers would love to hear what works in your home as well!
Until our next chat,
Mrs. Joseph Wood
Have you heard the news? It’s national ice cream sandwich day! (insert me cheering and leaping for joy!)
Before I say goodbye to summer, I must pause and savor the season.
Yes, Autumn is one of my most favorite times of the year, but I always feel like I’m cheating myself if I don’t slow down to create and enjoy the simple pleasures of the present moment.
- Fully appreciating the long summer days.
- Listening to the children giggle and splash in the pool.
- Watching fireflies dance in the yard.
- Smelling the aroma from the BBQ as Daddy grills.
- Setting the table with momma as we prepare for guests.
- Laughing around the table with friends both new and old.
I count my blessings to share these summer moments with those I love. It’s not unusual to find us sharing homemade treats as well. Recipes from grandma that have been passed down and enjoyed even more today.
With national ice cream sandwich day coming up I thought it was only right to share our homemade ice cream sandwich recipe with you so you can enjoy these chilly treasures before saying goodbye to summer.
Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe
Before we get started with the recipe, I want you to know I’ve included some affiliate links in here. It costs you no more to shop through the link but does help keep the site running. With that said, Let’s make some ice cream.
You’ll need to use an ice cream mixer of your choice. We’ve used a few over the years. The Cuisinart ice cream maker is one we really enjoy, but with our family size we need several bowls (you have to freeze them first) and we just don’t have enough freezer space for them. We’ve used many different ice cream makers over the year, right now we’re using the Rival ice cream maker with success.
Once you have your ice cream maker figured out, combine the following ingredients and mix well. Then add to your ice cream maker and use as instructed.
Elisha’s Fabulous Vanilla Ice Cream
1 Quart Heavy cream
1 Quart half and half
One cup of milk
2 to 2.5 cups of cane sugar
2-3 Tb pure vanilla extract
Beans from one vanilla pod
Mix sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl, then add the heavy cream, half and half, and milk.
Once that is mixed well add your vanilla extract and the beans from the vanilla pod. Mix all items well before adding to ice cream maker.
Allow your ice cream maker to do the magic. If you use the same ice cream maker as we do, you’ll want to layer your ice and salt for best results. It takes approximately 45 min to churn. At the end of this time, it will be like a soft serve ice cream. To use for ice cream sandwiches, you’ll want it firm, so go ahead and freeze your ice cream overnight.
In the morning, you’ll want to make your cookies and allow them to cool before assembling your ice cream cookie. You can get creative and use a variety of recipes. Last week we made some ice cream sandwiches using the cookie recipe from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller page 40. The cookies are smooth, slightly sweet, with a deep chocolate flavor. They are an excellent homemade expression of an oreo cookie. For this project, I would suggest you want the cookies to be soft so reduce your cooking time just a bit. We baked our cookies for 8-10 min instead of 15 min.
Assemble and enjoy
Don’t say goodbye to summer without enjoying these treats with people you love. If you do make this recipe, please come back and share. I’d like to chat with you and hear about your experience.
Until our next chat,
Mrs. Joseph Wood.
Are you looking for the perfect doughnuts?
Look no farther!
Last week I shared how to make delicious doughnuts. Simple, but critical tips were addressed to ensure your doughnut-making experience is a success. Creating the perfect doughnut depends on a recipe that includes the right amount of fats, and allows your doughnuts to rise to perfection- not too little or too much. Once you have those two aspects addressed, then you’re ready to learn the tricks to fry your doughnuts to perfection.
Today, we’re going to talk about making perfect doughnuts by avoiding some of the most common mistakes.
Oh! If you haven’t already done so, make sure you pick up your copy of my Doughnut making e-book. I share my favorite recipes for doughnuts and glazes.
Once you have that task accomplished, let’s get started.
How to make perfect doughnuts
To create the ideal doughnut, we need to pay careful attention to the process of frying the doughnuts. There are three factors to frying that I consider critical.
- Type of Oil
- Temperature of Oil
- Time in Oil
Type of Oil
The kind of oil you use is critical in the taste and texture of your doughnuts. I have used a wide assortment of oils to test the difference for myself.
My first choice is peanut oil. It has a high smoke point of 400 degrees and a neutral taste, making it a favorite among bakers. Learn more about why peanut oil is excellent for frying by visiting Serious Eats to learn what they have to say.
I also enjoy using expeller pressed coconut oil even though it’s smoke point isn’t as high. Many people may suggest that coconut oil is too expensive to use for frying, but I’ve found that I can get it for a reasonable price from Azure Standard.
Both Peanut Oil and Coconut oil are considered healthy fats compared to lard or shortening. I love knowing the oil I’m using has healthy properties (it makes it easier for me to justify eating one more doughnut).
Like I mentioned, I’ve used all kinds of oils. Natural flavor, high smoke point and light Vegetable oil and shortening are common oils new doughnut makers use by mistake. These oils might do in a pinch but tend to leave your doughnut feeling heavy and oily so stay away from using them if possible.
Temperature of Oil
The temperature of your oil fluctuates through the doughnut-making process, so it’s going to be vital that you check the temperature before you start frying and each time you cook another batch.
Heat your oil to 375.
Heating your oil can take a while. I typically heat my oil and start my frostings as soon as my doughnuts begin their second rise.
Once your oil is at the correct temperature, testing a doughnut is recommended. I check my oil by frying my doughnut holes first, so if I make a mistake, it’s not an entire doughnut that went to waste.
You might be tempted to not “waste” any oil and use less than I recommend. Keep this in mind, if your oil isn’t deep enough your doughnut won’t have the freedom to fry correctly so make sure you don’t overcrowd your pan with doughnuts or add too little oil.
Don’t go overboard with your oil either. Remember your oil level in the pan will rise as you add doughnuts so be careful not to overfill the pan.
Keep this in mind as you work:
- Doughnuts fried in oil that is too cool will cause your doughnut to be weighed down with oil.
- Doughnuts fried in oil that is too hot result in doughnuts with uncooked centers and overdone on the outside
Time in Oil
If all goes well with frying the doughnut holes, then I test my temperature again and fry a single doughnut to make sure it’s what I want. I use this time to count how many seconds to fry on each side. Remember, I’ve been doing this for 30 years, so I know the look I am wanting. If you’re new to doughnut making, I encourage you to count 30-45 seconds for each side. You’re wanting them to have a golden brown appearance
Counting is a useful tool. As you go along, your oil will cool slightly after each batch, or if you take too long switching batches, it can get too hot. By checking the temperature with each batch and counting while you fry, you know you’re keeping your doughnuts consistent.
Take the time to test your temperature
When you remove your doughnuts from the oil, make sure you let the excess oil drip off before placing your doughnuts on a paper towel. A two-step process to remove excess oil is another bakers tip to produce the perfect doughnuts.
After this, then set your doughnuts on a cooling rack before frosting. Next week, I’ll share all of my tips on creating the best glazes for your doughnuts.
Here’s a recap
To ensure your success for perfect doughnuts make sure you do the following.
- Use peanut oil
- Use a large 8-quart stock pan and fill with 2-4 inches of oil
- Heat oil to 375 degrees
- Use a candy thermometer to ensure the oil temperature doesn’t get too cool or too hot.
- Test your oil throughout the process not just the start of the process.
- Remove excess oil from doughnuts.
Well, that’s it for today’s insider’s tips.
Have you started making your doughnuts yet?
Do you have some suggestions to add?
I’d love to hear from you, make sure you leave a comment below.
Don’t forget, next week we’ll be talking about frostings and glazes. I’ve listed our family favorites in, The Doughnut Handbook. Make sure you pick up your copy and start making these treats for you and those you love.
Until our next chat,
Mrs. Joseph Wood
“What does it take to make delicious doughnuts?”
I get asked this question more times than I can count. I’ve often wondered why. They seem pretty straightforward and easy for me.
Now keep in mind, I’m the girl that blew up the Home Economics room (In reality, I just set many accidental fires). I’m also the woman who met my neighbors after every move by smoke detectors going off and at times even had smoke billowing out the doors and windows.
So, I think it’s safe to say that if I’ve figured out how to make delicious doughnuts, you can too!
As I prepared for this conversation, I started to realize why it might be hard for some of you attempting doughnut making for the first time. There are several misleading tips listed online that might be causing you unnecessary trouble. Because of that, I felt a series of posts to troubleshoot these issues would be helpful.
Keep in mind, I am not a professional doughnut maker, but I have had over 30 years of practice. I figure if I can’t make a delicious doughnut by now, there’s something wrong!
So what makes a doughnut delicious?
In my opinion, it needs three essential characteristics.
- Fluffy on the inside
- Tender on the outside
- Glazed to perfection
For the next several weeks, I’ll be troubleshooting some common mistakes and answering your questions on doughnut making. I invite you to leave your comments below; I will reply to each one.
If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to purchase my new ebook, The Doughnut Handbook. I share my recipes as well as the behind the scene story that tells a testimony of tenacity!
Let’s get started!
Today, we’re just going to be talking about creating the perfect fluffy texture that your doughnut requires.
The texture of a doughnut is a personal preference. In fact, there are towns where doughnut wars are happening over which texture of doughnut is the “right” texture and which doughnut is the best doughnut. I won’t heat up the debate, but I like my doughnuts airy, not in the least bit dense.
Because of this, the recipe I share calls for milk and water.
The milk/water combination is critical to creating the fluffy texture we want. Recipes that call for you to use milk alone tend to be denser. So if you already have a doughnut recipe you enjoy, but it is too thick, just cut your milk in half and replace the other half of the measurement with water.
It’s essential that you don’t just put all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Timing is important when mixing the ingredients of this recipe.
Make sure you pay careful attention to add the ingredients in order as I have listed in the handbook. Following instructions will help ensure you get that airy, fluffy texture you enjoy.
Yeast, sugar, and water should be the first ingredients you mix. Make sure you let them sit for about 10 min before adding any other ingredients. You should see a lot of activity out of the yeast; by the end of the time it should be bubbling and expanding well.
Now you can mix in your milk and continue to add the other ingredients in order as explained in the handbook.
If you don’t have a mixer, you can do this all in a bowl and finish the dough by hand kneading. Note: It makes a noticeable difference in the texture of the dough when you use a mixer like my Kitchen Aid.
Your dough should be tacky- not firm or sticky. I know this can be difficult to understand, but once you’ve done it, you’ll see the difference. I’ll try to offer you some guidance here so you can determine the status of your doughnut dough.
How does tacky dough look different from sticky dough or firm dough?
Sticky dough is messy, and I do mean messy! It sticks to everything and doesn’t want to pull away from you. It’s usually the result of not mixing your dough long enough. So keep mixing!
The tacky dough is just that tacky, it does stick to you, but it also has a slight firmness that makes it not feel as sticky and wet like sticky dough feels.
A firm dough is firm. It doesn’t stick to your fingers and would feel dense if you poked on it.
Do not overwork your dough.
Overworking the dough causes it to be dense, and we’ve already established a dense doughnut doesn’t measure up to our delicious doughnut requirements.
Okay, once you have your dough thoroughly mixed together, you’ll want to lightly flour your hands and roll the dough into a ball.
Place your dough into a bowl that you’ve oiled to prevent the dough from sticking to the sides. Also, rub some oil on the top of your dough before placing inside the bowl to ensure it doesn’t rise and then stick to the plastic wrap you use to cover the bowl.
Cold rise vs. warm rise
When using my recipe included in the Doughnut Handbook, you have two options for rising. A cold rise, or a warm rise. Until recently I had never tried a cold rise. I thought it might be nice to try and give you our feedback on the differences. After performing my taste test, I decided that the warm rise won. I thought it would be tempting to use the cold rise so I could make the dough the night before and have doughnuts more often, but it just didn’t yield my preferred texture.
The cold rise does cause a more infused flavor of the dough (which I liked), but it’s also denser than the warm rise doughnuts. Because of that, I will continue to use the warm rise method in my doughnut making adventures.
You don’t have to take my word for it; I have a husband, eleven children, four grandchildren, and two parents who often work as my “Testers.” While they all agreed the cold rise doughnut was delicious, they also agree that it was denser than the warm rise.
The Second Rise
For fluffy doughnuts, you’ll need to roll the dough out and cut into your doughnut desired shapes; let your doughnuts rise a second time. Make sure you set them in a warm place for about an hour more (more is not better so be careful not to let them rise too much). Follow these tips, and you’ll be off to a great start on making your own delicious doughnuts.
- Do not overwork the dough while rolling out the dough. I even pat it out into a flat shape about 1/2in thick.
- Cut your doughnuts out by pressing down with your doughnut cutters or mason jar lids or whatever tool you choose. Do NOT twist your cutter. When you twist, you seal the edges, preventing the doughnuts from being able to rise sufficiently.
- Butter or spray your cookie sheet with a cooking spray to prevent your doughnuts from sticking to the pan when you need to put them in the fryer.
- Cover with plastic wrap instead of a towel.
- Test your doughnuts to make sure they have risen enough by doing a touch test. Touch the doughnut if your fingerprint indent remains they are ready to go into the fryer.
Friends, following my instructions in the handbook, and the tips provided here, will ensure you get delicious doughnuts that are light, airy, and fluffy on the inside. Next week, I will share some tips on how to get that sweet tender outside to your doughnuts.
Until our next chat,
Mrs. Joseph Wood
As a mom of children who are several years apart, I’ve discovered it’s easy to forget that the younger child hasn’t experienced a special memory that the older children did. I have to remember this with story time too. I will forget that while I may have read this book four times, Danny Boy’s never heard of it. (more…)
I finally did it. I told my husband I am ending my longtime affair with buttered popcorn. (more…)