Amazing Kids! Magazine

Cook Time with Remmi

By Remmi Smith, Cook Nook Columnist

FROM MY HEART TO YOURS

Hi, Amazing Kids! This month is the month of love, since February 14th is Valentine’s Day. In my family, my mom always throws a Valentine’s Day party to celebrate the love we have for each other in our family. The whole family spends time together and we all get small gifts from my mom. It’s a tradition that we’ve had since before I was born! Besides Valentine’s Day, February is full of other fun holidays!

February is also “Berry Fresh Month” and the month of “Chocolate Celebration”. February 1st is “Give Kids a Smile Day”, February 4th is “Homemade Soup Day”, February 9th is “Read in the Bathtub Day” (which is one of my favorite things to do!), and February 13th is “Get a Different Name Day”. On this day, my family puts our entire family member’s names in a bowl and we each take turns picking out a name. Whichever name we pick is our name for the day (but you can’t pick your own name. If you do, you have to pick again). Last time, my name was Madde. February 24th is “National Tortilla Chip Day”. OK, let’s get cooking.

Remmi’s February Menu:

  • Bruschetta
  • Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup with a Heart-shaped Tortilla Chip
  • Dark Chocolate Dipped Hearts

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Bruschetta

Ingredients:

  • 12 slices crusty baguette, cut into heart-shapes
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 or 7 each tomatoes, seeded
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch basil, shredded

Directions:
Set oven to broil. Broil heart-shaped baguette slices until browned and crispy. Rub each piece well with the raw garlic cloves. Arrange bread slices on a platter. Toss tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon tomatoes over each slice of bread, just before serving. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle basil over all and serve.

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Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup with a Heart-shaped Tortilla Chip

Ingredients:

  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 lb chicken skinless boneless chicken breast, cubed*
  • 1 14oz can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 10 ¾oz can 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup
  • 1 15oz can black beans, with juice in the can
  • 1 15.25oz can of sweet corn kernels, with juice in the can
  • 1 10oz can Rotel (depending on your preference on spiciness- tomato & green chilies, mild, or hot), with juice in the can
  • Heart shaped tortilla chips**
  • Cilantro, for garnish***

*For easier cutting, use a good pair of kitchen shears to cut the chicken into cubes.
**Use a heart-shape cookie cutter to cut hearts out of soft tortillas. Broil them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet until crispy.
***Other garnish ideas: shredded sharp cheddar cheese, cubed avocados, fat-free sour cream.

Directions:
Add all ingredients into a crock pot or a large pot. If using a crock pot, set it on high for 4-5 hours, or until the chicken is done. If using a large pot, bring the soup to a simmer and let it simmer until the chicken is done. Place one heart-shaped tortilla chip on top of the soup or on the side of the bowl just before serving. Serve with any of the suggested garnishes.

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Dark Chocolate Dipped Hearts

Ingredients:

  • 3oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • water
  • ½ lb strawberries, washed and dried very well

Directions:
Put the dark chocolate into a heatproof medium bowl. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat; set the bowl of chocolate over the water to melt. Stir until smooth. (You can also melt the chocolate in a microwave at half power, for 1 minute, stir and then heat for another minute or until melted.) Once the chocolates are melted and smooth, remove from the heat. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Cut the strawberry in half, from top to bottom (top is where the leaves are, bottom is the pointy end). Cut the leaves off the top in a “V” shape, making the strawberry into a heart. Holding the strawberry heart by the top (“V”), dip the fruit into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Set strawberry on the parchment or wax paper. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Set the strawberries aside until the chocolate sets, about 30 minutes.

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DID YOU KNOW?

  • Bruschetta is the name for grilled bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil. Topping it with fresh tomatoes is a typical Roman antipasto.
  • The earliest evidence of our ancestors eating soup was about 6000 BC. Guess what kind of soup it was? Hippopotamus! Yuck!
  • Dark chocolate is actually good for you. It is a potent antioxidant and helps lower blood pressure. But, you only need a palm-full of dark chocolate (alone, not with milk, etc.) a week, or else it’s too much.
  • There is a museum in Belgium just for strawberries
  • You can make your own chocolate spa bath by mixing one cup of cocoa with two cups of preferred milk. Add half a cup of honey and whip until frothy (an immersion blender works well). Pour a very warm bath, adding the frothed milk chocolate right at the end. Just before stepping into the tub, pour in sparkling grape juice. (My mom would kill me if I did this!)
  • In the 1940’s, in Los Angeles, Rebecca Webb Carranza made the triangular shaped tortilla chip. She took the tortilla scraps from the automated tortilla machine and fried them.
  • About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged in the US each year, making it the second largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas – 85% of these purchases are made by women, and 1 out of every 5 valentines are received by parents.
  • Based on May 2010’s Social Security Administration statistics, the number one female name was “Isabella” and the number one male name was “Jacob”. I looked up my name, Remmington, and it is very rare as a first name. My last name, Smith, however is the first most common last name in the US. Around 2,515,000 people have “Smith” as a last name in the US.

Remember, February 1st is “Give a Kids a Smile Day”. Since I know there is a kid in all of us, let’s make every one smile!
Happy February!
Remmi

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