Pan Fried Plantains

This recipe takes a whole 10 minutes to make and makes for a great snack or dessert. Kids can easily help with this recipe too.

If your local supermarket doesn’t have plantains, use bananas instead. Use one banana per person. Serve alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel!

1. Cut bananas into quarters (4 even pieces).

2. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil to small pan & fry until golden brown.

3. Place bananas on paper towel to absorb oil.

4. Sprinkle lightly with brown sugar & a pinch ground nutmeg.

5. Serve warm & enjoy!

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Safe Knife Skills for Kids

There are various types of kid safe knives that make a great addition to your kids kitchen tool kit. We absolutely love the Curious Chef plastic kids knife, they offer 3 different sizes and have a great grip for little hands.

Young kids can start off by cutting soft ingredients like hard boiled eggs, butter, strawberries or mushrooms. As they gain more practice & confidence in properly using a knife, they can start to chop various foods.

Here are some guidelines to using a knife safely. Remember these are just basic tips and you know your child best, so only let your kid do what YOU are comfortable with.

Knife Skillz

Creating a Global Birthday Party Theme

As a summer birthday kid, I always enjoyed creating my own themed birthday party. One year, I made homemade cow pies (out of dirt & wood boards obviously;) for a cowboy themed party and my favorite party of all was a carnival theme where neighbor kids could come buy tickets, have snacks and visit different stations….I always had to be the fortune teller!

Now as a grown up, I love to host parties and enjoy every step of the planning process. Hospitality is an important part of celebrating life events and traditions. Making people feel welcome and cared for makes us all feel amazing.

Kid parties can get really expensive so an alternative option is having a world themed party right at home. Let your kid choose the activities and plan the party so they can learn to host parties early on and use their creativity to plan a one of a kind celebration.

Global Birthday Party Ideas

  1. Pick a Destination. Have your kid choose a country or just do a world theme. For this post, I will pick Zanzibar to show you activity examples.
  2. Pick a Color Palate. Choose the colors of Zanzibar’s flag (green, black, yellow & bright blue) and find these colors for plates, cups, balloons, table cloths, streamers etc. iStock_000026487697_Large
  3. Teach Kids How to Cook a Meal/Snack. Find a simple recipe from your destination (Check out my Maharagwe recipe here) but try it out at home first. This will help you decide whether or not it’s easy enough for kids to do it within an hour or less. The less cooking time, the better since kids won’t focus for too long. Give everyone a simple task like peeling & chopping veggies with kid safe utensils (Curious Chef), measuring spices, rinsing beans, plucking herbs off stems. *Always be sure to ask about any allergies your guests may have!
  4. Activity Table. Set up a space with a few crafts lined up. Get some washable crayons, colored pencils, fun paper, stamps with ink and blank puzzles from a craft store. Some great ideas are making treasure maps & country flags. Give kids basic instructions or a template and let their creativity soar.canstockphoto16283272
  5. Play Games. Set up a scavenger hunt based off facts of Zanzibar. Example Zanzibar is known as the Spice Islands since they grow cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices, where do you think the next clue could be hidden?” Hide the next clue in your spice cupboard of course. Or have kids come up with a list of 8 items they would pack for a trip to Zanzibar. Make it more challenging with using only the letters of the country. Example: Z= ziploc bag to keep things dry and so on.
  6. Goodie Bags. The very best part of the day! Fill them up with little maps, passports, stamps, stickers, the recipe you made, an apron, art supplies or a cooking utensil. Oriental Trading has adorable & affordable world themed trinkets and be sure to check your local craft store for other treasures.canstockphoto2088109

Planning a global birthday party doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. Keep it simple, creative & joyful and your kid will have the best birthday memories!

From my kitchen to yours,

Sheila

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Dinner in Zanzibar

Maharagwe | Beans in Coconut Milk

Serves 4. Total Time 45 Minutes

 

 

Kitchen Supplies:

  • 2 medium frying pans (1 for the main dish & 1 for the protein)
  • 1 small frying pan (for the fried bananas)
  • 2 pots & lids (1 for the veggie side dish & 1 for rice or couscous
  • 2 cutting boards (1 for veggies & 1 for protein)
  • 2 knives (always handle with an adult)
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • 2 stirring spoons
  • 1 colander
  • Salt & pepper

Market List:

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 large tomatoes (fresh or canned-enough for 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro
  • Your choice of a fresh veggie for a side dish.
  •  1 can of pinto beans
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk, not coconut cream
  • Coconut oil, 3 tbsp
  • 1-2 cups of couscous or your favorite kind of rice
  • Brown sugar, 1 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp turmeric, 1 tsp garlic powder, 4 cardamom pods or 1 tsp ground, 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • *Protein (optional)- 1 poundof shrimp, fish, tofu or chicken

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Prep:

1. Always wash your hands first!

2. Wash the cilantro & tomatoes (if you’re using fresh ones).

3. Peel the onion & dice it into small pieces.

4. Chop 2 cups of tomatoes or open the can.

5. Rinse the can of pinto beans in a colander.

6. Pluck the leaves off of the cilantro stems & chop the leaves, just enough for 1/2 cup.

7. Shake then open the can of coconut milk.

8. Cut your choice of protein into bite size pieces (or skip this step if vegan/vegetarian).

9. Prepare your veggie as you would like for the side dish.

Instructions:

1. Prepare rice or couscous as directed on the package.

2. Add 2 tbsp of coconut oil & diced onions to the frying pan. Sauté the onions on medium heat until they’re clear (about 5-7 minutes).

3. Add 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp garlic powder, 4 cracked cardamom pods, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 2 cups of tomatoes, can of coconut milk & rinsed pinto beans to the cooked onions. Add 1 tsp salt & 1 tsp pepper. Stir well.

4. Cook the protein separately, however you prefer to make it (or skip this step). Set aside.

5. Add the protein to the stew (or skip this step).

6. Add the chopped cilantro leaves & simmer (cook on low heat) for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

7. Cook your choice of vegetable for a side dish.

8. Serve Maharagwe over rice or couscous.

9. Enjoy your meal, *Furahia Moo Wake!

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Why Kids Need to Learn about the World

The more I learn about another culture, the more I realize how people across the globe share many more similarities than differences. We (most people) all do the best we can given our circumstances, we want the best for ourselves and families & we all love good food!

My parents encouraged me to see world from a young age and that made me incredibly curious and excited to learn as much as I could. I was lucky to come from a family that embraced two cultures, Iranian and Italian, but I grew up in a very non-diverse city in Wisconsin. This sparked my curiosity even more- I craved exotic dishes and wanted to meet people with totally different experiences than I had.

Global Gastronauts international cooking boxes was created to ensure that kids can learn about the world right at home, no matter where they live. Here are some reasons why your kids need to be learning about the world early on.

  1. Exposing kids to the unfamiliar activates new ways of thinking. Stepping outside of our comfort zone can be hard, but it’s often not as difficult as we make it out to be in our heads. The sooner kids are exposed to something different, the less scary it becomes growing up. Trying something new helps build open minds and hearts that are confident and courageous, Give your kids the right opportunities to encounter the unfamiliar right at home. See our first blog post about activities to do as a family.
  2. Learning about the world helps us develop empathy and inclusivity. We all have the need to be accepted by others, especially as children. In my own experience, kids who bully others are often intimidated by someone who is different from what they know and understand. You all can think of a kid who was ignored or bullied for being different. Learning to understand how other people live can help ease the fear of the unfamiliar. Ask questions about your child’s classmates who are ignored or picked on for being different. Then come up with ways your kid can include that someone. If your child is uncomfortable with this, ask more questions to get a better idea of the source of discomfort. Find a solution that’s right for your family.
  3. Cultural education can help break stereotypes and misconceptions. We all have heard stereotypes of specific groups of people and these misconceptions exist everywhere in the world. I’m always fascinated to learn what stereotypes people in different countries have, even here in the US.  I heard MANY misconceptions about Americans and the USA while traveling, which did affect me in various circumstances (I will save those stories for another post:). The bottom line is, talk about stereotypes, racism, and other social issues of culture with your kids. Start the discussion early and come up with ways for your family to become even more culturally inclusive. The more interaction we have with people who are different, whether it’s a kid at school or someone from a different culture, the more kids will see and embrace our similarities.

From my kitchen to yours,

Sheila

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How does your family learn about new cultures and what resources are available in your community?

Eat Your Greens Pasta. Kid Friendly Dinner Made in 20.

 

This dinner was a huge hit with my family. It’s flavorful and jam packed with nutrition- hello omega 3s and iron! Toss in what veggies you have in the fridge and make it meatless if you prefer.

1 cup shelled walnuts

2 cups spinach leaves

1 garlic clove

1/4 extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp water

1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms

1/4 cup small chunks haloumi cheese or Asiago. Whatever you’ve got in the fridge will do.

Fettuccine (enough for 4 people)

3-4 sweet chicken & kale sausages

1. Blitz in spinach, walnuts, garlic and EVOO in a food processor or blender until smooth & creamy.
2. Sauté sausages until cooked then add mushrooms and sauté until soft. Add cheese and pesto, stir for a few minutes until warm and melts.

3. Cook fettuccine as directed on package.

4. Toss everything together and make sure to share with others 🤣

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Toddler Approved!

   From my kitchen to yours,

    Sheila

                   

http://www.globalgastronauts.com