Growing up in Austin and living in the south, I never realized that the southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas was not a “national” tradition until I moved to Ft. Collins, Colorado when Iwas first married. I went to the grocery to buy black-eyed peas for my tradtional recipe to serve on New Year’s Day and there were no black-eyed peas to be found in the store. And furthermore, no one had ever heard of this New Year’s Day tradition!

So for all of you that are not southern born and bred, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is to bring good luck for the coming year…so let’s all eat up! Here’s my recipe  that was printed some years ago in Family Fun Magazine. It’s great way to get kids to eat their veggies and so delicious that both grown-ups and kids will enjoy it year round. Served-up in small glasses or footed clear coffee mugs, it’ makes a festive side dish. Served in a bowl, it is an awesome salsa-type dip served with corn chips. The photo shows the recipe layered with rice ( which is delish)  but the recipe below was made for a salsa dip that we made at Kids Cook! in Austin last week as our food treat activity…the kids ate this up beyond belief !!!

Happy New Year Confetti Black-eyed Peas

Serves 6-8


1 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 cup chopped orange bell pepper

1 tomato, chopped

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons lime juice

Cilantro or basil, to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups fresh, canned or frozen black-eyed peas cooked and cooled 

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Sour cream and cherry tomatoes (for garnish)


Stir together chopped bell peppers, onion powder, chopped tomato, chili powder and salt and pepper. Add black-eyed peas and top with cheese. Serve with corn chips or veggies.

Kids Cook! 512-346-3333 www.kidscookaustin.com

Shop online www.kidscookingshop.com.



LET’ S CELEBRATE THE NEW YEAR! It’s the magical night all children dream about; the one night parents allow them to stay up until midnight to ring-in the New Year. Let the kids toast in this New Year with our festive Confetti Ice Cream Pops!

Confetti Ice Cream Pops

Makes 8


8 pieces, 1 1/2-inch soft-centered candy bars, like Milky Way or Snickers

1 pint vanilla ice cream or white chocolate ice cream, slightly softened

3/4 cups assorted-color candy confetti or confetti Nerds

Let’s Make the Pops!

  1. Insert a wooden Popsicle stick into one end of each candy bar and set aside.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon of ice cream in the bottom of a 3-ounce paper cup or use something  like one of these cool pop -makers. http://www.kidscookingshop.com/ice-cream-pop-mold.
  3.  Place candy in center of the cup, surround with 3 tablespoons ice cream, and smooth over the top.
  4. Transfer cup to a baking sheet, repeat with remaining cups, and freeze until solid. Pour confetti or sprinkles into a shallow bowl and set aside. Peel the cup from each ice cream pop and roll in the decorations to cover completely. May be stored covered in freezer up to 3 days.


Kids are off for the winter break and there is plenty of snow in many parts of the counrty this holiday season. And even if you’re not in a place where it snows, you can let it snow inside your kitchen with these sweet and salty cupcakes that I have named Snowy Popcorn Cupcakes from my 4th children’s cookbook, the Fairies Cookbook. http://www.kidscookingshop.com/author-signed-fairies-cookbook

It’s a recipe that’s fun to make and beautiful to serve. Have fun with your kids this holiday season and enjoy making, baking and decorating my Snowy Popcorn Cupcakes!




Makes 24 cupcakes


1 box white cake mix


1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

4 cups popped corn

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 can Vanilla Frosting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

1. Make cake mix according to package directions substituting milk for water in the amount stated on the cake mix directions. Add vanilla and almond extracts to the batter and stir to blend.

2. Fill muffin cup with paper liners and spray generously with non- stick spray.

3. Divide batter evenly between 24 muffin cups using an ice cream scoop to keep the amount of batter equal between cups.

4. Bake and cool according to package directions.

5. Fill a large bowl with popcorn.

6. Frost each cupcake generously with frosting then dip each frosted cupcake into popcorn adding 6-8 white chocolate chips to fill-in where popcorn did not stick.

Kids Cook! Austin 512-346-3333 www.kidscookaustin.com

Shop online www.kidscookingshop.com  

School’s out for the holidays so celebrate the extra time together  and bake-up a batch of HOT CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES! 

This week @ Kids Cook! here in Austin we will be making these fun and festive Hot Chocolate Cupcakes all week at our walk-in Food Treat Activity Center.

Most bakers don’t realize that almost evey coffee cup or mug can be baked in the oven. Pick and choose from what’s in your kitchen cabinet. It’s fun to let every child choose their very own cup to bake the cupcakes…just make sure the cups are all about the same size so the bake time is the same. At home, you can bake- up ahead of time and them  keep covered in the frig for a day or two. When ready to frost and decorate, just bring out the cupcakes for 15 minutes to room temp and let the kids have fun!

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes


Your favorite chocolate or German Chocolate cake mix

1 jar marshmallow crème

Assorted hard candies

Coat the insides of oven safe cups with cooking spray. Fill the cups halfway with chocolate cake batter. We used a mix for German chocolate cake, which is a lighter color than regular chocolate cake and looks more like hot cocoa.

  1. Follow the cupcake making and baking instructions on the cake mix package. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean or with just a few crumbs. Allow the cakes to cool for about 15 minutes.
  2. Top each cup with a generous dollop of marshmallow crème and candies. One cake mix makes enough batter for 18 cups but if you want fewer than that, bake the remaining batter in a small cake pan.

Kids Cook! retail location 512-346-3333  www.kidscookaustin.com

Shop online www.kidscookingshop.com

Whoop there it is!  The HOTTEST Christmas gift we have seen this year – The Gumball-filled Hula Hoop! If you live in or near Austin, stop by Kids Cook! and grab this “Santa” gift for the kids in your family—fun for grown-ups too! www.kidscookaustin.com  

Set- up “Candyland” in your own home over the holidays and create a cupcake bar with assorted colors of cupcakes & frostings ( use food colors to dye vanilla cupcakes & frostings a rainbow of colors)  and have the kids frost and decorate cupcakes using small gumballs. 

For more fun and kid-friendly cupcake recipes check out the Pink Princess Cupcakes Cookbook with 30 recipes and full page  photography of every cupcake in the cookbook . http://www.kidscookingshop.com/author-signed-pink-princess-cupcakes-cookbook 

Tis the season to be jolly – Merry Merry to one and all!

Jumping for Gingerbread Cookies!

It’s the holiday season and nothing tastes more like Christmas than making a fresh, spicy scented  batch of gingerbread cookies! The dough may be made up days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. It can be ready any time the kids are ready to bake and decorate. There are many different ways to use this recipe. Of course gingerbread men ( and ladies) are the classic, but this dough also works great for gingerbread house construction. Make smaller gingerbread men to adorn and embellish your favorite cupcakes to create the perfect holiday treat for kids’ parties and neighborhood gatherings. For more recipes and decorating tips and to see a beautiful image of our holiday gingerbread cupcakes go to our online shop at www.kidscookingshop.com .

If you are in Austin, check-out  our retail store – Kids Cook! on Far West Blvd. 512-346-3333  www.kidscookaustin.com and register for some of our creative holiday classes and workshops. You can also drop by anytime we are open ( M-S 10-5) and let your child create a Food Treat  at our exclusive Food Treat Activity Center…You never need to register…just walk-in anytime and enjoy a mini cooking lesson!

Gingerbread Cookie Cut-Outs


3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 egg

3/4 cup molasses

3 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Powdered sugar for rolling out dough

Assorted candies and decorating sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, egg, and molasses.

Stir in dry ingredients and mix completely. Cover bowl and put in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours or until needed and up to 1 week.

Take out small portions, about 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup, of the cookie dough, and roll out 1/4- to 1/2-inch thickness. Use powdered sugar instead of flour to roll out cookie dough. It won’t toughen cookies as flour does if too much is used.

Decorate cookies using candy and sprinkles.

Bake on a foil-lined cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on size of cookie.

Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully remove. Cool another 10 minutes before using icing.

 You’ll jump for joy with every bite!

It’s almost fall and that means it’s time for autumn’s harvest.

We’ve been cooking-up some fun fall harvest treats here at Kids Cook! Austin and want to share some of our favorite recipes with you.  

This is my favorite new product in the store this week…A PANCAKE PEN! Just measure and mix the batter right in this squirt top container and then have fun with the kids on Sunday morning! Please try this pancake recipe for Pixie Pancakes from my Fairies Cookbook… it is the perfect pancake batter recipe for using the Pancake Pen.



Blueberry Pixie Pancakes

Makes 20 -2 to3 inch pancakes



*2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2-3/4 cups blueberries or raspberries, sliced strawberries, apples, peaches or bananas 
Let’s Start Mixing!

 1. Place the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl and whisk together to incorporate ingredients.

2. Add eggs and milk in a separate bowl, then whisk in the melted butter and vanilla extract. Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon, but do not beat. The batter will be a little bit lumpy, but that’s okay.

3. Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, pour pancake batter onto a hot griddle spayed generously with non-stick spray. Place a few blueberries or other fruit of choice on the top side of the pancake. When bubbles form, flip pancake and heat another one to two minutes.

4. Remove pancakes from griddle one at a time with a spatula. Place pancakes a plate and keep in a 200 degree oven covered with foil until ready to serve.

5. Carefully remove pancakes 2-3 at a time from the oven and using assorted shapes of 2-3 inch cookie cutters, cut-our pancakes into your favorite shapes.

6. Serve with heated maple syrup, additional fresh fruits, and a sprinkling of “pixie dust” powdered sugar.

 Eat them while you can…These little blueberry pixie pancakes are “fly-off the plate” delicious!

Alternately use your favorite pancake mix and add 2 tablespoons sugar, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Nuts About Nut Butters

Makes about 1 cup


1 cup unsalted roasted organic peanuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia, or Brazil nuts
1/4 teaspoon all natural sea salt
1-2 tablespoons unrefined vegetable oil


Unrefined organic sugar to taste

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup unsalted roasted chopped nuts for chunky butters

Let’s Start Blending!

  1. Place the nuts and salt in a food processor or blender and process until finely ground.
  2. Add oil and continue processing until the nut butter becomes smooth and creamy, adding more oil if necessary. Add optional sugar and cinnamon and process to blend.
  3. For chunky butters, stir in 1/4 cup roasted, chopped nuts to processed nut butter.
  4. Store in airtight covered container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Crisp and Crunchy Wonton Crackers

Makes about 24


Sweet Maple-Cinnamon Crackers

24 – 3 ½ inch organic Wonton wrappers, thawed

2 teaspoons organic maple syrup or local honey +

1 /2 teaspoon Fair Trade ground cinnamon, combined

Savory Sesame Crackers

24 – 3 ½ inch organic Wonton wrappers, thawed

2 teaspoons organic dark sesame oil + 1/4 teaspoon all natural sea salt, combined

1 teaspoon organic black or white sesame seeds

Let’s Start Baking!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with a silpat, unbleached parchment paper, or reused clean brown paper grocery bag cut to fit sheet pan. Set aside.

1. Carefully remove Wonton wrappers from package, one at a time, and place on cutting board. Using assorted 2 inch cookie cutters, cut out wonton wrappers into various shapes.

2. Place cutout wonton wrappers ½ inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.

3. Lightly brush each cut-out Wonton wrapper with the maple-syrup mixture or sesame oil mixture. If using sesame oil mixture, additionally sprinkle each Wonton cut-out equally with sesame seeds.

5. Place cookie sheets in oven and bake for about 4 to 6 minutes. Watch the crackers carefully as they brown fast!

6. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan and serving.

 Serve Sweet Maple Cinnamon Crackers with Organic Orchard Fruit (I think we should add the word fruit to the recipe name) Salsa or Fair Trade Chocolate Ginger Dip.

Serve Sesame Crackers with Grow-a- Garden Dip or Dig that Earth Day Hummus

Grow -a -Garden Dip

Makes about 4 cups dip

Ingredients List

½ cup organic sour cream

1/2 cup plain organic yogurt

2 tablespoons organic flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons organic green onion tops, chopped

1 teaspoon organic garlic powder

½ teaspoon organic paprika

½ teaspoon all natural sea salt

¼ teaspoon organic black pepper

10 ounces organic frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 organic avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped

1/2 cup organic red bell pepper, diced


1 organic tomato, chopped

¼ cup organic Parmesan cheese, shredded

Let’s Start Mixing!

1. Combine sour cream, yogurt, parsley, green onion, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add spinach, avocado, and red bell pepper. Stir well to blend.

2. Cover dip and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer before serving.

3. Garnish with chopped tomato and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Kid-friendly Green Cuisine Tips

You can help the environment by using local farm raised organic veggies when making this dip. Grab your family and ride bikes or hop a bus to your closest farmers’ market. Enjoy some eco-friendly flavorful fun!