Bake Sale season is upon many families right now!  Even if you are not a “baker,”  there is much that you can do to help.  Many bake sales profits go toward charities, and other fund raisers for the community.  Volunteering to aid young children in the actual sales of the baked goods is always a help! Even using a baking mix, or store bought frosting, are fun and easy ways to cook with your children – and they can do most of the work themselves!  (You can always upgrade your mixes, and frosting by adding flavored extracts, and colorings).

The more you support your children in their involvement in community projects and activities, the more they will want to be involved in such projects later in life.  The more you cook with your children, the more they will enjoy cooking later in life.  The more you engage with your children and support what is important to them, the more they will come to you when they need help, or are in any kind of dilemma that life may toss their way.

This site promotes building togetherness through cooking and eating together as couples and families. What better time to practice these principals than bake sale season?  This site has a plethora of recipes for you to try with and for your little helpers.

Always Eat Well, Cook Often, & Love Much!

100 Days of School!

As your children approach 100 days of school, or even if it has come and gone, there are so many fun things you can do together to further their comprehension of 100!

Copyright 2013 Dawn Faith Photography & Recipe

Talk with your child about what they are learning.  Ask them what activities they did to learn about the number 100.  At home, you can be creative, and construct activities, learning, and food regarding or composed of “100”.

Read on for more ideas, and the highly sought after recipe for, Dawn Faith’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Brownies!

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Welcome Spring!

Spring Deer, Dawn Faith Photography, Copyright 2011-2012

The Vernal Equinox is upon us 3/20/2012, along with the warm weather, complete to compliment the season!  Celebrate with your family by spending quality time cooking and eating together out doors, as well as in.  Children of any age will enjoy both cooking and eating Dawn Faith’s, Equinox Muffins!

Dawn Faith's Equinox muffins, Copyright 2012 Photo and Recipe

(Recipe to follow).  Combine nutrition in food, with healthy communication in your relationships, to rejuvenate your lives this spring.  In spring we celebrate the awakening of life all around us – in nature, in weather, as well as in spirit.  New beginnings, rejuvenation, and rebirth are what we rejoice.  This is the season of opportunity. Read on for great ideas for healthy eating habits, and extra food.

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President’s Day and Fat Tuesday 2012

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This year Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras are directly following President’s Weekend, and for some families it falls in the midst of school vacation.  If you are away traveling, be sure to fully experience the foods of the local culture. Bring back a  local cookbook for your collection.  Wherever you are, it is a great opportunity to ask your kids what they have learned from school, friends, and media about both President’s Day and Mardi Gras.  Explore the topics with them, by completing a craft, taking a trip to a historical place or museum or even the Library.

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Children of all ages enjoy hands on activity and involvement.  Learning by doing is what inspires creativity, and brain development. Combine that with your loving guidance and attention, and you also establish the core foundation for a life long love of self and learning – that is the best recipe you could ever obtain! Parents hold the privilege and power to contribute to their children’s emotional and neurological health, and development.  This can be accomplished in many ways – but it is always fun to embrace holidays as they come around.

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The 4th Of July: A Modern Day Common Sense

When I was a child, I remember clearly, having very distorted concepts about what the 4th of July is really all about. This was the case despite my father’s passionate admiration of the Founding Father’s Principles, and his commitment and dedication to the foundation of the United States and the Republic for which it stands. Therefore, the question remains – “How do we teach our children the history, points, and facts about a holiday such as the 4th of July and have them really get it?” How do we link what they see: BBQs, Fireworks, Marshmallows, Picnics, and fun; with Breaking away from the crown, and what it meant becoming an independent nation? Furthermore – how do we convey and link to our children what the roots of this country are, and their pressing importance and relevance for citizens today?

Read on for more on children, history and food in conjunction with the 4th of July.  Also enjoy Dawn Faith’s Corn on the Cob!

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Grandfather’s Old World Zucchini & Summer Brain Balance!

Copyright 2011 Dawn Faith Photography & Recipe

Summer is here!  The warm weather brings with it the finest fruits and veggies that nature has to offer.  As the school season ends and summer vacation begins, make sure to make and enjoy this dish together with your family.  It makes for the perfect antipasto or side for any picnic by the sea, pool, or patio.  This dish is sure to boost body & brain health with its 4 main ingredients garlic, olive oil, beans, and zucchini. Olive oil is loaded with monosaturated fat (that is the good kind THAT LOWERS BAD CHOLESTEROL, and normalize blood sugar levels, and can even lead to a decrease in belly fat). (McCleaary, 2011).  Read on for more information on brain, body and relationship health.  Read through this article (and others on this site) for a plethora of information on: tasty recipes, healthy drink alternatives, and ideas for communication and cuisine!

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Remember our Loved Ones & Honor Our Freedom

Today the world is buzzing with the news of Osama bin Laden’s death. At ground zero in NYC, in Washington DC, and all around America millions of people are flooded with mixed feelings of victory, sadness, joy, anger, peace, and resolution. Many families have been harmed personally by the 9/11 attacks. Many people have lost loved ones – family and friends. A few have survived the attacks but not without great suffrage. Families and friends suffered directly and indirectly as their friends and family were either taken from them, or were left to fight for recovery after sustaining incredible injury. The victims who have survived and fought for their lives despite unimaginable pain, and the families who have shown unparalleled strength and resiliency to regain some sense of balance and hope in their lives, represent what America stands for – an unprecedented zeal for life and liberty that no attack can penetrate!

Today let us honor: those who fight for us, those who fought for their lives, those who were murdered in the attacks, and all of the families that were left to grieve — let us celebrate how they taught America how to heal.
Process today with your family. Let the focus be upon love rather than hatred. Embrace all feelings your children have and be honest with your own. If you know someone who was harmed in any way in the attacks – enjoy their favorite meal (or a food that reminds you of them) for dinner!

Tonight we will have Tortellini because that is what our friend harmed in the attacks served to me while I was pregnant with my 1st – Lauren you are an inspiration to us all!

Always Eat Well, Cook Often & Love Much!

Royal Wedding – Bring it on Home!
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Many of you may remember Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding, or even when Grace Kelly left the silver screen and became the princess of Monaco.  I know that many people tuned in to watch our modern day Royal Wedding today.  Prince William married Catherine Middleton this morning in London.  The real life prince and princess – future king and queen of England – are so young today but will be quite grown-up in their responsibilities tomorrow.  The romantic ideas surrounding royalty and weddings are often idealized, however a small portion of that magic can be harnessed and expressed creatively in every home, by every child, and by every family.  This is because we have the freedom to pretend together in games we play with our children, and the freedom to choose what ideals we want to keep as cornerstones in our family values and daily life.  Take today to teach, play, and eat like royalty.

Create and decorate crowns with your kids – make one for each family member.  Have a Royal Tea Party.  Listen to British music, and cook British inspired food for supper!

The Royal Wedding poses many opportunities to bond with your children. Remember current events from High School? Make this an educational experience that is fun in your home by exploring British History, myth, culture, music, and food.   It is a great time to discuss love and marriage and politics as well.

Royal Tea:

Prepare a pot of your favorite type of tea – or a classic British tea.  Use your best china or teapot.  Water down tea for kids to dilute caffeine and cool it down – give it to young children in a nice cup that you feel is safe for them to handle.  Serve up some scones with jam and whipped cream or some tea sandwiches and shortbread cookies.  You can make tea sandwiches with whatever things your child likes – and use cookie cutters to make them fun and small.  Wear you crowns while you enjoy your tea!

If you have older children, make the tea more formal – use the opportunity to teach about etiquette and culture.

Royal Feasting:

Lunchon – Picnic with flowers, family & food of choice.  Nothing says England like a garden.  John Lennon sang – “Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun.  If the sun don’t come, you get a tan from standing in the English rain,” I Am The Walrus.

Supper -Tonight I am preparing Cornish Game Hens rubbed with rosemary & thyme, butter s&p.  I will bake them in the oven at 350 until done.  Simple yet elegant.  Pair with veggie, starch, and British band of choice.

If you have teens or tweens – ask them what they know, think, and feel about the royal wedding and about British culture.

As a couple – maybe get out your wedding album, and any special items such as engraved wedding goblets or cake servers – and use them tonight if you are so inclined.

If you are in a position to travel – think about going to England with your family sometime in the future.  There is no better way to learn than hands on travel!

Always Eat Well, Cook Often & Love Much!

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St. Patrick’s Day 2011

As you gear toward the Celebration of Irish heritage and the color green, take the opportunity to learn a little more about St. Patrick and what his day is really all about.  There really is a lot to learn about Ireland as a country, the Irish people, their myths and fairy tails, Irish and Celtic music, and of course the FOOD!

The Roan Leprechaun Copyright 2011 Roan Archer

There is so much to Irish culture that can make the day full of imaginative fun for everyone no matter their age.  If you have kids of any age it is a good idea to begin with them – ask what the day means for them – what they have learned in school – see what conceptions they have. Build from there and create a magical day.

There are many age appropriate films and books about St. Patrick, and Irish Culture that one can borrow from the library or buy from the bookstore. The same is true for crafts that are fun for kids; you can order from online sources, buy in craft stores – or better yet – create your own holiday craft based upon your child’s interest.

Read on for a full day of Irish food and family togetherness.  Recipes & menu planning for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Sick of the same old Corned Beef and Cabbage, yet still want an Irish feast?   Be sure to try Dawn Faith’s recipe variation for St. Patrick’s Day Supper: Cream Cod, Boiled Red Potatoes & Artichokes with Thyme Butter!

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Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras – How do families celebrate this?  Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday originate from the Catholic Church.  The last hurray before 40 days of fasting.  This has transformed over the ages from a complete fast to simply giving something up for 40 days.  The party during Madi Gras however has continued.  Although some use it as an excuse to indulge in excess, it does not have to be this way for families.   Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday can be celebrated by families by cooking and eating cuisine of the cultures who partake in Carnivale or in Mardi Gras.  It can be an educational and fun experience.  Make some masks with your kids, do some internet research, listen to some Jazz and cook the below recipe tonight for Fat Tuesday!

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Building togetherness through cooking and eating together