Allow me to apologize in advance for my rather poor skills in food photography! As is plain to see this area could use some um, honing on my part. I promise I'll practice! :) I never got any better at doing a pull-up in gym class but hopefully I can improve in this area lol!
The boys and I had a blast yesterday evening making what I like to call "Crescent Roll Kidzones." (Pardon the corny name. I spend 24/7 with the 5-and-under-crowd and they eat up corny!) There's nothing that makes meal-time more fun for a child than getting the chance to make his or her own dinner! Cooking with the kiddos is also an awesome way to make them more receptive to trying what they might deem as somewhat "sketchy" ingredients. The proof was in the pudding last night as Luke willingly heaped gobs of spinach-filled ricotta into his kidzone with a smile on his face! Anyway, onto the recipe!
You will need:
Italian sausage (we used chicken sausage), 1 box of frozen spinach, ricotta cheese, grated parmesean cheese, 1 jar of sliced mushrooms, your fave jarred sauce (homemade is even better!) and one container of crescent rolls.
Mix together spinach (steamed and well drained) with ricotta cheese.
Arrange crescent rolls to form 4 rectangles on baking pan, pinching diagonal seams together. (Yields: 2 large kidzones)
Turn your kids loose with the toppings and let them load up their kidzones! Only load one rectangle per kidzone; the 2nd rectangle will be the top. Any order of toppings is fine. Be sure to leave a 1/2 inch border around your loaded rectangle so it can seal nicely with the top layer.
Carefully place the top (empty) rectangle onto the loaded one. Press seams together with fingers to seal. For added fun and fanciness you can press the edges of your kidzone with the tines of a fork.
Ta-da! They're ready to go into the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. (And then go fill your empty bird feeder in the background! Poor hungry birdies!)
Mmmmmm. Enjoy the ooey-gooey yumminess! An important step for moms: Steal multiple bites of your children's kidzones! Repeat! :)
Take pictures of your children chowing down that they will later regret in life when they have girlfriends coming over to visit.
Believe me, I know it takes a little extra time and effort to accomplish this, but cooking with your kids every once in awhile is *so* worth it! Enjoy!
Italian Kidzones (yeilds 2 large kidzones or 4 minis):
--1 lb. Italian sausage
--1 box frozen spinach, steamed and well-drained
--1 jar spaghetti sauce
--ricotta cheese (approx 1 cup)
--1 small jar sliced mushrooms
--grated parmesean cheese
--1 can crescent rolls
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange crescents to form 2 large rectangles (or 4 minis) on baking sheet. Remove casings from sausage and brown in skillet, drain. Combine ricotta and steamed spinach in bowl (amounts vary--combine to taste). Place toppings in layers onto crescent roll bottoms (a total of 2 large rectangles will be filled, leave the others empty to lay on top of filled rectangles.) Gently place empty crescent roll rectangle on top of filled one. Seal edges closed with fingers or tines of fork. Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!