Preparations for Mother’s Day and the celebrations that accompany it range from simple to extravagant. A Mother’s heart treasures the phone call from a child far away, scribbled notes with lopsided flowers filled with love and the family meal at home as much, if not more than the extravagant dinner at a 5-star restaurant. But an extravaganza prepared by your kids–well that’s another story.
A friend of mine, Vicki Andrews found a unique way to help her young grandchildren present their Moms with a combination of a home-cooked meal and an extravaganza for their parents. Each week, for the last year, Vicki has been holding, “Cooking with Woo Woo” events while she watched her grandchildren and a couple of other youngsters. Ryder is 4-years-old, Mason is 2 and 1/2, the Big Girl is 3-years-old and the Little Girl is 1- year-old. Little Girl is usually napping but when she wakes up, Vicki finds a place to work her into the team.
Now, Mrs. Vicki Andrews is a talented grandmother, but this doesn’t mean that some of you grandmas couldn’t do the same thing. I met Vicki in California when she was the computer-whiz teacher at our son’s Christian elementary school and I was a teaching assistant at the school. Vicki went on to Principal at that same school and overflowed with creative ideas on how to keep the children active while teaching them important life lessons along with academics.
Remember grandparents what a treasure you are to your grandchildren and they to you:
“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” Proverbs 17:6
This past week, Vicki rounded up her two grandchildren and two youngsters she watches to prepare a Mother’s Day Extravaganza for their Moms. Puff Pastries filled with chopped spinach, mushrooms, and little bits of bacon. But that wasn’t all. There were Turnovers with strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries.
Vicki has agreed to be my guest writer for today. We coordinated this post by incorporating the post from her Facebook Page under the title of “Cooking with Woo Woo.” Here’s Vicki.
“May 10, 2017
Today we celebrated moms with a Puff Pastry Extravaganza. The boys and I started early making one of the savory pastries. We chopped spinach and mushrooms then whisked eggs with half and half, a few spices and some cheese and bacon. Next we lined muffin tins with puff pastry doing our best to not put fingers through them and then ladled in the egg mixture. We put egg wash on the edges so they would brown nicely and popped them in the oven. This one was much like a quiche.”
“After the girls arrived, we got the little one down for her nap and headed into turnovers. We chopped strawberries and added in a few blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. I like a berry mix both for taste and more interesting color! We added the sugar and corn starch (to thicken the sauce/juice), stirred it up thoroughly and set them aside. Next we beat up the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla for part of the turnover filling. We taste- tested the difference between regular cream cheese and the sweetened version. Guess which one they liked best?!? We used powdered sugar in the cream cheese mixture.
“Then Ryder was curious about powdered sugar so we did a little exploration. I put out some granulated sugar and some powdered. We looked at the difference then felt the difference. We noticed how powdered sugar is much whiter. Then we tasted them and noticed powdered is also much sweeter.
“By now, the kids were tired of exploration so we went back to turnovers. We spread some cream cheese filling and then added some fruit filling. We sealed the edges with egg wash, folded them over and crimped the edges. The kids, especially the boys, had been working for a long time so I sent them off to play for a bit.
Vicki makes a noteworthy point about working with children here.
“You have to know your age group! I want this to be fun and something they want to do!” So, Vicki put some of the finishing touches on the turnovers until the kids had played for awhile. When the kids returned to the kitchen, they made the last savory pastry.
“We mixed up more egg, spinach, artichoke hearts, lots of cheese, and a few spices. This one was more cheesy than eggy so it was less like a quiche. This time we scooped it in with a spoon because it was much thicker than the other mixture. We again egg washed the edges and cooked them up.
“All of the pastries turned out beautifully, even the turnovers which I nearly burned because I set the timer but didn’t turn it on. Aaarrrggghhhh! I hate when I do that. I cleaned up while the last pastries were cooking and sent the kids off to play. Again, know your audience!
“The boys had taste tested the artichokes and Ryder gagged on them so they only had the first pastry for lunch! I cooked up a few chicken nuggets to go with their pastries in case the taste they took and approved of didn’t translate to lunch and my littlest girl is allergic to eggs and isn’t the biggest fan of cheese. Good thing I made the nuggets.” (see previous notes about knowing your kids). The two biggest kids gobbled up their quiches. All of them liked the turnovers they got for dessert! Play time ensued until the boys went home and the girls went down for a nap. Five hours later Woo Woo finally sat down.”
Adventures, memory-making moments for her grandchildren, and hand-prepared presents for the Moms. Who could ask for anything more?
If you enjoyed this extravaganza, please head over to Vicki’s Facebook Page called “Cooking with Woo Woo.” You will find many interesting and amazing ideas for how to build memories with your grandchildren when they come to visit Grandma. Not all are as extravagant as this, so don’t be dismayed. Take a look at Vicki Andrews’ page and pick up some tips.
It’s been my pleasure, and a lot of fun, to introduce you to “Cooking with Woo Woo” and her team of helpers. Hope you’ve enjoyed it as much. (Recipes found on Vicki’s Facebook Page of the same title.)
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