Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Project Lunch: Not Cooking in the Park - "It's A Wrap!"

Today we had our third installment of the MOMS Club Kid's Cooking Class. Another no-bake event in the park. I chose mini cheesecakes, which is actually the first recipe I found that gave me the idea to do these No-Bake classes in the park. To balance it out, and try to make this a lunch event, so they wouldn't have to bring a lunch too, I decided on "Sandwich Roll-Ups" and brought Capri Suns to drink.

I still had peanut butter, squeeze jelly, honey and Nutella from the last sandwich making event (but I bought a back-up Nutella, since it had been so popular last time.) I had to buy tortillas (I used Mission wheat ones this time. Nothing fancy, like whole wheat, since I had 21 'yes' RSVPs and 6 maybe when I went shopping, and they were too spendy to buy enough in case everyone showed up. In the end I think I had 17 plus mine.) I also got all the ingredients for the mini cheesecakes. Plus plates, since I forgot them last time!

Since Little Z was so clingy and fussy both previous times, I decided to leave her home with Unka Seesee, but my plan was thwarted just as I was coming downstairs to pass the child over. His friends were getting together for the day and his ride was coming about an hour before I would return, so I decided to take her with, rather than wreck his day. *sigh.*

We started with the tortilla rolls. It started a little slow, since I only had 1 jar of each item, so there was a lot of waiting, and a lot of moms swooping in with an extra plastic knife to grab a plop of something for their kid to spread! I had thought making tortilla sandwiches would be old hat to these ladies, but many of them were doing it for the first time!
Some tips: Don't gloop the toppings on too thick, or they squirt out as you roll it. And make sure the edges of half of the tortilla (the edge that will be on the outside of the roll) have something substantial and sticky, like peanut butter or cream cheese. Jelly doesn't hold it closed well. Not sure about honey, since I always use it with PB. You only need a little bit of the edge to stick if you are going to eat the roll as is. But if you want to cut it into little 'sushi rolls' you'll need the whole outer edge 'glued' shut. These rolls also work well with turkey or ham and cream cheese, as evidenced at most grocery store deli party trays!
There were PBJ, cream cheese w/ jelly, Nutella w/PB, Nutella w/honey, jelly w/honey and various other combinations. I rapidly whipped up a Nutella tortilla for myself, so I could show everyone how to roll it. It distracted Z for a few precious minutes. When she was done with it, I ate the rest. It was SO good! It tasted like a chocolate covered donut, if Ferrero Rocher made donuts! Omnomnom! It was so good I made another for her after nap and hoped she wouldn't eat it all. Teehee!
A lot of the moms seemed pleasantly surprised that their kids ate them. One mom said her child eats the toppings only and not the bread, but he ate this! That's always my favorite part of this. To show kids (and moms) different ways to experience foods. If anyone decides they want to try this with a horde of kids, I recommend having several smaller jars of each item, to save time (plus it's easier to reach the last bits at the bottom with smaller jars!)

The kids ran around on the playground for a while and we got a late arrival, so she made her sandwich while I got the cheesecake ingredients ready.

Here's the recipe as I found it online:
12 oz softened cream cheese (1.5 8oz bricks)
2/3c sour cream
1c confectioners sugar (powdered sugar is fine)
1tsp vanilla extract
12 strawberries (6 chopped and food processesed and mixed with the other ingredients, 6 sliced as topping)
6 individual pre-made graham cracker crusts

Since we weren't cooking anything, I like to have as little cross-contamination as possible, so try and find things where each child can mix their own. So I divided the recipe by 6, and, instead of having to bring 20 mixing bowls, used a heavy-duty freezer Ziplock baggie for each child to squish/mix their ingredients. The levels of blendedness varied, but they loved squeezing their bags! Then we snipped a corner for them to squeeze out like a frosting bag onto Nilla Wafers and Graham Crackers. I had sliced strawberries and kiwi (I like to introduce something potentially new or unusual to try) to put on top. YUM!

Here's my rough individual recipe:
2oz cream cheese (1/4th 8oz brick)
2tbsp sour cream (a little less than 1 ounce, so a little less than 2 tbsp is fine)
3 tbsp confectioners sugar (1.4oz, so slightly less than 3)
1/8tsp vanilla extract (slightly less than 1mL, so right between a 1/4tsp and 1/8tsp, but 1/8 tasted fine.)
Nilla Wafers and/or Graham Crackers
Sliced strawberries, kiwi, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or chocolate chips to garnish

I had brought a little 6oz package of blackberries, but Z saw them when I was getting the ingredients out, and kept asking for them, but I was trying to save them for everyone. I finally laid a towel on the ground and gave her the whole thing, which kept her out of my hair the whole time we made cheesecakes, so it was a fair trade! As she finished with the berries, I discovered a nice pile of dirt nearby for her to dig in, so I got some more free time to talk to my MOMS and clean up.

After tearful goodbyes to her newfound little wormie (from the dirt pile) and much wiping-of-grubby-hands, we headed home for nap. Ahhh.


  1. Oh! I love this description of the cheesecakes. My son would love to squeeze his own cheesecake too! We might have to try that! (And I think I'll sneak the link to this post to my friend who might want to do it with her childcare kiddos too!)

    As for tortillas -- too bad there are no HEBs up there. They make the BEST tortillas. and very affordable too. (though not whole wheat I don't think)

    My sister taught me how to make cheese tortillas after I moved down here. You put shredded cheese on the tortilla, microwave it for 20 seconds or so (Varies by # of tortillas you are doing at once and your microwave) and you've got a quick, fast snack. This is also where I learned about HEB tortillas!

    I hope your fellow mommies appreciate how much money, time, and effort you are putting into these park lunches1

  2. I get effusive thanks, and many wide eyed "Are you CRAZY?!" looks. I also charge $2 per kid. So far I haven't broken even, but I get to keep the leftovers, or roll them into a future class. So hopefully I'll get to spend a little less when I won't need to buy more plates/knives/forks/etc.
    It's hard to guesstimate how much the food will cost when I'm sending out the invite weeks before I'm buying the food!

    I like to make the cheese tortillas in the oven (on broil apparently. Be sure to turn both dials to broil. See my Mision Imposible post!) I like the crispy edges.

  3. Would it be more affordable to buy a supply of IKEA plates/knives/forks etc and wash them between each outing?

  4. I did that when we cooked at my house the first time. They all used my Ikea plates. But now I have a huge stash of disposables, and no occasion to use them again until her birthday next year (unless we do another Easter bash... I should post about that!)


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