All About Osh

by Kamola, age 9

Kamola & ZeBot Hail to ZeKale

I want to share one of my family’s favorite food traditions–and one of my very favorite foods in the whole world.

It is called osh.

I hope you like my video.

And I hope you’ll try making osh for your own family!

Want to write your own food blog for DooF? It’s fun and easy–for details, please click here!

Super-Secret Agent Spices!

ZeGreat Spice Detectives! by the Spice Secret Agents (oldest to youngest): Maorr (age 8), Ofri (age 8), Mathan (age 6), Aya (age 6), Ido (age 5) and Ophir (age 3 1/2)

We want to know EVERYTHING about spices, so we’re going to spy on them.

We’re going to be the world’s best spice secret agent spies. Kids are amazing secret agents. Even a zebra can be a secret agent.

The way you be a secret agent spice spy is to look and smell and touch and taste. You can do it when the spices aren’t watching!

Grinding Spices

We’re learning about every clue to find which spice is the most flavorful and has the strongest aroma.

We’re finding out who’s making them. Why are they making them?

We want to get to the bottom of this. We want answers now! We’re going to solve this mystery. But how?

ZeGreat Spice Hunt

We use our fingers to touch spices. We smell them. We taste them.

We use a magnifying glass to see what they look like up close.

We look at them whole and ground up.

We look in books to find out more and more and more.

We go to special classes by Whole Spice!

Ghost Chiles

What makes chiles spicy? There’s this chemical called (we looked in the Field Guide to Spices) called capsaicin. Chiles come from a family called capsicum which sounds like popsicle, except chiles are hot and popsicles are cold.

The hottest chiles in the whole world are called ghost chiles. They’re so hot they’re spooky!

All About Salt

Salt is not spooky at all. It comes from ocean water that evaporates and leaves behind salt.

Also we know that cilantro and coriander seeds come from the same plant.

ZeBot Cilantro

You can make spices taste different by blending them together. You can blend them any way that tastes good to you. That is the only rule: you have to blend them so that you like them!

We like to put our spice blends on baked sweet potatoes.

They are yummy AND very good for you!

Seasoning a Potato

Spices are fun!

Where do they come from? They come from the whole world! And they come from Whole Spice!

We will tell you A LOT more after we spy more. STAY TUNED!!!!!!

PS For more super-secret spiece info & to watch our super-spicy video, please visit ZeBot’s Kitchen!

A World of Spices ZeBot's Row of Spices

ZeBig Chill: A Zebra Investigates Freeze-Dried Fruit

ZeBot & ZeBig Chill Snowman in Snow with White Frameby ZeBot Zebra

One thing zebras know is that when we don’t know something we want to know, it’s time to start asking lots of questions.

Case in point: the other day, I overheard some scientific humans discussing “freeze-drying” as a good way to preserve fresh fruit. Supposedly, when you freeze-dry fruit, it will keep its great taste and color for years and years!

Frosty Life Around the Fruit Bowl

Well, I’m a huge fan of fruit, so that sounded totally cool to me (pun totally intended)! But how the heck would a zebra go about freeze-drying?

My zebra buddies and I decided to get some frosty advice from our coolest friends: the SnowDudes and the Penguin Brothers. They said they were pretty sure they’d seen a polar bear freezing-drying his own food, so how hard could it be?

Apples, Polar Bear Style

For the rest of this super-cool story (including amazing food science, a chilled-out video & easy recipe for homemade honey-vanilla frozen yogurt), click here to be transported to ZeBot’s Kitchen!

ZeFrozen Yogurt Close-Up

Connecting the Dots: Mealtime & Mental Health in Teens

Earlier this week, I went to a parent education night at a school in our community, and listened to a riveting talk by Madeline Levine, author of The Price of Privilege.  She painted a pretty dismal picture of the state of mental health of teens in our country these days.  I’ll start you off with the depressing parts so that we can get them over with…and then you can learn about how you can make a difference.

Although parents want to “do right” by their children, there is a growing trend towards over involvement and micromanagement.  Kids are over-scheduled, with every moment taken up by classes, extra-curricular activities, tutoring and homework.  Parents feel pressure to compete with their friends and colleagues, and to have their children stand out from the crowd.  It’s hard to imagine, but parents are building a “resume” for their children, which they falsely believe will set them up for a more successful future.

Continue reading at the What’s Cooking Blog; http://whatscookingblog.com/2010/02/26/connecting-the-dots-mealtime-and-mental-health-in-teens/

Michelle Stern, DooF’s Community Outreach Director, owns What’s Cooking, a certified green company that offers cooking classes for children in the San Francisco Bay Area. When she isn’t in the kitchen or at the computer, she’s the head chauffeur for her two children, dog walker to her two mutts, and chicken feeder for her backyard flock.

Negotiating Dessert with the Kids

Kid Decorated Treats

Kid Decorated Treats

The holiday season seems to burst with sugary treats. It is pure heaven for our kids, but can often lead to stress for us, as parents. Lots of my friends struggle with the issue of dessert – if to give it, and how often. Does this sound familiar: “How much more do I have to eat before I can have dessert?” If so, you are not alone. In fact, we started hearing this so often at our table that we decided to stop serving dessert every night. Dessert was becoming such a powerful incentive to eat their “growing food” that our kids were no longer listening to their bodies. Instead of considering how full they were, they were completely focused on the prize at the end. Now, we only offer dessert randomly, as an unexpected treat or as part of an afterschool snack.

The holiday season seems to burst with sugary treats. It is pure heaven for our kids, but can often lead to stress for us, as parents. Lots of my friends struggle with the issue of dessert – if to give it, and how often. Does this sound familiar: “How much more do I have to eat before I can have dessert?” If so, you are not alone. In fact, we started hearing this so often at our table that we decided to stop serving dessert every night. Dessert was becoming such a powerful incentive to eat their “growing food” that our kids were no longer listening to their bodies. Instead of considering how full they were, they were completely focused on the prize at the end. Now, we only offer dessert randomly, as an unexpected treat or as part of an afterschool snack.

Continue reading for a few things to consider when entering into Dessert Negotiations with your children…

Michelle Stern, DooF’s Community Outreach Director, owns What’s Cooking, a certified green company that offers cooking classes for children in the San Francisco Bay Area. When she isn’t in the kitchen or at the computer, she’s the head chauffeur for her two children, dog walker to her two mutts, and chicken feeder for her backyard flock.