One my family’s favorite holiday traditions is making at least two or three kid-friendly recipes and allowing the youngest members of the clan to create edible masterpieces with help from mom, dad, grandma or grandpa.
Each year my mom, my sister-in-law and I comb through our recipe boxes to find simple yet tasty treats the kids can make with little assistance. I always make sure that we choose at least one dessert and one main or side dish, so they can feel as though they contributed to different aspects of the meal.
This year I settled on the following recipes:
TRIPLE PUMPKIN TRIFLE
1 loaf pumpkin bread
1 large can pumpkin pie filling
1 large box vanilla pudding (use directions on back of box to make)
1 (8-ounce) container of mascarpone cheese
1 large container of Cool Whip
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup candied pecans (see recipe below)
1 cup candy pumpkins
Mix pie filling and pudding, set aside.
Mix mascarpone cheese and cinnamon.
Gently fold in Cool Whip.
Cut bread into 2-inch cubes and place half in large trifle bowl or other large glass bowl.
Pour half of pudding mixture over bread and spread evenly.
Dollop half of the Cool Whip over pudding.
Sprinkle half of pecans and pumpkin candy over Cool Whip.
Chill for about an hour before serving.
Recipe for Candied Pecans:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pound pecan halves
In medium saucepan bring first five ingredients to a boil, and then add pecans.
Pour onto lined cookie sheet.
Cool well before adding to trifle.
MACARONI AND CHEESE WITH BACON
8 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Tabasco sauce (a dash or two)
Worcestershire sauce (a dash or two)
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 pound American cheese, cubed
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large non-stick pan melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in flour.
Cook for a minute, stirring constantly.
Add milk and bring to a boil, whisking often until it starts to thicken.
Stir in heavy cream, garlic salt, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce and mustard.
Add 2 cups of cheddar cheese, a handful at a time. Whisk until smooth.
Add American and Parmesan cheese. Stir until melted and smooth.
Stir in pasta and bacon.
Spray a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with PAM and then add in mixture.
Top with remaining 2 cups of cheddar.
In a large bowl mix together the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the cheese.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden.