Saturday, October 29, 2011

Party Food


The holiday season has just about begun- from the moment you wake up on October 31st to the moment you fall asleep on February 14th is when everyone is in the holiday zone. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, New Year's, and Valentine's day, all the big holidays, occur over a very small time frame. This post is about the foods you can make for your friends and family on these special occasions, being a boss teen chef and all. So, mail out some invites and get cooking.

1) Pizza. Honestly, who doesn't love pizza (that's a rhetorical question.... I'm sure there are many haters of pizza out there, but anywho...)? Think of the bubbly pizza and the crisp crust, able to be topped with anything you like. Salty, sweet, savory... Look at how much fun (f)ANNE(tastic food)'s pizza night was. Just buy some pizza dough at the supermarket, grab some sauce, mozzarella, plus your favorite toppings and you are ready to rock. A couple of bonus factors here are that you can have your friends help make dinner, and that you can make an activity out of it. Win.

2) Cake. Another obvious choice. But this time, try to step it up a notch! Make something not from a box, like a simple flourless chocolate cake. If you hate dry cake, like I do, try something homemade. People get really concerned about decorating cakes, but wouldn't it be better to have a slice of a sweet, rich, cocoa brown moist cake dusted with powdered sugar and topped with raspberries than a hunk of cake-from-a-box shellacked in sickeningly sweet neon frosting? Yes. So try it!

3) Munchables and Dippables. Very common. But, next time you host, stir it up! Put out pretzels with homemade honey mustard, or baked tortilla chips and homemade salsa/guacamole!

Every time you cook something, step a little bit out of your comfort zone. This way, you can easily improve your kitchen skills. Good luck!

xoxox,
Two Teen Chefs                                 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Shoutout to Netherlands and A Photo Disclaimer

Our blog is just taking off, and we want to make something clear right off the bat...

WE USE PHOTOS ON THIS BLOG THAT DO NOT LEGALLY BELONG TO US. WE DO NOT CITE THESE PHOTOS.

Please do not call the authorities- it's okay, kids.

Being anonymous bloggers, we do not photograph our foods, kitchens, selves, friends, families, pets, schools, etc. We often use photographs from other blogs or websites (these are often accompanied by a link to the blog or website somewhere in the article), or photographs from the world wide web. Yup, we click over to our favorite, type in a couple of keywords, and the good folks at Google Images find us exactly what we're looking for. We don't usually link or cite these. And we probably should cite them- but we're two teenage girls with just a few loyal readers and several browsers. So far, you all haven't seemed to mind. If there is any question about where everything is from, we'll do our best to search Google Images again and find the image- we will then provide a link, and credit where credit is due. Moving on...


Our comment on loyal readers is a perfect segue into a shout out to our favorite, most loyal Netherlands Reader! We check our stats each day to see how many people are reading our blog, and the stats tell us the country each reader lives in. Our most loyal reader appears to be from Netherlands. So, thank you for being a loyal reader, and please drop us a comment!


xoxox,
Two Teen Chefs

Because We're Four Years Old... Clearly!

Today, I saw the best idea. Muffin. Tin. Snacks. 

A great, new idea- all inspired by an idea intended for toddlers...  SWEET!




This is all over the blog-i-verse (is that a word?), but mostly on mommy blogs. It's quite a simple concept- you prepare different snacks and place a small portion of each into sections of a muffin pan. It comes out looking like the picture to the left. That picture is from this website, where I first found out about this idea. Sugary Flower, another BlogSpotter (representttt!), does a muffin tin snack/lunch and posts a photo of it every Monday... Muffin Tin Monday! Woop!  This website, while a bit less aesthetically appealing, has some good ideas on what to include into a muffin tin snack. Muffin Tin Mom, another BlogSpotter (woop!) has some great ideas, tips, and FAQ's. 


Wowzers. 


Once I did a couple google searches on the topic, I was overwhelmed by the amount of info out there. These moms are really into muffin tins...


ANYWAY, these types of snacks are great for people of any age. Try them out!


xoxox,


Two Teen Chefs
 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Switching Up the Three Meals of Your Day

Occasionally, that idea will cross your parents minds of having pancakes and eggs for dinner, and that's what this article is ALL about!

Here's the idea:

Breakfast: You want energy that will last you to lunch, but also simple foods that will wake up your taste buds without making your eyes water. Traditionally, we eat toast, pancakes, eggs, sausages, waffles, etc. But does pizza serve this purpose? Yes! As long as it's not high-calorie take out, its not so bad for you. If your parents make pizza on occasion, save a few slices and have them for breakfast the next few mornings. It serves the purpose: Delicious and Energizing!

Lunch: You want something yummy and nutritious, to hold you over through those last couple classes, until you get home and get snacking on your after-school snacks! An easy replacement is taking a leftover dinner, pretty much what I always do. My mom makes a mean meat loaf and i take then in a sandwich, always a delicious lunch. Also, soups! I guess these are lunch foods, but you can definitely replace lunch more dinnery (its a word, people!) foods!

Dinner: Ahh, the classic. As mentioned above, breakfast for dinner! This is pretty much my dinner on the weekends. I love pancakes with strawberries and raspberries! You can technically replace any dinner foods with breakfast foods!

Think of it like this:

Dinner > Lunch > Breakfast > Dinner! 
ITS A CYCLE! whoop! you'll probably be seeing quite a few of these!
Alright, sorry for the shortness of this article, but I'm gonna have to sign off!

xoxoxo,

Two Teen Chefs!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hidden Masterpeices in Our Favorite Restaurants!

We realized that its hard for us to write articles about our favorite restaurants without giving away our location, as most of our faves aren't chain restaurants. However, that doesn't mean we can't write about our favorite dishes from these restaurants. This is similar to "Recipe Round-Ups", but its more about recipes from restaurants.


In no particular order, here they are!

1. Cedar Plank Salmon and Jasmine Rice
I'd die for this, literally. It's soooo good and actually pretty healthy! The salmon has a really scrumptious marinade, that is definitely made from scratch. The Jasmine Rice makes the meal, its just so delicious and goes great with the salmon. Try something like this at a local restaurant! I get this from a country club.

2. Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
Its in a sub bun with lettuce, tomato, and ranch (but you can get blue cheese instead). The buffalo chicken isn't overwhelmingly spicy, so it goes just right with the ranch dressing. You can probably make this at home, just find a buffalo chicken recipe and put it in between a hamburger bun with some lettuce, tomato and dressing! Super easy to make, and extremely good.

3. Guacamole Burger
This is pretty much your basic bacon burger with a HUGE helping of guacamole on top. It's so good, and like the Buffalo Chicken sandwich, you can just make it at home. Bacon Burger + Guacamole = Heaven! At the restaurant where i buy this, they serve it with their own, special homemade fries. I would recommend making your favorite home fries (oven cooked, NOT fried!) and then, DEMOLISH!

4. Apple, Grape, and Brie Crepe
I can't express to you how much joy I get when I see the waiter/waitress bringing this over! It's your normal crepe with lots of tiny slices of brie, raw apple slices, and grapes cut in half. This takes me 3 minutes tops to devour, but its still huge! (when its folded in fourths, its bigger than my face, and I have a big face, kids!).

5. Caprese Sandwich
This sandwich is mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, pesto, and balsamic vinegar/vinaigrette on grilled white bread.  It's so good! But warning you, its addicting. Last time I had it, I wanted another one RIGHT after!

6. Cheese Gnocchi 
UGH, just thinking about this stuff makes my mouth water! I get it at a local Italian place. Unfortunately, they've removed it from the menu, which WILL be the death of me. It's pretty   much gnocchi DRENCHED in cheese sauce, with a quarter sized amount of marinara sauce, plopped in the middle. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it!




xoxoxo,
Two Teen Chefs

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Recipe Roundup; October 19th, 2011

Here's this week's batch of nice, fresh recipes!

  • We found these tips at allrecipes on how to cook rice. Rice is perfect under a chunky soup, a moist meat dish, or a stir fry. Too dry? Too fluffy? Read up. 
  • For you vegetarians out there, here are some tofu tips and recipes. We're not huge fans, but if you are, go for it. 
  • This is a great website (CopyKat) on how to duplicate those amazing restaurant or cafe specialties.
  • Just a few more tips on teen cooking from TeensHealth
  • Too many tips! Here's a recipe: check out these adorable cupcakes (yes, those ones that look like mini little pies, above and to the left)
  • We're back to Seventeen with a whole slew of recipes!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Kitchen Terminology; Julienne

This is a new feature on Two Teen Chefs where we will take a cooking term and sum it up for you. This one is "Julienne". Which means...?

"Julienne is a culinary knife cut in which the food item is cut into long thin strips, not unlike matchsticks. Sometimes called 'shoe string', e.g. 'shoestring fries'. Common items to be julienned are carrots for carrots Julienne, celery for Céléris Remoulade or potatoes for Julienne Fries."   Thanks, Wikipedia. Between that definition and the embedded video, we've summed it up.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Our Progress So Far... October 16th, 2011

Our blog has been on the web and open for viewing since Tuesday, October 4th. A week later, we had some content.  The date of our first post (excluding two "Welcome" posts, telling viewers we would have content up soon...) was October 11th. On October 13th, we posted a comment on one of fANNEtastic food's posts, which a few people have clicked on. All together, we have had 70 pageviews, from the U.S., the Netherlands, Russia, and Germany. People have accessed our site from Macs, PCs, and iPhones- via Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and SimplePie. The image below is a screenshot of information on our audience, according to our host, blogspot.


We've had content up for just 5 days, and still, we have had 70 pageviews! We just want to thank you for reading our blog, and tell you about some upcoming things. 

  • We are awaiting the approval of Google AdSense- this service will place ADs on our site that are related to our content.
  • We are looking at an upgrade, so we'd be twoteenchefs.com, instead of twoteenchefs.blogspot.com. This should attract more viewers.
  • We may create a posting schedule. By being more regular bloggers, we will always have something to write. Possible "regular features" include;
    • Recipe Roundup
    • Rules of Thumb 
    • Our Progress So Far (like this post)
    • At least two other posts by each chef (there are two of us, so thats four in total) per week.
  • We really need some more input and feedback from our readers. What would YOU like to see? Comment below!!!
Thanks for Reading!
xoxox,

Two Teen Chefs

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cooking Resources for Teens

Obviously, this blog is great for information and ideas :D. But, you may be looking for a few other resources- like recipes, tips, strategies, creative ways to do things, or just inspiration. Here are a few places you could find those things. 


  • The web.... Oh, look, you've already found your way online. Try out some cooking and recipe websites! This particular one, allrecipes, is great, because you can search for anything you want to make, or by the ingredients you do and don't have. Great reviews, too- and the site has lots of tips on it for you!
  • Other blogs... There are tons of blogs out there other than this one that are full of great information. You might even start your own.
  • Magazines..... There are tons of Cooking Magazines out there. Every month or two, you'll get a new issue that's full of good recipes and tips, for a lot less money than you'd spend buying each issue at a grocery store, or a pharmacy. Subscribe! 
  • Books.... cookbooks, cookbooks for special diets, books on cooking for teens, books on how to cook, and more- they're all out there! Check a bookstore to find what you're looking for, or...
  • The Local Library..... it most likely has all of the above resources, and more. Check it out!





Good Luck!
xoxox,

Two Teen Chefs

Friday, October 14, 2011

Taking Your Cooking to The Next Level

Many teens say that they like to cook, but their skills are limited to baking, making pasta, heating up soup, and cooking with mom or dad. There's nothing wrong with that, but everyone likes to be more independent. Challenge yourself! Cook something, bake something, prepare something, pack a lunch, make a hot breakfast, make an awesome sandwich- do something creative in the kitchen every day! It's the fastest way to pick up new skills. There's nothing wrong with asking for help from your parents or other adults, or learning the ropes from them, but there are things you can do to expand your own abilities and become more independent in the kitchen. Here are six ways to take things to the next level. They range from simple to challenging, in order of complicity:

1) Make Your Own Breakfast.
If your parents still make you breakfast, move on. We're not talking flapjacks, sausage, and fried eggs every morning, but prepare some cereal (hot or cold), toast, yogurt, scrambled eggs, or a bagel in the morning. These are run-of-the-mill choices, but they can be interesting if you're a little creative. Here are some ideas to punch up the morning...
  • Cereal: Mix different dry cereals together and add some milk. Add cut-up fruit on top, or serve dry cereal on top of yogurt instead of milk. A great hot cereal is granola with milk, microwaved a minute and a half.
  • Toast: Try apple butter, honey butter, or different jams. You could also do jam with fruit- for example, you could spread raspberry jam on the toast and top that with chopped up strawberries. Use peanut butter for protein and fat.
  • Yogurt: Serve with cereal, granola, fruit, or even a tablespoon of honey or jam stirred into the plain kind.
  • Scrambled Eggs: Scramble in salt, pepper, and cheese.
  • Bagel: Try bagels with jam, peanut butter, cream cheese, or even cream cheese with jam on top of it... it's delicious.
2) Pack Your Lunch.
Make this a habit. Refer to our post on this. Also, watch your manners.

3) Bake Something for Someone Else. 
You may step it up mentally if this is for a small gift. Make and frost sugar cookies, pack them in a box, tie a bow around them, and give them to a friend with a gift card for their birthday. You'll try harder to do a neat, tidy job and to make delicious food.

4) Prepare a Meal for Your Family.
This weekend, plan to make a lunch or dinner for your family. Make vegetables/salad, grain/starchy vegetable, and a protein. An example is caesar salad alongside pasta with chicken and alfredo sauce. Do this at least one time per week, and use new recipes each time. Have fun with it!

5) Gradually Move From Supermarket Helpers to Fresher Foods, and Foods That You Make Yourself.
This is one we're all working on... and it's really a gradual process. Have you ever made your own bread,  chicken broth, or soup? We have. Have you ever made your own pasta? We haven't done that one yet... We still use packaged foods in our cooking, or eat them straight up, but in order to work towards being a better chef, one must regularly improve their skills and habits. Try baking a loaf of bread and making a pot of soup. You can also buy vegetables and fruits at a farmer's market, or get a share at a farm, so you'll be working with what's in season. You will learn how to prepare many different foods, rather than steaming carrots and broccoli or roasting potatoes all year long.
6) Teach Someone Else Something. 
When you're confident in your cooking skills, teach a friend how to roast a chicken. Teach your mom how to make a new type of cookie, or granola bar. It's rewarding to share newfound knowledge.


xoxox,
Two Teen Chefs

After School Snack Ideas

We all come home from school usually hungry and wanting to just relax. But the reality of this situation is that we have to quickly get down to our homework to get it finished before hanging out with friends or heading off to soccer practice. Here's a list of snack ideas that will give you enough energy to do your best job on your homework, but are still quick and easy to prepare.


1. Granola Bar
You see this suggestion everywhere. A Granola Bar can give you the energy and nutrients you need. The problem with these is that most kids think they are gross! They really aren't. They may not taste fantastic, but if you scarf it down quick it can help you breeze through your homework to get on to your next thing. Check the grocery store, or do a quick recipe search, to find your new favorite. Read the label, too.

2. Cheese and Crackers
Vary it up! Instead of your traditional American cheese slices over saltines, try using a curry and apricot cream cheese spread. Just mix some dried apricot and curry into cream cheese! It's actually delicious, and its quick and easy to make. Most coffeehouses have some sort of variation of this. 

3. Pita Chips and Guacamole or Salsa.
I can't express how delicious these snacks are! It's so good! Just try to get all natural without preservatives, or else you lose that delicious, crunchy pita taste. Stacy's is a great company, AND they're available in many vending machines. Make your own guacamole too!
 
4. Carrots and Ranch Dressing
So good, and so healthy!! You can also use tomatoes, broccoli, and other vegetables. 

 
5. Smoothies
These are so delicious, and can be as healthy as you'd like. Take a blender, and add some fruit, some liquid, and some yogurt if you want. You can use frozen pineapple, fresh strawberries, and some orange juice, for example. Adding banana increases the thickness of it, and adding yogurt will make it creamier. Just experiment!

6. Dried fruit and Nuts
Fairly simple- mix what you like together, and eat it!



7. Seventeen's Ideas
We've mentioned this once before, but it's a good one. Check out their ideas! We love how they arrange the snacks in a visually appealing way and include snacks that are sweet, salty, crunchy, at-home snacks, portable snacks, and dippables. The below screenshot is from their website.















All of these snacks are healthy. A general guideline for making a school snack is trying to cover more than two food groups. Be smart, though (Oreo cookies and milk maybe delicious, and cover two food groups, but truthfully, that ISN'T a good snack)
.
xoxox,
Two Teen Chefs

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Packing a Lunch for School

Just stop buying school lunches. Really, think about this. You could wait in line to shell out 3 bucks for a strange looking piece of meat drowned in gravy with a pile of mushy vegetables and a carton of milk. Would you like some yogurt? Oh, that's $1.25, and warm. Seriously, you could just take 10 or 15 minutes at night or after dinner to pack up some food, stick it in the fridge, and add an ice pack in the morning. You can have anything you want for lunch, so why would you pay the lunch ladies to scoop the daily special onto a styrofoam tray for you? Many people don't think they have the time to make a lunch every day.  Others don't want to put in the effort. But honestly, it's fast, easy, and worth it. We've shared this link before, but fANNEtastic food's packable lunch series is fantastic. Here's some ideas, and the gear you'll need. Referring to our nutrition article should provide any nutritional info you'll need.

What Goes in A Lunch?

  1. A sandwich, a bag of chips, a cookie, and a drink. Anything you want, as long as the lunch is sufficiently filling and nutritious.
  2. Protein, Produce, Grain, and Dairy.
    • Protein: Lunch meat. Nuts. Seeds. Leftover chicken. Soup with meat in it. Tofu. A protein shake or bar. Beans. Fish. Hard Boiled Eggs. (please refer to our cafeteria ettiquette suggestions for these last two options)
    • Produce: Baby Carrots. Celery. Cherry tomatoes. Cucumbers. An apple, banana, or orange. Berries. A kumquat. Vegetable soup. Try to include two servings.
    • Grain: Bread. Cereal. Rice. Pasta. Tip: If you are bringing soup, bring a roll! It's delicious dipped into soup and it gets the grain serving down your throat, no trouble.
    • Dairy: Buy a carton of milk to pour on your cereal. Yogurt. Cheese.
  3.  Plastic containers, Ice packs, and Utensils (if needed). Maybe a napkin.


How to Create and Pack a Lunch
  1. Start the night before. Get out your lunch bag (or a brown bag, but we prefer an insulated bag. The insulated bags are more often that not reusable, and thats definitely more eco-friendly.)
  2. Decide what the main part of your meal will be. Take out what you need to prepare it. Determine what's in it, nutritionally. Let's use Chicken Noodle Soup as our example. It has protein from the chicken. It has some vegetables, but we may want to add a little more produce to our lunch. It has pasta, but maybe we could have it with some crackers. Hmm... no dairy. Let's add cheese or yogurt.
  3. Now we have a basic plan- see how easy that was? When you pack food in a thermal food container, such as a Thermos, you must prepare it the morning of, not the night before. See directions further on in this article on how to pack hot foods. But, making the lunch, you would simply set out the materials needed to put this together in the morning.
  4. Get the components together. We needed some more produce, so pick out a piece of fruit or get a bag full of carrots. You have other options, too- this is just an example. Now we need some grains and dairy- so why not some deli cheese and crackers? Pack a bag of crackers, and tear a couple slices of cheese into squares. Pack those separately.
  5. In the morning, prepare your thermos, pack it up with an ice pack for the other stuff, and go to school!
Using Thermal Food Jars
It's pretty simple, but there are a couple things to know about using these. Basically, fill them with very hot water and seal them for a few minutes while you heat your food. Then, dump out the hot water, put in the hot food, seal, and pack. These can be found around the house, at yard sales, online, or in stores. They are simple to use, and one thing we like to do is place the food and the water in separate microwavable containers in the microwave, and heat them together for about 3 minutes. Pour the water into the container, seal, and let that rest as you heat the food for 2-3 more minutes. Then, replace the water with food. One important key is to overheat the food (just don't burn!), because the temperature will drop between the morning and lunchtime.




Helpful Gear
These are a few things we suggest using to make good lunches- ice packs to keep stuff cold, a thermal food jar to keep stuff hot, and a lunch bag so your food doesn't get banged up and does stay the right temperature.

Built Gourmet Getaway




Non Toxic Reusable Ice Pack
Thermos 10oz Insulated Food Jar

Rules of Thumb; Cafeteria Etiquette

"Don't play with your food!"
"Elbows off the table!"
"Use your utensils!"
"Napkin in your lap!"
These are things we've all heard before. The basic "table manners" that many parents enforce are pretty simple. And by the time you're a teen chef, you've got them down. But, when you show up at the cafeteria in middle school or high school, there are a new set of rules, and many kids can't seem to figure them out. This is our list of DON'Ts for cafeteria etiquette- it's not that hard, people! Study up.

  1. Please avoid pungent or smelly food choices! We love our tuna fish sammich just as much as the next girl, but please, save it for after school. Foods such as hard boiled eggs, fish, and the like are not cool. But by all means, bring the thing that does smell good, even if the smell is strong. Just think about whether it may smell good to you, it might not to your friends. Rule of Thumb: If the smell up close isn't pleasurable, leave it at home. 
  2. Do not make negative comments about others' food. Even if it is smelly, just leave it alone. Everyone likes different foods! Some people are more adventurous eaters and go for spices, and are willing to try something new in their school lunch. This doesn't mean you should comment saying "That looks disgusting." or even worse, "What is that?". If they thought the same, it's unlikely they would have brought it for lunch. Same goes for people who like the same foods everyday in their lunch, or like simple foods like PB & J. Don't say "Why don't you mix it up?", "You always have the same thing!", or "Don't you want to try something more interesting some time?". Its unnecessary, and even if you don't mean it in a bad way, it can always be taken as that. Comments about other's food tend to be offensive and rude, and they discourage people from eating healthy and trying new things, which is what this blog is all about! Rule of Thumb: Keep the comments to yourself, positive or negative. It's just easier that way!
  3. Include people who don't have people to sit with, and sit with different people sometimes. We all hate sitting alone at lunch. It's lonely and it feels really sad. Invite someone over to sit with you guys and make conversation to help them feel included. Make sure you do it casually, so they don't think they are doing it because they feel bad for you. Let them know that they are always welcome to sit with you the next day, too! Make sure to talk to these people in your classes too, because chances are if they are alone at lunch, they are alone in their classes too. Rule of Thumb: If they are sitting alone, looking down or doing homework at lunch, invite them to sit with you!

xoxox,

Two Teen Chefs

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Recipe Roundup- October 12th, 2011

    Welcome to our Recipe Roundup, a collection of recipes we've found on the web recently. Check them out, and give them a try! Let us know how it turns out for you in our Comments section. A * indicates that this is a recipe we have attempted, as of the date the article is published.

    *These "One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes for Two" are awesome- just mix up the batter, add any mix ins, and bake for a few minutes. She's totally right- sometimes, you just need two cupcakes! Great vanilla flavor, and doubling the recipe turned out very well. Great for a mini celebration with a friend!

    This "Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie" looks amazing. What a great breakfast! It has 200 calories, and while 25% are from fat, this will keep you full. The protein content is impressive, too.

    *Creamy guacamole is great with tortilla chips, pita chips, vegetables, and more- or you can spread it on a sandwich. This stuff is delicious, but we suggest adding some diced tomatoes. Avocados have great healthy fat, and guacamole is AMAZING. Our secret ingredient is cinnamon. It sounds weird, but just a pinch or so of it really makes a difference!

    *It's not a recipe, but this guide from Seventeen is great- look at all these ideas for eating at home, on the go, at a restaurant! The article suggests, "Follow these 5-day plan, then alternate weeks...", but we only see one five-day plan, we wouldn't know what to "alternate" with (maybe your normal diet?), and one could become bored of this. But it includes some good ideas, too!
    Seventeen's Breakfasts

    Seventeen's Lunches
    Seventeen's Snacks

    Seventeen's Dinners




















    French Breakfast Muffins
    These French Breakfast Muffins look amazing, and like they could make your kitchen smell amazing, too. You bake them, and while they're warm, you dip them in melted butter and then roll the tops into cinnamon sugar. 




    The Writer of This Article is Pretty Creative




    *Each one of these 20 Quick and Healthy Snack Ideas truly looks delicious. We've tried a couple of them, and they were great. The one you see to the right is an apple slice with peanut butter, oats, nuts, and chocolate chips.





    Jumbo Blueberry Muffins?  The ideal breakfast, in handheld, to-go form. We could try to health-ify this one a bit, though...



    Why are we writing this, when we could be making THIS (see picture to the left... yes, the one that makes your mouth water). It's Cinnamon Bread that you pull apart into pieces. I can smell it now....




    I remember eating this stuff (puppy chow? muddy buddies?) at birthday parties when I was younger... and it has apparently made a comeback. Mmmmm, it just looks SO GOOD!




    That's all for today, folks. 

    xoxox,

    Two Teen Chefs

    Sometimes Recipes Don’t Turn Out So Well…Like BBQ Popcorn!


         After demolishing the salad I made for myself (craisins, goat cheese, walnuts, and lettuce) at lunch today, I felt like I was still needing something to fill me up. Not wanting to go over to the long lunch line, I asked my friend to come to the vending machines to see what I could find. I was gonna go for just pretzels, but then this caught my eye:

          I thought this stuff looked amazing! It’s not SUPER healthy, but it’s definitely not terrible for you. When I got home, I made popcorn (no butter, just plain kernels). I took my pastry brush and just lightly glazed over the popped kernels (only a little so they don’t get soggy) with this sauce that I put together, hoping to imitate the flavors:
    6 Parts of BBQ Sauce
    A pinch of Chili Powder
    A pinch of Curry or Salt (both kinda do the same thing. Salt bring out the flavors, and curry just brings the sauce to flavor that the salt does, if that makes sense.)
    A pinch of Paprika
    2 Part of Honey
    1 Part of Sugar
    I let it dry for as long as it needs. (Varied for each piece of popcorn, actually!)
    You can put this over however much popcorn you want (less on each kernel for a big amount, more on each kernel for a small amount, or you can just make more.) You can refrigerate it, but we don't know how long it keeps. 
    I did these 3 times, and one of the times the popcorn just shriveled up into wet little pieces. The other two times, it worked perfectly, and was SOO good! I’m not sure why this happened, but let us know what worked for you, in the comments!
    Hasta la pasta!
    Two Teen Chefs :)

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Nutrition and Food Groups


    This article is the basis of many of our future articles, as it pulls the foods we eat into different groups. The picture to the right, from Choose My Plate, illustrates each food group in proportions that the USDA recommends. However, this picture does neglect to include the "fats and oils" category that was present on the old Food Pyramid. The food groups are;


    Vegetables
    1.  Fruits- fresh, canned, frozen, or juiced
    2. Vegetables- fresh, canned, frozen, or juiced
    3. Grains- bread, rice, pasta, cereal, popcorn, etc. 
    4. Protein- beans, meat, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, etc. 
    5. Dairy- milk, soy dairy-free products, cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, etc. 
    6. Fats and Oils- cooking oil, fats, treats, butter, etc. 
    When you're eating a meal,  it is important to include foods from multiple food groups to increase the nutritional value of the meal, and so the meal will keep you satisfied longer. Here's a guide on how to incorporate foods from each group into your diet.

    • If you need to eat more Fruits, you can add an apple, banana, or orange at breakfast, or eat one at lunch. Sliced/ washed berries and whipped cream is a great healthy dessert. Mix all your favorite fruits together in a fruit salad, or a smoothie. Or, juice them for breakfast.
    • Vegetables can be added to smoothies and juices, too- or you can steam, boil, roast, grill, or sautee them. Try cherry tomatoes and baby carrots with some light salad dressing as a snack, have salad with dinner, or stick lettuce leaves into your sandwiches. For a snack, roll deli meats and mustard into big lettuce pieces, broken off of hearts of romaine.
    • Grains are easy to include in your diet- your morning cereal, toast, bagel, pancakes, french toast, or oatmeal, the bread from your sandwich at lunch, crackers, pasta or rice at dinner, etc. But, it is important to include some whole grains. Once you're used to whole wheat bread and other whole wheat or multigrain products, you'll see that they have more flavor.
    • Protein makes people think of meat and fish, but other options -like eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds- are great sources, too. Try to eat a variety.
    • Dairy is especially important for teenage girls. Eat a yogurt (sprinkle granola on top for breakfast and add some cut up fruit- its delicious) or drink a glass of milk at breakfast and/or lunch, and maybe have some frozen yogurt after dinner.
    • Fats and Oils add flavor, but it is better to use healthier fats, such as olive oil, over unhealthy fats, such as butter, when possible. 
    Combination Foods
    Often, we'll eat a slice of lasagna, a piece of pizza, a salad with protein,  or a bowl of soup with protein, vegetables, dairy, or other food groups all in one. These count towards  our daily quota, too. You can also "hide" foods within others. For example, you could make bread with bananas, apples, carrots, or zucchini. You can make apple and carrot juice. You could add greens to your smoothie. 

    Meals
    • Breakfast is a great time to get in whole grains, dairy, protein, and fruit. For example, a bowl of cereal with berries and milk. Yogurt with fruit and granola. Toast with peanut butter, a glass of milk, and an apple. Apple slices, peanut butter, and a muffin. Eggs with cheese and vegetables. A glass of juice. A smoothie. Try protein powder, too. Mix it with milk for a shake.
    • Lunch is great for fitting in more fruits, proteins, dairy, and whole grains, as well as vegetables and fats/oils. You can pack any leftovers from home in a plastic container or thermos, or you can make a sandwich or salad. Guacamole, mayo, and other condiments can add fat to a sandwich, which can be stuffed with vegetables, meats, and cheese. A salad can incorporate many food groups- vegetables, oils, proteins (beans, hard boiled eggs, meat), and dairy (cheese). We strongly suggest packing a lunch- don't buy at school. You'll have more control, save money, and make healthier choices.
    • Dinner is the time to fit in anything you need to knock off your list. Pile your plate with whatever you skimped on that day, and drink water, milk, or juice. Need to eat more fruit? Pick any fruits you like and enjoy those for dessert. For some dairy, yogurts and puddings are great- but watch the sugar. 
    • Snacks are extremely important to keep you going throughout your day. You don't need to eat "snack foods" like chips, candy, or granola bars- you can just eat mini meals. For example, you could have half a sandwich, a serving of soup, leftover roasted chicken and vegetables- anything! Just lower your serving size. Keep a healthy snack in your bag for those times when you don't pack enough for lunch, don't have time for breakfast, or are stuck after school for awhile.

    Great Resources for You

    Breakfast:
    Lunch:
    Dinner:
    Just eat the foods your family prepares in sensible portions. For a quick dinner, a salad, a sandwich, soup, pasta with meatballs, or a healthy frozen dinner will do. 
    Snacks:

     A Note From TwoTeenChefs:
    We are not qualified nutritionists or dieticians. We are teenage girls. Our advice cannot replace the opinion of your physician, pediatrician, nutritionist, personal trainer, coaches, teachers, or parents. Please use our advice as a guideline. In addition, this blog is not all about nutrition and health. We will experiment in the kitchen, create recipes, test recipes, and more. However, the nutritional value of the food you eat is very important. This "disclaimer" applies to any and all future posts. Thanks for reading!


    xoxoxoxox,

    Two Teen Chefs

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Welcome to Two Teen Chefs!

    We are two teenage girls who love baking, cooking, and just being creative in the kitchen. We're here to collaborate with people of similar ages who have similar interests. We'd like to share recipes and ideas, and we want you to share your ideas with us. Our site is currently under construction, so once we have some stuff ready for you, we'll post it. Please check back at the beginning of November. By then, we'll have some content. Thanks for reading!!!

    xoxox
    twoteenchefs

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Welcome!

    Content of  "twoteenchefs" is currently being constructed and will be available soon.

    Thank you!