Kid-friendly Fussy Fancy Puff Pastry Bundles + Broccoli Caesar Salad Boats + Sparkling Grape Spritz Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Family Meal Plan: Fussy Fancy Puff Pastry Bundles + Broccoli Caesar Salad Boats + Sparkling Grape Spritz

Family Meal Plan: Fussy Fancy Puff Pastry Bundles + Broccoli Caesar Salad Boats + Sparkling Grape Spritz

Fussy Fancy Puff Pastry Bundles + Broccoli Caesar Salad Boats + Sparkling Grape Spritz

by Erin Fletter
Photo by Natallia Harahliad/Shutterstock.com
prep time
40 minutes
cook time
21 minutes
makes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Fussy Fancy Puff Pastry Bundles

This perfect kid-friendly recipe lets young chefs get creative and design their own edible masterpieces. How do we know that? We tested the recipe with my two youngest girls, Lulu and Vivian, and their friend Kate in the SFC test kitchen when they were young. They picked the fillings and inspired the broccoli-cheese combination, which inspired the broccoli caesar salad boats, and had us choosing broccoli as the ingredient highlight of the week. As we say in French: Bon Appétit!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief
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Shopping List

  • Fresh:
  • 3 heads broccoli
  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 small bunch green, red, or purple grapes (about 1 C)
  • Frozen:
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY make gluten-free pie crust—see ingredients below)**
  • Pantry:
  • salt and pepper
  • all-purpose flour for sprinkling and rolling out thawed puff pastry dough **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use gluten-free flour)**
  • 2 T mayonnaise **(for EGG ALLERGY sub vegan mayonnaise, like Vegenaise)**
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 C white grape juice
  • 3 C ginger ale or sparkling water
  • Dairy and Eggs:
  • 8 oz goat, mozzarella, cheddar, or shredded Mexican blend cheese **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub Daiya brand dairy-free cheese shreds, or dairy-free/nut-free cream cheese or ricotta)**
  • 1 egg **(for EGG ALLERGY omit egg, or sub milk, dairy-free/nut-free milk, or vegetable oil for egg wash)**
  • 1 T grated Parmesan cheese **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub nutritional yeast)**
  • For Gluten-Free Pie Crust alternative to puff pastry:
  • 2 C gluten-free flour (with xanthan gum) + extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 T cold unsalted butter **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or Spread)**
  • Have on hand:
  • ice
  • 1/2 to 2/3 C cold water or more (if making gluten-free pie crust)

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • bake :

    to cook food with dry heat, as in an oven.

  • blend :

    to stir together two or more ingredients until just combined; blending is a gentler process than mixing.

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • microwave :

    to heat or cook food or liquid quickly in a microwave oven, which uses high-frequency electromagnetic waves to generate heat in the food's water molecules.

  • mince :

    to chop into teeny tiny pieces.

  • peel :

    to remove the skin or rind from something using your hands or a metal tool.

  • pour :

    to cause liquid, granules, or powder to stream from one container into another.

  • preheat :

    to set an oven to the desired temperature a few minutes before cooking, so it reaches that temperature by the time you place the food in it.

  • seal :

    to close tightly, keeping filling inside.

  • stir :

    to mix together two or more ingredients with a spoon or spatula, usually in a circle pattern, or figure eight, or in whatever direction you like!

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Blender
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Pitcher
  • Wooden spoon
  • Oven
  • Oven mitt
  • Baking sheet (9 x 13 works well)
  • Microwave
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Rolling pin
  • Clean flat surface for rolling out pastry
  • Small bowl
  • Pastry brush
  • Plates, forks, drinking glasses, napkins for serving
  • Optional tools (for gluten-free pie crust):
  • Mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Fork
  • Citrus juicer (optional)
  • Whisk
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Serving plate for salad
  • Salad spoons or tongs
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Ingredients

Fussy Fancy Puff Pastry Bundles

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY make gluten-free pie crust—see ingredients below)**
  • 1 1/2 fresh broccoli heads
  • 8 oz cheese: goat, mozzarella, cheddar, or shredded Mexican blend **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub Daiya brand dairy-free cheese shreds, or dairy-free/nut-free cream cheese or ricotta)**
  • 1 egg **(for EGG ALLERGY omit egg, or sub milk, dairy-free/nut-free milk, or vegetable oil for egg wash)**
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • all-purpose flour for sprinkling and rolling out thawed puff pastry dough **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use gluten-free flour)**
  • Gluten-free pie crust:
  • 2 C all-purpose gluten-free flour (with xanthan gum) + more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 T or 1/2 C cold unsalted butter **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or Spread)**
  • 1/2 to 2/3 C cold water

Broccoli Caesar Salad Boats

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 T mayonnaise **(for EGG ALLERGY sub vegan mayonnaise, like Vegenaise)**
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T grated Parmesan cheese **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub nutritional yeast)**
  • 1 head romaine lettuce

Sparkling Grape Spritz

  • 1 small bunch green, red, or purple grapes
  • 3 C white grape juice
  • 3 C ginger ale or sparkling water
  • ice

Food Allergen Substitutions

Fussy Fancy Puff Pastry Bundles

  • Gluten/Wheat: Make gluten-free pie crust from scratch (see ingredients and steps under Pastry Bundles).
  • Dairy: Substitute Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or Spread for butter if making gluten-free pie crust for Pastry Bundles. Substitute Daiya brand dairy-free cheese shreds (or dairy-free/nut-free cream cheese or ricotta) for cheese in Pastry Bundles.
  • Egg: Omit egg, or substitute milk, dairy-free/nut-free milk, or vegetable oil for egg wash on Pastry Bundle dough.

Broccoli Caesar Salad Boats

  • Dairy: Substitute nutritional yeast for Parmesan cheese.
  • Egg: Substitute vegan mayonnaise, like Vegenaise, for the mayonnaise.

Instructions

Fussy Fancy Puff Pastry Bundles

1.
preheat + chop + microwave

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Chop 1 1/2 heads of broccoli florets from their stems. Add the chopped broccoli to a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle the broccoli with water. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 1 minute to steam the broccoli. When broccoli is cool enough to handle, chop the florets into very small pieces and set aside.

2.
sprinkle + roll

Sprinkle flour onto a clean, flat surface and place 1 thawed puff pastry sheet on the surface. (Or, see gluten-free pie crust steps below.) Use a rolling pin to roll it out until it measures a square that’s approximately 16 x 16 inches!

3.
cut + arrange

Cut the puff pastry sheet into 9 to 16 equal squares or rectangles, depending on how big you want your bundles to be! Arrange the cut pastry squares on your baking sheet. Time to stuff!

4.
fill + season

Add fillings along the center in a diagonal line: starting with one corner and going to the opposite corner, layer the puff pastry squares with chopped broccoli and 8 ounces of cheese, crumbled or shredded. Season the filling with salt and pepper to taste.

5.
whisk + roll + brush

Crack 1 egg into a small bowl and whisk it. Take one corner of the pastry sheet and roll it over the filling. Brush the exposed pastry with the egg wash.

6.
seal + bake

Press to seal it and brush the whole pastry with egg wash. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown on the outside and cooked through! Let cool slightly before eating! "Délicieuse" (DEH-lee-seeuz)!

7.
GF pie crust steps: measure + whisk

Measure and whisk together **2 cups gluten-free flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt**. Add 8 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter in chunks to the dough and use hands or a fork to incorporate the butter into the flour. Once butter is cut to pea size, start adding 1/2 cup of cold water.

8.
mix + rest + roll

Mix the dough with hands to form a dough ball, adding more cold water as needed. Start with less—then add more water by the tablespoon. If the dough is too wet and at all sticky, add more flour by the tablespoon. Once the dough has formed into a ball, set it aside to rest for 5 minutes. Roll out the dough and cut into equal rectangles before filling (follow method above).

Broccoli Caesar Salad Boats

1.
peel + mince + whisk

Smash, peel, and mince 1 peeled garlic clove and add it to a bowl. Slice 1 lemon and squeeze the juice over the garlic. Then add 2 T mayonnaise, 1/2 tsp soy sauce, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp honey, 1 T olive oil, and 1 T grated Parmesan cheese to the garlic. Whisk the ingredients together to emulsify them.

2.
wash + separate + chop + fill

Wash and separate leaves from 1 head of romaine lettuce (serve 1 to each person) and line them side by side on a plate. Chop the remaining romaine leaves and add to a big mixing bowl. Chop 1 1/2 heads broccoli florets into very small pieces and add them to the lettuce bowl. Drizzle your homemade Caesar dressing over the veggies and toss to coat everything evenly. Spoon the broccoli filling into each "lettuce boat" and sprinkle with extra grated Parmesan cheese!

Sparkling Grape Spritz

1.
chop + add + blend

Chop up 1 bunch of grapes (reserve 4 to 6 grapes for garnish) and add them to a blender. Add 3 cups of white grape juice. Adults: help kid chefs blend until smooth. Then pour into a pitcher.

2.
add + stir + pour

Add 3 cups of ginger ale or sparkling water to the pitcher and gently stir. Add ice to each drinking glass and pour the drink over the ice. Garnish each glass with a fresh grape!

Surprise Ingredient: Broccoli!

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Photo by Amber Ocean Tindall/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I'm Broccoli!

"Hello! Did you know that cabbage and cauliflower are my cousins? I resemble a small tree with a green trunk and branches topped with blueish-green flower buds—my crown!" 

History & Etymology

  • Broccoli first came from the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor and spread to Italy in the 16th century. 
  • Broccoli was once known as Italian asparagus.
  • Broccoli is a member of the Brassica oleracea family, an important group of vegetables that can help reduce cancer risk.
  • China and India produce the most broccoli in the world. Over 90 percent of the broccoli crop in the United States is from California, where it is grown year-round.  
  • The word "broccoli" is Italian, the plural form of "broccolo," from "brocco," (a shoot, arm, or branch), from the Latin "broccus," (projecting).  

Anatomy

  • The main broccoli crown or head and the group of flower buds on the side shoots are harvested when the flower buds are closed and compact with no yellowing buds or flowers. Heads are removed with about 4 to 6 inches of stem attached. When the main head is cut, new shoots with smaller heads form, so a single plant will keep producing for many weeks. 
  • It is essential to cool down broccoli as soon as possible after harvest; otherwise, small yellow flower heads will develop rapidly, which are bitter. Often you may see boxes of broccoli arriving at the greengrocers covered in ice to prevent further maturing.

How to Pick, Buy & Eat

  • To pick the best broccoli, select fresh, bright-green heads with compact clusters of tightly closed flowerets. Stalks and stem leaves should be tender yet firm. Avoid any with yellowing flowerets and thick, woody stems.
  • Keep broccoli dry and store it in a vented plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Broccoli can be boiled, steamed, grilled, and roasted. It is added to green salads, either raw or cooked, and included in soups, stir-fries, fried rice, and pasta dishes. It is also a tasty and healthy vegetable to pair with every type of meat and fish. 

Nutrition

  • Don't underestimate the power of broccoli! It became famous when researchers found it contained a compound called sulforaphane, which can function as an anticancer agent.
  • Just one serving has two days' supply of vitamin C (don't overcook, or you'll lose some). It is also a good source of dietary fiber and provides potassium, vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene.

History of Puff Pastry!

Photo by kina8/Shutterstock.com
  • Classic puff pastry is a French phenomenon! It is also known as pâte feuilletée, which means "pastry made leaf-like" because it is so flaky and leaf-like.
  • Puff pastry gets its "puff" from folded layers of butter and flour. When it's baked, steam from the butter rises and puffs the layers up. If you are a French pastry chef or pâtissier, you would have to make at least 700 layers of folded dough to be true puff pastry—whoa! Getting all these wonderful layers or laminations can be a lengthy process! 
  • Typically, the flour dough is rolled out flat into a rectangle, and then a layer of butter is spread on top. Then the dough is folded and chilled in the refrigerator, only to be rolled out and buttered repeatedly! 
  • Pastry is not exactly a French invention, though. Spanish recipes for puff pastry were available in the 1600s. Cultures around the world as old as the ancient Egyptians have been cooking with some type of pastry dough. Scholars believe ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks ate a filo-like pastry made from flour, water, and oil. However, this early form of pastry lacked the richness that comes from using butter, which the French made famous. 
  • We tend to associate puff pastry with sweet treats like croissants, danishes, and Napoleons, but you can also use it in savory dishes like our Fussy Fancy Puff Pastry Bundles!

Let's Learn About France!

Photo by Alliance Images/Shutterstock.com
  • Bonjour (hello)! Bienvenue en (welcome to) France and the spectacular Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci, and ancient Roman ruins in the Provence region.
  • France is a European country, and its official name is the French Republic. The capital city is Paris, which also has the most people. 
  • France's land area is 248,573 square miles. That is almost the size of the US state of Texas! The number of people in France is 67,874,000, about 43 percent more than in Texas.
  • The official and national language is French, which is also the official language in 12 other countries, and a co-official language in 16 countries, including Canada. 
  • France's government consists of a president, a prime minister, and a parliament and is divided into regions and departments rather than states and counties.
  • The French have a well-known motto, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity."
  • In addition to the Eiffel Tower, France is known for the Louvre, the most visited art museum worldwide (the Mona Lisa resides there), the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur) in southeastern France on the Mediterranean coast.
  • France is famous for the "beaux-arts" (fine arts). Paris is still home to many artists and great painters, artisans, and sculptors. Great literature came from French authors, such as Victor Hugo's novels Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  • Paris has two popular nicknames. The most common is "The City of Light" (La Ville Lumière), which came about because Paris was the first European city to implement street lighting in 1860, lighting up the city with 56,000 gas street lamps. The second is "The City of Love," (La Ville de L'amour). This name is probably due to Paris being considered one of the most romantic cities in the world and the high number of marriage proposals at the Eiffel Tower!
  • French cuisine is known for its freshness and high quality. Many of the world's greatest pastries originated in France, such as the croissant, eclair, and macaron!
  • Other French foods are escargot (snails!), baguette (bread), ratatouille (roasted tomato, zucchini, and eggplant—remember the movie?!), and crepes (very thin pancakes).

What's It Like to Be a Kid in France?

  • Most kids start school (preschool) at around age three. Depending on the area and the school, students go to school 4 to 5 days a week. They often get a 1½-hour lunch break, and some kids go home for lunch. 
  • Dinner is served at 7:30 pm or later, so afternoon snacks are essential. "Le goûter" (goo-tay), or afternoon tea, often includes a "tartine," a slice of bread topped with something sweet or savory (like cheese, butter and jam, or Nutella). Other popular snacks are yogurt, fromage blanc (white cheese), and fruit. 
  • Popular sports for kids are soccer, bicycling, and tennis.
  • There are several parks in France, in and around Paris. Napoleon III even designed one of them, the Bois de Boulogne, where you can find beautiful gardens, lakes, a zoo, an amusement park, and two horse racing tracks. In addition, kids can go on pony rides, play mini-golf, and race remote control boats at many public parks.  
  • Of course, kids can also go to the most popular theme park in Europe, Disneyland Paris, which opened in 1992. While there, kids can go on a ride unique to Disneyland Paris: Ratatouille: The Adventure!

Lettuce Joke Around

What did the green grape say to the purple grape? 

Breathe! Breathe!

That's Berry Funny

What do you call a chicken staring at lettuce? 

Chicken Caesar (sees her) Salad.

The Yolk's On You

What did the broccoli say to the ranch dressing?

I’m going to take a dip.

The Yolk's On You

How did the broccoli feel about being served for dinner?

It was steamed.

Lettuce Joke Around

What kind of music does broccoli like to listen to?

Broc and Roll.

That's Berry Funny

Why aren't grapes ever lonely? 

Because they come in bunches!

The Yolk's On You

What did one grape say to the other grape? 

"If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be in this jam!"

Lettuce Joke Around

What is the difference between broccoli and boogers?

Not every kid will eat broccoli.

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