Spending time in the kitchen making delicious food with your kids? It’s a good thing. We’ve got a fun ice cream maker and if your kids are crazy about Instagram, we’ve got the perfect product for all their decorating fantasies. And if you had to choose between pickles and pudding, which would it be?
Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker
Your kids have seen this on YouTube even if you haven’t. The disk is about 11 inches round and an inch or so high. Put it in your freezer for 24 hours. Then pour a half cup of ice cream or slushie mixture onto the frozen surface. The liquid starts freezing in seconds. Use the plastic tools to scoop and scrape the mixture into a mound of ice cream. In about two minutes, you’ll have your first scoop. Dish that up, then freeze the next serving. We tried this with three kids and three adults and found we could make four batches before we had to refreeze the base. And it was so much fun. Leave the mixture on a bit longer before you begin working with it and you can scrape up long Instagram-worthy curls of ice cream. When you’re done, rinse it with warm water and put it back in the freezer. Now you’re ready the next time you get a craving for ice cream. And since it only makes a half cup of ice cream at a time, you don't have to feel guilty about indulging. $49.99. Available at Williams Sonoma stores and online at http://chefnsweetspot.com.
ColorKitchen Decorative Food Colors
The packaging says “from nature” and for every parent who wants to reduce the amount of artificial dyes in their kids’ food, these powdered colors are just the thing. ColorKitchen’s plant-based colors are made from ingredients like turmeric (yellow), spirulina (blue) and beets (pink). They’re powders, so they’ll have a long shelf life. Just mix a little powder with water and then color your frostings, ice cream, yogurt and even lemonade. The colors fade if baked, so they aren’t recommended for things that will be heated. Our kid testers turned our packets of yellow, blue and pink into seven different pastel colors that made the most gorgeous frosting. Our cupcakes looked like an edible garden. The colors are fairly light, so don’t expect to get a deep, deep blue, for example, without using more than one packet. $2.99 per 2.5-gram single color packet, $7.49 for packages with one color packet and rainbow sprinkles that aren’t made with hydrogenated oils. Available at http://amazon.com and http://thrivemarket.com.
Pickles ‘n Pudding
Their motto is, “When you gotta have salty and sweet” and their entire product line is in their name - pickles and pudding. This is the home-based business of Adina Kalish and her daughter Ryan Neufeld. (Older sister Talia helps by taste testing.) They make half and full sour pickles and lots of delicious flavors of pudding including banana cream, red velvet and pumpkin. The pudding maker is Ryan, 11 years old. The pickle maker is mom, Adina. And the business manager? That’s Ryan, too. They sell their wares every other week at the Saturday morning Sandy Springs Farmers Market. Maybe sampling their products will inspire your own young food entrepreneur. We bought both full and half sour pickles. The jars are packed with crunchy cucumbers, bits of fresh garlic, bay leaves, mustard seeds and peppercorns. And the pickles are salty in the way pickles should be. Pickles run $5 to $15 a jar, depending on size. Pudding is $4 a cup. And they offer larger sizes for parties and big families. You’ll find them at the Sandy Springs Farmers Market on Saturday, August 19, during the market’s hours of 8:30 a.m. to noon. They’re generally there every other week depending on school, soccer practice and other responsibilities. Get there early because they almost always sell out. http://picklesnpudding.com.