Mmmm.. chocolate in the morning. I can’t think of a better way to start the day. My daughter was off for President’s Day, so we decided to take a tour of the Cerreta Candy Company. Cerreta is a family-owned Phoenix based business. They offer free tours Monday through Friday at 10AM and 1PM. We arrived a little before 10AM. Parking was a breeze. This left us plenty of time to sign up for our tour. The guided tour is free, but it offers two upgrade options. One is a Chocolate Tasters tour ($5) where you get additional samples and the second is a VIP tour ($10) catered towards kids. With VIP status, you go on the free guided tour, get additional candy samples of a taffy, marshmallow caramel and chocolate, plus you get to make a chocolate pizza at the end! We were sold 🙂 I only bought one VIP pass. One chocolate pizza for our house is enough. The tour was fun and informative. Cerreta has a replica of the chocolate machine that appeared on “I Love Lucy.” The machine was making candy-coated marshmallows while we were there. Of course, we got a taste! Walking around this machine to get a close-up view was the best part of the tour. We also got insight on how they make their famous French mints, where their chocolate comes from (apparently Cerreta’s own recipe manufactured by Guittard) and how they make caramel. At the end of the tour, kids with VIP passes lined up at tables on the side of factory and made chocolate pizza. Some words of advice if you plan on going: Bring a water bottle. This candy is sweet! After her first bite of marshmallow, Cam started begging for water. They do have a water fountain, however you may not want to break away from the tour. Bring some healthy snacks for after the tour. We brought apples which prevented the post-sugar crash nicely. If you need to use the restroom, make it very clear to your five-year-old that the chocolate pizza needs to remain in a horizontal position when she holds it. Else, it will look like this: Still tasty though 🙂 Cerreta Candy Company 5345 W. Glendale Ave Glendale, AZ 85301 http://www.cerreta.com
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Eating healthy is really hard! Getting ingredients and actually cooking before you become ravenous is one struggle. Doing all that while taking care of kids and actually making something that they like adds an additional level of agony complexity. I’ve read a lot of blogs that post these amazing recipes with beautiful pictures and then show the author smiling in her perfectly clean home with three children. That is the dream, but I have yet to discover how to make that happen. Here is a delicious and healthy recipe that I have found, with little snippets of life with kids. I adapted this recipe from the Fitness Magazine website. I wish that my 6-month-old son would have taken a nap this afternoon, but he didn’t. So, I placed his Excersaucer down in the kitchen and plopped him inside, hoping he would be happy in it long enough for me to get the chopping done. First, you will need the following ingredients: Juice from 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons) 3 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 teaspoon thyme, dried Freshly ground black pepper 1 pound chicken tenders 4 teaspoons canola oil 1 shallot, chopped 1 bag frozen edamame 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved 1/2 cup crumbled feta (or goat cheese) 1. In a ziplock bag, combine 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 teaspoons garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon thyme; season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add chicken tenders, seal the bag, and gently turn to coat. However, I like to give the bag to my five-year-old and have her vigorously shake it. This lets her participate in the meal process and it’s a lot of fun to watch. Set the bag aside. 2. Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil (or more) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot, remaining garlic, edamame, and tomatoes; saute 4 minutes. My son is starting to fuss, so I start singing “Old MacDonald”. I try to incorporate his name – And on this farm, he had an Erik – but I find it hard not to make the next verse, “With a wah-wah here.” 3. Use a vegetable peeler to slice zucchini into long ribbons. Add zucchini and remaining lemon juice and thyme to vegetables in skillet; saute 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl, stir in feta, and season with salt and black pepper to taste. I used goat cheese in this recipe this time, however I prefer feta in it. By this time, my son has completely rejected his Excersaucer and this is how I’m cooking. He won’t even sit upright and insists on being Superman. Add remaining oil to skillet. Remove chicken from marinade and saute 2 to 3 minutes a side or until cooked through. I am very nervous when cooking chicken, so I use a thermometer. I take the chicken off when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Serve with vegetables and 2 whole wheat toast triangles. This chicken has a slight tangy-ness and stays really […]