KJAN Family Fun in the Kitchen

You spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so let’s make it a great time!  Listen each week as LaVon and Miss NiNi inform and inspire families to have fun and success with cooking and baking. They will share recipes, experiences and tips. Have questions or suggestions for a show topic? Like us on Facebook, e-mail us at familyfuninthekitchen@gmail.com, text or call 712-254-2254.  Check out Miss NiNi’s website at missnini.com.

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Family Fun in the Kitchen 11-28-2015

Podcasts, Family Fun in the Kitchen

November 28th, 2015 by Jim Field

Cran Shortcake 1Cran Shortcake 2Cran Shortcake 3Cran Shortcake 4Cran Shortcake 5Cran Shortcake 6






FESTIVE 20151109_214917CRANBERRY SHORTBREAD—recipe adapted from bakeorbreak.com


  • 10 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • ½ t. almond OR vanilla extract
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. dried cranberries
  • Garnish (optional):
  • 2 T. chopped pistachios
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 t. water


Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together butter and sugar. Add extract and salt. Slowly add flour and mix until incorporated. Add cranberries and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and completely cover loosely with the wrap. Shape dough into a disc. As the dough is shaped into a disc, keep plastic wrap as a barrier between your fingers and the dough. (Plastic wrap is a great aid for the shaping process to prevent direct contact with the warmth of your fingers.) Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Roll out dough to a 10-inch square, about ¼ inch thick. Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut dough into 2-inch squares. Carefully transfer squares to baking sheets. If applying the optional garnish: whisk together egg white and water. Lightly brush this mixture over top of each cookie square. Sprinkle chopped pistachios over the top, gently pressing them into the dough. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on pans for about 5 minutes. Then, transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Yields: 25, 2-inch cookies

Miss NiNi

NOTE FROM Miss NiNi: Shortbread is a baker’s dream because it takes so few ingredients to create a cookie that offers such amazing accolades of praise from those enjoying each bite! I garnished my cookies with pistachios for extra crunch and color. I used chopped roasted and salted pistachios for an extra “kick.” You may prefer pistachios right from the shell without the extra salty flavor. For a more homespun look, use fingers to pat dough into a 10-inch square rather than roll dough with a rolling pin. At about the 10-minute baking point, a rich aroma of baked butter and sugar begins to delight the senses! Red cranberries and optional green chopped pistachios add a festive fuss on a holiday cookie tray. Joy to the cookie world!


Family Fun in the Kitchen 11-21-2015

Podcasts, Family Fun in the Kitchen

November 21st, 2015 by Chris Parks

White Chocolate Cranberry Toffee—taste of the south Fall Baking


  • 44 saltine crackers
  • 1 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • 1, 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 6, 1-oz. squares white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  • ½ c. sweetened dried cranberries


Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with heavy-duty foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange saltines in an even layer on prepared pan. In a medium saucepan, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil over medium-high heat; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in condensed milk. Pour mixture over crackers. Bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle with white chocolate. Let stand 1-2 minutes to soften white chocolate. Using a small offset spatula, spread softened chocolate evenly over baked crackers. Sprinkle with pecans and cranberries. Let cool completely. Break into cracker-size pieces. Store in an airtight container up to 5 days.

Miss NiNi

NOTE from Miss NiNi: What an easy baked treat to make! Roasted sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and even chopped pistachios would add even more crunch and great flavor combination! Consider this recipe as part of your Christmas entertaining arsenal. Let young children help arrange the saltines, measure ingredients, and sprinkle on toppings. Dried cranberries add such a cherry holiday presentation! If white chocolate is too sweet for your taste buds, darker chocolate can be substituted.

Toffee 1 Toffee 2 Toffee 3 Toffee 4 Toffee 5 Toffee 6


Family Fun in the Kitchen 11-14-2015

Podcasts, Family Fun in the Kitchen

November 14th, 2015 by Chris Parks

Lavon and Miss NiNi talk about Brussel Sprouts.

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS – use as side dish, in salads, simple or fancy
Purchase frozen or fresh. If fresh, they are often pre-washed. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place rimmed baking sheet in oven. Slice off knobby bottoms of sprouts. Peel off any out-of-shape leaves. Slice in half. Place in bowl, drizzle with olive oil (2 teaspoons for 1 pound), sprinkle with salt; toss to coat. Spread on hot baking sheet. Turn sprouts once during roasting for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Make it fancy or keep it simple.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON – many layers of flavor
1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika*
Kosher salt & black pepper
2 slices bacon, cut into small strips (a kitchen scissors works well)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tart apple, peeled & cut into thin slices
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon water
Roast Brussels sprouts. Meanwhile, cook bacon until crispy. Remove from skillet. Place apples and onions into skillet; sprinkle with paprika. Cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Increase heat to high; add vinegar and water. Don’t have your face over the pan – you could get an intense whiff of vinegar. Add bacon and roasted Brussels sprouts. Stir together. Transfer to serving dish. Makes six servings.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS – keep it simple
Toss roasted Brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon honey or 1 tablespoon maple syrup.
Or top with a light cheese sauce.
*Smoked paprika may not be on your shelf or may be difficult to find in your local grocery store. Instead use liquid smoke which is usually found near barbeque sauces. Whisk 1 teaspoon into the 2 teaspoons of olive oil for 1 pound of Brussels sprouts for roasting.
brussel sprouts 1 brussel sprouts 2 brussel sprouts 3

Family Fun in the Kitchen 11-07-2015

Podcasts, Family Fun in the Kitchen

November 7th, 2015 by Chris Parks

Lavon and Miss NiNi talk about preparing for the Thanksgiving season and discuss a recipe that finds a different way to use pumpkin.


adapted from Better Home & Gardens Fall Baking

Pumpkin Bread 1 Pumpkin Bread 2 Pumpkin Bread 3 Pumpkin Bread 4 Pumpkin Bread 5 Pumpkin Bread 6 Pumpkin Bread 7

Ingredients for Bread:

  • ¾ c. milk
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast (One 0.25-ounce package of active dry yeast is equal to 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast)
  • 1 c. canned pumpkin, divided
  • 3 T. butter, melted
  • 2 T. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 t. salt
  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3 T. butter, melted
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • 1 T. ground cinnamon


Ingredients for Cinnamon Glaze:

  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • ½ t. ground cinnamon
  • ½ t. vanilla extract
  • 1 T. milk

Ingredients for Buttered Rum Glaze:

  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 T. milk
  • ¾ c. powdered sugar
  • 1 T. Rum or 1 t. rum flavoring

Method for Bread:

In a small saucepan, heat milk just until warm (105-155 degrees F). In a large bowl combine warm milk and yeast; stir to dissolve yeast. Let stand 5-10 minutes or until foamy. Add ½ c. pumpkin, 3 T. melted butter, granulated sugar, egg yolk, and salt to yeast mixture. Beat with a mixer on medium until combined. Add half of flour; beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl as needed. Beat 3 minutes on medium. Stir in the remaining flour. Shape dough into a ball (dough will not be smooth). Place dough in an oiled bowl. Cover; refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. (Or to make right away, cover and let rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes or until double in size.)

HINT: This beautiful golden dough can easily be made in the bread machine by using the dough cycle. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Then proceed according to the recipe to finish preparing the loaf for baking. I made the dough in my Zojirushi bread machine which is designed to make a 1-1/2 to 2-lb. loaf.

While the dough is rising, spray all inside edges of a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Make pumpkin filling by stirring together remaining ½ c. pumpkin and 3 T. melted butter.

Roll dough into a 20 x 12-inch rectangle. Spread pumpkin filling over dough. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over pumpkin filling.

Cut dough rectangle crosswise into five 12 x 4-inch strips. Stack strips, then cut six 4-x 2-inch pieces, leaving stacks intact. Loosely stagger pieces in pan, cut sides up. Let rise in a warm place about 45 minutes or until nearly double in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake 35 min. or until golden brown. (If needed, cover bread with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning). Cool about 15 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and turn right-side up on cooling rack. Allow to completely cool.

While the loaf is cooling, prepare glaze. Drizzle with Cinnamon Glaze or Buttered Rum Glaze. Cool 20 minutes more.

Method for Cinnamon Glaze:

Stir together powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and milk. If needed, add additional 1 T. milk. Drizzle over bread.

Method for Butter Rum Glaze:

Melt together butter, brown sugar, and milk. Stir in rum or rum flavoring. Add powdered sugar and whisk together until incorporated. Drizzle over bread.

Yields: 12 servings.

Miss NiNi

NOTE FROM Miss NiNi: My loaf was glazed with the Butter Rum Glaze which I thought added a complementary flavor to the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Note of caution though: Be sure to allow the bread to cool in the pan for the full length of time. Otherwise, it might pull itself apart in the “unpanning” process. To see photos of Miss NiNi preparing this bread, go to http://missnini.com/?cat=3 and view my blog post of Nov. 2, 2015.


Family Fun in the Kitchen 10-31-2015

Podcasts, Family Fun in the Kitchen

November 2nd, 2015 by Chris Parks

Lavon and Miss NiNi talk about the variety and uses of tortillas.

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup warm water
Combine dry ingredients. Add the mixture of oil and water. Mix well. Dump mixture onto floured surface. Use hands to incorporate all of mixture.
Divide into 16 fairly even pieces. Roll into balls and flatten with your hand. Roll dough into roughly 6 to 7 inch circle. Lightly flour surface as needed
to prevent sticky.
Heat skillet to medium-high. Place dough circle into skillet and allow to cook for about a minute. The uncooked surface will begin to show a few bubbles
of dough raising up. The underside should  have golden brown spots in about 1 minute. Turn over to cook other side for about 30 seconds. Stack in a covered
container until all are cooked. This will keep them soft and pliable.
Store in an air tight container at room temperature up to 24 hours. To freeze, separate tortillas with parchment or waxed paper and place in an airtight bag.
Tortillas 1 Tortillas 2

Family Fun in the Kitchen 10-24-2015

Podcasts, Family Fun in the Kitchen

October 24th, 2015 by Chris Parks

Lavon and Miss NiNi talk about Pumpkin season.

Chocolate-Swirled Pumpkin Bars—adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Fall Baking


  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1/8 t. ground cloves
  • ½ t. ground nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1, 15-oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 c. vegetable oil (I used corn oil.)
  • 1 c. miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1, 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 T. milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 15 x 10-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. In a large bowl, stir together first eight ingredients. Add four eggs, pumpkin, and oil; mix until combined. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Microwave chocolate pieces for 1 minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds; set aside. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/3 c. sugar with a mixer on medium until combined. Beat in one egg, milk, and melted chocolate. Spoon cream cheese mixture in mounds over pumpkin batter. Using a thin metal spatula or table knife, swirl to marble. Bake 25-30 minutes or until puffed and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift uncut bars from pan. (If bbars are too soft to cut, freeze for 1 hour.) Cut into bars, wiping knife between cuts, if needed.

To Store: Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days.

Yields: 24 bars.

Miss NiNi

NOTE FROM MISS NiNi: I so often see recipes for pumpkin bars with a cream cheese frosting. This Autumn-flavored recipe adds depth of chocolate with cream cheese and is then swirled into the bars before baking rather than spread over the top of the bars after baking. Swirling the two batters together allows you to become your own culinary Picasso! It’s so much fun!! But don’t overdo the swirling, or the two batters and colors will become one. Plus factors for this recipe: 1. Uses the entire can of pumpkin—no leftovers—Yay! 2. The original recipe did not include nutmeg. I added a small amount because I cannot fathom enjoying pumpkin without a wee bit of nutmeg. 3. Cloves are very pungent! I reduced the amount of cloves by half the amount as called for in the original recipe. The amount can be adjusted according to your taste. Your children or hungry harvesters will love the final result!

pumkin bar 1 pumkin bar 2 pumkin bar 3 pumkin bar 4 pumkin bar 5


Family Fun in the Kitchen 10-17-2015

Podcasts, Family Fun in the Kitchen

October 17th, 2015 by Chris Parks


Don’t toss the seeds after opening a squash or carving a pumpkin Make a simple salty crunch or try jazzing them up with cayenne pepper, garlic powder, grated Parmesan or even sweeten with sugar and cinnamon.

  • 1 1/2 cups seeds
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter, olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Salt, to taste or other spices you might like (garlic powder, seasoning salt, cayenne pepper, grated hard cheese, etc.)

Preheat oven to 300°F. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Clean strings from seeds. It’s okay to leave some strings and pulp on seeds (it adds more flavor!); remove any large chunks. They may burn in the oven. Add cleaned seeds to a bowl along with salt or other seasonings. Pour melted oil over seeds and mix. Spread seeds in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes or until seeds are golden brown. Stir seeds occasionally. Cool on baking sheet. When ready to eat, either crack the seed’s shell to remove the inner seed or eat them whole.


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate

Blend all ingredients. Chill. Dip can be used with varied fruit, graham crackers or Teddy Grahams.

Notes: This makes a very large batch for a dip. The recipe could be cut in half.

Pumpkin Dip

1 cup (or half 15 oz. can) solid pack pumpkin
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Blend ingredients. Cinnamon Teddy Grahams are a perfect companion. Apples are good too.

Family Fun in the Kitchen 10-10-2015

Podcasts, Family Fun in the Kitchen

October 10th, 2015 by Chris Parks

Lavon and Miss NiNi talk about cookie baking season.

Grab and Go Ginger Cookies—Better Homes and Gardens Fall Baking


  • 4-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 4 t. ground ginger
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1 t. ground cloves
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 1-1/2 c. shortening
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c. full-flavor molasses
  • ¾ c. coarse sugar or granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir together first six ingredients (through salt). In large mixer bowl, beat shortening and sugar on medium until combined, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in eggs and molasses. Slowly beat in flour mixture. Use a 1-1/4 inch cookie scoop to shape cookies. Roll balls of dough in coarse sugar. Bake approximately 12 minutes or until light brown and puffed. (Do not overbake.) Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Remove; cool on a wire rack.

Yield: About 48 cookies.

Miss NiNi

NOTE FROM MISS NINI: Nothing speaks of the cooler season of the year like a spicy ginger/molasses cookie. These cookies are easy to assemble and make the kitchen smell delightful as they bake. Warm-from-the-oven flavor equals “divine” in Miss NiNi’s mind! These cookies can be made into giants by using a 2-inch diameter cookie scoop and baking for about 14 minutes. A great take-to-the-field snack for hungry harvesters!

ginger cookies 1 ginger cookies 2 ginger cookies 3 ginger cookies 4 ginger cookies 5 ginger cookies 6


Family Fun in the Kitchen 10-05-2015

Podcasts, Family Fun in the Kitchen

October 3rd, 2015 by Chris Parks

Lavon and Miss NiNi continue their fall journey with apples and share a recipe for Caramel Apple Lollies.

Caramel Apple Lollies


  • Fresh firm Apples
  • Purchased Caramel Apple Dip
  • Assorted garnishes such as chopped toasted pecans or almonds, toasted flax seed, mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, crushed M&Ms, crushed Oreos
  • Popsicle sticks or Cookie Pop sticks


Wash and dry apples. Using a melon baller, cut approximately 8 apple balls from each apple. Insert popsicle or cookie pop stick into each apple ball. Roll apple ball into caramel dip. (Depending on the stiffness of the caramel mixture, may want to soften it in the microwave for a few seconds.) Roll caramel apple into garnish. Place on baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper to allow caramel to set. Refrigerate if not eating immediately.

Yields: Each apple yields 8 lollies

Miss NiNi

Caramel Apple Lollies 1 Caramel Apple Lollies 2 Caramel Apple Lollies 3 Caramel Apple Lollies 4 Caramel Apple Lollies 5


Family Fun in the Kitchen 09-26-2015

Podcasts, Family Fun in the Kitchen

September 26th, 2015 by Chris Parks

Lavon and Miss NiNi continue to talk about apples.

Curried Chicken Salad

1 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut or toasted, chopped almonds
4 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, 7 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
1 Granny Smith or other tart apple,diced
½ cup raisins or sliced grapes
¾ cup diced celery
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups Curried Dressing – recipe follows

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread coconut evenly on a baking sheet and toast in the oven 5 to 7 minutes or until light brown around the edges. Remove and cool. Mix all ingredients retaining ½ cup of coconut. Toss with dressing. Garnish with coconut.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Curried Dressing

1 ¼ cups mayonnaise, light if preferred
½ cup chopped parsley
1/8 to ¼ cup curry powder
¼ cup honey
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Whisk together until thoroughly blended. May be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 5 days. Makes 5 cups. Can be made day before serving.