Kids in the Kitchen Project: Parents may now exit the kitchen.
Gather all of the ingredients from the fridge and spice rack. Find the measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowl, wooden spoon and waxed paper.
Grate cheddar cheese (or pour if using pre-shredded) into a medium sized mixing bowl.
Add softened Organic Valley Cream Cheese. Get a big wooden spoon. Mix cheeses until creamy throughout.
Measure and plop the garlic powder, chili powder and paprika into the cheesey bowl. Mix well. It takes big arm muscles to mix. If it's too thick, add a little Organic Valley Milk.
Lay out a large sheet of waxed paper. Plop the cheesey mixture onto the waxed paper in a log shape. Wrap the waxed paper around the log to completely seal the log. Place on a plate in the fridge for an hour.
Lay out the pecans on a cutting board. Breathe deeply and chop carefully with your fingers extended over the top of the knife. Or you may place the pecans in a heavy-duty plastic bag (or two) and chop/crush the pecans with a rolling pin or can.
Unwrap the cheese log and roll it in the crushed/chopped pecans. Press the pecans lightly, so they do not fall off too easily. Decorate as you wish: turkey, choo-choo-train, cheese ball, etc. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more prior to presentation. Enjoy!
Serve with baby carrots, celery wands, lightly steamed broccoli, whole grain pretzels or crackers.
The intention of "Kids in the Kitchen" is to allow children time to find their own rhythm in the kitchen, get a chance to nourish the family, and experience food on a creative-root level. As parents, we can nurture our children's connection with food by empowering them to experience the complete process of creating a recipe, including the clean up! When a child creates a masterpiece in the kitchen, and everyone raves, the child's eyes will brighten and giggles will leak.
The Silly Chili Cheese Log is fun to make, as it incorporates grating cheese, chopping or crushing pecans, measuring and mixing. Parents of younger children may wish to pre-grate the Organic Valley Cheddar Cheese. Store in an air-tight container and allow your child/ren to gather the ingredients from the fridge.
For really creative folks: The cheese mixture can be molded into a turkey shape! Add some celery and maple leaves for tail feathers, and even the vegetarians in your family can say they ate some turkey!