Rachael Ray's Kid-Friendly Recipes

Chef Rachael Ray and some kid helpers whipped up several quick and easy recipes from her new cookbook, "Cooking Rocks: 30 Minute Meals for Kids." Five of her fun, kid-friendly recipes are below.

Candy "Sushi"

Ingredients:

• 1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces (tablespoons are marked on the wrapper)

• 12 marshmallows

• 2 cups puffed rice cereal, such as Kellogg's Rice Krispies

• 6 fruit roll-ups (pressed dried fruit rounds, 6 inches wide) any brand, any flavor -- the ones with fruit-juice tattoos on them are cool

• 6 strips licorice, such as Twizzler's brand, cut in half

Directions:

• Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows. Stir marshmallows until completely melted. Remove mixture from heat and add cereal. Stir to coat cereal evenly in melted marshmallows.

• Roll out the fruit roll-ups. Place a few spoonfuls of the coated cereal onto each fruit roll-up and gather toward one side of roll-up. Press two licorice twists onto cereal mix. Wrap and roll the candy and fruit roll-up so that the finished product resembles a sushi roll. Shimmy the licorice twists around so that they are in the center of the roll.

• Place a sharp knife into a bowl of very warm water. Cut candy sushi with warm knife into two-inch "sushi" rolls and arrange pieces on a plate. The candy sushi looks like a big platter of California sushi rolls.

Makes four servings.

Chicken "Catch-a-tory" Ravioli Stew

This recipe was especially designed for Sabia Rose to make for Bill and Vicki, because she's daddy and mommy's little girl -- and a really good cook, too!

Cacciatore is the real way to spell the name of this stew. It's the Italian word for "hunter." Chicken cacciatore is made with wild mushrooms and strong flavors. It is hearty, so it would keep a hunter full for a long hunt. This stew uses some of the same flavors and ingredients of the original dish, but it's even easier to make. Everyone in my family really loves this recipe.

Ingredients:

• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, twice-around-the-pan in a slow stream

• 2 stems fresh rosemary

• 2 stems fresh thyme

• 3 cloves garlic

• 1 cup pre-sliced fresh mushrooms, available in produce section or, your grown-up helper may slice for you, about 1/3 pound

• Salt and pepper

• 1 can, 15 ounces, stewed tomatoes with peppers, onions and celery

• 2 roasted red peppers, drained

• 1 cup tomato sauce

• 1 package chopped frozen spinach, defrosted in microwave and drained

• 6 cups chicken broth

• 1 package chicken breast tenders, ¾ pound to 1 pound

• 1 pound fresh ravioli, any flavor

• 1 cup grated parmesan, parmigiano reggiano or romano grated cheese, to pass at table

• Crusty Italian bread or rolls, to pass at table

Directions:

• Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Have a GH (Grown-up Helper) do this for you.

• Place three cloves of garlic on a cutting board and whack each clove with a small heavy frying pan. Pick out the skins and chuck them in your garbage bowl. Have your GH add extra virgin olive oil, two turns of the pan, to the soup pot. Throw in the smashed garlic and two stems each of the rosemary and fresh thyme herbs. The leaves will fall off the stems and give a delicious flavor to your special stew. Add the mushrooms and help stir as the mushrooms cook 3-5 minutes. Season the 'shrooms up with salt and pepper as they're cooking.

• Next, you or your GH can open your can of stewed tomatoes and add them to the pot. Use a sharp, small knife to chop the red roasted bell peppers. Keep your fingers on the hand that is not holding the knife curled under, so you don't chop off a whole finger! You just want to cut up those peppers into pieces as big as your mouth, that's what they call "bite size." Add the chopped up roasted red peppers and add one cup tomato sauce to the soup pot.

• Put defrosted chopped spinach in a kitchen towel. Gather towel up and twist it to get the water out of the spinach. Squeeze the spinach over your garbage bowl until it stops dripping. Separate spinach with your fingers and add it to the soup. Pour in chicken broth and stir the stew really slowly or it will slosh out of your pot. Have your GH cover the soup and raise the heat to high.

• Have your GH cut up the chicken for you on a separate cutting board from the one you cut up the vegetables on. Tell them to use a plastic board. Cut the chicken tenders into one-inch pieces and add them to the stew. Tell your GH to go wash up right away with lots of soap and hot water so that the raw chicken doesn't get on anything else in the kitchen or any other food.

• When the stew comes up to a boil again, add the ravioli and leave the lid off. Cook stew until the ravioli is almost done, about five minutes. Turn off the heat and let the stew cool down a little bit. Have your GH serve up the stew and pass cheese and bread at the table to go with it.

Makes four servings.

Mini Cheeseburger Pizzas, Italian Style

Ingredients:

• 1 pound ground beef

• ¼ cup grated parmesan, parmigiano or romano cheese, a couple of handfuls

• 2 teaspoons grill seasoning, such as McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning, or salt and pepper

• 1 shallot, chopped or 1 scallion cut up into thin slices with your kitchen scissors

• Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

• 4 slices of provolone cheese

• 1 thin crust Boboli pizza shell

• 1 cup pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce

• 8 slices of pepperoni

* Also, you will need a three-inch round cookie cutter with a sharp edge.

Directions:

• Preheat your broiler and make sure the oven rack is in the center of the oven.

• Mix together ground beef, grated cheese, grill seasoning and shallot or scallion. Break the meat mixture in half and from each pile make four large meatballs. Squish the meatballs flat to make them into mini hamburger patties. Heat a large non-stick skillet or a grill pan over medium high heat. Grill the patties in a little olive oil for minutes on each side. Pile the sliced provolone up and cut into across to make half-moons then cut in half again to quarter the cheese slices.

• Use the cookie cutter to cut out eight three-inch circles of Boboli pizza crust. Place the cut pizza crust circles on a cookie sheet and place a spoonful of pizza sauce on each piece of crust, then place the mini burgers on top. Place two wedges of sliced provolone on each burger and one slice of pepperoni on top of the cheese.

• Put the mini pizza cheeseburgers in the oven to melt cheese and warm the crust.

Makes eight mini pizza cheeseburgers.

Mini Cheeseburger Pizzas, American Style

Ingredients:

• 1 pound of ground beef

• 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, eyeball the amount

• 2 teaspoons of grill seasoning, such as McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning, or salt and freshly ground pepper

• 1 shallot, chopped, or 1 scallion, cut into thin slices with your kitchen scissors

• Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

• 1 brick of cheddar cheese (you will use about 4 ounces of it)

• 1 thin-crust pizza shell, such as Boboli brand

• Ketchup

• Mustard

• 4 mini gherkin pickles, sliced

*You'll need a three-inch round cookie cutter with a sharp edge to make these pizzas.

Directions:

• Preheat the broiler and make sure the over rack is in the center of the oven.

• Mix together ground beef, Worcestershire, grill seasoning, and shallot or scallion. Break the meat mixture in half and from each pile make four larger meatballs. Squish the meatballs flat to make into mini hamburger patties. Wash your hands. Heat a large non-stick skillet or a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the patties in a little olive oil, two minutes on each side (have your GH, or Grown-up Helper, check them for doneness). Cut eight slices of cheddar cheese large enough to cover the mini burgers.

• Use the cookie cutter to cut out eight three-inch circles on a cookie sheet and place the mini burgers on top. Arrange the cheese on the burgers and put them in the oven to melt cheese and warm the crust.

• Top cooked mini cheeseburgers with squirts of ketchup, mustard and sliced mini pickles.

Makes eight mini pizza cheeseburgers.

Cinnamon-Apple Nachos with Peanut Butter Sauce

Ingredients for nachos:

• 2 whole pita breads

• ¼ cup butter, melted (1/2 stick)

• 3 tablespoons sugar

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Ingredients for sauce:

• ½ cup of creamy peanut butter

• ¼ cup of whole milk

• 1 tablespoon of honey

Directions:

• Preheat over to 400°F.

• Cut the pitas in half with kitchen scissors, so you have two big pockets for each pita.Cut each half into triangle shapes (four triangles per pocket). Each triangle still has two layers, so separate and pull the pita bread apart at the edge where it's still attached.

• Brush all the pita chips with butter with a pastry brush. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and use your hands to sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over all the pita pieces.

• Bake chips until crisp and lightly browned, five to seven minutes.

• Meanwhile, make the peanut butter sauce. Put peanut butter, milk, and honey in a small pot. Melt together over low heat while stirring to combine the mixture. Remove sauce from heat.

• Pile cinnamon-pita chips on a platter and pour the peanut butter sauce all over them. Top with chopped-up banana and apple and serve.

*Heads up: Let your GH (Grown-up Helper) do your slicing and chopping if you're not cool with your knife skills yet.

Makes four servings.