I bought an old children’s shopping cart when I was out junkin’ a few weeks ago and it has been one of the best things I ever bought! Jack and Jamie come over and we play “Grocery Store”. Jack pushes his kid size grocery cart into my pantry and loads it to the hilt with can goods and anything his little hands can grab off the shelf. He is so fun to watch, piling his little cart so high he can barely push it. Jamie acts as the cashier at our make shift check out counter in the kitchen. I’m the bagger! Jamie says its the right job for The Bag Lady and he won’t let me touch the money! That boy of mine is funny. After Jack “checks out”, we unload his groceries at the other end of the counter and decide what we are going to cook with them. He gets so excited about getting his cooking tools out of the special drawer he keeps at “Ginny’s” house.
Cooking with my grand baby, Jack, is one of the most precious things I do. The reason I wrote my first children’s cookbook, “Paula Deen’s My First Cookbook”, was to get parents and young children sharing time together in the kitchen. Y’all, I got so many compliments on the book I decided to write another for a little older crowd. “Paula Deen’s Cookbook For The Lunch Box Set”, is a wonderful cookbook for parents and grandparents to use to cook with their elementary school age children/grandchildren. This book was written for a little older crowd. 8-12 year olds. My friend, Martha Nesbit, helped me fill it with fun and easy recipes that this age group of kids can help make and share with their family. Martha, has daily experience with this age group since she serves as the Director of Instruction at Oglethorpe Charter School here in Savannah. Susan Mitchell did some really cute drawings for the book, showing kids and parents how easy the recipes are to prepare. I think you will love it as much as I do. More than anything though, I hope, whether through my book or old family recipes, you spend time with your children or grandchildren in the kitchen. Make the kitchen a place where they fill comfortable, happy and loved. It was my grandmama Paul who instilled in me the love of the kitchen, a priceless gift I hope to pass on to Jack.
Breakfast Cheesecake (Page 114)
2 cans (8 count) crescent dinner rolls
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick of butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Spray a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Open one can of dinner rolls. Lay the dinner rolls in the bottom of the baking dish so that they make one large rectangle.
In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and vanilla. Mix well with an electric mixer, about 2 minutes Using a rubber spatula, spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the dinner rolls.
Open the second can of dinner rolls. Lay them over the cream cheese so that they make one large rectangle.
Melt the butter in a small microwave-safe bowl covered with waxed paper for 30 seconds in the microwave. Have an adult help you remove the bowl and pour the melted butter evenly over the top of the casserole. In another small bowl, mix ½ cup sugar and the cinnamon with a spoon. Using the spoon, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top of the casserole.
Cover with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Refrigerate over night.
The next morning, remove the casserole from the refrigerator and allow it to sit out for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350º F.
Remove the foil and the plastic wrap, and place the casserole in the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until puffed and firm. Have an adult help you remove it from the oven. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Cut into small rectangles to serve. (Can be topped with fresh berries)