Cold Peanutty Pasta

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I love getting my little chef into the kitchen for each month’s recipe from High Five magazine, and this month featured a perfect summer pasta, meant to be eaten cold or at room temperature. The recipe was a great chance to hone skills including whisking and chopping with a butter knife. Plus, we got to use neat ingredients like fresh ginger root! Here’s my chef, excited to start.

Peanutty Pasta (1)

Adults, cook 8 ounces spaghetti according to package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water, then drain the remaining pasta water and rinse the spaghetti well with cold water. Set aside.

Meanwhile, have your little chef help you combine the following in a bowl:

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

2 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon sugar

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Add about 6 tablespoons reserved pasta water to the mixture, and whisk until combined. If the sauce is still thick, add another tablespoon or two of the water.

Travis was so excited to try his hand at a butter knife for the next step. I cut a cucumber into rounds, and let him cut each round into quarters.

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In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, chopped cucumbers, 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, and the peanut sauce, tossing well to coat.

Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Note: To make the recipe nut-free, simply omit the chopped peanuts and use all tahini in place of the chunky peanut butter.

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Melted Crayon Art

Melted Crayon (4)

My son loves appliances, which he loves to play with (unplugged) under careful adult supervision. So when I saw this craft involving a hairdryer, I knew we had to give it a try.

I purchased a small canvas (8×8 inches) at the craft store, and cut the wrappers off a rainbow of crayons. You’ll want new crayons with nice pointy ends for this project, so it’s not the best option for recycling broken ones.

We arranged the crayons along the top of the canvas in roughly rainbow order, singing a rainbow song as we worked, and glued them down. Let dry completely.

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Then it was time to make some art! Cover your work area with newspaper, aim the hairdryer at the canvas, and turn on to the highest setting. He couldn’t believe I was letting him down this!

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With a guiding grown-up hand, we got right up close to the crayons. Now they were really starting to melt!

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Let the wax cool, then find some place to hang your work of art!

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