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[Recipe] Pizza Sandwiches!

Curiosity in the kitchen is a fun way to connect with kids and inspire their creativity! Join your favorite young person in the kitchen and start creating!

This fun recipe is both a really tasty treat and a fun experience to share with the whole family. It’s quite simple to prepare, so it’s a great meal to create with family and friends of all ages. In fact, this sandwich is inspired by the first dinner I ever remember making when I was probably six or seven years old, and it has stuck with me long enough to write this for you!

Preparation & Cook Time: Around 30-35 minutes
Yield: Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients:

• Sourdough Baguette
• Pizza Sauce (*Some suggestions for store-bought options are in the notes below)
• Pizza Toppings of your choosing!

• Pepperoni or other cured meats, sweet peppers, parmesan cheese, and basil is a great combination for those who consume meat!
• Sweet and/or hot peppers, basil, parmesan cheese, and tofu or mushrooms is a great meat-free combination for this dish!
• For a vegan combination, my suggestion is sweet and/or hot peppers, basil, and tofu tossed with olive oil, black pepper, and a dash of salt! Plus nutritional yeast, if you would like.

• Olive Oil, 1 Tablespoon
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste (fresh-cracked)

Steps of Preparation:

1. Start by preheating your oven to 350°F – 400°F (or 176°C – 204°C°C°C).

2. Cut the baguette lengthwise into three roughly equal pieces. Cut each of these sections in half like you would for an open faced sandwich.

3. Pour the olive oil onto a plate, and wipe the oil up with the halves of bread until they each have a glaze of oil. Add more oil as you go if necessary. Oil helps toast the bread as it bakes in the oven, but also allows you to toast the inside of your bread in a pan before loading it with toppings if you want extra crunch!

4. We are now ready to load our toppings! Start with the pizza sauce and finish with the cheese, salt, and black pepper. I suggest layering softer herbs like basil under other ingredients that need more cooking, such as sweet peppers, or even adding your soft herbs after the cooking is finished.

5. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil. Arrange your sandwich halves on the sheet tray with space between each of them.

6. Move this sheet tray to the oven to bake until nice and toasty! Bake for roughly 10-20 minutes based on the ingredients used and your preference for char.

7. Once they are as roasted as you’d like, use an oven mitt to remove the sheet tray from the oven. Set the tray on a heat-safe surface such as the cooking range or a trivet.

8. Next, you can add any seasonings you like. A few examples to choose from include chili flakes, balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, extra virgin olive oil, barbecue sauce, or whatever you like with your pizza!

9. Put the two halves back together, and enjoy your sandwich!

Notes:

• Recommended store-bought brands of pizza sauce:

• Most store bought-brands of pizza sauce will be great for your pizza sandwiches. Explore the options and find your favorite!

• Of course, organic tomato sauces generally will both be better in flavor and nourishment and also come with a slightly higher price point.

• Check your local farmers market!

• Making your own is quite straightforward. I recommend it for the height of tomato season!

• It is also an option to simply slightly cook down spaghetti sauce for a tasty and convenient pizza sauce for those who already have that on hand.

Attention all gardeners! We have a BRAND NEW Kids Micro Course available!

Five reasons to check out the BRAND NEW Micro Course for Kids:

🍅 Introduce veggies to even the pickiest palates
🌽 Build movement skills that will help kids gain strength and confidence
🥕 Help kids get ahead in school–plant knowledge is part of Next Generation Science Standards!
💖 Strengthen your bond with them by sharing what you love
🌍 Develop kids’ respect for the natural world…and help create a better future for our planet

Kid’s Read-Aloud: The Enormous Carrot

The Enormous Carrot is a story about two gardeners who accidentally grow a carrot SO BIG they can’t pull it out of the ground themselves. They ask friends and neighbors to help. And by working together, the team finally harvests the enormous carrot! All of the friends celebrate their harvest by eating the enormous carrot together at a picnic.

The Enormous Carrot shows us the importance of working together, especially in the garden. The story will also help cultivate kids’ curiosity about how their food grows. It might even inspire them to grow their own enormous carrot!

Meghan Groves is a teacher, gardener, and mom. She is creating a brand new Grow Your Own Vegetables Micro Course to teach the little ones in your life about plants and how they grow!

As a reading specialist, Meg loves using books as a foundation for learning new ideas and new skills.

Spark Garden Excitement in Kids with Reading

All you need to explore gardening with children is a garden. Right? Generally, this is true. However, if we want children to develop sustained curiosity about the natural world, we need to present them with digestible, age-appropriate topics. Our new course, Sprouts: A Child’s Garden Adventure, will do just that. You can explore outside and inspire curiosity with the resources listed below. 

Books are an excellent way to set a purpose or entice a child to look closer at the world around them. I especially love the book Up and Down in the Garden by Kate Messner. She explores the many things happening above and inside the soil. Her story highlights the different animals, insects, and plants just outside your door all season long. She also has a companion book entitled Over and Under the Snow that explores the hidden animal world during a snow-covered winter. I recommend reading these two books together.

For the youngest gardeners, Lois Ehlert’s books are bright with simple illustrations and quickly become favorites. Her books contain a lot of labeling, which can help deepen your conversations about gardening. Growing Vegetable Soup illustrates the progression from growing food to eating it. It would be a fantastic read for any child unfamiliar with where food comes from or who is interested in cooking. There is also a recipe at the end of the book. Lois Ehlert has written another book called Planting a Rainbow about different kinds of flowers and how they grow. If your child enjoys Growing Vegetable Soup, they are sure to love this book as well.
A Seed is Sleepy, A Nest is Noisy Book CoversDianna Hutts Aston creates wonderful books about the natural world. I suggest A Seed is Sleepy, and follow it up with A Nest in Noisy. The main text will engage your child, but she also includes more in-depth information in asides on each page. She describes and labels different kinds of seeds and plants. The illustrations are captivating and reminiscent of traditional botanical drawings. This book will reach readers on many levels.
A Seed is Sleepy, A Nest is Noisy Book Covers
A Seed is Sleepy, A Nest is Noisy Book Covers
The next two books take you on the journey of a plant’s life cycle. Eric Carle’s The Tiny Seed is enlivened by his acclaimed illustrations and tells the story of how one very tiny seed becomes a very big flower. This engaging fiction tale has many realistic elements that will reinforce the reader’s understanding of a plant’s life cycle. Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell is a great book for October or November, when you may have your own pumpkin lying around the house. This book follows the journey of jack-o-lanterns through decomposition into sprouting new pumpkins. It is an excellent book to set the scene for your own pumpkin rotting experiment.
Check out Kelly’s Classroom Online blog for more information. I have conducted this experiment a few times in my classroom, and it’s fascinating to watch the pumpkin decompose up close.
This battery-operated microscope is one of my favorite classroom purchases. You can take it on nature walks and immediately look at plants up close. It has a 60-120x magnification, and it is incredibly easy to use. It has also proven to be quite hardy.
Choosing one aspect of the natural world to focus on at a time is a great place to start. These books can help focus your intentions and engage the children in your life. Thank you for taking the time to inspire the young learners in your life. Happy Learning!
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