Enjoying a Special Day In the Kitchen

By Christina Elston

The holiday season sends most families into the kitchen, and we’ve got a fantastic way to make sure kids with special needs are included. “Special Day Cooking: A Life Skills Cookbook” by Beverly Worth Palomba includes more than 60 recipes designed especially for these special kids.

The book covers breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus vegetables, soups and salads, drinks and snacks and dessert. The recipes are in large type, with a consistent format and easy-to-follow instructions. No sharp-knife handling or heating of the oven is required. All of the recipes can be made with a microwave, toaster, blender and plastic knife and a few other kitchen utensils. And all can be finished in under an hour.

Here is one example we thought would make a fun holiday treat:


 

Chocolate Mug Cake. PHOTO AND RECIPE COURTESY BEVERLY WORTH PALOMBA

Chocolate Mug Cake. PHOTO AND RECIPE COURTESY BEVERLY WORTH PALOMBA

Chocolate Mug Cake

Makes 1 Mug Cake

Gather Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Your choice of topping – whipped cream or ice cream

Gather Equipment:

Special Day Cooking coverPut a paper towel over your work area to catch spills.

  • Microwave
  • 1 (16-ounce) microwave-safe mug
  • Measuring spoons
  • 2 small bowls (Catch spills: measure over bowl. Catch shells: crack egg into bowl first.)
  • 1 plastic knife (Use knife to level ingredients.)
  • 1 kitchen fork
  • 2 pot holders

Make Cake:

  1. Measure and level 4 Tablespoons flour. Add to mug.
  2. Measure and level 4 Tablespoons sugar. Add to mug.
  3. Measure and level 2 Tablespoons cocoa. Add to mug.
  4. Mix with kitchen fork.
  5. Crack egg into small bowl. Remove any egg shell pieces. Add to mug.
  6. Mix with kitchen fork.
  7. Measure 3 Tablespoons milk. Add to mug. (Catch spills: measure milk over small bowl, then add to mug.)
  8. Measure 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil. Add to mug. (Catch spills: measure vegetable oil over small bowl, then add to mug.)
  9. Mix with kitchen fork.
  10. Measure 3 Tablespoons chocolate chips. Add to mug.
  11. Measure 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add to mug. (Catch spills: measure vanilla extract over small bowl, then add to mug.)
  12. Mix with kitchen fork.
  13. Microwave 3 minutes. Remove from microwave with pot holders.
  14. Let cake cool 5 minutes.

Add Topping:

Add your choice of toppings – 1 scoop whipped cream or 1 scoop ice cream.


 

PalombaPalomba, the California-based creator of the book, has been a teacher for more than 20 years, and for the past 11 she has worked exclusively in special education. She wrote “Special Day Cooking” after creating a life skills cooking class for high school students and discovering there wasn’t a cookbook suited to her students.

Her book focuses on everyday recipes that will build independence, self-confidence and self-esteem – and help kids learn to create tasty meals. From Easy Scrambled Eggs to Sweet and Sour Chicken, Cranberry Walnut Salad and Holiday Blueberry Tarts, it’s a tasty mix. Sections at the front include hints on cutting food safely, measuring ingredients and nutrition basics.

The book is available for $19.95 at www.specialdaycooking.com.

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