“The Stinky Cheese Man” Oven-Baked Mozzarella Sticks!

Reading Group: 5 – 8 years old

Sometimes you just want a little attention—but that can be hard to find if you’re super stinky!

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“The Stinky Cheese Man” from the collection “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales” by Jon Schieszka and Lane Smith (1992) is a funny little nursery rhyme that tells the tale of a lonely old lady and a lonely old man.

One day the lady feels so very lonely that she decides to make a friend made out of—you guessed it!—stinky cheese! She gives him two olives for his eyes and a slice of bacon for his mouth and sticks him in the oven to cook.

The Stinky Cheese Man

The Stinky Cheese Man

When the old lady opens her oven door, the Stinky Cheese Man runs away, singing:

“Run run run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me. I’m the Stinky Cheese Man!”

The only problem is that the Stinky Cheese Man is so stinky that the old woman doesn’t want to follow him! So he just keeps on running, looking for someone who wants to chase him!

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To go with “The Stinky Cheese Man” I decided to find a recipe that featured the Stinky Cheese Man’s delicious cousin: Gooey Mozzarella Man.

 

The Stinky Cheese Man’s Oven-Baked Mozzarella Sticks

I absolutely love mozzarella sticks. I mean, who doesn’t? And who knew that they were so easy to make?

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What You’ll Need:

  • One package of mozzarella string cheese
  • ½ cup of flour
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder (optional…because I hate onion)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Marinara or ranch sauce for dipping (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray heavily with cooking spray (i.e.: Pam). Set aside.
  2. Cut mozzarella sticks in half and freeze until hard (about 30 minutes).
  3. While the mozzarella freezes, take out three medium-sized bowls. Put the flour in the first bowl and the slightly beaten egg in the second. Whisk the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in the third.
  4. Toss the hardened mozzarella sticks in flour to coat, then in the egg mixture, and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Dip the coated mozzarella sticks back into the egg mixture and again into the breadcrumb mixture.
  5. Freeze sticks another 15 minutes. This keeps the cheese from melting too quickly when you bake them.
  6. Place the mozzarella sticks on a single layer on the prepared (heavily sprayed) baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes. Turn the sticks and bake for another 5 to 8 minutes until golden, crispy, and delicious-looking. Allow the mozzarella sticks to cool slightly and then serve with ranch or marinara dipping sauce.

 

The key to this recipe is freezing the mozzarella sticks before baking them. This lets the cheese soften when it bakes, but it doesn’t melt too much.

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Unlike the other books we’ve read, I think we can say that the Stinky Cheese Man would not like this treat! Honestly, I’m sure he’d be a little upset about us eating cheese. But these mozzarella sticks are so delicious that I’m sure he’d understand! What do you think? Would the Stinky Cheese Man feel okay with us eating these gooey mozzarella sticks?

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