“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” Microwave Baked Apples!

Reading Group: 1 – 7 years old

One of my favourite picture books from childhood has to be Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

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Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

The short book tells the sweet story of a little caterpillar and his growling stomach. The little guy tries snacking on everything he can get his hands on, but nothing seems to be able to fulfill his appetite!

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar is still hungry!

The little caterpillar snacks on so many delicious treats that I had a tough time picking just one. Ultimately, I went with the hungry caterpillar’s first indulgence: the apple.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Microwave Baked Apples

Who doesn’t love apples? I’m a big fan of this recipe because it’s very easy to make and tastes like soft apple pie filling.

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What You’ll Need:

  • Deep casserole dish (with lid)
  • 2 McIntosh Apples (if you want a firmer baked apple, try Fuji)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • Dried cranberries, raisins, or nuts (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Core apples, leaving bottoms in tact. I found this difficult and ended up removing the bottoms. In the end, it was no biggie. Place the apples, side-by-side, in a deep, microwavable casserole dish.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the brown sugar, the cinnamon and the nutmeg. I also decided to incorporate some candied pecans (I tossed the nuts in maple syrup and toasted them). You could also try tossing in some raisins or dried cranberries.
  3. Spoon the sugar mixture into the apples. Top each apple with a teaspoon of butter.
  4. Microwave covered on high for 3½ to 4 minutes (or until tender). The apples will be quite hot, so let them cool for a few minutes before serving.

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These apples are super simple to make and a great twist on an old favourite. What do you think? Would the Very Hungry Caterpillar approve?

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“Where the Wild Things Are” Popcorn Trail Mix!

Reading Group: 5 – 8 years old

When you’re a kid, it’s hard not to feel powerless every once and a while.

"Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak

“Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are (1963) tells the story of kid trying to handle his feelings of helplessness. Max is a rambunctious little boy with a wild imagination and, as a result, gets into trouble sometimes. One night, after Max misbehaves and is sent to bed without supper, his bedroom transforms…

Illustration by Maurice Sendak

…and soon he’s on a boat…

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Illustration by Maurice Sendak

…and then he finds himself where the wild things are!

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Illustration by Maurice Sendak

“Where the Wild Things Are” remains one of my favourite books from childhood. The story is easy to follow and the drawings are funny and expressive.

When on the hunt for a snack to match Maurice Sendak’s story, I thought it would be fun to put ourselves into Max’s shoes.

Then I thought:

What might Max eat on his voyage?

“Where the Wild Things Are” Popcorn Trail Mix

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This versatile recipe is very easy to modify!

The amazing thing about trail mix is that you can really put whatever you want in it. Raisin-hater in the crowd? Not a big deal. Peanut allergy? We’ve got you covered.

For this trail mix, I used this article from health.com as inspiration and came up with this simple, tasty treat.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 parts sliced, toasted almonds
  • 2 parts dried cranberries
  • 1 part salted popcorn
  • 1 part dark chocolate chips

Toss the ingredients in a small bowl and serve. The dried fruit and chocolate add a sweet element to the mix, while the almonds and popcorn give it a crunch!

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To switch it up, try replacing the roasted almonds with pecans!

What do you think? Would Max approve of this trail mix?

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Farewell, Max!