Janet's Notebook
Strawberries, Brown Sugar Create Winning Dessert Combination

Grand Prize: Strawberry Panzanella!

So much of what I love cooking today can be tied right back those early days spent in my mom's kitchen. She passed on to me her deep love for home cooking and an unfailing desire to make the world a happier place... one plateful at a time. Cooking with kids is a joy, but it's also an important way to help young folks develop into their own unique personality. I am grateful for every minute spent in that steamy kitchen.

It was with this in mind that the Kitchen Crew and I set out to find new, creative recipes made with the kiddos in mind! We received hundreds of delicious entries in our Creative Cooking For Kids recipe contest, but one cheerful, kid-friendly dish warmed our hearts just a little more than the rest: Careema Bell's Strawberry Panzanella Salad!

"Panzanella [bread] salad is one of my favorites so I wanted to see what would happen if I turned into a dessert style recipe, and voila! Strawberry Panzanella Salad," exclaims Careema. "It reminds me of a Pittsburgh favorite Strawberry Pretzel Salad."

Indeed, this easy recipe combines the best qualities of fruit salad, brown sugar toast and strawberry shortcake into one unforgettable - and downright addictive - dessert.

A Pittsburgh newlywed, Careema and her culinary student husband love to spend time in the kitchen concocting new, delicious dishes. And it's their extended family that often gets to benefit!

"My nieces and nephews are really into fruits, so I like to try to do different things with them to teach them to make things on their own to keep from buying them. I'll do most of the cutting since they're younger, [but] they like tossing the bread in the butter and sugar and assembling it all."

The recipe is hearty, yet light... not an easy feat! Top with Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla work great) for a creamy accent and a pinch of added nutrition.

Like so many, it was her Grandma that got Careema interested in creative cooking. "My grandmother taught us many techniques growing up in her household," she explains. "Now I am a Food Network fanatic and I love trying new things, so most of my skill comes from venturing out and trying different techniques. I come from a long line of bakers and cooks, and [the entire] family enjoys cooking and creating new memories with food. Everyday is a foodie adventure in our home!"

We love everything about this satisfying recipe and Careema's equally sweet family tradition of generational cooking. They are proof positive that cooking with kids doesn't have to be difficult. Simple ingredients can combine in a beautiful way to create a truly artful dish. To us, that is the secret to living the sweet life. Grab your kids, open the cupboard and whip up something wholly your own! The memories made will live on for years to come.

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Rose O'Connell - Sep 14, 2012
I have been having that problem to tonight Hanan-they may be do some maintenance or something. Just kee trying.
hanan whitney - Sep 14, 2012
i like to know why am not allowed to get recipes from the just a pinch web site anymore it says i dont have permission to access the recipe i tried to help them out by push like on face book page so now i cant access the website
Kim Biegacki - Sep 13, 2012
Careema, congrat's to you on your wonderful win and the trip you will be taking soon. I know you will have a great time. I look forward to trying your recipe. It will be my first time making Panzanella.
Carol White - Sep 12, 2012
That looks amazing... congrats on your win.
Straws Kitchen - Sep 11, 2012
Congrats on your win.....you'll have a great trip and will have fun meeting the kitchen crew.
Donna Simmons - Sep 11, 2012
mmmmm sounds wicked good got to try
Sherri Williams - Sep 11, 2012
What a wonderful read! Congratulations again on your amazing recipe. Panzanella happens to be one of my favorite salads. I'll be making your sweet version very soon. Enjoy all the prizes and BTW, you are going to have the time of your life in Nashville with the loveable JAP Kitchen Crew. God Bless! sw☺
Pauline Greenwood - Sep 11, 2012
Congratulations, Careema! I actually just tried your recipe this weekend... and the whole family loved it!!!!