Back to school to-do-list: Learn a new skill like cooking

We’re trying all summer to not have the kids slip into the video game coma. It’s time to learn a new skill that will be helpful for the school year.

Our mission: To teach the kids how to cook a few simple meals. Don’t like my cooking? Make it yourself.

We’ll start in August after vacation and summer camps have come and gone.

One great way to start is to find inspiration in what you’ve been doing this summer.

Family programs at Zilker Botanical Garden include fairy landscaping and tea parties, learning about pioneer days and exploring plants. Credit: Zilker Botanical Garden

If you’ve been to Zilker Botanical Garden and seen the Woodland Faerie Trail, this book might extend that experience in a fun educational way.

“Fairy House Cooking: Simple, Scrumptious Recipes & Fairy Party Fun!” by Liza Gardner Walsh ($16.95, Down East Books) teaches kids how to cook, but through the lens of preparing something for their fairy friends.

Try making something like these Purple Powder Puffs for breakfast, which don’t require any baking but do require skills on the food processor.

Purple Power Puffs

1/2 cup oats

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup almonds

1 cup dates

1/2 cup frozen blueberries thawed and drained or fresh

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

Grind oats and cinnamon in food processor then pour into a small bowl and set aside.

Grind almonds in food processor, then add dates and remaining ingredients and mix.

Coat your hands with a bit of flour and roll into bite size balls. Roll them in the oat mixture, place on a cookie sheet and chill for 30 minutes.

Want to see the Woodland Faerie Trail?

See fairy houses on this trail through July 30. Free with admission. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road. zilkergarden.org.