Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cooking with the Kids for New Year’s Eve

What will you do on the last day of the year? If you plan to spend at least part of it at home with your family, prepare dinner as a family. Here are some ideas for cooking with the kids.

Menu

Some people choose to have a special dinner on New Year’s Eve. Sit down with your kids and decide what you will make. One idea is allowing everyone to come up with their most favorite dish and include it in the menu. You could end up with pizza and teriyaki chicken. Try to make as much food as you can in the kitchen. Avoid using box mixes for anything if you can on this occasion.


The important thing here is that you do it together. Families that aren’t used to doing a lot of activities together will find this to be a new and interesting activity. Your kids have a lot of good ideas that you may have been missing out on. Hopefully this will be the start of a great new tradition.

Preparation

Undoubtedly, you’ll have to shop for some ingredients. Make a list of what everyone needs for their dish. Check your cabinets to be sure you don’t already have something. That will save you money.


Just one or two family members need to shop. The others can be preparing the kitchen for the upcoming cooking fest. It'll be dividing and conquer here so that everything gets done.


Decide what equipment and utensils you have available. There may be a lot of dish washing going on if everyone needs to use a giant mixing bowl. You can purchase another or stagger your meal prep so that you can share.


Do as much pre-cooking work as you can. For instance, pork chops can be marinated early and placed in the refrigerator. Pizza dough can be created and rolled out well in advance of making the pizza.


Dressing the Part

How about family aprons and hats? Give each family member their own apron (with their name on it) before they get cooking. It keeps your clothes from getting messed up and you get to look stylish at the same time.

As chefs, everyone needs to know the rules of the kitchen:



  • Wash hands after handling meat




  • Use soap and water on the counter to clean when you are done at a work station




  • Kids, ask parents for help when it comes to using the stove

  • If you get everything in the oven or cooker around the same time, take a load off. Cooking with the family can be fun. On New Year’s Eve it is a spectacular way to ring out the old and ring in the new.

    Check out these pages for more seasonal cooking activities:

    Kids New Year recipes

    Start the new year with kids cooking lessons




    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Friday, November 4, 2011

    Get Your Kids Involved with Cooking During the Holidays


    Young children love to be where the action is, and, during the holidays, that often means in the kitchen. The wafting aromas, hissing of skillets and bubbling of pots hold endless fascination for children, but they also create a danger zone. Fortunately, kids don't have to be banished from the kitchen. Using simple safety techniques can help keep kids participating and helping in this warm place where the family tends to gather, particularly during the holidays.

    Teaching doesn't only have to take place in the classroom or at your preschooler's child care center, the kitchen has countless lessons for children to learn and share. Counting and measuring are excellent tasks for children to take on. Additionally, by helping out and taking ownership of dishes the family will enjoy, kids learn a taste of responsibility, which can spread into other areas of their lives.

    What can parents do to keep kids safe and happy in the kitchen?

    1. Look around for tasks that children can easily help with, without a lot of extra help from grown-ups. Even the simplest jobs like mixing measuring ingredients, mixing and rolling cookie dough or adding spices and sprinkles give kids a great boost of confidence, and allow them to take pride in their work. The holidays offer numerous small tasks for children to take pride in:

    -- Opening jars or cans of cranberries
    -- Arranging platters of hors d'oeuvres
    -- Adding the milk and butter to the mashed potatoes
    -- Tearing up lettuce for salads
    -- Placing cooled rolls into baskets

    Even the youngest kids can feel like they are helping. Give them wooden spoons and mixing bowls, and they can pretend to mix up a batch of pie filling or simply turn them over and drum, creating beautiful music for the family to enjoy.


    2. Establish rules. Before the kids are allowed in the kitchen, talk with them about basic safety. Children should always be supervised when they are in the kitchen. Talk with kids about why hand washing is so important. Point out items that can be safely handled by children and which ones are better left for adults. Don't forget to always keep the handles of pots turned inward when they are on the stove. Even adults can accidentally bump a pot handle and knock over a pan full of boiling water. You don't want the holidays marred by a trip to the emergency room.

    3. Start slowly, with simple skills, and build them up gradually. This helps the children develop confidence in the kitchen and keeps them from becoming frustrated with tasks that might initially be too challenging. As an example, to teach children cutting tasks, start them off with a plastic knife and simple jobs like spreading soft butter on rolls. Slowly build them up until they can cut harder items like fruits and cheese. Use your best judgment to determine when they are ready for sharper knives.

    4. Cooking is messy, and sometimes that's part of the fun. If accidents and spills occur, don't worry about it. Help your child clean it up, and start over.

    Let everyone know which dishes your child helped out with as they get passed around the holiday table. Your kids will bask in the praise and be even more eager to help out next time!


    See more ideas for getting kids involved in Thanksgiving dinner.

    Primrose Schools by Emily Patterson
    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Happy Halloween!

    We have lots of Halloween Kids Cooking Ideas

     

    Halloween Cooking Ideas


    12 Halloween Theme Cooking Activities
    Easy Jack O Lantern Sandwiches
    10 Easy Halloween Ideas
    Halloween Recipe Ideas- for snacks, dinner, dessert
    Halloween riddles and fun quotes
    Halloween Theme Ideas- with spiders, bats, witches, etc.





    Pumpkin Ideas

    Pumpkin recipes
    More pumpkin recipes!
     IN a pumpkin


    Autumn Fun Digital Download

    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Barbara Beery Interview

    Barbara Beery was the founder of Batter Up kids a kids cooking school in Texas. Recently they have made a change to their kids cooking school after 20 years, in that they are no longer holding culinary classes.
    Ms. Beery is author of many fun, inventive and bright kids cookbooks. She recently answered my questions in a recent interview. Enjoy the interview!


    I see you are no longer holding classes.
    We made the change in the business for several reasons. After teaching 20 years, I felt that writing my cookbooks and doing spokesperson work was simply too much to do on an everyday basis. Although we had other instructors, the ultimate responsibility was on my shoulders. It has been a good break for 2.5 years and has allowed me the opportunity to outreach to many more children nationwide in other venues than strictly teaching in a classroom situation

    The economy also played a part in my decision. The classes and birthday parties we offered were top notch and extensive in their menus and recipes…but they were expensive and that excluded more people than it included. I wanted to figure out a new way to offer classes that everyone could afford to attend and needed time to rethink and brainstorm about new possibilities. So we’ll be back this year with classes presented in a new way!


    You have a kids cooking shop now with so much available including your cookbooks. Do you have a favorite kids cooking product you would recommend?
    Tough question…and No I do not have a favorite. As you know, depending on the age of the child and their skill level in the kitchen, there are so many utensils and products which help create a successful venture in the kitchen. An appropriate age-level and skills cookbook is very important and tools and utensils that fit the child’s hand and coordination are also very important. We have so many great kitchen products for kids ages 4 and older and guidelines for age-appropriate products and hope that this educates parents on the best products to buy for their children.


    You have a lot of fun and delightful cookbooks. Do you have a favorite cookbook you wrote?
    I have a special place in my heart for the new Pink Princess Cupcakes Cookbook because I love cupcakes! Kids love them too and they make such a great birthday celebration and special occasion dessert. I am all about having kids make individual portions so they can create a food just the way they want it…cupcakes fit the bill and cupcakes are small enough that even the youngest of chefs can be successful!!


    How do you go about researching and finding new recipes to publish? 
    I look and think about recipes in every Food Network show I watch, in every cooking magazine I buy and every restaurant I dine…I am always looking for new recipes that will be easily adapted to suit children cooking classes and recipes for new cookbooks.


    Did you have a favorite go to recipe when you were teaching kids cooking classes?
    Kids love to make bread and work with dough…it is magical! Whether it is gooey cinnamon rolls, artisanal breads, or pizza…kids love to work with dough…and they always love to decorate cupcakes and cakes.


    You can visit Ms. Beery's kids cooking shop where she has many kids cooking products available. Also check out Barbara Beery's fun cookbooks for your kid chefs she has 11 kids cookbooks with a variety of fun topics. Her cookbooks sold on her site are all author-signed.

    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

    Saturday, January 8, 2011

    Our Best Bites Interview

    The Our Best Bites blog is written by two moms Sara and Kate. I love their blog's fun kid friendly recipes that are sure to please. Their food photography really draws you in as well.
    Thanks ladies for taking the time for our interview and sharing some fun blog posts.


    Do you have a favorite meal your kids love?
    S: My kids love stuffed pizza rolls. It's also a fun one for them to help prepare, they love picking their own stuffing combos! We also love doing breakfast for dinner sometimes, they think it's such a treat.


    What do you enjoy about being a food blogger?
    We really love being able to share something we love with people. We get so many emails from people telling us that we've helped them to love cooking, either for the first time, or for the first time in a long time, and that's the best compliment.

    It's also been so amazing to form relationships with people all over the world! Our readers feel like they really know us since we're sharing experiences from our own lives, and as we interact with them we get to know them as well and that's been really fun.


    Do you have a favorite post or your readers favorite post?
    S: My favorite post to write was this mega-list of Halloween Party foods. I thought of the idea early in the year so I spent several weeks in the middle of the summer creating Halloween food! It was a blast and I had so much fun styling everything. It was a lot of work, but it paid off seeing as it's one of the most viewed posts on our site.


    How did you get started with your food blog?
    We really just started it for fun. We both loved to cook and entertain and our friends were always asking us for recipes. We both had young children and new babies at home and wanted a project to work on. So we started a little blog and put up a few of our favorite recipes. We never imagined it would turn into what it has!


    How do you get your kids involved in helping in the kitchen?
    S: My kids love to help. I try to make it fun by getting them their own aprons and sometimes their own special utensils. I find when they help make the food, they're more likely to like the food! So even if they can't have a "real" job in the kitchen, I'll let them do things like stir, or count out berries for me.


    Tell us about your new cookbook coming out.
    Our book is called "Our Best Bites: Mormon Moms in the Kitchen". It's a compilation of the most popular original recipes from our blog and a bunch of brand new ones as well. It will be available in stores in February, or you can pre-order it now! We had a blast writing it and photographing the food for it. It was a lot of work, but worth it!

    ~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~