Kids in the Kitchen



Doesn't it seem like whenever you are in the kitchen your little ones are underfoot. They are always curious or just want your attention. Cooking with your grandchildren can be a fun adventure. Including them in food preparation is a good way to keep their little hands busy and a great opportunity to teach them some important life skills. Starting with simple recipes will keep them interested and want to do more. You just need to keep in mind their age group and attention span. There is always something for everyone to do and they love being given a task. I remember when my grandchildren first wanted to break the eggs. What a mess but what fun it was watching them. They are now 9 and 12 and really enjoy cooking.


Here are a few recipes that would be fun to make with your grandchildren.


PIZZA







Everyone loves pizza. Pizza can be as simple or as creative as they choose and you would probably have most ingredients you need on hand to make it. The younger ones may start out with just cheese but will soon enjoy picking out more toppings. Putting different toppings in a muffin tin makes it fun and a great way to introduce some veggies in their diet. Using veggies to make faces on their pizza is another way to get them to try some healthy options. Choosing different crust options is another way to make it more fun. You can use bagels, French bread loaves, tortillas or premade pizza crust. They also love to roll out the fresh pizza dough and having each child responsible for a topping makes it a family affair.


WAFFLE IRON GRILLED CHEESE

This simple recipe is well received at any age. An adult will need to assist with the hot waffle iron. Making a grilled cheese on a waffle iron gives it some crunchy and buttery pockets that make it look and taste so good. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise and butter on a slice of bread. Place it on the waffle iron and let your grandchild top it with their choice of cheese. Place another slice of bread that has the same thin coating of mayonnaise and butter on top of the cheese and close. Cook until cheese is melted and crust is browned. They can get more creative by adding other toppings such as bacon, ham, tomatoes, avocados or other vegetables.


WALKING TACOS

This is really fun for your grandchildren to do especially if they have friends over. Once the meat is cooked it is just a matter of opening the bag of Fritos and adding toppings of their choice. Again, using a muffin tin is a great way to display the different topping selections and makes it easy for them to put together. A basket of Fritos or Doritos and some plastic forks. Fun idea, tastes great and best of all, very little clean up. I use Taco seasoning mix following the directions on the package and use shredded cheese, tomatoes or salsa, lettuce and sour cream for toppings. Beans and rice are optional.


Everyone deserves a little sweetness. These 3 recipes are sure to please and easy for your grandchildren to participate in.


DUMP CAKE

This is about as simple as you can get but tastes amazing. You just let the kids dump all the ingredients in a pan and bake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cherries and pineapple in a 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over fruit mixture and stir gently. Drizzle with melted butter and bake about 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top. A very proud moment for them when seconds are requested.

1-21 oz. can cherry pie filling

1-15 oz. can crushed pineapple

1 package yellow cake mix

1/2 cup melted butter

Whipping cream or ice cream is a great addition to this dessert.


MONKEY BREAD

Any age group can participate in this recipe. This can be made with any of the canned biscuits but using canned cinnamon rolls gives it just a little more goodness to enjoy. Let your grandchildren pull apart the rolls shaping them into individual balls. Size and shape doesn't really matter so everyone is doing it right. Let them roll the balls into the cinnamon and sugar mixture and place in a well greased Bundt pan.

Pour the cooled melted butter and brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. After removing it from the oven, have them drizzle the icing from the canned biscuits over the top. Let cool if possible before they start pulling apart their creation. I like to make this over the holidays. The fragrance of freshly made cinnamon rolls filling the house on Christmas morning is something I will never get tired of. Making it with my grandchildren is a memory we will share.


CARAMEL ICE CREAM SUNDAE DESSERT

My niece brings this dessert every year to our big family reunion. It wouldn't be in her best interests to show up without it. Looking at the recipe, I think it would be a fun dessert to make with your grandchildren. No baking, no mixing, no measuring.

So easy and so delicious and only 5 ingredients.


24 ice cream sandwiches

1 jar of caramel sauce

1 jar of chocolate sauce

1 container of cool whip

Topping of your choice - I like crushed Snicker bars but you can use Butterfingers or toffee chips.

Have the little ones unwrap and layer 12 ice cream sandwiches in a 9x13 inch pan. They will need to break some of them to fit snuggly. Top with jar of caramel sauce. Make another layer of ice cream sandwiches and top with chocolate sauce. Spread Cool Whip over the top layer and sprinkle with your topping. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. This is very rich and a little goes a long way. If you aren't having a large crowd you can cut the recipe in half and use an 8x8 pan. You can also adjust the toppings of sauce if you prefer.


I hope you enjoy some fun time in the kitchen sharing recipes. It isn't just about making something to eat. It is a perfect opportunity to bond with your grandchildren creating memories and teaching them some important skills they will hopefully take with them.



"Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes and cooking. It's about harnessing imagination, empowerment and creativity." Guy Fieri


I hope you enjoy trying some of the recipes with your grandchildren and you continue to create lasting memories.


Love,

Lala Malana