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Creative Cooking with Kids

mini chocolate chip muffins 4Photo Credit: Together as Family Restaurant critic Judie Dweck taught cooking to kids in after school clubs for many years. With restaurants closed and children home from school, Dweck sent the following to keep kids engaged and create some tasty meals for the family to enjoy.

Here is what she shared:

Many of us are looking for projects that kids can do at home. Cooking with young children becomes a true kitchen adventure. With help from an adult, the hours at home will pass quickly and the results can be shared by the entire family. So, let your kitchen become your classroom.
Creating something original and tasty is a learning experience that encompasses many areas of development including small muscle skills, in tossing and mixing, and sensory learning from tasting and smelling, Math basics are reinforced with measuring and observing sizes and shapes and science comes into play by observing changes in ingredients from one stage to another. Language arts are stimulated by reading recipes together and following sequential directions. Art is involved in creating something original. Of course self-esteem is the result of accomplishing the goal of the finished dish for the family to enjoy. When working with young children, you will find that when they prepare a dish themselves, it always tastes better and encourages them to try new things. Often, “yucky” becomes “yummy”
Following are several recipes both savory and sweet , that work well as a joint venture between adults and young children.

Asian Chicken and Bowties (Serves 4)

We Need:
1 pound ground chicken
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsps. hoisin sauce
2 Tbsps. honey
2 Tbsps. soy sauce
½ cup chicken broth
½ tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. canola oil
2 drops sesame oil
1 pound bow tie pasta, cooked al dente and drained

We Do:
In a large pot, heat both oils. Saute onion and ground chicken until chicken is crumbly and cooked all the way through. Carefully with an adult remove the pan from the stove. Toss the mixture with hoisin sauce, honey, soy sauce, broth and ginger. Stir it well. Return pot to the heat and stir to mix well. Toss with the cooked pasta and serve.

Hide and Seek Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins (36)

We Need :
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
4 Tbsps. sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
½ stick sweet butter, melted
½ cup chocolate chips
1 cup diced banana

We Do:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease mini muffin tins. Put flour, sugar and baking powder into a bowl and mix it well. Add the beaten egg, milk and melted butter and mix until everything is moistened. Fold in the banana and chocolate chips. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins about ¾ full. Bake until golden or about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool and carefully remove from pans.

Tortellini Salad (Serves 6)

We Need:
1 pound cheese tortellini , cooked and drained)
1 cup broccoli florets, lightly cooked or raw
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup green beans, in 1 inch pieces, lightly cooked or raw
1 cups cherry tomatos quartered
1 cup cheddar cheese cut into small cubes
For the dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the dressing ingredients into a jar with a tight lid. Shake it well until the ingredients are all blended together

We Do:
Place tortellini, vegetables and cheese in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over it and toss the mixture so the vegetables are covered with dressing.

Have fun with these creative cooking ideas in your kitchen classroom

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