Category Archives: Kidz In The Kitchen

Why not have your kids spend time with you while you are preparing their meals? It’s a great chance to learn what is going on with them, as well as a great way to teach them life-long skills!

Easy and Delicious Cinnamon Buns: Kidz in the Kitchen

I recently discovered that Superstore sells frozen loaves of white bread.  All you have to do is thaw them and then bake them.  Easy peasy (if you like white bread), right?  Now, we have a favourite family recipe for Monkeybread (sorry, I am going to keep some of my favourites a secret) and it calls for that bread.  In order to make that delicious special-occasion treat for my kids, I bought a package and tossed it in the freezer.  It’s been there for over three months, I think… maybe it’s time for a special occasion you say?  Well.. maybe.  The other day, while I was flipping through my favourite cookbook (Crazy Plates) looking for things that I still hadn’t tried, I came across a recipe for low fat cinnamon buns (yeah right, you say) that called for a loaf of frozen bread dough.  What?  How easy is that?  So, I gave it a whirl, they were delicious and while I’m not going to toss my bread machine (my normal cinnamon bun assistant and bread-making essential) anytime soon, I did want to share it.

My kids enjoyed rolling out the bread dough and mixing (spilling – oh, shucks, someone has to clean that up, right?) the sugar and spreading it onto the dough.  They did a pretty good job, I think.  Plus, my floor got a good kid-cleaning, too (as it was kid-spot-mopped after the mess).

Continue reading Easy and Delicious Cinnamon Buns: Kidz in the Kitchen

Reaping the Rewards (and man are they tasty!)

Many of us bake with our kids. They love it and we grin and bear the mess while we share some special and memorable moments with our children. If you, like me, have ever wondered if it is all worth it; allow me to assure you that it absolutely is. Yesterday after-school Kaia, who’s eleven, made her second ever key lime meringue pie, from scratch.  She first attempted this on a whim a couple weeks ago and I’m not sure she knew what she was getting herself into.

The older girls bake and cook frequently with little supervision required so admittedly I was only half paying attention when she asked, “Can you use limes instead of lemons in a lemon meringue pie?”

“Of course.” I replied, “Then it would just be a lime meringue pie.”
About 20 minutes later, the kitchen is covered in bowls, sticky spoons, chunks of lime and she is separating eggs while something thick and greenish is bubbling on the stove when it dawns on me: Oh my God she is making a lemon meringue pie from scratch!

This is a feat that many seasoned bakers would not attempt. I can only recall one or two that my Nanna made and those were very special occasions. Two hours of hand whisking egg whites later the pie is in the oven. “You guys need to get a hand mixer.” I state as I flop onto the couch. The pie (with it’s not so fluffy meringue) was consumed in it’s entirety by six kids and one grown up on a picnic in the park the following afternoon.

Fast forward just over a week and Kaia and I are standing in the kitchen while she is fiddling with the box that contains the hand mixer her Granny has just bought her, “Can I make a key lime pie?”

“If you tidy the kitchen first.” I respond.

And so, experience of one pie under her belt and new tool in the kitchen she attempts it again. This time the filling is smooth and creamy, the meringue is shiny and fluffy as we pile it high on top. The pie is baked and looks amazing. Her mother can hardly believe it. I can hardly believe it. At eleven she has just accomplished for the second time what many would never even attempt. We slice it open.

“Ok maybe we could have cooked the filling a little longer,” I say.
“I don’t like it.” says her little brother.
“I’ll eat yours.” says Rhiannon.
“The next one will be even better.” says Kaia.
“You’re amazing dude.” I say scooping meringue onto my fork. “Now go do your dishes.”

***

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Kidz In The Kitchen: Popsicookies

My kids and I love to bake together.  We all enjoy seeing how things mix together to make something new and yummy and-well, let’s face it- licking the beaters and the spatulas are a really important job!  My kids measure and pour and mix and watch and taste.  There are so many lessons to be learned in the kitchen!  It’s a great “classroom” for teenagers, school-aged kids, preschoolers, toddlers and babies, alike.  The hardest part about letting my kids help me in the kitchen is that the messes are sure to be three times more and the spills reach even farther.  But, it’s all worth it in the end.  My kids learn how important they are to me, that they can help get meals ready for us and they learn the skills that I want them to have as young people.  And, hey… then they can also learn the valuable lesson of cleaning up!

Some of our favourite (well, most of them actually) cooking times are when we make cookies.  We love baking cookies and all kinds of them.  Often, I will double the batch and then ball them and freeze them ready-to-go.  That way, if I need cookies for something, I already have a bag in the freezer that I just need to bake and… voila!  Fresh cookies!

We like to add a little variety to our baking regime, too.  The kids love to help get creative – whether it’s adding in new ingredients, new flavours of chocolate chips or simply… popsicle sticks!

A cookie on a stick, or a popsicookie (as we call them).  Why not?  It makes it just that much more fun and how yummy and pretty could you make it with a little icing to decorate?!

Here is the recipe for the delicious treats that you see here.

Continue reading Kidz In The Kitchen: Popsicookies

So Cool and Healthy Muffin Mix

The kids and I were puttering around this morning and I decided to pull out one of my bajillion “cooking with kids” cookbooks because I want to start a program in Kamloops teaching kids how to cook simple things and thus help out in the kitchen with those skills.  My sister, is doing a program like that where she lives and I was totally inspired to do one, here.

I found the coolest thing… a muffin mix that you are supposed to be able to keep in the fridge for up to a month!  Sweet idea, eh?  That way, when you need some muffins you just pop ’em in the oven.  I think it’s a great idea, except that once I went to all the trouble of preparing the mix, I wasn’t about to leave it untasted… so we ended up making a double batch and now I only have one more batch in the fridge. Ah well, such is life.

Here they are, courtesy of “Cooking Wizardry for Kids” and a little bit of modification on my part.

1 15 oz package of Raisin Bran (I worked this out to be about 300g and I used Bran Flakes with a handful or raisins tossed in)
5 cups of flour (I used 2c whole wheat, 1c white, 1/2c wheat germ and 1/2c wheat bran)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
4 c buttermilk (or just milk with some lemon juice or vinegar)
4 eggs
1 c vegetable oil (I used 3/4 c oil and 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce)
3/4 c honey or molasses (I used 1/2 c honey and 1/4 c molasses)

1) Mix dry ingredients
dsc07595 Continue reading So Cool and Healthy Muffin Mix

A new play dough!!

The other day, I was browsing some blogs, as I tend to do, and I came across the coolest new (well new to me, anyhow) recipe for play dough!
It’s cornstarch dough!!

My two big kids and I made it and had a great time playing with it (read: it was all over the kitchen floor)!

Here’s the recipe I made:
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup baking powder
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water

Boil on the stove on medium heat (will bubble a lot because of the baking powder and water reacting – so fun!) until it starts to thicken.
Then, I kneaded it until it was a little cooler for the kids to play with.
After we shaped it and smashed it and rolled it and played with it for a while (read: after a while the kids lost interest but I didn’t), I put my littlest man’s footprint in the dough, made a “pizza”, made some animals and then baked them all (300 degrees for an hour) to harden them a little.  I think we’ll paint it tomorrow!

Now, we play with cornstarch and water all the time to create that lovely “thixotropic” (not quite liquid but not quite a solid) muck we all love.  We also love making “goop” with white glue, borax and water.  But this?  This is awesome!  It’s whiteness is totally like snow.  It’s so soft and yet has that gritty cornstarch feel.  I’d love to add some sparkles next time and see what I get! I really really like it.  And the real bonus… it’s a great process to watch as the chemical reaction occurs while you boil it.