Frawley: Here are some easy recipes for kids

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As a home economics food teacher, I love teaching children to cook. It’s a life skill that has its benefits early on and lasts a lifetime. The first few steps can have their challenges because you know you could do it yourself faster and better, but the investment is worth it. I remember teaching my oldest daughter, Sabrina, how to flute the edges of a pie when she was 3 or 4 years old. Now she teaches others how to cook. My other two daughters and Veronica are both very good cooks, constantly experimenting and expanding their collection of recipes.

Since COVID, we cook more at home and sharing this responsibility with our children or grandchildren increases their knowledge and possibly lightens our load of food preparation. Children are naturally curious. Filling that curiosity with a constructive outlet that gives them almost immediate results is a positive thing. At some point, they’ll be alone and need the skills I’m talking about.

The first demonstration in my home economics class was chocolate chip cookies. This recipe lends itself to showing proper measurement techniques:


1. Shortening – by squeezing it into the cup to eliminate air pockets.

2. Brown sugar – by squeezing it to compact it in the cup.

3. Sugar, salt, baking soda – measure out dry ingredients by scraping a ruler on top.

4. Flour – sift it and scrape a ruler on top, without tapping it on the counter.

5. Liquids – measure in a liquid measuring cup, do not fill a dry measuring cup to the top, and try not to spill anything.

6. Eggs – break into a custard mug or small dish to strain the eggshells or keep one rotten egg from spoiling the rest of the recipe.

7. Cooking Techniques – If cooking two dishes at a time, swap the two trays on the oven racks halfway through the cooking time.

It is also a good recipe for teaching children proper measurement techniques. Most kids love chocolate chip cookies, so this is a lesson with a tasty ending.

I cannot encourage you enough to cook with children. Here are some tips to boost your success.

1. Start with short, simple recipes to eliminate frustration.

2. Cook with them regularly.

3. Find a time when neither of you is in a rush.

4. Also encourage proper cleaning techniques.

5. Make sure you have all the ingredients before you start. Nothing takes away enthusiasm like having to stop before you start running to the store for an item.

6. Be patient with them, they are just learning.

7. Use standard measuring equipment. The recipe relies on correct measurement. Your successes will be greater if you use them.

8. Start easy, then move on to more difficult recipes as their skills grow.

9. Teach them about kitchen safety – pot handles, use dry pot holders, use a cutting board (don’t cut directly on counters) and how to use sharp knives safely.

EGGS IN A FRAME

We would do it in home economics class. I always thought it was a lot of fun.

1 slice of white bread per egg

2 tablespoons of butter, butter the bread and use it in a frying pan

1 egg per person

Salt and pepper

Fresh chives, chopped for garnish

Place the slices of bread on a cutting board. Cut circles from each slice of bread with a 2-inch cookie cutter. Spread butter on both sides of the bread.

Place the frying pan over medium heat. Melt the rest of the butter. Fry the slices of bread on one side, turn the slices using a turner. Add more butter if needed. Lower the heat.

Break eggs. one at a time in a cup and gently pour each egg into the bread ring. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the lid on the pan and cook until the eggs are as firm as you want, about 3 to 5 minutes. While the eggs are cooking, toast circles, then butter and jam. Garnish the eggs with chives and serve.

BUF AND MACARONI

Here is an easy recipe that really fulfills them.

1 pound of ground beef

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 package of mac and cheese (prepared according to package directions

1 teaspoon of dried herbs: basil, marjoram, oregano or thyme

Prepare package of macaroni and cheese according to instructions. While cooking, brown the ground beef, stirring often. Drain the fat. Add the onion powder.

Stir in ground beef into finished macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle with herbs, stir again and serve hot.

ORANGE BUTTER CARROTS

4 cups small fresh carrots halved or 4 cups frozen carrots, thawed

2 tablespoons of butter

1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

2 tablespoons of orange juice

1 teaspoon of dried mint or 1 tablespoon of minced fresh mint

If you are using fresh carrots, put 1 inch of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add the carrots. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and put in a bowl. If you are using frozen and thawed carrots, reheat them and put them in a bowl

Place the butter, orange zest, orange juice and mint in a pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When slightly thick, add carrots, stirring to cover with sauce.

PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

COOKIES:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup butter

1 egg, beaten until well combined

ICING:

1/2 of a 16 1/2 ounce can of prepared vanilla frosting

1/4 cup peanut butter

chopped peanuts for garnish, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 ° F with the rack in the center of the oven.

Butter a 9×13-inch cake pan.

Measure all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using a mixing spoon, mix well until crumbly. Press cookie mixture firmly into greased pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, testing with a toothpick in the center, until it comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Prepare the frosting by mixing the canned frosting with peanut butter, beating with a spoon until smooth. Spread frosting evenly over cooled cookie bars. Sprinkle with peanuts, if desired. Cut into 2-inch squares.

Donna Frawley is the owner of Frawley’s Fine Herbary and author of “The Herbal Breads Cookbook”, “Our Favorite Recipes”. and “Book of Edible Flowers”. She also has her own “Cooking with Herbs” DVD and a weekly newsletter. She can be reached at 989-488-0170, frawleyherbs@yahoo.com or www.frawleysfineherbary.com


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