Kids, are you ready to make the best meal of your life? This cookbook is going to show you step by step how to cook the way grown-ups do, but with your favorite favors! And the best part is that your parents, siblings or sitters are only your helpers. YOU can take center stage chopping ingredients like a pro, stirring the pot and serving the final dish to your family or friends. These recipes are perfect for kids because they use simple ingredients, don’t take a lot of work and cook all in one pot or pan. Along the way, you’ll learn important skills, such as how to cut foods with or without a knife, how to brown ground meat for tacos, how to cook noodles for pasta dinners and how to use an oven safely. Your parents will be so impressed with what you can do!
With so many tasty choices, you can enjoy a laid-back weekend morning by cooking up a wonderful breakfast treat for everyone, such as Cinnamon Sugar & Pecan Monkey Bread, Orange–Blueberry Pancakes or Tex-Mex Sweet Potato and Sausage Skillet. Or choose an amazing dinner such as School Night Chicken Fajitas, Better Than Buttered Noodles and Magic Crunchy Coated Fish. You can even make your own favorite restaurant foods like Chicken Finger Dunkers or Mix and Match Seasoned French Fries. So, get out your cooking tools, put on your apron and let’s make your next perfect meal!
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|Publisher:||Page Street Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||7.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||6 - 14 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Beginner Dinner Tips: SETTING UP FOR A GREAT TIME IN THE KITCHEN
PLANNING YOUR MEAL
As fun as it is to imagine, sadly there's no Dinner Fairy who magically stocks your fridge with the ingredients you need to cook your meal. Your job as chef is to plan out what you want to make and ensure that everything you need is ready to go before you start.
Whether you're arranging for just one meal or for a whole week's worth of dinners, most parents call this "meal planning" and it can be the most important step of all.
Meal planning for an entire week means looking at everyone's schedule, deciding which nights are the busiest and need the easiest recipes, and which nights you might have a little more time to play in the kitchen. It can be a complicated task, so start by planning just one meal for a day when you know both you and your adult helper will have some time. That means checking in with their schedule, too!
1. Decide how much time you have available to cook on your planned day and pick a recipe that matches. You don't want to cook a 3-hour pork roast on a day you only have 30 minutes in the kitchen.
2. Choose which meal of the day you will cook. If you're really excited about one of the breakfast ideas but your mornings are always too busy, you could always ask to do breakfast for dinner one night if that works better for your family's schedule.
3. Look at the list of ingredients the recipe needs. Double check inside your fridge and pantry to see what you already have and what you'll need to get from the grocery store. Make sure you have enough of each ingredient, so look at the quantity the recipe calls for.
4. Write down everything you need to buy for the recipe neatly on a piece of paper. Make sure to include how much of the ingredient you need.
5. Think about the rest of the meal you are planning. What else do you need to complete the menu? Would dinner rolls or some garlic bread go well with the recipe you are making? What side dish do you need to complete the dinner? If there aren't a lot of veggies in the recipe, you will definitely want to add a salad, some raw veggies and dip or some fresh fruit to finish the meal. Your sides don't have to be complicated, and most of them can easily be bought ready-to- go from the grocery store. Add what you need to your paper shopping list.
6. Share your shopping list with your adult helper, and ask them nicely to help you get what you need. Offer to go with them and pick out the ingredients yourself if you can.
KEEP IT FUN.
Set the mood for fun in the kitchen. Try turning on some music while you work together. You could even make a playlist of your favorite sing-along tunes to save for cooking time.
Before you get started, check out the list of ingredients. Talk with your helper about the swaps and changes you want to make so everyone is in on the plan.
Make sure everyone has something to do. It's no fun just watching, so be sure to assign a task to each of your helpers.
Pick a recipe that will let you try something new. Maybe it's a new food to taste or a new kitchen tool to try out.
DECIDE WHEN TO SET THE TABLE BEFORE YOU BEGIN.
Is your recipe a quick-fix food or will it have to bake in the oven for a few hours? Chat with your adult helper about whether you think it is a good idea to set your table before you begin cooking or whether you'll have some time at the end to get things ready to eat.
Think about the condiments people will need to enjoy your food. Set out anything you think they will need. Maybe it's salad dressings to go with the salad or the container of grated Parmesan for spaghetti night. When everyone sits down, it's nice to have everything all ready at the table to prevent running back to the kitchen.
SIMPLE SAFETY TIPS TO REMEMBER
1. Wear an apron. This keeps your clothing neat, and it also puts another layer between you and hot splatters.
2. Wear oven mitts. When you're near anything hot, protect your hands.
3. Keep your hair tied back. If you have long hair, pull it back into a ponytail if possible. You don't want your hair to hang in the food or get near the heat of the oven.
4. Take your time. More mistakes happen when we rush. Take your time and reread the instructions if you need to. Prep your ingredients first so they are easy to use when they are needed.
5. Watch your fingers. No matter what you do, always keep an eye on your fingers and move intentionally.
6. Ask permission for anything sharp or hot. Your adult helper will let you know when they feel comfortable with you using a knife or turning the stove burners on and off. Until then, assign those jobs to them.
7. Be watchful with raw meat. You don't want to contaminate any other ingredients for your dish by letting raw meat touch other things that won't be cooked. Keep the raw meat separate from everything else, and be sure to clean any surface that it touches before placing new food there.
CLEAN AS YOU GO.
The very first step of cooking any recipe should be filling your sink with hot, soapy water and setting a dish towel out.
After each step of the recipe instructions, look at your work space and consider which tools you are finished using. Rinse them out and swish and give them a quick scrub in the hot soapy water. Rinse and place them on the side of the sink to drip-dry while you move on to the next task.
If you keep this up, almost all of the dishes will already be clean by the time your recipe is finished, and they'll be waiting to be dried and put away for next time. After your meal, you will only have to rinse and clean your dining dishes and the container where the food was cooked.
KEEP YOUR WORKSPACE NEAT.
Pull all of the required ingredients you need from the pantry and fridge. Place them neatly on your counter, and make organized groups for the recipe — all the spices together, all the sauce ingredients together, etc.
As you prep each ingredient, discard the wrapping and produce trimmings in the garbage immediately rather than letting them pile up on your counter.
When you're finished measuring something such as milk or a condiment, return the container to the fridge or pantry immediately. This will help continue to keep your work space clear of clutter.
Take the time to stop and wipe up any spills as they happen to keep your workspace neat.
Set out a plate or bowl to rest your dirty spoons between stirs rather than setting them directly on the counter.
When you are learning something new, mistakes are bound to happen. Food will fly across the counter or drop to the floor. Things will come out undercooked or burned. You might forget to add an ingredient that means your muffins won't rise, or you might accidentally put sugar in the dish instead of salt.
It's all ok. I hope you will be able to laugh together about it! These things make excellent stories to share down the road, "Remember the time ..."
When a mistake happens, simply grab a dish towel and clean up the mess. Own your mistake and keep on trying. You'll do even better next time.
THE BEST KITCHEN TOOLS FOR KIDS
There are so many kitchen tools marketed toward kids these days. Don't be fooled. Just because it's colorful, cute and small, doesn't mean it's a good tool for you to use. Instead, stock your kitchen with our top ten favorites.
1. Manual food processor: Before you're ready to use a grown-up kitchen knife, a manual food processor will help you chop up veggies small enough for use in the recipes. You could also use an electric food processor, but manual ones are much smaller and fit well when stored in your cabinet.
2. Long-handled wooden spoons: The long handle keeps kid hands away from hot food, and the wood won't scratch your nonstick or enamelware pots and pans. When you stick with wood, you don't have to guess which spoon is the "safe one" to use on the cooking dish.
3. Short-handled pots and pans: A long-handled pot or pan can easily get bumped by accident and cause dangerous spills. In my kitchen, we love to use pots and pans that have shorter loop handles for gripping because it keeps them out of the way.
4. Mixing bowl with a handle: Kids can be vigorous stirrers. Use a bowl with a handle and a rubber grip bottom to keep it from sliding off the counter.
5. Sturdy glass measuring cups with easy-read markers: They are one-part measuring tool and one-part mini–mixing bowl. We use these for cracking eggs, melting butter, whisking liquids and as prepped veggie holders. Keep at least one 2-cup (473-ml) and one 4-cup (946-ml) size handy in your stock.
6. Flexible silicone or nylon wide-mouth spatula: These are safe to use on any pot or pan and are the easiest for kids to use to flip foods. They bend a bit and are easy to slip under the food. The wider mouth leaves a bigger surface to hold the food before flipping.
7. Long-handled tongs: The long handle keeps kid hands away from hot foods. Avoid the short-handled ones that tend to be branded for kids.
8. Regular dinner forks and butter knives: Shop your utensil drawer for shorter handled tools that work well for little hands. We use forks for gripping foods to keep fingers away from knives or for moving raw meat onto a pan. Butter knives are a great first knife when cutting butter, cheese or even softer fruits and vegetables.
9. A small step stool: It's not fun to cook if you can't reach! Keep a small stool right in the kitchen for an extra boost.
10. Meat-chopping tool: This little luxury makes preparing ground meats so easy for kids. Can you live without it? Sure. Is taco night way more fun with it? Definitely.
GOOD MORNING, SUNSHINE!
We all start somewhere, and there's no better place to begin than with breakfast. Want to have some fun in the kitchen together? Breakfast is where it's at! Who can resist whipping up a sweet treat in the morning?
Pear–Berry Muffins (here), Cinnamon Sugar & Pecan Monkey Bread (here), Orange–Blueberry Pancakes (here) and Vanilla Spice French Toast (here) are the perfect place to learn some simple kitchen skills that will help you with all the recipes in the rest of this book. Once you've mastered baking scones and flipping flapjacks, scrambled eggs and savory breakfast dishes will be the next step toward testing your hand at some new cooking skills.
Our favorite thing about breakfast food is all the mix-and-match combinations you can make. As with everything in this book, these breakfast recipes are meant to be played with. Don't like blueberries? Swap them for chocolate chips in the pancakes! Only have pecans on hand instead of almonds? Those will still taste great in the cherry scones.
What new flavor combinations can you imagine?
You've Got Skills
MEASURING DRY VS. WET INGREDIENTS
Though this may seem like the most obvious thing of all, learning to properly measure your ingredients can make or break your final recipe results. Knowing exactly which tool to use to measure your food and how to do it will give you a really strong start to your kitchen fun.
Every ingredient used in cooking will fall into two categories:
1. Wet liquids: milk, juices, water, chicken broth, soy sauce and so on
2. Dry solids: flour, sugar, spices, fruit and veggies, nuts and so on
If your ingredient is a wet liquid, you will use a glass measuring cup with marks on the side that tell you how much you've poured into the cup. Your ingredient should meet the line that marks just how much you need. Place your measuring cup on your countertop and read the measuring lines by staring at it straight on, not down. You'll even use this skill in chemistry class someday!
If your ingredient is a dry solid, you use measuring cups with handles that look like scoops. It is important to remember that your ingredient should be even and flat on the top — not rounded like a hill — or you have more of your ingredient than you need. Always use the back of a butter knife to gently even off the top of the cup to make sure you have the just-right amount.
You don't want to pack in the food in a measuring cup, just fill it loosely with your ingredients. The exception to this rule is brown sugar which almost always calls for being packed in tightly. When measuring brown sugar, scoop the sugar with the right measuring cup and then use a spoon or your fingers to squash it down tightly. Keep scooping and packing the sugar until the cup is full and level.
There is one tool we can use for both wet and dry ingredients — our measuring spoons. "Tsp" means a teaspoon. "Tbsp" means a tablespoon. If you see that next to your ingredient, you know to use the measuring spoons whether it is wet or dry. Make sure when you measure a dry ingredient that the spoon is also even and flat. If it's rounded and hilly, you have too much!
EASY CHERRY ALMOND SCONES
This was the first recipe my daughters learned to make all by themselves. The dough is the same even if you play with different flavor combinations. Our favorite part is painting the butter over the tops of the scones before we bake them.
PLAY WITH IT! What other flavors could you put into the 1-cup (237-ml) measuring cup instead of the dried cherries? How about a mix of chocolate chips and pecans? Dried peaches or dried blueberries — mixed with cinnamon chips or by themselves — are yummy, too!
YIELD: 8 TO 12 SCONES
1½ cups (150 g) all-purpose flour
1. HEY KIDS, PLEASE GET US STARTED!
Set out a cookie sheet, and spray it with cooking spray so your scones won't stick. Ask your adult helper to preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5).
Measure the flour and the sugar, and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Measure the baking powder and add it to the bowl. Add a pinch of salt to the bowl, and use your whisk to stir everything together.
Measure the dried cherries. You can decide if you think they are too big. Let your helper chop them up for you if you'd like them a little smaller.
Measure the almond slivers and add them with the cherries to the mixing bowl. Stir all the dry ingredients together so that the dried fruit is coated in flour. This helps make sure they don't all sink to the bottom of the scone when you bake them.
Measure the heavy cream into a liquid measuring cup. Stir the almond extract into the cream; then, pour the mixture into the mixing bowl. Gently stir the cream into the flour. The dough will quickly become very sticky. If it gets too hard to stir with your spatula, it is okay to use your hands to knead the dough. Keep working the dough until there is no more dry flour left in the bowl. You can use your spatula to help scrape up the dried bits at the bottom of the bowl.
Using a large spoon, scoop out a portion of dough and gently form it into a round scone shape with your hands. You should get 8 to 12 scones total depending on how big you make them. Place the scones on the cookie sheet.
2. PARENTS, IT'S YOUR TURN!
Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat for 5 to 10 seconds until melted.
3. TEAMWORK GETS IT DONE!
Using a pastry brush, paint the melted butter over the top of all the scones. If you don't have a brush, you can drizzle it and spread it using a spoon.
Sprinkle a little sugar over the top of each scone using pinches with your fingers.
Place the scones in the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly toasted on the top.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Ultimate Kids' Cookbook"
Copyright © 2018 Tiffany Dahle.
Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Dear Friends, You're About to Completely Change Your Family Dinner Routine for the Better 11
A Note for Grown-Ups 12
Hey, Kids! This Note's for You 14
Beginner Dinner tips setting up for a great time in the kitchen 16
Planning Your Meal 17
Keep It Fun 18
Decide When to Set the Table Before You Begin 18
Simple Safety Tips to Remember 18
Clean As You Go 19
Keep Your Workspace Neat 19
Mistakes Happen 20
The Best Kitchen Tools for Kids 20
Good Morning, Sunshine! 23
You've Got Skills: Measuring Dry vs. Wet Ingredients 25
Easy Cherry Almond Scones 26
Cinnamon Sugar & Pecan Monkey Bread 28
You've Got Skills: Whisking Eggs and Milk 31
Vanilla Spice French Toast 32
Orange-Blueberry Pancakes 34
You've Got Skills: Playing with Flavor Combinations 37
Pumpkin Patch Waffles 38
Pear-Berry Muffins 40
Berry Delicious Granola Yogurt Parfaits 42
You've Got Skills: How to Make Scrambled Eggs 44
Pretend Huevos Rancheros 46
Tex-Mex Sweet Potato and Sausage Skillet 48
Cheesy Ham & Broccoli Breakfast Pie 50
Mix and Match soup & Sammies 53
You've Got Skills: Cutting Food Without a Knife and Beginner Knife-Safety Skills 55
Confetti Veggie Soup 56
Way Better Than Canned Tomato Basil Soup 58
Country Captain Chicken Soup 60
Ooey Gooey Cheesy Lasagna Soup 62
Greek Lemon Drop Chicken Soup 64
You've Got Skills: Flipping Foods with a Spatula 66
Grilled Harvest Ham & Cheese Sandwiches 68
Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas 70
Zippy French Dip Sandwiches 72
Shredded Hot Italian Beef Sandwiches 74
Cajun Roll-up Fingertip Sandwiches 76
Easy Peasy Dinners 79
You've Got Skills: How to Broil Chicken Tenderloins 81
Chicken Marinade, Three Ways 82
School Night Chicken Fajitas 84
You've Got Skills: How to Brown Ground Beef 87
Not Just for Tuesday Tacos 88
Big Batch Pork Picadillo 90
You've Got Skills: Cooking a Large Cut of Meat 93
Sweet-and-Spicy Shredded Pork 94
Grandma's Classic Roast Chicken 96
Sweet-and-Spicy Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Carrots 98
You've Got Skills: Introduction to Seafood 101
Magic Crunchy Coated Fish 102
Mustard-Glazed Salmon with Asparagus 104
Roasted Shrimp with Garlic and Lemon 106
Classic Comfort Foods 109
You've Got Skills: How to Sauté Veggies 111
Crustiess Chicken Potpie 112
Old World Tomato Beef Stew 114
Cozy Country Potato Pie 116
Tropical Sausages, Pineapples, Peppers and Onions 118
Mini Meatball Skillet 120
Classic French Beef Stew 122
Slow Cooker Jambalaya 124
Festa Italiana 127
You've Got Skills: Choosing and Cooking Noodles 129
Better Than Buttered Noodles 130
Super Simple Spaghetti & Tomato Sauce 132
Hearty Italian Ragù Meat Sauce 134
Parmesan Gnocchi 136
Sausage Tortellini with Peas 138
Buffalo Chicken Pasta 140
You've Got Skills: How to Make Pizza Dough from Scratch and Roll It Out 142
Pesto Pizza with Fresh Tomatoes 144
BBQ Chicken Pizza 146
Make Your Own Restaurant Food 149
Chicken Finger Dunkers 150
Teeny-Weeny Cheeseburger Sliders 152
Mix and Match Seasoned French Fries 154
Giant Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings 156
You've Got Skills: Making the Perfect Pot of Rice 159
Cilantro Lime Rice 160
Pineapple Cashew Fried Rice 162
Potsticker Stir-Fry 164
Cashew Chicken 166
General Tso's Chicken 168
Fearless Foodies 171
You've Got Skills: How to Use an Oven 173
Garlic Knots 174
Challenge: Dress It Up! Turn a Classic Into Something Uniquely Yours 175
Creamy Feta & Watermelon Salad 176
Challenge: Mix Something Sweet with Something Salty 177
Balsamic Vinaigrette Strawberry Salad 178
Challenge: Eat Your Fruit with Your Veggies 179
Roasted Spicy Broccoli 180
Challenge: Cook Something We Think We Don't Like a New Way 181
Better Than Boxed Mac & Cheese 182
Challenge: Try Cooking a Favorite Restaurant or Packaged Food at Home 183
Lime Corn Salad 184
Challenge: Eat Something We Already Love in a New Way 185
Mustard-Roasted Potatoes 186
Challenge: Try a New Condiment 187
Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing 188
Challenge: When in Doubt, Dip It 189
You've Got Skills: Identifying Herbs and Spices 191
Perfect Popcorn, Three Ways 192
Challenge: Spice It Up 193
Guacamole for Beginners 194
Challenge: Change the Texture of a Food 195
Zucchini Apple Bread 196
Challenge: Learn to Separate Flavor from Texture 197
Plate Like a Pro 199
Ten Ways to Compliment the Chef (Even When You Don't Like the Food) 200
Ten Ways to Describe Your Dinner That Any Chef Will Love to Hear 200
Fun Dinnertime Conversation Games to Play with Your Family 201
About the Author 203