My mom is a great cook and amazing baker, and I have such fond childhood memories of cooking with her. It was neat one-on-one time, doing something with both enjoyed. I was always so proud of my finished products–even the ones that didn’t turn out quite right! 🙂 I continued the family cooking tradition when my eldest, Alyssa, was about 2 1/2. Her younger sister, Lila, now age 3, is constantly asking if she can help me cook.
Now, before your eyes pop out of your head thinking about the mess of a 2 1/2 year old cooking, let me explain. At that age, it’s definitely a team effort. The measuring and stirring is mostly a mom job, but oh, how those little ones love to plop the ingredients into the bowl! Just that simple task makes them feel like full-blown chefs! And I’ll admit, it can be a little more messy and time consuming, but for me, is so worth it! Think of what your kids gain when they cook with you: a real-life skill, exposure to math and fractions, a sense of accomplishment, small motor skill coordination, and most importantly, time with Y-O-U. As an added bonus, I’ve found that my kids are more willing to eat new things when they have a hand in cooking them…sneaky, huh?!
Below are a few of our favorite recipes to try together. Let me know what you think!
Mixed Berry Muffins
These are Alyssa’s absolute fav!
Mixed Berry Muffins Ingredients:
- 2 C. flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 C. sugar
- 1/3 C. butter or margarine, melted
- 1 C. milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 C, heaping of unsweetened, fresh or frozen berries of your choice (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a mixture)
Mixed Berry Muffins Directions:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place 12-16 paper liners in muffin tins, or grease muffin tins.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar-set aside.
- Mix melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla together.
- Add to butter mixture to dry ingredients.
- Stir only until dry ingredients are moist-it will be lumpy.
- Gently fold in berries. Less stirring = more tender muffins.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown on top. Enjoy!
Build Your Own Pizzas Recipe
Just made these last week with a group of kids ages 3-10–they all thought it was so fun! Sometimes, it’s the little things that score you points!
Build Your Own Pizzas Ingredients
- Boboli-style pizza crusts (I just cut the 12″ into 4 pie-shaped pieces. You can also find smaller rounds that you could use for individual pizzas)
- 1 jar/can pizza sauce
- toppings of your choice: Shredded cheese, meats, veggies, etc…
Build Your Own Pizzas Directions
- Put the ingredients in separate small containers, and spread them out on your counter or table.
- Start each child with a crust on a small plate.
- Have them spread sauce on their crust.
- Allow them to go down the “pizza bar” line, choosing their toppings.
- Slide individual pizzas onto cookie sheets and place in preheated oven.
- Bake in oven according to crust baking directions.
S’mores Bars Recipe
From Allrecipes.com–Recipe submitted by Kristine Brown
We made these for a party last week, and they were incredibly easy and YUMMY!
S’mores Bars Recipe Ingredients:
- 8 whole graham crackers
- 1 box fudge brownie mix
- 2 C. mini marshmallows
- 1 C. semisweet chocolate chips ( I used about 1/2 C.)
- 2/3 C. chopped peanuts (I skipped this due to possible peanut allergies)
S’mores Bars Recipe Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Arrange graham crackers in a single layer in a greased 9 x 13 pan.
- You may have to break a few to fully cover the base of the pan.
- Prepare the brownie batter according to package directions.
- Spread over crackers.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Sprinkle with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and peanuts, if desired.
- Bake about 5 minutes longer until marshmallows are puffed and golden brown.
- Cool on a wire rack before cutting.