Friday, February 8, 2013

Cooking with Kids

Cooking with my daughter, Kate, not only is fun but I also get to look at a familiar task through new eyes. Rediscovering the wonders of smelling, tasting and mixing ingredients. Seeing the mystery in rising bread dough (Kate calls it magic dough) and taking tasks to their basic level. Cooking with Kate also teaches me patience. Patience to allow her time to measure and mix. Patience to allow her space to learn and discover. Patience to allow her to make a mess!
Another motivating factor for me in teaching Kate to cook is that she is a fussy eater. One way I have tried to peak her interest in eating is by cooking with her. It has helped a bit and I hope that eventually she will learn to like a variety of foods.
Cooking with our children is also an opportunity to build family traditions. Kate and her Dad make pancakes together on Saturday mornings and her and I continue the tradition of making granola that I learned from my Mom.
Teaching kids to cooking builds important life skills and self esteem. As a former home economics teacher I loved that to watch kids create something with there own hands and to see how really proud they were of themselves. Real self esteem comes from doing. Sharing food is also very intimate and cooking is a great way to build relationships. Kids tend to open up when they are busy in the kitchen - the things I didn’t learn in some of those Home Economics classes!!
Here are a couple of Kate's breakfast favourite recipes. Enjoy!

Good Old Granola    Photo credit:

A homemade granola like this is nice with just milk or to use as a topping on yogurt! 
canola cooking spray
2 cups slow-cooking rolled oats 500 mL
1/2 cup wheat germ 125 mL
3/4 cup finely flaked coconut 175 mL
2 Tbsp sesame seeds 30 mL
1/4 tsp salt 1 mL
1 Tbsp milk 15 mL
1/2 cup canola oil 125 mL
1/3 cup liquid honey 75 mL
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Prepare a baking sheet by spraying with canola cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, combine dry ingredients - oats, wheat germ, coconut, seeds and salt. Add milk, canola oil and honey, stirring constantly.
  3. Spread on the baking sheet about 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until browned, stirring two or three times during cooking. Cool and store in tightly covered container in refrigerator for up to one week. Serve as a cereal with milk and fruit or eat by the handfuls as a snack.
Yield: 4 cups (1 L) or 8 half cup servings.

Golden Pancakes   Photo credit:
Golden Pancakes
These homemade pancakes are so light and fluffy.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 375 mL
3 Tbsp granulated sugar 45 mL
2 tsp baking powder 10 mL
1/2 tsp baking soda 2 mL
1/2 tsp salt 2 mL
1 cup milk 250 mL
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp canola oil (plus more for oiling pan) 45 mL
  1. Heat electric griddle to 325°F (160°C). In a medium bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, eggs, and oil. Pour wet ingredients into the dry and whisk together. Do not overmix. Oil electric griddle with canola oil. Pour batter into pan to make pancakes. Cook about 1 1/2 minutes each side (depending on size).
  2. To add a unique flavor to your morning pancakes use one of these easy topping or simply mix directly into the pancake batter.
  3. Topping Ideas: blueberries, Saskatoon, bananas, granola, yogurt, chocolate chips, raisins, walnuts, strawberries, peaches, whipped cream, maple syrup...
Yield: 12 pancakes.

Tip - Pancakes:
Making the perfect pancakes depends a lot on cooking them at the right temperature. An easy test is to sprinkle the pan with water. If the water dances the pan is at the right temperature. If the water lays flat it is not hot enough and if the water instantly evaporates it is too hot. Once the batter is poured on the pan you will know it is time to flip the pancakes when the tiny bubbles in the batter break and remain open around the edge of the pancake. Cook the other side until nicely brown. Remember pancakes only need to be flipped once!
first published in Canola Cooks 2 - 2003.

No comments:

Post a Comment