Tag Archives: cooking

Back to Basics

Oops! Littlest one is about to learn a lesson about standing on chairs.

Oops! Littlest one is about to learn a lesson about standing on chairs.

Since I’ve been gone from the blogging world for awhile, and in the meantime added a new cook to my team, I figured a back to basics post was in order.

But first…Congratulations to Angie, the winner of the Borax giveaway! I’ll send out your prize this weekend!

Every age can cook. I have two five year olds, a three year old, and a 18 month old and every one of them helps me in the kitchen. We have a system that works well for us, but we’ve been making the kids cook for us for awhile! If you are new to cooking with your kids I have a few places for you to begin.

Charlotte, the 18 month old, is best at helping load or unload the dishwasher. She excels at eating the leftover pieces of fruit, vegetable, or sandwich when I am creating fun bento school lunches. I’ve started giving her more to do like setting the (kid sized) table, mixing casserole ingredients, and picking which vegetable to serve with the meal. I’m reminded with her that it takes a long time to learn the skill of stirring. Making sure to thoroughly clean the surface she’s using beforehand saves a lot of time and food. Scooping the majority of the spills back into the dish is something I’ve done and will do again. We are having fun and she is learning.

Ted is three and can do most everything in the kitchen that doesn’t involve a sharp knife or the oven/stove. He prefers the easy tasks like scrubbing potatoes and dumping pre-measured ingredients. I push him a little by making him fill measuring cups correctly and selecting the correct item out of the refrigerator. He can peel root veggies, make sandwiches, and fill cupcake tins with liners.

The twins are by far the most fun in the kitchen these days! Doing all that Ted does, but with a little more ease. They are learning fractions in my dinner prepartions, and usually find the correct measuring cup. Being able to make a full meal on their own has amped up their excitement to be in the kitchen. The twins read recipes, correctly fill and dump measuring cups, stir, peel, and more! Our Keurig allows them to make me coffee (win!!) and oatmeal for themselves and the little kids. The microwave has mostly been mastered, Lily has had two lessons on stove top safety, and Pierce has had one on the proper way to wash knives.

Knives and heat are a big deal for me. I want to instill in them a love to help their mom cook, but at the same time they need to respect the things that can hurt them or others.

Three things the kids learned recently:

  1. How to soak and cook dried beans
  2. Making rice in the microwave (thanks mom for the rice cooker!!)
  3. Sweet potatoes need to be peeled twice over, or mom gives them back

What are your kids doing in the kitchen? What age will they (or did they) be allowed to use the stove? Knives?


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Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Baked Garbanzo Beans

A few weeks ago a friend told me to try baking garbanzo beans for a fun salty snack that was similar to Corn Nuts. I’m all for new salty snacks, so I went right out and bought the beans.

So. Did you know garbanzo bean is a fancy name for chick peas?!? I do now!

My fabulous Meijer produce section carries fresh garbanzo beans, which I got even though the recipe called for canned. I bought canned too, so I could try both to see what I preferred.

The twins helped me get them all ready and we were geeked for something new and exciting. We waited and waited and waited for the oven to preheat. And waited. It never did, those beans were doomed, our oven was broken.

A few weeks, and a round of the flu later, my husband replaced the heating element and we tried again! I haven’t blogged since the oven broke. I assume my writing ability is directly related to my oven’s performance.

One batch we did by the recipe, the other we adjusted to remove all preservatives and try a different flavor.

The twins helped paint a tray with butter and season the beans. They really enjoyed helping with this recipe and I enjoyed how little of a mess they made.

The original recipe for Roasted Garbanzo Beans (as given to me by K. Daukstststesses B.)

Rinse canned beans well, pat dry
Coat with non-stick spray
Toss with Italian seasoning and Garlic salt
Roast 400 degrees for 30 minutes (or more as needed)
Toss halfway through cooking

My altered version

Melt 1 tablespoon salted butter, paint tray with it
Spread beans on tray
Sprinkle with taco seasoning (we used homemade taco seasoning)
Cook as directed above

My observations

1) Canned beans are bigger and plumper to begin with, and organic canned is available if preferred.

2) My altered version charred a bit. I’m thinking it was the butter so I will simply omit it next time to see. Possibly was the taco seasoning.

3) I cooked the beans for 40 minutes…and probably should have gone longer by 5-7 minutes. I suggest checking them at 30 minutes and then every 7 minutes until done.

4) We all agreed the canned bean batch had a better texture.

5) We were split 50/50 on flavor preference. Ted had no preference due to the flu, so we had no tie breaker vote.

6) This is an easy, fun, new salty snack. I like it.


Posted by on February 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


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