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Cooking with Kids

October 6, 2010 by Joan Nova in Cooking with Kids, Food Challenge, Italian | 12 Comments

I did something I haven’t done in a while (if ever). I joined the ‘mom-car-line’ and then entertained a 4-and 7-year old for an entire afternoon. Meet Nico and Nina, the delicious and very active children of my niece, Teri, and her husband, Chris.

After picking up Nina at her preK and the never-ending car line at Nico’s school, I brought them back to my house to entertain(babysit) for an afternoon. After snacks, I took them to the pool. That was a no brainer – but dinner was a horse of another color. We have distinctly different palates.

Yes I had to wear the hat Nina made for me.


They’re great kids but typical. One likes ice cream, the other Ramen noodles (“spaghetti soup”)…. and they both like chicken fingers and fries, none of which they were going to find in the FOODalogue kitchen. If I was going to try to entice them into eating real food, I thought I’d get them involved in the process so ‘they’d own it’. (BTW – in the how’d-that-work-for-you? category, the answer would be not-so-much.) :)

The Menu
Make-your-own (and 2 for Dad) pizzas
Mini turkey meatballs
Vegetable kabobs
Broccoli (Nico’s favorite vegetable)

I pre-made a fresh tomato sauce using 16 compari tomatoes, 1 clove of garlic, a handful of basil and some dry seasonings. No spice or chile flakes for their tender palates though I did throw a piece of star anise in which I’d been wanting to try ever since I saw Chef Novelli talk about it on his short-lived TV program. I didn’t look at this link until after so I see I forgot the vanilla bean (which was also strangely intriguing) and sugar. Another time.

Nina was in charge of the meatballs.

while I trusted Nico (under close supervision) with a knife to make the kabobs.

Then we got to decorating the individual pizzas with fresh mozzarella, black olives and sliced chorizo (Nico loves spicy sausage).

Nina decided her pizzas should feature the leftover cookies from snack time.
We (or was it just me, can’t remember) set the table waiting for Dad to arrive. Nico immediately took the opportunity to play with my phone.
But Nina never made it to the table.
A little father-son bonding (rough-housing) after dinner and they were gone.

Bye bye Nina Bambina. Come back soon and bring your brother again.

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!

12 Comments

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  1. It is fun to wear different hats Joan. I can’t wait for someone to call me grandma!!

  2. elly says:

    Love the hat, Joan :) Very cute post and glad you were able to find something you could all agree on to eat!

  3. Dorothy says:

    the cutest. Love the expression on your face in the hat picture.
    Great idea-cooking with the kids.

  4. Buela says:

    I am going to blow up the hat pic and hang it next to Cheryl’s at my computer!
    I am so happy you all survived the afternoon, but I must say the kids looked pretty exhausted. And the menu brilliant, I wanted to see their empty plates….

  5. Fun day – and cooking WITH kids is something I do every day. They love it. But, they sure can wear you out, can’t they? Talk about the opposite of the African meal!
    :)
    Valerie

  6. norma says:

    How they have grown. Great post TiTi Nana!

  7. Hilarious! Cute shots! Kids always go for meatballs!

  8. Jacqueline says:

    That kitchen was definitely full of love Joan. I might have to take that spaghetti soup idea and run with it :)

  9. Maria says:

    Too cute! It’s fun to do some cooking with the kids … every so often that is!

  10. Mariko says:

    cooking with kids always sounds a little better than it is. ;) it’s funny that way. What is that on the kabob?

  11. Damaris says:

    next time I’m sending Enzo and baby Maria over.

    ps. I’m SOOOOO glad you won the Nature’s Pride prize. Lets meet up for more than 1/2 a second.

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