Budding Chefs inspires children by providing fun, interactive, hands-on cooking experiences

Monday, March 3, 2014

Miss J is 13!

I spent my Friday night celebrating J's 13th birthday with a great group of 14 teenagers.

These basketball players came right from practice hungry and ready to cook.  The agenda for the night:  cook, eat, stay up all night and go right back to practice in the morning. :)    Ok, I hear they were really good and didn't stay up all night.  But they had a ton of energy.  In addition to enjoying the delicious food they made, they also learned some things.

One, what the heck is Gnocchi, and how do you even say it?  Ganochee?  Nope, Noh-Kee or Nyoh-kee.  Made from potatoes.  Are they good uncooked?  J decided definitely NOT!

The girls were split into 2 groups, each making their own Chicken Gnocchi Soup and Soft Breadsticks.  The first direction in the soup recipe is to put oil in the pan and heat it on the stove.  Both groups grabbed the pan and started to do that.  I then pointed out that they might want to read through the rest of the recipe first.  I asked if they were ready to add the rest of the ingredients once the oil was hot.  The ingredients were chopped carrots, onions, minced garlic, shredded chicken.  We looked at the ingredients on the counter.  Whole carrots, whole onion, a whole chicken breast.  Hmmm, it might be a good idea to prepare those things before heating our oil!  They also realized it was much easier to prepare all the ingredients ahead, including measuring out the chicken stock, milk and Half & Half. 

Each group was able to choose to make sweet or savory breadsticks.  Cinnamon and sugar, or garlic and italian seasonings.  Both chose sweet.  These girls wanted some sugar!

Everything turned out delicious.  They did a great job, with everyone doing their part.  And then got to have cake and watch Miss J open her gifts while I cleaned up in the kitchen.  That's the nice thing about birthday parties!  I'm sure all of these girls help out a lot at home. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Group Effort Meal Preparation

Allowing children to assist in meal prep is a great way to spend time as a family, and teach new skills as well.

Babies:  Keep your baby nearby as you prepare meals.  Give him his own bowl and spoon to imitate what you you do.

Toddlers:  Give them lettuce to tear for salads.  They also love to "dump" as one of my favorite little chefs called it when she was little.  Let them dump pre-measured ingredients into a bowl.  Stirring and mashing are also fun.

Pre-school:  Fine motor skills are developing.  Mixing cake batter, whisking eggs, measuring wet and dry ingredients with your help.  Many also love to start learning to crack eggs. Peeling hard boiled eggs is also fun. 

Ages 6-8:  Cracking eggs on their own, rolling out pizza dough, peeling vegetables, grating cheese, making meatballs.  With your help, let them run small appliances like the blender, toaster, etc.

Ages 9-12:  With your supervision, teach safe knife skills.  If you are uncomfortable yourself, there are plenty of videos available that show you how.  Remember to curl your fingers under.  Let them put their own school lunch together. You might even let them use the stove.  I let mine stir things on top of the ceramic stove top, but don't let them put things in and out of the oven until about age 12.  Use your own judgment depending on the maturity of the child.  

Teens:  If they are interested and have been learning skills all along, they would probably love to attempt to prepare a full meal on their own.  Encourage them to experiment with simple recipes.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Children's Museum of Green Bay!

So happy to be a part of the big day.  Ok, so we weren't as popular as the dedication of the new Donald Driver street sign, but we had fun making Banana Splits on a Stick (bananas, strawberries, and pineapples, drizzled with melted chocolate and a greek yogurt "whipped cream")

Yes, Miss Deb does a little yoga every now and then while cooking....

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Breakfast Pizza

Lots of energy today....all boys!  As soon as we started cooking, everyone was right on task.  Great listeners. Oliver looked like a pro spreading the sauce on his muffin. We watched the pizzas bubble and melt in the oven.  And they were pretty impressed with the convection burner that doesn't get hot.  

I heard "I don't like pizza sauce".   "I don't like eggs".  Well guess what?  Everyone ate everything....and liked it!  

Future Chef!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mmmm...Monday with the Bouncin' Bus!

Way too much fun today!  Baking, gymnastics, eating banana muffins and reading Bobby Baboon's Banana Bee-Bop.  What a great day!

Thank you Maria, for bringing your bus to Budding Chefs!

We are planning a fun summer session with Maria.  Look for more details to come!