Cooking is our “class”ification for September where we offer information on a variety of topics centered around food and family. As we seek to give a #tasteofkidzxplor during #superseptember, we will be focusing on ways to get kids into the kitchen and learning skills to take out in the world.
We know, it takes a lot of time to cook with kids- there’s the prep (one wants one thing, one wants another, an additional trip to the store, and wait….. your not eating anything green this week???), the mess (don’t even get us started on the mess), and the inevitable argument over the utensils and who gets to put what in the bowl. BUT….. there are LOTS of great reasons for pulling your big-girl pants up and getting in that kitchen with the kids. Take the time to just do it- because when your done- it’s going to feel really good, probably bring a smile to your face, and your kids are going to really enjoy it. Cooking with kids teaches lots of life lessons that they need, and encourages you to do something hands-on (goodbye iPad) and something that you can create together. By rolling up your sleeves in the kitchen- our kids can learn:
- Cooking together encourages variety– have a picky kid that refuses most things? Chances are that if they create it themselves- they probably will eat it. Use this as a way to get a bit more healthy- get some fruits and veggies in there- and show them that there’s more to life than Mac-N-Cheese. Let them see how many options of types of foods are out there- and have them find some new favorites.
- Cooking is a skill– how many adults do you know that hate to cook? Starting kids in the kitchen early teaches them these life skills that will take them in the future without being able to say “I just can’t cook- I’m terrible at it”. It spins a positive reaction towards food and cooking and if they feel comfortable when they are kids- they will feel comfortable as they grow older.
- It teaches them something- one tablespoon here, one 1/2 cup there- Hello math!!!!! Cooking is math and science- watch the measurements – see what reacts- what happens when yeast is added to dough? Get a little scientific in the kitchen and learn a thing or two about chemistry- how to add and subtract- and learn to follow the directions.
- Making memories– who doesn’t have a memory of baking with Mom on the holidays? Use cooking together as an excuse to create not only recipes- but memories- memories these kiddo’s will take with them on their journey to adulthood. And who knows? Maybe they will take those memories and share them with their kids one day?
Since we are entering Fall- pumpkin everything is popping up! We have included our super-simple favorite Fall recipe as below- what is yours?
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread- from Sally’s Baking Edition Cook Book
- 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves1
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups (340g) pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
- 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice
- 2/3 cup (120g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Lowering the oven rack prevents the top of your bread from browning too much too soon. Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt together until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin, oil, and orange juice. Pour these wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently mix together using a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon. There will be a few lumps. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes, making sure to loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil halfway through to prevent the top from getting too brown. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with only a few small moist crumbs. This may be before or after 60-65 minutes depending on your oven, so begin checking every 5 minutes at the 55 minute mark or so.
- Allow the bread to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing and slicing. The bread will stay fresh in an airtight container (it tastes better on day 2!) at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. But it won’t last that long.
- Make ahead tip: Baked bread can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
Looking to make more baked goods or decorate them? Join us with our featured Class Partners Sweetology and Companion Teaching Kitchen this month!
Sweetology has tons of classes on kidzxplor that will keep your kids having fun and using their creative side! KinderCakes on Wednesday mornings at 11AM, where Mom’s and preschoolers get to decorate and gain great motor skills- while Mom chills out with a coffee. Study Hall Hours on Wednesday afternoons where kids can study at Sweetology and use their space to do homework or prep for that next test- all while enjoying a yummy treat!
Also in September, we have a great class offered at Companion Teaching Kitchen with their Kid’s In The Kitchen series focusing this month on Cookies and Brownies. Come to the new Companion Teaching Kitchen facility on Saturday September 24th from 3PM to 5PM to learn how to become an expert in cookie and brownie baking- all projects do get to come home with you!
Let’s #getoutthere and #letsxplor this #superseptember and enjoy some good Fall munchies along the way!