Cooking with the kids

This weekend, my nine-year-old and I decided that she would cook dinner solo.  I helped with the recipe, shopping list, etc, but she did all of the chopping, measuring, sauteeing, stirring, and other cooking-related tasks.  We decided that she would cook paella (previously posted here, PDF of the recipe here) as the main course.  

At the grocery, she located every ingredient and placed it in the cart.  Back at home, she took care of all the prep work first.


Dicing red peppers

Measuring EXACTLY four cups of chicken stock

More on the paella in a moment.  In the meantime – a word on the salad and dessert.  My two other kids also wanted to participate., so we made plans to include them as well.  The four-year-old assembled and dressed the salad (with vegetables chopped for him) and the seven-year-old made a chocolate layer cake with chocolate buttercream icing from scratch (getting help only with applying the icing).

Adding - and sampling - olives

Proud of the finished product

Excited to help - and excited that there will be cake

Adding cream and vanilla to the icing

Icing the cake

Back to the paella.  When it came to preparing the dish, there were only two steps where I helped: adding the first pieces of chicken to the hot olive oil (while my daughter got comfortable with the splattering oil) and moving the pan into and out of the oven.  Otherwise, this dinner for eight was cooked entirely by a nine-year-old.

The result was exactly as good as if I had prepared it myself.  All eight of us enjoyed it – though nobody as much as the chef herself.  If there’s one surefire way to get kids to eat something, it’s including them in the preparation.


6 Responses to “Cooking with the kids”

  1. 1 Virginia Fox February 13, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Now Tim has no excuse not to attempt paella on his own.

  2. 2 Jess February 17, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    I couldn’t believe how could everything was!! Smoked chorizo…mmmm. Your kids are awesome.

    I may or may not have allegedly eaten that huge wedge of cake you sent me home with in one sitting the next day.

  3. 3 Jess February 17, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    *good, not could

  4. 4 Marie February 18, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    This looks amazing! Who are these talented kids and when can I hire them!!??? I am already hungry.

  5. 5 Jayvee May 3, 2011 at 7:06 AM

    Thank God! Someone with brians speaks!

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