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A grandfather and granddaughter cooking together

The Joy of Cooking With Your Grandchildren

Easy Recipes to Make With Kids

I have fond memories of cooking with my grandma. The smell of the food, and the fun we had while in the kitchen was something I'll always remember. I truly think that’s where my love of cooking — and eating — came from, as well as my willingness to try virtually anything, even fried rat in Thailand!

I did the same thing with my children and grandchildren, since there are so many easy recipes to make with kids. While the food we prepared wasn’t nearly as healthy as what we make today, it was still a great deal of fun. We started when the girls each reached 18 months. Granted, when they were each that age they couldn’t do much but reap the rewards, but when they got a bit older, around 4 and 5, we had a blast getting the ingredients from the pantry and putting whatever we were making together.

The first thing we made together was a peanut butter fluff sandwich. For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s two pieces of white bread slathered with peanut butter and marshmallow crème. While the Food Police would definitely cite me for aiding my girls’ unhealthy eating habits, they loved it, and so did I! I still love it to this day. It has all the elements of being wonderful… sweet taste, goo and satisfaction.

We also made lots of healthy and more complicated dishes, too. As the girls got older, they helped me make one of our family holiday tradition dishes: noodle kugel. I’ve been making this for over 50 years. I’m not sure who created the recipe; I only know everyone I make it for loves it!

Here's the recipe, as well as three other easy recipes to make with kids.

Noodle Kugel

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of wide noodles
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 6 eggs, well beaten
  • Box of golden raisins
  • 1/2 pound of butter
  • 1 pint of sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons of salt

Directions:
Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and fold in the noodles. Put the mixture into a greased baking dish and top with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cutting is easier if the kugel is cooled. I usually reheat it prior to serving.

The girls also got a kick out of helping me make appetizers and desserts whenever I had a party.

When they were about 13 and 10, they able to do most of them totally by themselves. They would make a list of the ingredients they needed and then we went to the grocery store. I would let them pick out everything they needed themselves.

Once we got home, they made the appetizers while we talked. They did everything, including decorating the serving dishes and cleaning up the bowls they had used for cooking. They did outstanding jobs.

One of the simplest appetizers they made was cream cheese with chutney. Simply soften a block of cream cheese, pour chutney over it and serve with crackers.

Here is another of our favorite recipes we made together:

Blintze Souffle (Sunday Breakfast)

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of melted butter/margarine
  • 6-8 blintzes, cut in half, thawed
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 12 ounces of sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Directions:
Pour melted butter into an oblong casserole dish and line with blintzes. Beat eggs well. Add vanilla, sugar, orange juice and sour cream and beat again. Pour the egg mixture over the blintzes and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden on top. Serves about 6 if you’re serving other food.

Today, I cook with my 4-year-old grandson. It’s an amazing bonding experience.

I took care of Cash from the time his mom went back to work when he was 6 weeks old until he was about 15 months old when his parents decided to put him into daycare so he could have playtime with people his own age. I miss him, but that makes the time we spend together even more precious.

Cash and I started cooking together when he was about 15 months old. If I were having his parents over for dinner, Cash would help me measure ingredients and put dinner together. He was always so proud of helping!

Cash is a very picky eater, so when his parents would come over for dinner, he supervised my making about the only thing he eats: a grilled cheese sandwich!

During the winter, we like making this recipe:

Yummy Meringue Snowmen

This has all the prerequisites for something he’d like… sugar, chocolate chips and eggs.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cups of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • salt
  • Mini chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 200 F. Spray vegetable oil on a cookie sheet. Carefully separate two large eggs by dropping the egg whites into a glass bowl. Add a pinch of salt and beat until fluffy. Gradually add ½ cup sugar. Beat until firm peaks form. Drop three spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet and use the back of a spoon to make a snowman shape. Decorate with mini chocolate chips. Bake for two hours or until lightly browned. When cool, eat. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Of course, one of Cash’s all-time favorites is chocolate chip muffins — he’s a chocoholic like his Mimi! Here’s the recipe we use for those:

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of self-rising flour
  • ¾ cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons of melted margarine
  • 1 ¼ cup of skim milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 12 muffin pans with paper muffin cases. Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in sugar and dark chocolate chips. Combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. Spoon the mixture evenly into muffin pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Cool on a wire rack, then eat and enjoy.

Reasons Why You Should Cook With Grandchildren

  • It’s a wonderful way to bond
  • It gives kids a sense of confidence and accomplishment
  • It’s great for picky eaters since they’re more likely to try something they’ve had a hand in creating
  • It’s a great way to instill the love of cooking, particularly for family
  • It’s a great way to share and to show love

With so many easy recipes to make with kids, there should be no shortage of ideas for what to cook up next.