School Lunches

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Kids in the Kitchen

I must admit one of my favorite shows to watch is MasterChef Junior. Those kids are phenomenal! I sure couldn't cook like that when I was their age (nor can I now) but I can't help but think maybe my daughters could. So, about a year and a half ago I started looking for cooking classes for my oldest daughter (now age 6). I enjoy having her in the kitchen but I figured I wasn't qualified enough to teach her all the things I wanted her to learn (you know, in case Gordon Ramsay comes knocking at our door in the next few years). Well, I found a couple local kids cooking classes. Unfortunately, the more I looked into them I realized they were almost all treats and snacks. I'm certainly not a health-nut. But, if I was going to pay for a class, I really wanted my daughter to get more out of it than frosting a cupcake and covering it with sprinkles.

I decided I would ask around and see if any of my daughter's friends would be interested in doing a cooking class here at our home. In no time at all we had a small group of girl signed up and it was time to put together a menu. I, of course, had big ideas of what I wanted to teach them to make. However, I decided to let my daughter have the final say with menu planning so we ended up with a Panera white cheddar mac and cheese, biscuits, and Oreo pie. 

I had 4 first-grade girls and 3 hours to get this done. I had no idea what the time frame would be but I assured my daughter that if we got through it all quickly then they could play Legos. (I was mostly worried about parents coming and not having the food ready). That was all the incentive they needed to get busy. We got everything done in just over 2 hours. 

Here is the recipe we used for the biscuits from The Better Baker blog. They were quick, easy, and delicious. The recipe calls to melt butter in the pan then cook the biscuits in the melted butter (then you don't have to butter them when you serve them). However, maybe I just used way too much butter... but next time I think I'll skip that step and serve them with butter. They were VERY buttery.... but so, soooo good.

I searched all over the internet trying to find a white cheddar mac that would be similar to the famous Panera Mac and Cheese. This copycat recipe did not fail! The girls loved it. I also may have held a bowl back for myself to enjoy when they finished up. 

I made one addition to the recipe above - we mixed melted butter and panko crumbs along with the fresh grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top. Then I just told the parents when they were ready to eat just pop it in the oven until golden. 

For dessert I wanted something that didn't have to bake since I was worried about our time frame. My daughter wanted something with Oreos and we came across a recipe that reminded us a layered chocolate lasagna dessert my mom made recently. Plus it allowed for a little creative expression for each of the girls.  This Heavenly Oreo Dessert by Life in the Lofthouse blog was a hit. I did decide to just use pre-made Oreo pie crusts for the girls, but if we were just making one I would definitely make my own crust.

All in all - 4 girls, 3 hours, and 12 dishes complete! 

 Of course my daughter insisted on having me take pictures of each of her dishes, just as I do with mine.  Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment