In the wake of the pandemic, and everyone stuck at home with very little to do, there are fun ways to bond as a family. Besides reading, playing, and watching their favorite cartoon, I discovered that getting the little ones in the kitchen and turning them into little chefs is a perfect way to bond with them. Not only does the idea bring out a kid’s creativity, but the experience is also enjoyable.
Below are two quick and easy recipes that families can try out.
Show of hands, who loves crumpet pizza? It’s true most kids love pizza and wouldn’t delay in learning to make them? Here are important ingredients to use:
- Six crumpets
- 4 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp pass at a
- ½ oregano, dried
For the topping, use olives, peppers, cherry tomatoes, basil, sweet corn, or ham.
Begin the process by maximally heating the grill, then have the crumpets toasted. (I usually use a toaster for this). Next, mix the available ingredients, minus the topping. Finally, ask the kids to help with chopping our preferred toppings. (Working basil, ham, and vegetables is much easier for younger chefs).
With the help of a foil, line up the baking tray and spread sauce on the crumpets. Place them on the tray and grill for about 5 minutes until the cheese turns golden and starts bubbling. Remove it from the fire and let it cool before serving.
Tip: Preparing crumpet pizza should take no more than 20 minutes and another 10 minutes of cooking. This recipe is ideal for vegetarians and is best served as a snack or lunch. Can serve up to 6 people.
Another easy recipe that families can try out with the kids, which turns out to be so much fun, is spaghetti with meatballs. I initially wanted to make it into a quick snack, but it turned out so yummy, and we ended up having it for lunch as a family. Preparing this recipe takes less than an hour.
Ingredients for the meatballs
- 300g pork sausages. (Beef is still okay in case someone is allergic to pork).
- 500g minced beef
- 1 course grated onions
- 1 finely grated carrot
- 1 tbsp oregano, dried
- 50g well-grated Parmesan (add extra for serving)
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Tomato sauce ingredients
- 3 finely grated garlic cloves
- One coarsely grated courgette
- Tomato puree
- Red wine vinegar
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Cooked spaghetti
Note: Allow the kids to handle this step.
With parent’s supervision and guidance, let the young ones peel the skins off the sausage and transfer them into a large bowl. Once this is done, add the beef. Next, add all the ingredients for the meatballs minus the olive oil. Finally, add the black pepper and mix it thoroughly using the hands.
Cooking with kids calls for extra caution. Don’t allow young kids to taste the raw mix.
Indulge children in rolling out the meatball mix into small balls and place them on another bowl or plate. This is a role that families can happily play, considering it makes kids more creative. Besides, it’s an easy way of teaching children the basics of math.
As the kids are busy rolling the meatballs, prepare the sauce. Heat oil in a large pan and add both garlic and courgette. Allow it to cook for 5 minutes until it becomes soft. Add sugar, vinegar, and tomato puree, then stir it. Allow it to cook for another minute, add tomatoes, and leave it to simmer for another 5 minutes.
In a large frying pan, heat cooking oil, then fry the meatballs until they turn golden brown on both sides and add them to the source. Give it about 15 minutes to allow simmering. Also, gently stir it from time to time until the meatballs are thoroughly cooked. Families can serve these yummy meatballs with cooked spaghetti and top it off with some basil and the extra grated Parmesan.
This recipe serves up to 6 people, including four kids and two adults. It is, therefore, more ideal for the whole family.
Cooking Tips: Always observe hygiene and safety precautions when cooking with kids. Long hair should be tied at the back, and everyone must put on an apron. Younger children should help from a safe distance away from the fire. Explaining every ingredient used in the recipes, their names and origin will make the cooking process more fun and informative.