Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cooking with the Kids

I have fun baking cookies with the kids and they love using cookie cutters to make different shapes and decorate them with m and ms. 

I also have fun making chicken nuggets and salad with my son. I had to teach him how to peel veggies at the age of four and a half, chop them and even crack eggs.  It is usually a messy business with flour, the eggs and bread crumbs so my daughter does not join in. But this time my three year old wanted to join in and so I had to find some jobs for her.

First, we decided on a recipe to follow and they decided on a Paella from a kid's cooking book, Cook It Together by Annabel Karmel.

The kids had to wash their hands first. 

My son chopped a half green pepper into small bits and my daughter placed them in the bowl.

It was time for the half red pepper.
My son never chopped onions before so I had to show him how to hold it and chop one section at a time. We placed the onions in water first to lessen its effect on the eyes.
It was my daughter's time to help out. So I asked her to place the chicken cube in a bowl as well as two table spoons of tomato paste. 
My daughter then scooped a cup and a 1/4 of wild rice into a bowl.
It was time to cook. I warned them about the fire, how to hold a pan and keep their body away from the stove. Throughout the whole thing I had to explain to the kids that it was very important to stay organized and neat when we prepare for everything. I do not like messy kitchens and so all the ingredients had to go into separate bowls and we keep the area we were working on clean. My daughter handed my son the ingredients and I helped him pour it into the pan. They saute-d the onions and garlic.
And then they added the green and red peppers. By the way, if you were wondering why the stove was outside the kitchen, this is how the house we moved into is like. Many houses in Thailand have their cooking area outside the kitchen.
The rice came next and they cooked it for around 3 minutes. I should have placed a stop watch for them so that they could take more control of the whole experience.... maybe next time.
Next came the hot two and a half cups of chicken broth and tomato paste mix... Here, I had to pour the whole thing as it was hot. After stirring it for 2 minutes, they had to leave it for 15 or until the water was absorbed. After 15 minutes were up, I had to add a little bit of water to it as the rice was not cooked well yet.
Later, my daughter was too busy looking for her Shaun the sheep that my son and I had to finish the job on our own. He added the peas and stirred them for a while.
And then he added the defrosted shrimp and cooked them for around 4 minutes until they turned from gray to orange. After this... it was ready to ingest.
The kids LOVED it...Usually my son has some trouble eating any food that had tomato paste as he just does not like it. But this time he ate well and did not have any gagging reflex. He did not need any pushing to eat it. I think the fact that he was in control of most of the cooking helped him accept to eat it. This makes me think that I must do this more often than I do.

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