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Kids' Night to Cook, Part I

CDKitchen Cooking Columnist Christine Gable
About the author: Christine Gable
Culinary enthusiast; kids cuisine and slow cooking; magazine recipe developer; professional writer. Her simple recipes are great for family dinners.
Just when I was wondering how I was going to get everything done—the idea struck: Kids’ Night to Cook. Would there be a way that I could give the kids first-hand experience in the kitchen and give myself some breathing space?

While so often it seems I’m scrambling at the last minute to see what’s in the refrig or pantry—perhaps with just a bit of pre-planning, maybe I could put together a list of some items that a 13- and 8-year old could prep and cook together?

So we started this grand experiment last week—and I’m writing to share with you the resounding success of our Kids’ Night to Cook. Yes, it looks like I’ll be lounging around every Thursday night—to be surprised by the ingenious skills of my creative clan.

One caveat: make sure that I have the necessary ingredients for my cooperative chefs. I really ought to give them a few weeks to get settled in before throwing ingredient substitutions and adaptations at them, don’t you think?

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Don’t know if it was the love, the caring—or just the change of pace—but sitting down to that pierogie dinner was one of the best gifts my kids could give me. Yes, after a busy week, to have them provide me with a home cooked meal is really wonderful. Now, don’t get me wrong—I do love to cook—but doesn’t everyone thrive with a change of pace once in a while? And doesn’t food often taste better when someone else has cooked for you?

Here’s part one of two articles to clip and save, with some ideas to get you started on Kids’ Night to Cook at your house—our family’s first 5 favorite kids meals to make:

1. Pizza
It’s the perennial favorite—whether the kids try their hand at homemade dough or not . . . prepared pizza crusts can be kept on-hand in the freezer, made from Bisquick or even soft flour tortillas. Add a salad or top with some veggies for a complete meal.

2. Tacos
Whether you prefer beans or beef, those all-in-one box kits with hard or soft tacos can certainly be a lifesaver for busy days. Kids have fun following the directions too!

3. Pierogies (see recipe below)
I always try to keep several bags in the freezer—they cook in less than 10 minutes and can be combined with ham, sausage, beans or tofu to make a filling meal. We like to toss in some olive oil, basil and sour cream for a simple sauce.

4. Spaghetti
Need I say more? This classic Italian dish can be as simple as boiling the noodles and heating a can of your favorite sauce—add meatballs if you wish.

5. Baked Chicken & Potatoes
A fabulous freezer staple, chicken that can be baked and served is super-handy. Have the kids scrub and boil some potatoes and another side veggie, and voila—dinner is ready.

Next week: Part 2: Kids’ Night to Cook – 5 More Easy Ideas

1-2-3 Pierogies

1-2-3 Pierogies

Made with plain yogurt or sour cream, frozen pierogies, onions, Adobo seasoning, dried oregano, vegetable oil, ham or salami

get the recipe

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       thanks for this artical it sounds very delicious

    Comment posted by cait


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