Regardless of how long I’ve been teaching kids how to cook, I always seem to have more patience with other people’s kids than my own. In fact, I have learned to have more patience than I ever thought possible - almost as if it was some sort of super power. When it comes to cooking at home with my own kiddos, however, it’s a different story. For some reason it is a little more challenging to channel my inner zen to get the job done when I am in my own kitchen in my own home. So for all you mamas out there that think it’s just easier for me to let my kids cook with me because it’s what I do for a living, know that I am a just as paranoid about injuries, messes and broken glasses. Sometimes I want to pull out my hair, take over and say, “Here just let me do it” or “No, don’t make a mess,” but it’s the messes and the frustration that we need to embrace to let them feel like they have control to learn and make a recipe. Even for an adult, cooking comes with messes, mess ups, and frustrations, we should all learn to embrace this universal fact and keep moving. It helps if you can laugh it off.
When starting a recipe the first thing we teach is “Mise en Place.” All of my students know we first must gather our supplies, ingredients, and anything necessary to complete the task. This applies to so many areas in life. Once you know you have everything you need, you are equipped for any battle that the kitchen or life throws at you. Next, read through all the instructions so you can plan ahead, do we need to turn on the oven, have water boiling? For this recipe, yes to both.
Big meals to celebrate special occasions often have a lot of hype around them and a lot of nerves associated with them. It seems crazy to invite the kids into the kitchen at a time like this but I would argue this is the best time to invite them in. We hopefully have some time off work, time to spend together, so embrace the together part and give them tasks to take responsibility for. Green bean casserole is a great dish for kids to help with. They can trim the green beans stalks off and easily snap the green beans in half (or smaller pieces if your prefer). I do like to leave the pointed edge at the end, this shows guests that you didn’t use canned green beans but rather took the time to use fresh.
Slicing mushrooms is another great task because mushrooms are soft and easy to work with. Purchase pre-sliced mushrooms to make it easier for the kids to chop them into even smaller pieces. You always want to create a flat surface for them to work with. Alexandria is using a Shun ultilitary knife and Caroline a steak knife. They have learned how to be careful and focus when using knives. You can also use safety knives like I do when teaching a larger group of kiddos.
As for stove work. I do let the girls help on the stove under direct supervision. That includes helping pour ingredients into boiling water, stirring, and sautéing. Again the earlier you teach them about safety when working with fire and hot tools, the less fear they will have in doing it.
This recipe may not be super gourmet but if you give it a try I promise it will be delicious. Check out the video and recipe below.
Green Bean Casserole
3 Cups of Green Beans
2 TB Butter
2 TB Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Sugar
1/4 cup diced Onion
1/4 cup Chopped Mushrooms
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 1/3 cup French's French Fried Onions
Preheat Oven to 350
1. Wash & dry Green Beans. Cut in half and remove stems.
Blanch by placing in boiling water for 3 minutes, then remove to an ice bath for an additional 2 minutes.
2. Melt 2 TB butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute.
3. Stir in salt, sugar, onion, mushrooms, & sour cream. Add in green beans and stir to coat.
4. Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top. Layer on French Fried Onions.
5. Bake for 30minutes or until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
As for a little of "What I wore," for this week. Caroline's cowl neck dress is super soft and very adorable. It has already seen several trips to the wash and dryer and holds up very nicely. Her brown suede boots have the cutest tassels. As for my cowl neck dress, I snagged it at the grand opening of the new Anthropologie in Fig Garden Village. It is also super soft and pretty versatile. I think it's a great Fall fashion find. If you haven't had a chance to check out the new Anthro, you should add it to your weekend list. There are so many great items in the store right now.