Haven’t you ever wanted to eat like a princess? In our house, we do!
For Christmas, we bought Addie a cookbook (not her first- she’s a super foodie), as well as her first set of knives.
My favorite thing about this gift, is that it keeps on giving. Addie is learning so much from cooking- math, reading, patience, as well as working all those little muscles that control fine motor skills. I trust her with knives, glass jars, cracking eggs, and even touching raw meat and washing her hands immediately. Cooking shapes lives, teaches responsibility, and is a bonding experience at every single meal.
The Disney Princess Cookbook is awesome because the recipes are fairly simple, even in their little complexities, and offer a little blurb, like a mini-story, to go with it. I love that the foods range from not your typical toddler fare, like cucumber salad, to a favorite like mac and cheese. Having new ideas to mix in means that the kids are trying new things and learning the process of food prep in the process.
The book is broken down into Basics, which is great to review yourself, but also to read to your kids to let them know what cooking, measuring and safety are all about in the kitchen; then Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sides, Snacks, Beverages, Sweets, and then a chapter on putting meals together with the recipes in the book, followed by the glossary. We do love to put meals together with our book, but I also love picking out new sides or snacks to try out with some of our favorite tried and true dinners.
So, for a delicious week of meals, let me guide you!
We started our year off with a traditional New Year dish: Hoppin’ John, which is on pages 56-57. It’s a popular southern dish that brings good luck if eaten on New Year’s Day- and we happened to just be lucky enough to catch the recipe in time to shop before dinner time on the 1st. The dish was SO good, and inclusive, not needing a side dish or anything else to go with it, that we’ve made it again since then! We substituted canned beans for dried, which made it a one pan meal for us. Delicious, easy, and lucky! What a way to start off the year!
On pages 32-33 is Belle’s Corn Chowder, which goes famously with the Ham and Cheese Braids (p.36-37), which mimic Rapunzel’s famous hair style. This meal is bound to keep your belly full and warm on cold winter nights.
On pages 38-39 is Cri-Kee’s Lucky Cucumber Salad- a delicious side salad with a little kick to it, perfectly paired as a salad to go with any meal. I love serving it as a side to lighter chicken main dishes.
Mushu’s Moo Shu, pages 58-59, is my favorite, so far. It is SO good and simple to make- and I love that I can make it with the pork, as the recipe calls for, or substitute with shrimp (SO GOOD), or not use any meat- which is perfect for the meatless meals I try to make a few times a week. Addie honestly tries this when I make it, but it’s not her favorite. I do love that she tastes it each time, and though it isn’t her favorite, she still helps me cook it!
We made Gus’ Mac and Cheeseburger (I added in peas), pages 64-65, for a friends and family meal, and it was delicious. This is one meal for which Addie and Millie asked for seconds!
Finally, a meal that flew off the plate: The Beast’s Quiche (p.72-73) I added roasted red peppers to this quiche recipe… making it an (almost) frittata, which is a family fave. This dish was SO easy, and Addie loved it because she got to crack eggs; A favorite because of the independence of cracking AND the “making compost” aspect.
Basically, if you’re looking to get the kids involved in the kitchen, you don’t have to dumb down your cooking, you just have to lift them up. A nice, simple knife set, a beautiful cookbook all of their own and, for us, the Learning Tower, gives you the ability to show them how to handle themselves in the kitchen and how to start cooking (i.e. caring) for themselves and others.
As a Johnson & Wales grad, seeing my girls navigate the kitchen and handle themselves around sharp knives, a hot stove, and lots of different ingredients and glass containers is a point of pride. I love knowing my way around the kitchen and providing good food and having a good time in doing so. How do your kids help in the kitchen?