Kitchen for Kids contains more than 100 easy, yummy recipes that let children
work safely in the kitchen (no sharp knives, no stove-top cooking). The
instructions are detailed but not overwhelming. Every recipe has been
successfully tested by kids aged four to 11, helping them discover the thrill of
cooking from scratch.
The fabulous photos by talented Mark Burstyn are excellent. This delightful
kid-friendly cookbook is ideal for Chanukah gift-giving. Without a doubt, the
kids will use it all-year round!
There are lots of recipes for sweets such as cakes, cookies and desserts –
isn’t that the most direct path to a child’s heart? Who wouldn’t love
Gooshy S’More Cakes, Sweet Snowflakes or Alphabet Cookies? There are also
tempting recipes for Big Soft Pretzels, Peek-a-Boo Meatloaf and Noisy French
Cindy Beer, a busy Thornhill mom, always meant to get her kids involved in
cooking, but somehow it just never happened. I decided it was time for Cindy to
start “kidding around” in the kitchen! I handed her a copy of Kitchen for
Kids and told her to let Daniel, almost 10, and
Shoshana, 6, pick several
recipes they would like to make. The kids made “a whole bunch” of choices,
then Cindy pared down the list and helped them choose two recipes.
Daniel and Shoshana decided on
Chocolate-Mint Pinwheel Lollies. They loved the
picture of the cookies, so their choice was easy! Cindy was determined to
include a healthy main dish, so she chose Tuna Fish Patties, since they’re
baked, not fried.
Cindy put all the ingredients out on the kitchen table, as the kids helped her.
Cindy lined the baking pan for them and softened the butter in the microwave.
The kids measured out the sugar and added it to the bowl. They mixed the butter
mixture, with a little help from Mom. Daniel broke the egg and added it. He
carefully measured each ingredient, then Shoshana added it to the bowl.
Mixing was a bit difficult, so the kids used their hands. They loved squishing
the dough! They dropped the blobs of dough and flattened them with their
knuckles, with Mom guiding them. Mom started rolling the dough into a cylinder
and the kids finished it up. Daniel cut the cookies, under Mom’s nervous eyes.
It was hard for Cindy to let them do things on their own. She was worried about
them getting egg shells in the batter and making a mess, but she decided to
relax and let them do their thing. The kids inserted the Popsicle sticks, then
waited with bated breath for the cookies to be ready. They were slightly browner
than they might have been, but that was Mom’s fault – she didn’t check
them soon enough!
“Daniel and Shoshana did an A-1 job!” says Cindy.
Conclusion: “We’ll make these again, but next time we’ll omit the
peppermint extract and replace it with extra vanilla extract.” (Daniel decided
he doesn’t like mint, but Shoshana does.)
Shoshana helped Cindy make the tuna patties and it was a good learning
experience. There wasn’t any onion salt, so they added a little extra salt.
Cindy forgot to buy dried dill, so they omitted it. They didn’t have
saltine-type crackers, so they crushed up some croutons together, then added a
little extra matzah meal to make up the difference. Shoshana mixed up the tuna
mixture, then shaped and coated the patties with cereal and put them on the
baking sheet. They came out delicious and crunchy!
Conclusion: These would make a good choice for Chanukah. Everyone ate them. The
adults enjoyed them and the kids ate them up, although Shoshana prefers plain
tuna right out of the can.
“Next time we’ll try them with salmon,” Cindy says.
CHOCOLATE-MINT PINWHEEL LOLLIES
Supplies: 8x8-inch pan, plastic wrap, baking sheet, parchment paper, bowls,
measuring cups and spoons, baking spatula or wooden spoon, dinner knife, about
18 wooden Popsicle sticks
1 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 cup white sugar
1 large egg
3 tbsp. corn syrup
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
flour for dusting
1/2 cup plus
1/3 cup butter mixture
1 tsp. peppermint extract
about 8 drops of green food colouring
cups all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
rest of butter mixture
1 tsp. vanilla extract
cup unsweetened cocoa powder (spoon in, level)
2/3 cups all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
Line the square pan with plastic wrap and lots of overhang. Line a baking sheet
with parchment paper.
To make the butter mixture, in a large bowl, use a baking spatula or wooden
spoon to cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg, corn syrup, baking soda and
salt. Mix well.
To make the mint dough, measure out 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup of butter mixture into
another large bowl and add a drop of green food colouring to it so you won’t
have a mix-up. (Don’t mix up the two bowls of butter mixture because they are
different amounts.) Set aside.
To make the chocolate dough, use the butter mixture in the bowl that does not
have the food colouring. Add the vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix well. Gradually
stir in 1 2/3 cups flour. When the dough gets too stiff, use your hands to knead
it into a smooth ball, working inside the bowl.
If the dough is too sticky, knead in 1 tsp. of flour. Pinch off and drop big
blobs of the Chocolate Dough into the lined pan. Press them down to cover the
bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Dust pans with flour, if needed.
Chill the pan for about 10 minutes. (Don’t leave it for much longer or it will
get too stiff to roll.) Wash your hands.
While the Chocolate Dough chills,
finish making the Mint Dough. Stir the peppermint extract and another 7 drops of green food colouring into the
butter mixture in the second bowl for a bright colour. Mix well.
Gradually stir in
cups flour. When the dough gets too stiff, use your hands
to knead it into a smooth ball, working inside the bowl.
The dough might seem crumbly at first, but keep squeezing and it will soften.
After chilling the chocolate dough, drop blobs of mint dough on top and press to
cover the chocolate dough.
Dust hands with flour, if needed. Use the plastic to lift the square of dough
out of the pan and onto your work table. Keep the plastic under the dough.
To make it easy to roll, use the heels of your hands to flatten one side of the
dough to 1/4 in. thick. (Flatten 2 inches into the slab.) Place this flattened
strip in front of you to begin rolling. Lift the plastic to help you roll the
dough into a tight cylinder. Pat the ends in. Wrap the dough in the plastic. If the cylinder is fatter in
some parts than others, roll the fatter parts a few times to even it out.
You should have a cylinder that is
inches in diameter. Chill 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to
After chilling, remove the plastic, then use a dinner knife
to cut the cylinder into 1-inch thick rounds. Or a grown-up can cut it with a
sharp knife. If the dough is too stiff to cut, let it warm up a little first.
rounds on the lined baking sheet at least 3 inches apart. Insert wooden sticks into
the rounds so they look like lollipops. Pat the rounds back into circles if they
Bake the cookies about 16 minutes, or until the edges are firm, the tops are no
longer shiny and the green dough is still green. (If baked too long, the green
dough will turn golden.)
They might be slightly soft in the middle, but will firm up once cooled. Cool
completely on the sheet.
Makes about 20 Chocolate-Mint Pinwheel
Supplies: baking sheet, parchment paper, measuring cups and spoons, heavy
plastic bag, rolling pin or coffee mug, bowls, fork or pastry blender
1½ cups cornflake cereal
1 tsp. vegetable oil
6-oz. can of solid white tuna
about 10 saltine-type crackers (for 1/2 cup crumbs)
2 large egg whites
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. onion salt
¼ tsp. dried dill
¼ tsp. dried oregano
pinch of pepper
Preheat oven to
350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Seal the cornflakes in a heavy plastic bag. Crush them with a rolling pin or
coffee mug to the size of rolled oats. Pour into a bowl. Drizzle in the
vegetable oil and stir with a fork to coat. Set aside.
Get help opening and
draining the can of tuna. Put the tuna into a bowl and mash into small flakes
with a fork or pastry blender.
Put the crackers in a plastic bag and crush the same way as the cornflakes. Add
1/2 cup cracker crumbs to the bowl of tuna. Except for the cornflakes, add the
rest of the ingredients and mix well with a fork.
Shape the tuna into four
1-inch thick patties. Roll the patties in the cornflake
crumbs to coat all sides.
Place on the lined baking sheet. Bake about 25
minutes, until the cornflake crumbs are lightly browned.
Makes 4 tuna fish