Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cooking with the kids (recipe included)

With a little patience you can cook with your kids. Just make sure that you have age appropriate tasks for them and there will be nothing but smiles (and some good memories).

I was craving some Green Bean casserole so that is what we made. For this you really need to have fresh green beans. I tried it once with canned and then swore I would never make it again! Don't be afraid of fresh food. I know it is easier to pick up the cans of veggies at the market but really it is cheaper if you do it yourself. For example: These greens need to be cleaned (ends snapped off) and halved. Right above them for $2 more there they were already done. No thank you. I have three kids and a husband to feed. I can do the work myself.

So now that you have your green beans you are going to need some assistants.

Here are mine. So cute!

Now at first I was going to have red here help snap the ends off the green beans but that proved too difficult for her. So I snapped them off. I showed her how to properly use a knife and she cut them into halves. Her 2 year old sister here got the halves and put them in the measuring cup and later the coliander. They had a blast and so did I. We then dragged a chair over to the sink and they each got a turn washing the green beans. Red got a pot to boil the green beans in and we set the timer for 10 minutes. In that time we cleaned our mess and then put the scraps in a bowl for the compost pile out back ( I still need to make it though ). Check your green beans maybe at 6 minutes to see of they are fork tender. As soon as they are, drain. Ready to eat or in our case use in our recipe.

Green Bean Casserole (can also be made the day ahead and reheated, i'll tell you that later)

Time: LOL You are cooking with kids. It'll take longer but taste better.

2 cans (10 3/4 ounce ea) of Condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 Cup Milk
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp black pepper. Taste better with freshly ground pepper corns
8 cups cooked green beans (we did that above)
2 2/3 cups Frenches Fried Onions

Time to put it all together!

Put the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, beans and 1 1/3 cups onions in a 3 QT casserole dish. If you are making this a day ahead omit the onions.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 miutes or until it is bubbling. Stir the mixture and top with remaining onions. I like to put them on the outside perimeter
on the dish. Again if you are making this a day ahead omit the onions

Bake for another 5 minutes or until the onions are a golden brown. I had the assistants watch through the oven door and 'tell' me when it was done. I still set the time though because with littl ones you never know who will hit who first. I would end up forgetting that I was cooking. Bad I know.

Now you are done! This is a great recipe to do together. With homeschool and my own buisness
it can get hard to carve out the time. Planning ahead, even if it is that morining and only for that day helps. I like to set goals of what I would like to accomplish for the day rather than a To Do List. Just a play on words that makes a difference with me.

Okay now for if you make this dish a day ahead.....

You have just taken it out of the oven. I like to put it on my wire cookie rack to cool. Let cool to room temp. Cover will alum. foil and put in fridge.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Take alum. foil off . Now stir in those 1 1/3 cups of onions. Replace alum. foil losely over your casserole dish. This will help keep the heat in. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling. This way you know it is heated through. To cut down on cooking time you can set it for 15 mintues and at your halfway mark, stir it. When bubbling, add the remaining onions. Cook for additional 5 minutes or until they are golden brown. I almost think it tastes better this way.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. It really looks like a lot of work went into it when in reality it didn't. It is great for a homeschool lesson. Little ones can count the green beans, use them for addition, subtraction. They can also sort from big to small and group like ones together. Older ones can use them for muliplication and divison. They can also use the measuring cup. Sneak the lessons in whenever you can. Cooking is a great way to do it.Here is peanut mixing the ingredients before we add the green beans. She is an expert at this. :)

1 comment:

Katharine Yuan said...

What cute girls! And "peanut" is cooking with no shirt on, how adorable! Great post!