Today we tried a recipe from a book that was recently recommended to me by a friend after I shared our last muffin-making extravaganza and my desire for more kid-friendly recipes. The book is Salad People and More Real Recipes: A New Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up (2005) by Mollie Katzen.
I love, love the idea behind this book: empowering children to become active, excited participants in preparing fun foods in the kitchen. I’m still crossing my fingers for one of my kiddos to become the next Wolfgang Puck or Cat Cora, so I’m doing all I can from my end.
We chose to try Chewy Energy Circles today for two reasons: 1. we had all of the ingredients in the pantry, and 2. who doesn’t need more energy in the middle of February? (I do, but the kids don’t, and I didn’t think of that before we started.)
- Chewy Energy Circles: Maddy and Owen had a blast with this recipe, because unlike the (gulp!) muffins we make way too often, this recipe didn’t call for an electric mixer; rather, it called for hand mixing–with hands! Right there in the picture!
They also loved this one not only because it was new but because it involved our friendly muffin pan, since that’s where the Energy Circles get their shape.
Maddy and Owen both flew downstairs after their rest times, knowing that they’d be able to try their new creation. I have to admit that I am a seasoned sweet-tooth and so are my kiddos, but with a little tweaking and personalizing of these Chewy Energy Circles, I think they may become a new favorite.
The layout of this book and its partner, Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up (1994), is brilliant. Mollie Katzen’s artwork decorates the name of each recipe, then she lists quotes from tiny cooks (“Peeling is like giving the cucumber a haircut.” -Zachary on Cool Cucumber Soup, in Salad People). Next, she gives some notes to the Grown-Ups and presents the recipe the way we all know recipes to be formatted: ingredients & directions. But the super-cool part is that for each recipe, a comic strip-like step-by-step instruction for how to make the recipe is included. Words accompany the pictures, which I liked and which is totally beneficial for our emerging reader-chefs.
I have just tonight found Mollie Katzen’s website, and it totally rocks. It’s packed with recipes, children’s recipes (with the cool pictures!), and a cool blogger whose pictures and details of mouth-watering recipes makes me want to close the laptop and get the oven goin’.
My kiddos look for any opportunity to throw on their aprons, and today was no different. I know that although Chewy Energy Circles were not an absolute snack-sensation here, that next time I pull out these books and shout out for helpers, I’ll hear tiny footsteps in seconds. I love days when our learning takes place in the kichen.