April 19, 2010

Cooking with Kids

Since the hubs and I work at a culinary school, of course my children have been practically raised around fresh food, creative recipes, and people who love to cook for a living. Like almost all families, we have a few consistent recipes that we often make at home, and most of our celebrations, birthdays and holidays are centered around delicious food. All three children like to cook. Lizzie seems to prefer baking, but even she is open to creating savory dishes, such as Indian Dal and Oven Roasted Garlic served on a crispy baguette.

Emma is a wonderful little cook. She called me over the weekend from her friend’s house to find out if there was an appropriate substitute for eggs as she was making pancake batter after spending the night. (Before I could even fill her in, she had experimented successfully with mashed banana).

We spend a lot of time cooking together and talking about recipes and food. In the summer, I try to get them to visit the local Farmer's Market with me and choose the best looking veggies to serve with dinner. I've had a bit of a hard time, though, getting my little Emma to eat her veggies. I've decided to let her help even more in the process of buying those particular groceries and helping me cook them with the hopes that she'll be more inclined to taste and eat something she's had a hand in.

In the meantime, usually any veg, no matter how healthy it looks, accompanied by gooey melted cheese, will be eaten by a child.

Broccoli with Melted Chedder Cheese Dipping Sauce

  • 1 pound broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets with about 2 inches of stem attached
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard mixed with 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 6 ounces sharp or mild white cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt


In a large, deep saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Fill a steamer basket with the broccoli, add it to the saucepan, cover and steam over high heat until the broccoli is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

 Transfer the broccoli to a platter.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add the milk and cream and cook, whisking, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the mustard and cheese and cook over moderately low heat until the cheese is melted. Season the sauce with salt, transfer to a bowl and serve with the broccoli.

{recipe via Food & Wine magazine}

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