Monday, March 14, 2011

My new Kitchen Assistant Starts today!!

My first born and always eager 9 year old daughter wants to learn to cook. This came, just after I told her how I got paid an allowance to make dinner from the time I was about 11 on. She is ready to start her training. As Executive Chef of Chez Bellah, I have determined she should start as a kitchen assistant and start with prep work.

Being focused on natural and living foods, means that our kitchen processes LOTS of fruits and vegetables- one of the things that often slows me down is the peeling, seeding, chopping, slicing, dicing and storage of our fresh produce. We use our dehydrator some and have been known to freeze ahead for smoothies, soups and "personal packets" (easy to grab and reheat or thaw items pre-portioned for 1-2). We could do both more to ensure that we use all parts of our fresh produce before it goes bad. I also like the variety these items provide.

We are making aprons (well decorating ones I saved from various server jobs in restaurants over the years) and I think chef's hats would make it fun... and of course the three year old gets to join us for this activity. The girls are charged with finding any toys games or puzzles about food, and collecting all the toy food and cleaning the play kitchen today, as well.

Here are some resources I found to help me in lesson planning.

A fun word search for cooking terms and recipe terminology.

Free pdf downloads, although I would love the book just can't afford it right now!

This one is college level, but has lots of useful info and can be scaled down easily- I like the flip book activity and the writing worksheet for creating a descriptive menu.

From just these three sources there is plenty to cover a couple or weeks of daily activities, and I am sure I will be finding more!
Oats & Quinoa soaking overnight.
Wow- amazing what a delicious and nutritious breakfast does for you, huh? This morning I had Oats & Quinoa with dried fruits. Soaked both overnight then brought to a boil, simmered for 10 minutes, and added a splash of almond milk. Simple, satisfying and sweet!

Dried fruits awaiting re-hydration.
The quinoa adds a wonderful chewy "pop" and complements the re-hydrated cranberries perfectly. Next time I don't think I would use any raisins, maybe some dried mango instead?

This recipe is inspired by one in Vitality Foods for Health & Fitness by Pierre Jean Cousin & Kirsten Hartvig. I have also been perusing another favorite because I love the idea of having my own dried fruits on hand next time- and I do have a dehydrator after all!

1 comment:

  1. That's great! I love it now that Bren is 11 and can really honestly help in the kitchen doing prep work and clean-up. She loves to cook and took some classes at Young Chef Academy here until they closed business which was so sad. She was so inspired to try new foods while she was taking classes there but now she's back to being super picky again.


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