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Welcome to My Kitchen

Teaching kids to cook; what do you eat?


Summertime is ideal for teaching kids to cook. By age 9, young people can begin to master dishes involving boiling water for cooking pasta, eggs and packaged meals, measuring and mixing ingredients for cookies and muffins, and oven baking. Once they are familiar with how a range and oven works, and learn general safety precautions, they can begin mastering, blenders, mixers, food processors and other kitchen implements. Most kids start of with reheating food in a microwave oven, but learning from scratch cooking is a valuable skill for life.

Dakota Steward, loves Deviled Eggs and wanted to know how to make them. Velma Provost and Alice Schmierer sent deviled eggs, among many other tasty treats, to the Junior High session of Vacation Bible School. This started our conversation about making Deviled Eggs.

Basic Deviled Eggs include, eggs, mayonnaise, maybe a bit of mustard, salt and pepper. Then there is no end of items you can add to the egg filling or as garnish.

Basic Deviled Eggs

6 large eggs

3-4 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/2-1 tsp prepared mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Paprika (for garnish)

Cooking items you will need:

2 quart saucepan with lid

Large spoon

Egg piercer/poker

Table knife

Medium size bowl

Dinner fork

Kids, if you have never used a kitchen stove, get some instruction and approval from your parents.

Use the egg piercer to poke a pin size whole in the rounded end each egg, set aside while you bring water to boil.

Place 2 inches of hot tap water in the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. When water boils, carefully lower eggs, one at a time with the large spoon, into the boiling water. Be careful, you don’t want to splash boiling water on yourself.

Adjust temperature to about medium, so the water is boiling gently. Set timer for 15 minutes. When timer sounds, turn stove burner off. Carefully drain water from saucepan into sink. Immediately fill pan with cold water, drain and refill with cold water, several times to cool eggs. Refrigerate eggs until completely cold, about one hour.

Peel eggs and carefully cut eggs in half with table knife. Place the yolks in a medium size bowl. Set the egg halves on a plate or deviled egg tray.

Use a dinner fork to mash the yolks. Add the mustard, salt and pepper and enough of the mayonnaise to make a creamy mixture. Spoon mixture into egg halves. Sprinkle lightly with ground paprika. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Yield: 1 dozen (12)

Notes: if you have farm fresh eggs, set aside eggs for about two weeks for boiling. Fresh eggs do not peel well. An egg piercer is an essential kitchen tool for successful boiled eggs. Fox Run brand is inexpensive and works well.

So many summer salads contain hard boiled eggs, and potato salad is often a kid favorite. Scrub potatoes for your salad and place in a large saucepan or kettle with water an inch above the potatoes. Bring to a boil and add the pierced eggs on top of the potatoes. Set timer for 15 minutes. When timer sounds, remove eggs to cold water with a slotted spoon. Drain and add cold water several times until cool. Refrigerate until completely cooled. Continue cooking the potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes more. Drain and chill. Now you have the two basic potato salad ingredients.

Hearty Potato Salad is a meal in one dish salad. The addition of cooked, cubed chicken and peas and carrots makes this a well rounded dish.

Hearty Potato Salad

3 cups cooked, peeled, cubed potatoes

1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed

2 hard cooked eggs, peeled and chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp vinegar

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked chicken.

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, vegetables and eggs. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, and black pepper, stir until smooth. Stir dressing into potato mixture. Add chicken and toss with two spoons until evenly distributed. Cover and chill about one hour. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Note: left over grilled chicken is wonderful in this recipe.

Ranch Salad Dressing is a favorite with kids, and adults, for dipping vegetables and French fries. This is fun for kids to make and helps them learn about spices and herbs. You may never purchase the bottled kinds again.

Ranch Salad Dressing

1 tsp onion powder

2 tsp garlic salt

2 tsp Accent (msg)

2 tsp crushed, dried parsley

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp cider vinegar

1 pint (2 cups) mayonnaise

1 pint buttermilk, (or half sour cream and half buttermilk) if you want thicker for dip.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well until very smooth. Pour into jars or bottles and refrigerate. Dressing/Dip keeps two weeks. Yield: one quart.

Note: if you like dill ranch, add 1-2 tsp dried dill weed according to your taste. Increase black pepper to 3/4 tsp if you like black pepper ranch dressing.

Kids, I would love to know what you are cooking this summer. Share your recipes and cooking tips at the address below.

Many of you check Pinterest for recipe and menu ideas. Check the numerous pins on Laura Estes, “To Try” board. What recipes should I try next? Share your choices, and favorite recipe boards you think I should follow by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record. P. O. Box 458, Odessa, WA 99159, email or, drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in The Odessa Record office. Summer is a good time to start composting kitchen scraps and flower bed trimmings. Just make sure your compost is contained to avoid wild animals and neighborhood dogs and cats, rummaging about in it. Coffee grounds and filters, all peelings, flower dead heads, leaves, even torn up unvarnished cardboard and brown paper compost well. Add water from time to time to keep moist.


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