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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Kids On Food: Pancakes!

I started thinking...especially after my Blog Talk Radio chat with am I getting my children involved in the kitchen?  I mean, I am.  It's just a natural part of day to day activities around here.  Kind of hard not to be since I'm so food-centered.  But like everything I do, I want to be mindful and in-the-midst of what I'm doing, so I'm going to throw some of what the kiddos are doing into the fun here!  It may be sporadic...a little morsel of knowledge, something I learned from them (happens constantly), an observation they made, something they like to cook, something they are learning to create in the kitchen, food they like to get the gist.  More roads...leading to the kitchen.  Since food is such a big part of our life, I guess I realized they deserved their time here, too!  So, whenever you see the Kids on Food'll get a little bit of foodie fun with one or all of....
The Players:

...with appearances by yours truly and MexiChef.

An early favorite to both make and eat by these players...PANCAKES!  Pancakes are a great starting point for kids in the kitchen.  They can get involved at an early age, by learning about measurements.  Get them familiar by getting some fun, colorful measuring cups and spoons with large numbers and letters on them.  Ask them to show you which one is 1/3 c. or 1 tsp., etc.  Sneak in that learnin'!  What small child doesn't love to dig into the flour and count out the eggs?  They also love to crack the eggs.  Just make sure the eggs are cracked into the bowl first, or into a separate bowl so any accidental shell pieces can be lifted out before getting mixed in. 

ST likes to measure the ingredients and mix them up.  He's even pouring them onto the hot skillet...assisted, of course! 

DQ's favorite thing is cracking eggs...but she also enjoys measuring and mixing.  Just recently she announced that she can flip them without help.  She's right...she can!  That was one of the first things the kids learned...watching for the pancakes to be "ready"!

Of course, LT is a pro by now...he's usually the one to make pancakes around the house these days.  He wants to!  He does it from start to finish.  And they're beauties! 

First thing they learned once they were old enough to pour it on the hot use their eyes!  Cooking is such a sensual experiences- we utilize them all!  Watch for the bubbles to form and start bursting, and for edges to start looking dry.  You can count on this to ensure a golden underside.  Okay, maybe your first one will be a little dark or a little light...this is the part that lets you know whether the heat is too high or not (they like that...being in control).
But the part they like the most...eating food that they made themselves.  You can see it on their faces! A sense of pride.  And that puts a big smile on my face.  Plus, it gives them bragging rights...who makes the best pancakes? 
"Pancakes have to be my favorite thing to make...'cuz they're easy and fun." ...LT

Our current favorite pancakes...they taste like the awesome ones you get when you go out to breakfast at the diner. The secret...malt powder!!  Plus, they're healthier w/ the addition of whole wheat flour (currently using half AP & half WW).  If your kids think they don't like whole wheat...start w/ replacing half of the white flour...and use White Whole Wheat flour.  Bet they won't even notice.  Sneak that wholesome goodness in...tell 'em later.
...don't forget the add-ins!  Simply add your choice to your favorite pancake mix recipe and enjoy.  Here's some the shout-outs (literally, I asked...they shouted!) in our house:

*Malt Powder/ Malted Milk Powder (regular, not chocolate...though come to think of it, that may not be all that bad, either)
*Chocolate Chips (any variety)
*Bananas, sliced or mashes
*Bacon (cooked)
*Sausage (cooked)
*Cheese (shredded)
*Pumpkin (cooked & pureéd)

...what are your family's favorite type of pancakes??

Stay tuned for more KIDS ON FOOD in the future.  I'm not really going to do it on a schedule, just as something comes along that they want to share...or I want to share... Knowledge is power, afterall!

------>While the kitchen is my refuge, my playground, my canvas and I enjoy spending "me" time here...I don't want to exclude the kids from it all the time.  Who knows?  One day one of them may find their refuge in the kitchen, as well.....