Cooking with the Kids & A Great New Recipe

Chef Little Man preparing the roast cauliflower

Lately I have been trying to invite the kids to get more involved in our daily cooking activities.  Little Man particularly enjoys being creative in the kitchen and Little Girl just plain enjoys being “Mommy’s little kitchen helper”.

Little Man actually has created his own sauce recipe for our homemade pizzas.  It is delicious!  He also makes his own dipping sauce for those great baguettes we buy from Publix.

I think he will thank us in the future when he can cook for himself and knows a thing or two about saving money on his groceries.  And his future wife will be grateful that he can vacuum carpets, put out the trash, mow the lawn (almost), and put his clothes away.  I plan on adding to that list  (hello laundry room) and making sure the toilet lid gets put down after cleaning it.  (At least I can claim that I taught him and he practiced.)

Anyway, today I wanted to try two new recipes that I have come across in the last week.  It is always great to have something to put on the “Cook This One Again!” list.  The dish is grilled chicken with Frank’s red hot sweet chili sauce, cilantro lime rice, and roasted cauliflower.

I think Frank’s red hot sweet chili sauce is a fairly new product.  We discovered we love it on sauteed chicken.  Little Man says it tastes like General Tso’s Chicken.  It occurred to me today that it would probably rock on grilled chicken.

The cilantro lime rice recipe is from Annie’s Eats.  Our whole family loves fresh cilantro, particularly in salsa.  One time somebody dropped off cilantro and rice at our home when I was healing from neck surgery.  It was delicious!  This recipe is even better with the addition of lime juice, olive oil, and fresh chopped garlic.

I have been wanting to roast cauliflower in the oven for awhile and today was the day to do it.  I found the recipe at Simply Recipes.  There wasn’t any lemon juice in my refrigerator so I used limes for that too.  I forgot to sprinkle the parmesan cheese on the cauliflower at the end, yet this was delicious.

Once all the dishes were prepared individually I took the cilantro lime dressing that was intended for the rice and put it on the chicken as well.  Oh-my-gosh! (Or is that “Bam!”)  The sweet chili and the tangy lime cilantro flavor mixed together was terrific!  I will be doing that again for sure.

During all this cooking Little Man learned how to loosen the skin of garlic by pressing the clove with the flat side of a knife.  He learned safety skills while chopping food.  He learned how to squeeze limes and use a food processor properly.  In the process he decided he wanted to try a new dish because he was personally invested in it. (Hated the cauliflower but loved the roasted garlic mixed in.  Loved chicken grilled with sweet chili sauce.)

Little Girl learned how to hold a knife with Mommy’s hand over hers, and the importance of keeping fingers out of the way.  And she came up with the idea of making the letter “J” with chopped garlic! (She’s a natural at teaching)

I like the idea that my kids are learning to become independent and how to work as a team not only in the kitchen but in our home in general.  Everyone is expected to contribute in an age appropriate way.

Our society preaches academics, academics, academics.  Academics are important of course, but a generation of people who have a lot of book knowledge with little practical skills often leads to the attitude that they should be served by others instead of having a servant heart.

This of course is just my opinion, but I think if children grow up with the expectation that they will contribute to their current family, then it won’t be a chore and may even be a blessing to be able to serve and provide for their families. A servant’s heart will come naturally.

That is a gift worth giving to them and their families!

Ta da! with a little creamed corn too

Can you guess the letter?
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