Today’s post comes courtesy of The Hubs aka Tyler. It has been a while since he’s done a review, so when a copy of Dad’s Book of Awesome Recipes by Mike Adamick arrived on our doorstep, I knew this would be perfect for him – I mean, he is a dad and likes to cook….
So take it away Tyler….
As a dad with nearly 8 years under my belt, I’ve found that kids are really good doing at least one thing….eating!
Not everything put on their plate, mind you, but their favorites — usually anything involving cheese, peanut butter, or some type of breaded chicken object shaped like a dinosaur, Minion or something similar. My kids love breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, although my son is not to partial to any kind of vegetables. His sister, on the other hand, is game to try anything, at least once. She even tried daddy’s special hot sauce-infused potato chips. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, kiddo!
Since I think a lot about food, and they think a lot about food, I thought it would probably be a good idea that I move them away from this abstract notion that things to eat magically appear.
Why not get them thinking a bit more about how it all comes together? How you can take a few simple ingredients that may not be so exciting or even edible on their own, add the magical alchemy that is cooking, and voila! You have something you baked, cooked or grilled that actually tastes pretty good….maybe even better than a microwaved chicken nugget swimming in ketchup!
It was with those good intentions I approached the new book Dad’s Book of Awesome Recipes by Mike Adamick.
I really want to have my kids see how much fun cooking can be. Well, and admittedly, I am still a little bitter that my parents wouldn’t buy me an Easy-Bake Oven when I was 8 years old. Hey it was the 70s! Cooking was something girls did. If they had seen how manly, not to mention rich, people like Bobby Flay and Marcus Samuelsson are, perhaps they would have let me experience the joy of baking my very own dry piece of pound cake under a light bulb…but I digress.
My son is a bread fanatic. He will sit at a meal in a restaurant and ask for piece after piece of a pedestrian Italian loaf on our table while completely ignoring whatever he’s ordered for a meal. He recently discovered King’s Hawaiian Bread, which is slightly sweet and soft , and which I usually refrain from having in the house because of the fear that I myself could eat an entire loaf in one sitting.
He wouldn’t have to wait for yeast to rise (boring!) or knead the dough for 10 minutes (have you seen a 7-year-old boy’s fingernails?). He could measure, mix and make a mess, and best of all, from start to finish do everything on his own. Well, except the oven stuff- I’m not ready to cede complete control over everything! If the popovers were a success, he’d wind up with something light and slightly sweet, which is right in the zone for him.
So out came the eggs, flour, butter, milk and salt. We started off by carefully measuring out each ingredient – some of the flour wound up on the table…and on his pants. He was excited to crack the eggs and did a pretty good job -I only had to fish out one small piece of shell. Hey, that’s better than I usually do. He whisked it around until the eggs were a sunny, uniform yellow, added in milk, flour and the butter.
I gave him the salt grinder and tried to explain the concept of a “dash”, something I admittedly do not completely understand. Is it more or less than a pinch? A taste?
He stirred out most of the lumps (I had to finish it up a bit) and we were done. It didn’t take more than 15 minutes or so to prep the batter.
Batter up! He neatly poured the mix into each of the cups of the new muffin pan I bought. Ok, I lied. He wasn’t neat. Not hardly. But after I wiped up the spills it looked pretty good-and into the oven it went. The recipe said it takes 25-35 minutes to bake-hey guess what? He has 30 minutes of reading for school he hasn’t done yet. Perfect timing!
After about 25 minutes he put down whatever Captain Underpants book he was reading for the umpteenth time and checked on the popovers. They had risen quite a bit. The eggs gave them some springiness and helped fluff them up. We stuck in a wooden skewer and it came out clean, so they were basically done. But since they were a little more light yellow than golden brown, we opted to leave them in for a few more minutes, and then took them out to cool.
He instructed me to use two oven mitts since the popovers were so hot coming out of the oven. He of course wanted to have one immediately, but was able to restrain himself enough to let them cool for a few minutes. They easily popped out of the pan. It was time for the taste test.
He held one in his hand and took a small bite. The look in his eyes and smile on his face were really something – he made something himself, and wow, it tasted good! I was immediately taken back to one of my favorite-yet-annoying commercials as a child-where a little southern girl exclaims after tossing around drumsticks in a bag of seasoned cornmeal, “It’s Shake-n-Bake! And ahhh helped!”
He wanted to immediately share with Mom, since he was so proud of his success. He also wanted to eat about 5 more of the muffins, but I put the kibosh on that and promised him he could have one in his lunch the next day.
So mission accomplished. I got him to have the fun of making something he could enjoy and eat, and there wasn’t a big mess afterwards. I am looking forward to trying out some of the other great recipes in the book like ‘Sloppyish Joes,’ ‘Lasagna Cup Cakes’ and ‘Yogurt Fruit Pops.’
Hey, maybe I can even trick him into eating a vegetable!
Thanks again Tyler! Don’t forget you can follow Tyler’s musings on Twitter at @dadandmarried
Now it’s your turn to share. What’s the first dish you ever learned to cook on your own?
For Full Disclosure: The Harried Mom was not compensated for this post. However, I did receive a copy of Dad’s Book of Awesome Recipes for review purposes. This post does not include any affiliate links. As always, the opinions expressed in this post and on The Harried Mom blog are all my very own and are not influenced in any way. Please do your own research before purchasing any products as your opinion may differ.
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