This page includes links to our Home page with recipes that we think might appeal to kids and teach them some important skills as they work in the kitchen. Our motto: Have fun and learn as you go! We've also included some basic information from Kids Classes that
we've taught across the state.

Summer 2016 Kids in the Kitchen: HOT DOG it's Summer —menu and recipe links for Brats on a Stick, Stovetop Mac-n-Cheese + Cake in a Mug @ our site: Cooking with Barry & Meta

RECIPES (click on the name in red to access the recipe)
Main Dishes
Beef Burgers or Souperburgers (stovetop cooking)
Cheesy Egg Tortilla (oven usage)
Chicken Spaghetti (chopping, stovetop - cooking pasta, sauteing, draining, using a can opener, oven usage)
English Muffin Pizza (using a toaster, mixing, oven usage)
Hamburger Stuffed Bread (knife skills, pan frying, use of a can opener, foods processor & oven)
Lasagna Roll Up's (stovetop - cooking pasta, ground beef cookery, draining, simmering, spreading a mixture, oven usage)
Lasagna, Texas-style w/ tortillas (stovetop cooking, mixing, layering, oven usage)
Meat Balls (mixing, shaping, baking in oven)
Scrambled Eggs (mixing, stovetop cooking)
Sloppy BBQ Chicken Sandwich (stovetop cooking)
Taco Stovetop Skillet (stovetop cooking)

Breakfast Cookies (measuring, use of a mixer, drop cookies, oven usage)
Caramel Popcorn (popping corn, making syrup in the microwave)
Chocolate Smoothies (blender usage)
Cranberry Jigglers (gelatin preparation)
Mini Cheese Balls (measuring, use of a mixer, shaping)
Elephant Ears (Erin provides step-by-step directions for preparing yeast breads)
Fruit Palm Tree with Yummy Yogurt Dip (creativity in the kitchen)
Granola (measuring, hand stirring, microwave & oven usage)
Hot Cocoa by the Mug (measuring, microwaving)
Peanut Butter & Jelly Power Bars (measuring, mixing, baking)
Veggie Tray Face Fun!
Peanut Butter Dip (measuring & mixing)
Pimento Cheese -- use it for to make a sandwich or as a dip (grating, mincing, measuring, chopping mixing)
Purple Power Smoothie (blender usage)
Seasoned Oyster Crackers (measuring, stirring, microwave use)
Spicy Saltines (measuring, microwave use)
Tasty O Snacks (measuring, microwave use)
Veggie Skelton -- Bone Up on Your Veggies! (creativity
in the kitchen)
Veggie Tray Faces (creativity in the kitchen)

Acorn Cookies (super simple -- just assemble purchased ingredients)
Banana "Kinda-like" Ice Cream
Cinnamon Ice Cream (measuring, use of a counter top ice cream freezer)
Chocolate Upside Down Cake (measuring, creaming, sifting, boiling, baking)
Chocolate Sauce (measuring, stovetop usage, stirring)
Fudge Squares (measuring, melting, sifting, baking)
Fudgey Brownies (measuring, sifting, blending & mixing, oven usage)
Peanut Butter Cookies (measuring, cooking making, shaping & baking, oven usage)
Chocolate Cake (measuring, sifting, mixing, 2-layer cake techniques, oven usage, frosting preparation, frosting a 2-layer cake, chocolate curl decorations (optional)
Peanut Butter Christmas Mice (older kids can measure, mix, shape & decorate / younger ones could decorate the dough that parents make) HOLIDAY RECIPE
Pumpkin Bread (quickbread preparation - measuring, mixing & baking)
Reindeer Pops (microwaving chocolate, assembling) SUPER EASY HOLIDAY RECIPE
Rice Krispie Easter Treats (measuring, stovetop usage, mixing & stirring)
Rice Krispie Ornaments (measuring, mixing, shaping & stovetop usage) HOLIDAY RECIPE
Scotch-A-Roos (measuring, stovetop usage, stirring, frosting)
Sunflower Seed Oatmeal Cookies (measuring, cooking making, shaping & baking, oven usage)

Scroll down to find the following topics:
1. Getting Organized
2. Use, Care & Safety - Kitchen Appliances & Equipment
3. Measuring Ingredients
4. A Few Food Preparation Tips 

Before You Begin
  • Read the recipe through – be sure to note needed supplies and equipment; review any unfamiliar terms or procedures.
  • Gather all ingredients and equipment. You wouldn't want to begin and then find out you're missing something.
  • Make sure you are familiar with how to run both large and small appliances. Ask an adult for assistance as needed.
  • Do any needed pre-preparation.  For example, put a pot of water on to boil before you measure out the pasta for cooking.
  • If preparing a meal, decide on the order of recipe preparation so that everything will be ready at once.
  • Always . . . wash hands before and after handling food.  When you finish preparing one recipe, be sure to wash again before beginning another food preparation.
Clean As You Go 
  • Keep hot, sudsy water in the sink. As you finish with a tool or utensil (except for knifes), put it in the hot water to soak. During food preparation, as you are waiting for the cookies to bake or pasta to cook, use this time to wash what’s in the sink.  This will avoid a stack of dirty dishes at the end of cooking and you will not run out of clean equipment as you continue with other foods.
  • Scrape pans thoroughly and then soak so that the pan will be easy to clean later. 
  • Scrape all food off dishes, into a garbage bowl or the disposal.
  • If  handwashing …wash the least dirty items first (usually glasses, dishes, silverware, pots and pans).
Range Top Safety
  • Wear close-fitting clothing whenever you use a kitchen range; loose sleeves could be ignited by electric and gas range burners. If your clothing should catch fire, don’t run; drop down immediately and roll to smother the flames!
  • Use thick, dry potholders, not towels, to move pans on the range.
  • Match the pan size to the burner size. On gas stoves, the flames should not extend beyond the bottom of the pan.
  • Cookware should be well balanced and have flat bottoms. Handles should not wobble or rotate when used. And, be sure pan handles face towards the back of the range to avoid accidents.
  • Never fill cookware more than two-thirds full. This minimizes the chance of spilling or slopping that may cause burns. 
  • Remove metal stirring spoons from pans when not stirring as heat is conducted from the pan to the spoon causing it to become very hot!
  • Turn off gas or electric unit when pan is removed from range top.
Conventional Oven Safety and Tips
  • Adjust oven racks before heating the oven.
  • Pull oven racks out before putting pans of food in a hot oven or removing the food at the end of the baking time. 
  • Be sure to have a heatproof surface ready for the hot pan BEFORE it is removed from the oven.
  • If you get burned -- immediately cool the burn in cold water. Do NOT apply butter, grease or ointments. 
Microwave Use, Care & Tips for Use
  • Choose containers that are microwave safe (glass, china and some plastics usually work). Do not use foil or metal containers in the microwave.
  • Using containers that are round or oval in shape — they help food cook evenly.  With square or rectangular shaped containers, the corners tend to receive more energy which cause food to overcook in those areas.
  • Fill containers no more than three-fourths full in order to avoid boil-overs.
  • Arrange evenly sized pieces of food in a circle for more even cooking. If food happens to be different sizes, place thicker pieces toward the outer edges and smaller pieces toward the center.
  • If your microwave does not have a turntable, stop and rotate the food at regular intervals to promote even cooking. You may need to use potholders because as the food heats, it transfer the heat to the container.
  • When cooking foods that have a skin (like potatoes), pierce the outer layer. This will help keep food from exploding as a result of steam building up from the inside.
  • Consider the amount of food — doubling the amount nearly doubles the cooking time.
  • Consider the make up of the food. Very moist foods take longer to heat than those with little moisture. Foods low if fat or sugar take longer than those high if fat or sugar.
  • Salt on the surface of the food tends to attract microwaves that can dry out the outer layer. If salt is desired, sprinkle it on after removing the food from the microwave.
  • If the cooking time in your recipe is stated as a range (cook 3 to 5 minutes on high), it is a good idea to check the food when the minimum time in up (in this case 3 minutes). 
  • Covering foods with wax paper can help them retain moisture and cook evenly. If you use a lid or plastic wrap, leave one corner open to allow steam to escape.
  • After cooking, lift wax paper, plastic wrap or a lid away from you to avoid being assaulted by hot steam.
  • To clean stuck-on food and grease from the inside of your microwave oven, heat 2 T. of lemon juice in 1 c. of water on high for 2 to 3 minutes until boiling. Do not open the door for 5 minutes after heating as the vapors from the liquid will help lift tough grit and grime from the microwave surfaces. The lemon juice will also help get rid of odors in the interior.
Blender & Food Processor – Use, Care & Safety Tips
·      Always grasp the plug, not the cord, when disconnecting an appliance from an outlet. Remove a detachable cord from the wall outlet first and then from the appliance.  Controls should be in the “off” position.
·      Always disconnect an appliance before cleaning.
·      Don’t run cords near an oven or other hot objects.
·      Make sure the jar of top of the blender is tightly screwed onto the base and that the tops rests securely in it’s base.
·      Never immerse an appliance motor base in water unless it is labeled “immersible.” Otherwise, you could damage the appliance and create a hazard. 
·      Avoid handling appliances with wet hands or when standing on a wet or damp floor.
·      Make sure the lid of the blender is secure before turning it on. 
·      Turn the blender or food processor off if you need to add or stir food -— never put a utensil in the blender when it is running and certainly NEVER use your fingers to remove items when the blender is running.
·      Check the “use” booklet to see how to correctly add ice to a blender. 
·      Avoid dangling cords — they can cause tripping or can be caught, causing the contents to spill.
·      Never fill a blender or food processor more than two-thirds to three-fourths full!
·      Food processors are designed for safety — they will not operate if lids and parts are not locked into the correct setting.
·      When using a food processor, select from pulse or continuous settings according to the task at hand.

General Knife Safety
  • Hand a knife to another person with the handle facing them. 
  • Select the correct type and size of knife for each cutting job.  Focus your attention on what is being cut and cut away from your body when moving your guiding fingers (those on the object being cut) out of the way of the knife blade.
  • Knives should be washed and dried separately, not put in the sink with other utensils & silverware.

Using A Chef’s Knife

  • Place food to be chopped on cutting board.
  • Grasp handle of chef’s knife between thumb and forefinger with fingers following curve of handle.
  • Place tip of blade on cutting board at a 45-degree angle with surface of the board.
  • Place thumb and fingers of the other hand at tip of blade, holding blade firmly to the board.
  • Keep fingers away from cutting edge.
  • Move knife down and up in a rocking motion keeping tip of blade on the
  • board; at the same time move knife back and forth across board in a quarter
  • circle. 
  • Note: When dicing celery, carrots, potatoes, onions, etc. – hold large section of vegetables with left hand (keep fingers tucked under) and slowly push pieces under blade; at the same time move knife down and up in rocking motion.
Can Opener
  • Wipe off can lids before opening to remove dust, etc.
  • Carefully dispose of can lids to prevent cuts.


·    In case of a fire – turn off heat. Pour salt or baking soda over the flames or put a lid on the pan to smother the flames. Don’t put water on a fire – it will spatter and may cause burning. Be sure you know where your kitchen fire extinguisher is located, just in case.
·    Never use an electric appliance when your hands are wet or you are standing on a wet surface, as you could get shocked. 
·    Open hot pan lids (whether on the range, in a conventional or microwave oven) away from you so the steam does not drift up into your face.
·    Wipe up spills immediately.


Measuring Dry or Solid Ingredients
Nested (graduated) measuring cups are used for dry ingredients. Standard graduated measuring cups are made in 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1 cup sizes. Measuring cups for dry or solid ingredients are usually made of metal or plastic.
  • To measure, spoon the dry ingredient (such as flour or sugar) into the cup, then level off the top with a straight-edge spatula or knife.
  • For brown sugar and shortening, spoon the ingredient in and pack it down with the back of a spoon to push out any air pockets. Normally you don't pack an ingredient unless the recipe calls for it. 
  • For grated or shredded cheese, lightly add it to the measuring cup; don't pack it unless called for in the recipe.
  • If a recipe calls for a cup of sifted flour, sift the flour onto a piece of waxed paper (or into a pan) and then spoon the flour gently into the cup (notice that you measure the 1 cup after you have sifted, not before). Do not pack down the flour or shake the cup.  Level off the top with a straight-edge spatula or knife.
  • Powdered or confectioner’s sugar, or cocoa powder often are lumpy so it is wise to sift before adding them to baked goods. In this case, measure out the amount of the ingredient, called for in the recipe, level off, and then sift. 
Measuring Small Amonuts – liquid or dry ingredients
Measuring spoons are needed for small amounts and usually include:
1/8 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1 tablespoon.
  • For 1 teaspoon of a liquid, fill the spoon to the rim.
  • For 1 teaspoon of a dry ingredient, fill above the rim and then level off the top with a straight-edge spatula or knife. But if the recipe calls for a "rounded" spoonful, don't level off the top; allow a small amount to rest above the rim of the spoon, like a small mountain. When the recipe calls for a "scant" spoonful, fill to just below the rim of the spoon.
Measuring Liquids
For liquid ingredients, you need a clear glass or plastic cup that contains a pouring spout.  The cup should also have at least 1/4” head space at top so liquids can be carried without spilling.  Liquid measuring cups are usually 1 cup but also come in 2 cup or 4 cup sizes.
  • Set the cup on the counter, pour in the liquid and bend down or stand so your eyes are level with the desired measurement line. Don't hold the cup in the air to view. 
  • When measuring syrups, honey, or molasses — grease, oil or spray the cup with cooking spray so the syrup will flow more easily.
Helpful Measuring Tips
  • Never measure directly over the mixing bowl; if you accidentally add too much, you can't correct the measurement. Fill your measurement tool to the exact level you want, then pour it into your other ingredients.
  • Measure over a baking pan, wax paper or paper towels to catch any spills that happen. If spilled ingredients are clean, you can reuse them.
  • In most recipes, the larger measurement is used both to save time measuring and for consistency. For example, if a recipe calls for 4 tablespoons, simply measure out 1/4 cup. Or, use 1 tablespoon instead of measuring out 3 teaspoons. 
Measuring Butter or Margarine
Butter and margarine are usually sold in a box containing 1 lb. or 4 sticks. Each stick contains 8 tablespoon or 1/2 cup. The wrappers are usually marked off in tablespoons so you can cut off the needed amount.
1 pound (lb.) butter = 4 sticks / 1 stick butter = 1/2 c. = 8 T.

Why and when are accurate measurements important?
Successful baking requires accurate measurements so it is important for the beginning cook to follow correct procedures. 
There are, however, recipes that allow for creativity and for the cook to utilize his/her senses – recipes such as Hamburger Stuffed Bread, for example, allow the cook to substitute different ingredients and even different amounts. If a recipe calls for “about 3 tablespoons of …,” this means that the measurement doesn’t have to be precise. Begin with a little less of the ingredient and add more if needed. If a recipe calls for a range of measurements (from 1/4 to 1/3 cup), begin with the smallest amount and add more only if needed.

Common Equivalents & Abbreviations
Dry Measuring Equivalents
1 tablespoon (T. or Tbsp.)  = 3 teaspoons (t. or tsp.)
1/8 cup (c.) = 2 tablespoons
1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons
1/3 cup = 5-1/3 tablespoons
1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons
2/3 cup = 10-2/3 tablespoons
3/4 cup = 12 tablespoons
1 cup = 16 tablespoons
            A mathematical breakdown of equivalent dry measurements:
            2 T. = 1/8 c.
            4 T. = 1/4 c.
            5 1/3 T. = 1/3 c.
            8 T. = 1/2 c.
            16 T. = 1 c.
Dash = scant 1/8 of a teaspoon
Pinch = 1/16 of a teaspoon

Common Liquid Equivalents 
1 cup = 8 fluid ounces (oz.) = 1/2 pint (pt.)
2 cups = 16 fluid ounces = 1 pint= 1/2 quart (qt.)
4 cups = 32 fluid ounces = 2 pints = 1 quart
8 cups = 64 fluid ounces = 4 pints = 2 quarts
16 cups = 1 gallon = 8 pints = 4 quarts
2 T. = 1/8 c. = 1 oz.
4 T. = 1/4 c. = 2 oz.
5 1/2 T. = 1/3 c. = 2 2/3 oz.
8 T. = 1/2 c. = 4 oz.
12 T. = 3/4 c. = 6 oz.
16 T. = 1 c. = 8 oz.

Having trouble remembering measures? Try memorizing this: “2 cups in a pint, 2 pints in a quart, 4 quarts in a gallon.”

Peeling Carrots
  1. Lay the vegetable peeler flat against the carrot.
  2. Scrape the peeler toward the counter, peeling off the skin. 
  3. Rotate the carrot until all the skin is scraped off.
  1. Set grater on a cutting board or piece of wax paper.
  2. Rub food, using a downward motion, on the cutting edges of the grater – be careful to keep your knuckles away from those cutting edges!
Breaking an Egg
  1. Tap egg firmly but gently in the center with the edge of a knife (or on the side of a bowl) so it cracks.
  2. Hold it in both hands.  Place your thumbs on the cracked area.  Press gently.  At the same time, pull each end apart.  Let the egg fall into a bowl. 
  3. If a piece of eggshell should fall into the bowl, use one of the eggshell halves to scoop out the piece. 
  4. Discard shell and be sure to wash your hands.
Cooking Fresh Vegetables in water on the range top
  • Cook for the shortest time possible.  (Heat destroys some vitamins.)
  • Use as little water as possible (Some vitamins dissolve in water.)
  • Pare or cut just before cooking. (Air & light destroy some vitamins.)
  • Prepare the largest pieces possible. (This will expose less surface area to air, light & water, helping prevent loss of nutrients.)
  • Cook with the lid on so steam, liquid and nutrients stay in the pan.
  • Consider saving the cooking liquid to use in soups, gravies and sauces.
Several years ago I compiled most of this information in a cookbook for our niece Erin. She continues to cook and this page is dedicated to her.