Recipe by Sinaso Martins, Food Styling & tips by Thulisa Martins, Photographs by Dylan Swart http:www.dylanswart.com
Ever since I started seeing kids cook remarkable food on popular TV shows, I’ve had an urge to get mine started too. Cooking with Kids is so much fun, if planned properly, it could save you lots of time when getting dinner ready, let lone breakfast. Not only does this help you bond with your kids, they learn valuable skills too. If you don’t know your way in the kitchen either then try Sinaso’s pasta recipe to get you going! this will get you going like a pro too and your family and friend will love you for this.
Tip 1 – Choose the prefect date to start
If the idea of having the kids in the kitchen has been at the back of your mind for a while and nothing has happened yet, maybe its because, no specific date has been put to place. Setting an achievable date to start will give you a deadline to work towards and you are more than likely to get started. A great example was when I set a date with my nine year old Sinaso to cook with Him on a particular friday after school. This brought the next tip into place too – Excitement!, we were going to cook dinner together :). When setting a time and date, bear in mind to choose a time when you ‘hopefuly’ will be calm, not rushing to another place and you have a little extra time to spare.
Tip 2 – Get the them excited and involved
Kids can be very creative, ask them what they would like to cook. This will get them very interested and will make sure that they are cooking on the day and not have you doing all the work while they slowly loose interest and disappearing to their usual routine. When kids are involved in the planning, this could eliminate confusion on the day and most likely ensure 100% participation on the day. See how Sinaso was excited when peeping through the ingredients I got for the dish in His shopping bag.
Tip 3 – KISS
“Keep it simple sweet heart” applies hear too. Try to plan easy manageable dishes with your munchkin. I once made the mistake of starting Sinaso on making fudge, even though I had nailed the excitement bit as He loves fudge – I ended up doing most of the work as this involved a bit of technique – having said that we’ve got fudge banked now! so practice does create perfection. Keeping it simple will also assist you in being patient and calm when questions arise like how to crack an egg open arise, some things come as second nature to us, yet we forget that we were also thought at some stage 🙂
Tip 4 – Safety & hygiene
Teach the kido’s straight from the start to wash hands, taste with a teaspoon and rinse it etc, this will go a long way for you and your child. Make sure that they are safe – using a step if they are not yet tall enough to work on surfaces. Wearing long sleeves if they will be stirring pots and an apron goes a long way. Think of other ways to make sure they are protected. Like the fudge for instant, I do the step of stirring and whisking hot fudge sauce to get it to the correct consistency. Before we get to the last step – don’t forget to scroll down to Sinaso’s recipe below.
Tip 5 – Have fun and Relax
Having fun and a positive attitude about the experience will get you doing this more often while your little one masters the techniques in the kitchen and perhaps you too ‘wink’. Chill out, it will be messy in the kitchen, just have fun and teach hygiene as said above, washing hands before cooking and in-between handling raw and cooked food. Get a sibling or friends involved too.
If you have enjoyed this, please do not hesitate to comment on what you would like to see more off. Or follow me on twitter – @thulisa_martins to check out more crazy cooking adventures. If you are more Facebook savvy, then its Thulisa Martins (The African Chic).
Sinaso’s saucy beef meat balls with pasta and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
Enough for a family of four, very easy to make and it takes 1 hour 30 minutes, it could be 30 minutes less if the sauce is made the day before.
For the garlic and basil sauce
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
45ml olive oil 2 tins chopped italian tomatoes
Large kiddies handful or small adult handful mixed fresh tomatoes of your choice
Large kiddies handful or small adult handful fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
For the meat balls
500g beef minced meat
2 large eggs, beaten
5 sprigs of thyme, only leaves to be used
45g bread crumbs
salt and pepper to season
500g cooked paste of your choice – follow the packaging instructions to cook it
Parmesan cheese, optional
A little fresh basil
To make the sauce, in a large deep saucepan, fry the onion and garlic for 2 minutes in the olive oil over medium heat. add the tined tomatoes and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 1 hour, adding a little bit of water if the sauce gets too thick. Stir at least three times in-between. Add the fresh tomatoes and basil. Season and cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat. The sauce can be made a day in advance and stored covered in the fridge.
To make the meat balls, mix all the ingredients together until mushed. Roll in the palm of your hands into small balls. Put them flat on a roasting tray and place, covered with cling film in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight. Pre-heat the oven to 180C, remove the plastic and roast meat balls for 20 minutes until cooked. Grill them for 3 minutes to get them a little bit golden brown. Mixed the cooked meat balls with the sauce and serve on pasta with parmesan and basil. ENJOY!