Posts Tagged ‘ cooking with kids ’

Mario Batali’s Sons Give Me the Scoop About Their Easy and Delicious Recipes in ‘The Batali Brothers Cookbook’

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Benno and Leo Batali have grown up eating their dad, Mario’s, fine food. It’s no surprise that these two kids know their way around a kitchen and have already co-written their first food tome, The Batali Brothers Cookbook. I’m sharing it with my first grade twins who love to eat and to help. They can easily make the boys’ recipes such as Cinnamon Swirl French Toast (see the whole thing below), Sloppy Sloppy Joe’s and Blue Cheese Pocket Burgers. Mario steps in for the second half of the book to add signature family dishes like Lamb Shanks with Leeks and Grapes and Apple Fritters.


See what Benno and Leo had to say about having Mario Batali for a dad below. Scroll down a litter further for a recipe you can do with your kids tomorrow morning.

KK: How old were you when your parents let you start cooking in the kitchen? What was/were the very first dish you prepared?
BB: We’ve always cooked withour dad.

KK: A lot of moms (like me!) are hesitant to let their kids start cooking. Why is it important to stop worrying and get our children started? I know mine really want to.
BB: Once you allow kids in the kitchen, then it’s always part of the game. Our living room is our kitchen and our kitchen is our living room. It’s only natural that we help out with the cooking. Keep the knives out of reach, but otherwise, it’s goot to get them involved.

KK: If you had to choose, what’s your absolute favorite recipe in your new book?
BB: Pocket Burgers. Hands down. It’s a simple adaptation of a classic recipe. We change what’s in the pocket depending on what we find at the farmer’s market.

KK: So tell us, what’s it like having a famous chef for a father?
BB: It’s cook that Jimmy Fallon’s been to our house for Super Bowl Sunday.

Cinnamon Swirl French Toast
This is our favorite breakfast dish to eat on the weekend because it reminds us that we should be relaxing and doing what we want. When we were younger we used to eat it every weekend, but now we only have it on special occasions, so it is a real treat for us. Makes 10 slices of French toast

3 eggs
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
10 slices cinnamon bread
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, plus more as needed
Maple syrup and butter, for serving 

1. In a bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract and nutmeg.
2. Set a cast-iron or nonstick sauté pan over medium heat.
3. Put a couple of slices of bread in the mix. Coat each side of the bread and let it sit for half a minute to soak up the egg.
4. Put 1 tablespoon of the butter in the pan and let it melt. Put the bread into the pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked to your liking.
5. Cook the rest of the bread the same way, adding butter to the pan each time.
6. Serve hot, with maple syrup and butter.


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Do Your Kids Love Noodles? Don’t Miss ‘Noodlemania!’ by Melissa Barlow

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Thank you to Noodlemania’s author Melissa Barlow for this delectable guest post that ALL ABOUT PASTA! Don’t miss her easy Mighty Mac ‘n Cheese recipe at the bottom.

“Kids like pasta. Or maybe they love it. Yeah, on second thought, they love it. And I mean L-O-V-E, love. At least my kiddos do. We have homemade mac and cheese for lunch at our house at least once or twice a week. Not to mention, there’s typically a couple other “noodle-y” dinners as well. And these always seem to be the meals that the kids literally (well, almost) lick their plates clean.

So, I know Noodlemania! is my book, but I just have say that kids are gonna love it. They can flip through the pages and find any of 50 playful pasta recipes that they can make themselves. The recipes are easy and, in the words of my three-year-old daughter, “Super nummy.”

Kids are pretty keen on comfort food, and that’s what makes Noodlemania! so appealing. Many of the recipes have quirky twists on old classics. One of my kids’ favorites is “Somethin’ Fishy,” which is a simple tuna noodle casserole that features those beloved little cheddar snack fish that seem to be in every child’s repertoire.

My kids also beg me to make them Mighty Mac ‘n’ Cheese (see my recipe below!), as well as Curly Worms—a dish that literally tastes like a ham and cheese sandwich in a bowl. My little boy loves the Green Martian Noodles, and so do I! It is a great healthy choice and is made with whole wheat spaghetti and a creamy avocado, lime and basil sauce.

There are many other healthy options and the kids eat them all! The Mini Spaghetti Pizzas can be topped with favorite veggies and are always a big hit. Toss ’Em Tacos Pasta is also another winner at our house. I’ve found that when the kids help me prepare their meals, the veggies don’t scare them off. They are actually excited to eat what they make.

With all that said, I hope you’ll try out these favorites. My family painstakingly narrowed it down to the following, which was SUPER hard to do!”


Mighty Mac ‘n’ Cheese
2 cups elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
¾ cup milk
1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and then stir in the flour to form a paste. Slowly stir in the milk. Continue stirring until the sauce starts to thicken, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually stir in the cheese until melted. Stir the cooked noodles into the cheese sauce until coated. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle more cheese over the top to serve. Makes 4 servings.

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