Recipes and Cooking Ideas for Homemakers and Amateur Cooks

Supper by a 6-yr-old — Cooks in Training #9

Posted on September 22, 2009
Filed Under Chicken and Turkey, Cooks in Training, Desserts, Side dishes

Lexi made supper tonight.


Her menu was:
Crunchy Chicken Tenders
Easy Mac n Cheese
Trees with Cheese
Puddin’ Cones

There were only 4 ingredient spills. The only help Lexi accepted was finding some of the right ingredients and measuring cups/spoons and reading the recipe (“because it’s faster if you do it and I don’t know all the words”) and a couple times, handling hot stuff. I did tell her when to do stuff so it would all get done at the same time. I also gave her lots of tips and how-to’s, but she did the actual work. She did very well, actually better than I expected.

Now and then, Tiffany (3) crossed her arms, put on a scowl, and whined, “Mom, she won’t let me dump that in. I don’t have ANYTHING to do!”

I was planning to blog as it was going on, but I was kinda busy with damage control. :)

She loved doing this meal! I believe we have a cook in the making. ????

Crunchy Chicken Tenders … recipe from Betty Crocker Kids Cook cookbook

3/4 cup cornflakes cereal
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup buttermilk or milk
1 pound uncooked chicken breast tenders, not breaded

Heat the oven to 400. Line a 9×13 pan with foil.

Spray the foil with cooking spray.
Put the cereal, flour, salt, and pepper in a plastic bag. Seal bag closed. Use a rolling pin to crush the cornflakes.
Pour the milk into a bowl. Dip chicken in milk.

Drop milk-coated chicken, a few pieces at a time, into cereal mixture. Seal bag closed. Shake bag to coat chicken with cereal mixture. Put the coated chicken in the pan.


Spray chicken with cooking spray. Throw away any leftover cereal in the bag. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until coating is crisp and chicken is no longer pink in center. Makes 4 servings.

Dishing it up…

lexi9.jpg Good stuff! We ate them with bbq sauce. I realize I didn’t get a picture of the rolling pin part… they had great fun with that!

Easy Mac and Cheese …recipe from Betty Crocker Kids Cook cookbook

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni or small pasta shells
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese or American cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground mustard (I had to talk her into putting mustard in!)
1/4 tsp. pepper

Fill a 3-qt saucepan about half full with water. Bring to a boil. Add pasta to water.

Heat to boiling again. Boil uncovered for 8-10 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Drain pasta (put a colander in the sink and pour the pasta into it). Put drained pasta back into saucepan. Add butter, milk, cheese, salt, mustard, and pepper to pasta.

Stir with spoon until mixed. Cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times, until cheese is melted. Makes 4 servings.

Dishing up. This was a bit wild! Whoosh! and it was all in the serving bowl in about 2 seconds. Pretty amazing that some didn’t land on the floor!


Trees with Trees … recipe from Betty Crocker Kids Cook cookbook

1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli (I just had her use a bag of frozen broccoli florets.)
3 Tbsp. water
6 oz process American cheese loaf
1/3 cup milk
1/4 onion salt
1 drop red pepper sauce, if you like (she didn’t like ???? )

Microwave the broccoli and water till hot and crisp-tender. Melt the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan or microwave. Stir with a wooden spoon until the cheese is melted and mixture is smooth. Drain broccoli and put it into a serving bowl. Pour hot cheese over broccoli. Makes 6 servings. I didn’t notice it at the time, but in all the photographing, I missed the broccoli, all except the dishing it up!



Puddin’ Cones … recipe from the 2003 Quick Cooking annual cookbook

This is what sparked the whole idea of making supper. Her cousin Krista made these for dessert when she made supper one time and Lexi saw a picture and wanted to make them too. Krista, you’re her hero!

1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 pkg. (3.4 oz.) instant vanilla pudding mix
3 envelopes whipped topping mix (when Lexi read this, she said “Envelopes?! What do envelopes have to do with cooking?”)
8 cake ice cream cones (about 3 inches) She used only 6.
Chopped nuts, jimmies and miniature colored baking chips or topping of your choice


In a mixing bowl, beat milk and pudding mix on low speed for 2 minutes.

Blend in whipped topping mix; cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Spoon 1/4 cup into each cone; sprinkle with toppings. Yield: 8 servings. I just told her to fill the cones, not to measure. When the pudding mixture was gone, there were only 6 cones used, which I think is better because they look more like ice cream cones if they’re heaped a little.

puddin-cones2.jpg These were good, altho’ not as good as real ice cream. She made them right before she dished up the food and till we got done eating and were ready for dessert, the cones were starting to get a little soft already. So, they should not be made too much in advance!


9 Responses to “Supper by a 6-yr-old — Cooks in Training #9”

  1. Katrina on September 22nd, 2009 7:15 pm

    It all looks de-lish to me! Wow, great job daughter(s) and Mom!

  2. Aug on September 24th, 2009 10:45 am

    That is great that she is learning to cook and loving it! I think that letting them help with they are young goes a long ways towards them liking it later! And she has a great teacher to learn from, so that always helps!

  3. Ruth on September 24th, 2009 8:37 pm

    I’m impressed! She didn’t just open a box and stick it in the oven, but she made it from scratch. She did a great job. You deserve credit, too, because you let her do it even though you could have done it a lot faster and easier.

  4. Rhonda H. on October 2nd, 2009 8:50 am

    I love to see kids learning to cook – particularly since I’ve done a lousy job at teaching my own. Granted, I have 3 boys with pretty much zero interest in cooking, but it’s always good for them to know how to do the basics.
    Also, I made two pans of your pumpkin cream cheese squares this week and had requests for the recipes from two different people, so I sent them links to your site. So yummy!

  5. Marie on October 3rd, 2009 3:12 pm

    She did as good of a job as anyone! I’m very impressed – looks delicious!

  6. Stephaine @ Geezees on October 8th, 2009 12:51 pm

    Wow, i am so impressed…it’s so good to see kids cooking! And everything looked so yummy!

  7. Tilt on October 13th, 2009 3:31 am

    This dinner looks amazing!
    I especially love the ice creams!

    Congratulation to the little chef!

  8. Cheryl on November 7th, 2009 10:08 am

    I love that your kids help out! Do they enjoy doing so? Did you ask if they wanted to be involved or did they offer? The pics are making me hungry!! Tell them great job:)

  9. Linda on November 7th, 2009 10:02 pm

    Just curious if you have come across this site I think your girls would have fun. :)

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

Posted on September 22, 2009
Filed Under Pies, Snacks

Really mini. Not 4″ pie pans.


Not cupcake pans.


These were made in mini muffin pans.


These are perfect for a bring-a-salad-or-dessert church gathering. You know, there are 20 desserts to choose from and you have a hard time narrowing it down to 5 and one of the desserts calling to you is pie cut into 8 pieces. A piece of pie is a complete dessert, so there goes the rest of the selections. I decided to try making little individual pies instead of a couple big lemon meringue pies to take to the Fall Praise Social picnic this past Sunday evening. And it worked! With these little things, you can have a taste of lemon meringue pie without passing up the pecan bars, eclair dessert, monster cookies, and fresh peach delight.

Use your regular lemon meringue pie recipe or use my favorite recipe featured here. Roll the crust a bit thinner than usual, then cut out circles. The tube of my Pampered Chef Measure-All Cup was the perfect size for circle-cutting. Then, press them into the mini muffin pan and bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. Make the filling and spoon into crusts. Make the meringue and spoon on top of filling. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. Should be easy to remember… everything to bake gets baked at 375 for about 10 minutes. :)

Here’s the process in pictures:







They tasted exactly like lemon meringue pie. I guess that would make sense, what with using that recipe and all. They’re long gone, and I just feel like snitching one off the picture and inhaling it in 2 bites.


In other news, you may want to stay tuned. I think I might blog live this evening for a couple hours. Lexi is planning to make supper. She’s 6. She feels quite capable and wants me to leave her alone in the kitchen with her cookbooks. Tiffany and I are allowed to help her by setting the table and we also may carry things to the table like bbq sauce and salt & pepper. I think she’s in for a bit of surprise and will end up needing more help than she thinks she will. Here is the menu she picked out (going by pictures in cookbooks): Easy Mac n Cheese, Crunchy Chicken Tenders, Trees with Cheese, and Puddin’ Cones. She gets home from school around 4:15. Supper is scheduled for 6:30.

Oh, and did I mention that she doesn’t know the difference between a teaspoon and a Tablespoon?


6 Responses to “Mini Lemon Meringue Pies”

  1. Arla on September 22nd, 2009 9:26 am

    Jenny was nine when I could leave the bread and cookie baking entirely up to her and I did, too, many times. Her baking was perfect most of the time. I’m not saying this just because I’m a prejudiced mom…she really could bake and soon surpassed my abilities. I’d say Lexi’s talent runs in the family. You might find out as I did that you find yourself asking your ten year old daughter how SHE does it sometimes. I trained in Lisl and Jenny at the same time…turned out that Lisl could; but preferred other work as I do.

  2. Katrina on September 22nd, 2009 7:18 pm

    Great lil’ pies!

  3. Sharon on September 23rd, 2009 11:48 pm

    Thanks for the reminder that I used to make granola all the time and the family loved it. Will be making your recipe.

    Off the subject, but I am recently interested in using the modified corn starch called Clear Jel. Does anyone have any experience using it in Lemon Meringue Pie. I would love, love, love to figure out how to prevent the pie from “weeping” and thought the Clear Jel might work. I appreciate any input about it, or, any other solutions that you know about….happy cooking

  4. Jan on September 28th, 2009 12:10 pm

    What happened to the printable recipes? I need to take a finger food to the church “apple schnitzing” tonight and have been longing for lemon meringue pie ever since you first posted it, so now I have a good excuse to make these little things.

  5. Kay on September 28th, 2009 12:40 pm

    Hmmm, yeah, Jan, I wonder too what happened to the printable recipes! :) They seem to have disappeared, huh? Actually, I’m glad to know someone misses them. They take extra time to do, so I’ve been slacking off. So thanks for the little nudge… I’ll start doing them again and as I have time, I’ll go back and catch up.

    Another thing that works is to highlight the entire post, pictures and all, and then copy and paste it into Notepad (Start > Accessories > Notepad). The pictures don’t copy into there along with the writing, so when you hit print, you get words only printed out and you don’t even have to dodge around all the pics when you copy and paste. Maybe you could do that for now since I won’t have a printable recipe for you before you make them for tonight.

  6. Jan on September 28th, 2009 4:00 pm

    I made them, but they don’t look as nice. I think my crust was still too think and it shrank in some places and puffed in others, making the place for the filling rather small, but they’re still cute now that they’re done. I got tired of carefully putting meringue on with a spoon, so I piped it on. Worked great and was fast and fun!

After School Snack Ideas… and Biscuit Donuts

Posted on September 2, 2009
Filed Under Snacks

Well, it’s that time of the year again. School has started, or is starting soon (unless you’re in Peru, where I just found out that ‘summer vacation’ is in the winter).

The kids come home from school,


…and they are STARVING!!!!! Or so they think.

I remember that when I was a schoolgirl too. I NEEDED a snack. I was starving. We lived 1/2 mile from school and half of that distance was our 1/4 mile long lane. We’d often walk to school and sometimes Mom would put the snack on a platter and walk out to meet us, disperse the snacks, and we’d all walk together to the house, munching away. Good memories. My favorite snack of all is when she’d mix peanuts, chocolate chips, and marshmallows and put them in little cups.

Renita was telling me about an after school snack that she makes sometimes for her boys. So, yesterday I stole her idea and made it too. Here it is.


Biscuit Donuts

1 can refrigerated biscuits
Oil or shortening for frying
Powdered sugar

I put about a cup of shortning in a small pan and heated it to about 375 degrees. Take each biscuit and make a hole in the middle with something round.

If you use the Grands biscuits with flaky layers, split them in half (where 2 of the layers meet)… makes so they aren’t doughy in the middle when the outside is done. And it also makes twice as many donuts that way. ???? Is donuts spelled ‘donuts’ or ‘doughnuts’? I’ve seen it both ways, not sure what the difference is except that one way is shorter, so I’ll stick with that one. Fry the donuts in oil for 45 seconds – 1 minute per side.


Drain on paper towel.

Coat with powdered sugar.


Only 3 ingredients.

Other after school snack ideas:
— Apples with peanut butter
— Cookies and milk
— Their leftover lunch ????
— Nachos with salsa (serving of tortilla chips spread out on plate and sprinkled with shredded cheese and microwaved for about 20 seconds to melt the cheese)
— Fruit
— Pudding
— Graham crackers with milk
— Reeses Puffs ????
— Popsicles
— Salties (chips, pretzels, Cheetos, party mix, etc.)

That’s all that came to my mind right now. What do you give your kids for an after school snack? Or do you say, “Go look in the kitchen, see what you can find.”? :) Today, I was in the middle of doing laundry, so I said that and they found goldfish crackers and drank chocolate milk.


13 Responses to “After School Snack Ideas… and Biscuit Donuts”

  1. Aug on September 3rd, 2009 7:37 am

    Glad you posted on this topic, because I was thinking that I would like to do after school snacks for the kids on the days that I am home. Yesterday I made these little strips of bread that you dip in butter and then make a sugar/cinnamon coating for and bake for about 5 minutes. They were really yummy. Those donuts look easy and good. And thanks for the other ideas too.

  2. Freida on September 3rd, 2009 7:55 am

    Ohhhh, Jasmine would be thrilled with the donuts. I’ll have to try these!

  3. Lanita on September 3rd, 2009 9:12 am

    Yummy they look so good! we’re going camping and planning to do these in a large pot over the fire.

  4. Jan on September 3rd, 2009 9:27 am

    my kids would love these and it’s something i often have on hand

  5. Lynn on September 3rd, 2009 10:18 am

    Wow this is funny – I am making these today for my kids when they come home from school! I can relate to your story we also had a very long lane to walk after school about 1/3 mile. I was raised on a mennonite farm also – those were days I would love to go back to.

  6. JoAnn on September 3rd, 2009 2:45 pm

    I think these are what you can often find on Chinese buffets. I’ve never tried making them, but I will, soon!

  7. Kelly on September 3rd, 2009 7:34 pm

    Yum!! Those look super easy and delicious — I might need a “weekend snack” of those this weekend :-)

  8. Angela on September 4th, 2009 3:53 pm

    These donuts are especially yummy over the campfire! =)

  9. Loretta on September 5th, 2009 8:55 pm

    OOhhhh can’t wait to try these-the children were just asking about donuts today!!!Thanks

  10. Shannon on September 9th, 2009 10:05 am

    We often had these but mom would roll them in cinnamon sugar instead of powdered sugar.

  11. Katie Seamons on November 18th, 2009 5:54 pm

    I have tried these and they sure are yummy, but I have also tried using the pizza dough and it works even better. Not as stong of a baking powder taste. Great blog!

  12. Katie Seamons on November 18th, 2009 5:54 pm

    Sorry that was supposed to be strong not stong…

  13. Paola on June 16th, 2010 9:03 am

    Hi, nice recipe! One note: in Peru summer vacations are actually in the summer because we are in the south hemisphere :)