School is back, but the classroom shouldn’t be the only place where kids learn. The sad reality is that kids of all ages simply do not know how to cook. This basic life skill has been lost in the generational gap. Today’s definition of cooking is nuking a hot pocket in the microwave. While the kitchen is a great place for hands-on, interactive learning, many children of all ages miss out on the opportunity to learn how to cook. With all the hustle and bustle of New York City, it can be difficult to include some extra time to passing on this essential life skill.
Teaching kids to cook at home is a gateway to get them excited about nutrition. When you include kids in the process of cooking, it organically brings up conversations around where food comes from and the importance of fresh ingredients.
In the kitchen, kids get to explore their creativity and have a chance to see how beautiful, fresh, tasty dishes can be easily made at home. Cooking is also important in combating childhood obesity as downward trends in cooking are one of many factors impacting childhood obesity and diet related diseases.
Encouraging kids in the kitchen builds confidence and helps develop math and reading skills through following instructions and measuring ingredients. Kids who are exposed to different types of ingredients through cooking tend to be more adventurous when trying new foods. They develop a hunger to experiment with new foods to make different dishes and discover what tastes best. Above all, cooking with kids is a valuable family activity that creates long lasting memories. This special time gives you a window to connect with your child.
If you are unsure of where to start in guiding your kids to be culinary rock stars, there are a million online resources! Check out this resource for simple and delicious recipes you can start with tonight! Corbin Hill’s Chef Roz and Chef Louise are also happy to share family-friendly, easy, healthy, and affordable recipes that you can create at home. Be sure to check in with them at the different sites throughout the season!
Peppers are a culinary game changer. Kitchen fanatics around the globe use both sweet and hot varieties to transform bland dishes into extraordinary masterpieces. When you need to spice up your dish, try adding hot cherry or Hungarian wax peppers. If you prefer a sweet crunch, try using a cubanelle or bell peppers. This week, we have two recipes! One is if you received sweet peppers in your share and one is for hot. Peppers of any kind are a quick and easy way to bring a fresh flavor kick into your dinner tonight.
1/2 19 oz. package Italian sausage (hot, sweet, or mild)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 sweet peppers of your choice (bell, cubanelle)
1 medium white or yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, optional
1 tsp salt or to taste
3/4 lb. pasta (rigatoni or your favorite shape)
Recipe adapted from Budget Byte
Cook time: 45mins.
1. Add the vegetable oil and sausage links (unsliced) to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the sausage is browned and firm enough to slice. It doesn't have to be cooked through at this point.
2. While the sausage is cooking, thinly slice the peppers and onions, and mince the garlic. Once the sausage is browned, remove it from the pot and add the peppers, onions, and garlic. Let them cook while you slice the sausage into thin medallions.
3. After the peppers and onions have softened, return the sliced sausage to the pot along with the diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine and continue to cook over medium heat.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta for about 7 minutes, or just until tender, but still firm. Slightly undercook the pasta as it will continue to cook and soak up liquid once added to the pot with the sausage and peppers.
5. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it in a colander and then add it to the pot with the sausage and peppers. Stir to combine, place a lid on top, and allow the pasta to cook in the pepper sauce for about 5 more minutes, or until it has absorbed most of the liquid in the pot. Add about a half teaspoon of salt, taste, and add more if needed.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced crosswise
1 clove garlic, minced
10 hot peppers
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
1tsp. dried oregano
1 dried bay leaf
Recipe adapted from Saveur
Cook time: 20mins.
1. Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add onion, carrot, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until barely tender, about 3 minutes.
4. Add hot peppers, and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes.
5. Add vinegar, salt, oregano, bay leaf, and 2 cups water, and bring to a boil; remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
6. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.