Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Bringing the Kids into the Kitchen with Everyday Cooking (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Do you remember in school having home economic class?  I believe I took it in 6th grade myself. I would enter a classroom that contained banks of stoves, a few refrigerators, and sewing machines and for a semester, I would learn how to read recipes, cook meals and learn to sew.  My daughter recently graduated from High School and I'm sad to report, Home Economics has fallen to the wayside.  These skills must either now be learned at home or they must be learned on their own - otherwise they will find themselves living on a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ramen noodles (if they can figure out how to boil water) and microwave pizza.

Because I don't want my kids to be in that situation, I've taken it upon myself to bring the kids into the kitchen with me - Garrett included.  I'm always on the look out for new recipes that are more "kid friendly" when it comes to skill levels.  When I got the opportunity to review the digital version of  Everyday Cooking from Everyday Homemaking , it caught my attention.  I thought it would be fun to let the kids have their own cookbook with healthy but hearty food that they could prepare with very little help.

We were given the option of downloading either the Blue Cover or Pink Cover edition. The two editions have identical content outside of just a different color covers.  We opted for the Pink cover option, which was easily downloaded to my Kindle.

Everyday Cooking is a 198 page downloadable PDF ebook filled with tons of recipes and cooking tips written by Vicki Bentley of Everyday Homemaking. It is also available as a spiral bound physical copy if you prefer.   With recipes from Belgium Waffles to Eggplant Parmesan, this cookbook is broken down easily into catagories such as Breakfast Ideas, Appetizers, Main Dishes, Soups and Snacks.  There are even sections for Gluten Free and Low Carb and Pressure Cooking. In addition to tons of family friendly recipes, there are also pages of kitchen tips and tricks to make pulling together a wholesome meal for your family easily and hassle free.

One great addition to this book is the index found at the back which lists the recipe name and page number for quick reference.   I really appreciate when cookbooks include these types of indexes in the back of the books, as opposed to being listed by ingredients.

How We Used It

I knew that I needed to find a recipe right out of the gate that I knew the kids already enjoyed and would be simple enough for them to read the directions themselves and able to assemble.  We quickly found a recipe for Deviled Eggs in the Appetizer section.  Since my kids absolutely love Deviled Eggs, I knew this would be a good introduction to the cookbook for them. With 6 easy to measure ingredients and only requiring one bowl, one spoon and a plate to put them on so that they wouldn't destroy the kitchen, we set out to make a few eggs to go along with our Lunch. For this particular recipe, Ashleigh got to play chef.

 Ashleigh had a great time using the measuring spoons to carefully measure out the mustard, mayonaise, salt and vinegar she needed to add to the yolks of our eggs and mixing it all up.

And of course, being able to stuff the eggs with the mixture when it was all mixed was a huge hit.

Then, she carefully put the paprika over the top.  Typically, we usually leave this part off because she always thinks it's going to be hot like cayenne, but this time I convinced her to go ahead and put it on.. Yes, she's sitting on the cabinet because she got tired of leaning over.. lol

This recipe got a thumbs up and was devoured pretty quickly by both Garrett and Ashleigh.

A few days later, it was Garrett's turn in the kitchen. Garrett decided he wanted to take a shot at making the Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells that we found in the main dishes section of the book.

Getting busy stuffing the shells.

 Ashleigh didn't want to be left out (even though she had no problem leaving Garrett out of making the eggs) so she joined in with stuffing the shells as well.

Read to go into the oven :)

We also decided to make one of the breads that we found in the book to go along with the pasta, although we added a few ingredients of our own (rosemary and roasted garlic) to compliment the dinner.   This bread was a real hit with the entire family and has quickly become a favorite that they are begging for.

The final product - Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells.  These were so yummy. While we had made stuffed shells before, we had never made this variation of them before and the kids ate them up without hesitation, even with the broccoli in them (which Ashleigh usually turns her nose up at).

We also tried a few other recipes that are included - but that I totally forgot to take pictures during the preparation. One of these was the Chicken Schnitzel which turned out absolutely amazing and was another hit with the family.  The kids might have had a little too much fun pounding our chicken breasts thin with the meat hammer.

What We Thought

#hsreviews  #homemaking #chores
Overall, I am very happy with this cookbook.  While these are not recipes you're going to consider serving for an upclass dinner party, this is a very good collection of homestyle cooking with enough options to give plenty of variety, even for the most picky eaters in your family.  The list of ingredients as well a the step by step instructions make it very easy for younger cooks to follow properly.  I know my kids were pretty proud to have whipped up a few different recipes "all by themselves" (with supervision).  Also, the tips are very helpful for those not completely comfortable in the kitchen or who may be unfamiliar with a particular recipe.  For example: when we were following the Deviled Eggs recipe, there was a reminder to not toss the egg yolks away and to mix them in with the other ingredients.  Another example is while we were preparing the Chicken Schnitzel, it gave tips on other ingredients that could be used for coating in order to make the recipe Gluten free.

There are many other recipes besides the small handful that we have tried so far that I am looking forward to allowing the kids to prepare.  In my opinion, this is a great addition to any kitchen but especially for those who would like to bring the kids into the kitchen and start teaching them Cooking 101.

The digital edition of Everyday Cooking can be purchased at the Everyday Homemaking Website for $15.99.  Personally, I find it to be much more than just a cook book and can easily be used in incorporating a home economics course in our homeschool schedule.  There's so much information beyond just recipes that I find it has a high educational value.

To learn more about Everyday Homemaking and the Everyday Cooking cookbook, please visit their website.  You can also find them on Facebook at   https://www.facebook.com/everydayhomemaking .

Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}

1 comment:

  1. So glad you enjoyed the recipes. The chicken schnitzel is one of those dishes that gets requested for extended-family dinners--a favorite around here. Your kiddos did a super job on their dishes! Thanks so much for your thoughtful review. :)



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