Sophia loves to cook with me. For her it's all about the process. She might not enjoy the food she made but she enjoys the mixing, the mashing, and the measuring. She likes to create--just like her mom!
Usually I just break down the steps to most of my recipes so she can help. I don't normally look for kid-friendly recipes. When my copy of Annabel Karmel's Top 100 Finger Foods: 100 Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Child, Sophia took it out of my hands before I had a chance to open it. As she browsed, I gave her some mini-post-it notes to mark all the recipes she wanted to make. In about 10 minutes, over half the pages had square yellow and orange flags.
Karmel's recipes are meant to be friendly for kids to eat, but I thought many of the recipes were easy enough to make with your kids. Even for 4 year olds!
When it came time to narrow down her choices, Sophia picked the Soft-Boiled Egg with "Italian Soldiers" and Potato Pizzette Bites. We added a salad and it was an easy dinner.
For the Soft-Boiled Egg with Italian Soliders, we wrapped prosciutto around some honey whole wheat pretzel sticks. The recipe called for breadsticks but I couldn't find any at Trader Joe's so pretzel sticks it was. I don't know about you, any recipe that calls for prosciutto is a winner. Apparently, Sophia has the same tastes as I, since I had to keep her from eating all of it so we could wrap the pretzel sticks.
I attempted to cook soft-boiled eggs. FAIL. Apparently I can't do it. I tried 2 batches. But we ate the eggs anyway. We didn't have egg cups, and since the photo in the cookbook showed eggs in cute polka-dot egg cups, I made some out of our empty egg carton. It worked!
Overall, this was a very simple but tasty. We were supposed to dip the Italian soldiers (the prosciutto wrapped sticks) into the runny eggs. I'm not sure how Sophia would like runny yolks but she wanted to try it out.
Next, we made the Potato Pizzette Bites. These would also make a great appetizer for a party. Basically, you cut thin slices of potatoes and bake them in the oven. These become the "crust" of your pizza. After you slice the taters, brush with oil and bake for 10 minutes.
After the first bake, we put the toppings on. Karmel's recipe calls for sauce and cheese. Since we had prosciutto from the previous recipe we added that. Sophia doesn't like tomato sauce so we omitted that on hers. She also discovered rosemary that day so we sprinkled chopped rosemary onto her pizzettes. Then just stick back into the oven to melt everything. (Check out her nail polish job! LOL)
I cooked some mushrooms in butter and garlic with a splash of balsamic vinegar for the grown-up pizzettes. These were a hit with everyone! My tip is to try to cut the potatoes as evenly as possible so they all cook at the same rate.
Potato Pizzette Bites courtesy of Top 100 Finger Foods: 100 Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Child by Annabel Karmel
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Cut 8 large slices of potato, each around 1/12" thick, cutting crosswise from the center of the potato. You won't need the thinner end bits of the potato, but these will keep up for 2 days in the fridge, covered with cold water, and can be used for mashed or boiled potatoes.
Brush each potato slice with the oil and season with a little salt and pepper. lay the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes Turn the slices over and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden and crisp. Watch carefully for the last 2 to 3 minutes.
Top each potato slice with around 1 teaspoon of the tomato sauce and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes more or broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
Let cool slightly before serving.
I received this book and Top 100 Baby Purees: 100 Quick and Easy Meals for a Healthy and Happy Babyfor review throughDC Metro Moms.