Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Best Laid Plans: Cooking Finger Foods Part 1

I have a lot of hopes and wishes for my kids, and my stubborn self just keeps on trying make them come true. Besides that house they'll buy me from their first endorsement check as professional athletes, I would love for them to be adventurous eaters and enjoy cooking. At minimum, I don't want them to been teenagers who make faces when offered some exotic meal by a friend's mom. I've come a long way from this point and even started cooking with them. Now that I'm back at work full-time, though, time and, more importantly, attitude, is more the challenge. The reality is Donovan likes cooking, but needs to be in just the right mood. I suspect Keegan mostly joins in to please me or when he sees his brother cracking eggs.

Which brings me to today's post. We were fortunate enough to get two kids cookbooks for the next Silicon Valley Moms virtual book club, Annabel Karmel's Top 100 baby and finger foods (Top 100 Finger Foods: 100 Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Child). I need to find someone with a new baby to pass along the baby food book to. I was away when I received the books, so as soon as I got home we sat down and I told the kids to pick a dish. Keegan picked the turkey sliders (not coincidentally on the front cover), one of the more complicated recipes in a book where many are fairly simple, but that was mostly because it required a Cuisinart. I at first thought I'd just wing it in my usual cooking way, skip the Cuisinart (which was "hidden" in the garage), use the ground beef we had on hand and skip any missing ingredients. I really wanted my son to read and follow the recipe, though, so nixed those thoughts.

A mere 2 1/2 weeks later, we were all set, to go to the grocery. Shucks. I got up early and watched Shorts with the kids... had to see what all the fuss was about this movie they'd watched four times this weekend (4 sticky kid-friendly stars). I gave them the plan for the day: pick recipe, walk dog, grocery, cook, then birthday party. Donovan picked cookies, then muffins, and finally settled on jelly tarts for his. He then promptly forgot all about the plans and insisted on playing Dino Math Tracks. I now know why little boys are misdiagnosed with ADD. That's when I sadly lost it and, long story short, spent the morning cleaning up with Keegan, only making it to the grocery after dad got home. We did manage to make the patties and freeze them, and the jelly tarts were yummy but need to remake them using cooking spray and less jelly. Last night I whipped up another recipe, apricot glazed chicken legs, which I cooked this morning and they were delicious.

Keegan loved using the Cuisinart and measuring all the ingredients, not so much reading the cookbook. We all had fun making the really easy jelly tarts - just store bought pie crust (from Trader Joes of course) and we were fortunate to have my friend's homemade apricot and fig jams on hand, and the kids used their favorite, grape jelly. The burgers smelled delicious, even raw, and we just dropped and flattened rounded spoonfuls between parchment paper and popped them in the freezer. Look for part 2 when we'll cook the sliders and make jelly tarts I'm willing to photograph. I do like this book, although think it's probably better for a slightly younger crowd. There are three different drumstick recipes, which is great for my value pack of legs from Costco.


  1. That's a great photo collage! I love the pics of the boys baking. I have absolutely no problem with my son growing up baking me tarts...or cupcakes...or cookies ;-)

  2. Ahhh the days of baking with your kids. I miss those days! I'm at the point of just being the taxi driver and being ignored. - Catherine