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Learning to cook

November 19, 2015
Amy Phelps , MOV Parent

Recently my teenager had been talking about how she couldn't cook anything. Unlike the youngest, she really hasn't had much interest in cooking or baking. But it's a skill that everyone should learn. I'm not talking requiring anyone to be a master chef, but I think it's helpful to know how to make dishes beyond frozen food and the like. I have memories of making relatively easy dishes like spaghetti (boil the noodles and heat up the canned sauce) or homemade pizza (from the box and add toppings) with friends as a young teen. So with that in mind, I decided now was the time to start a little cooking class. The youngest has been more game to be "sous chef" and help measure, mix and add when I've been in the kitchen. So the oldest has at least once a month prepared dinner for the family with mom acting as "sous chef."

I recently got "Comfort and Joy: Cooking for Two" by Christina Lane (Countryman Press, $24.95.) For a family of three, a cooking for two book works great. The youngest isn't a big eater yet, and many of the recipes end up making 4 of an item, so there's plenty. I hate leftovers, and some of the "serves 4" recipes I've used seemed like they would be more apt to serve 6 or more!

While looking through the book, I saw a recipe that I knew the loving-the-pumpkin-spice trend oldest would like - Pumpkin Spice French Toast Waffles. And since I always like a little savory with my sweet, we also made Baked Bacon, which is, well what it says.

Article Photos

Now the oldest can say she can make french toast or waffles, as this was a combination of the two. Bread is dipped on both sides in a pumpkin, spices, egg and cream blend.

Then, instead of putting on the griddle, it is placed inside a wafflemaker to cook. The recipe said it yielded 4 waffles, we got 5 out of the batter.

My young chef measured out the canned pumpkin, cream and spices. We also discussed how if you don't like a spice, you can leave it out, though it might change the flavor a bit. (I HATE clove.) She learned the importance of breaking an egg in a separate container and then putting it into your mixture (so if you have to dig out egg shells it is easier.)

The instructions were easy to follow and everything turned out delicious for this mix of french toast and a waffle. The pumpkin flavor really came through and putting the maple syrup on top really helped accent the flavors. Everyone enjoyed it with the bacon and she got to make a meal with minimal help.



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