My Cooking School for Kids: How it Began

When people learn that I own a cooking school for children, they almost always say, “Oh, you are a chef.”  And I always jump in and correct them, “No, I am a teacher.”   To me, chefs are artists – creative people who get inspired by raw materials (forgive the pun) and transform them into something wonderful and delicious.  An excellent chef, in my opinion, will inspire people — inspire them to try new flavors, taste the foods of different cultures or maybe even to cook more at home.  But me?  No, I am not a chef.

However, I try to inspire people, too — but not through the food itself.  I am a teacher – and my craft is intended to motivate.  My goal is to inspire families to open fewer packages and cook a little more.  My goal is to build the confidence of our children so that they will taste new foods and have a hand in their creation.  My goal is to help children recognize what it means to eat real food, grown by real farmers.  My goal is to encourage families to  applaud their children’s efforts to be involved in their food choices…and listen when the kids ask them to consider the environment when they shop.  And my goal is to empower kids to help those who need it – all through the power of food.  Feed the Hungry.  Feed the  Sick.  Feed the Homeless.

Continue reading at the What’s Cooking Blog:  http://whatscookingblog.com/2010/02/09/my-cooking-school-for-kids-how-it-all-began/

Michelle Stern, DooF’s Community Outreach Director, owns What’s Cooking, a certified green company that offers cooking classes for children in the San Francisco Bay Area. When she isn’t in the kitchen or at the computer, she’s the head chauffeur for her two children, dog walker to her two mutts, and chicken feeder for her backyard flock.

Recipe for Cooking with Toddlers

I love when people ask me for tips about cooking with their kids.  Sometimes I feel really qualified to answer.  Other times, not so much.  But I got excited when someone on Twitter asked me for tips on how to make cooking with her 2 year old less frustrating…

Ingredients:

1 gallon Patience
1 pinch Expectations
Several squirts of Hand Soap
2 dozen kitchen towels or rags?(and maybe a mop)
1 set measuring cups
1 set measuring spoons
1 wooden spoon or silicone spatula
Some inexpensive ingredients, such as water, dry rice, beans or oatmeal?(Or try something that is safe for your dog to lick from the floor)
1 large mixing bowl with a non-skid bottom*

A Few Suggestions:

  • If you woke up on the wrong side of the bed today, maybe you should reconsider this activity.  Have a glass of wine and a good night’s sleep – and try again tomorrow.
  • If you are new to cooking with your toddler, I would recommend that you start by practicing a few techniques before actually trying to prepare some real food.
  • Set up all of your tools and ingredients in advance, so that your young chef doesn’t have to use up her entire attention span waiting for you to get ready.

Continue reading at the What’s Cooking Blog:  http://whatscookingblog.com/2010/02/05/recipe-for-cooking-with-toddlers/

Michelle Stern, DooF’s Community Outreach Director, owns What’s Cooking, a certified green company that offers cooking classes for children in the San Francisco Bay Area. When she isn’t in the kitchen or at the computer, she’s the head chauffeur for her two children, dog walker to her two mutts, and chicken feeder for her backyard flock.