This week I got to give a cooking lesson to my youngest nephew, Z. I picked him up a little after lunch and he was sooo excited! He’s been really excited about cooking for a while now but he’s a bit young to take any of the children’s cooking classes offered in our area. My SIL asked earlier this summer if I would give him a lesson and, of course I said yes!
I was so excited about it, I’ve changed my mind a hundred times about what we could cook. Finally, I took Hubby and G’s advice and settled on a fairly simple pasta idea with a homemade ice cream for dessert. It’s been a while since I’ve had such little hands in the kitchen and I had forgotten how much fun it can be. And, needless to say, how many questions there would be to answer.
As I said, we made a really simplified menu (below) but I will be sharing a bit more adult versions of the recipes later this summer. For now, here is what we worked with and it was a fantastic success!
- Stuffed shells- We stuffed basic shells with a cheese mixture of ricotta and shredded mozzarella with a dash of garlic powder and other Italian spices and about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Then each shell was stuffed with about a tablespoon of the cheese mix.
- Pasta Sauce - We used a jar sauce to save time and simplify things since he’s only 8. I do have a pretty fantastic homemade sauce but we’ll save that for another time. I think it’s about time to share that one with G!
- Grilled Italian Sausage - (thanks to Hubby’s grilling skills)
- Homemade Mint Ice Cream in Chocolate Bowls - The mint ice cream is made with real mint sprigs, and vanilla beans and he really loved that (I’ll share that recipe a little later.) For the chocolate bowls, I referred to one of the hundred or so Pinterest posts about making chocolate bowls with balloons. These didn’t turn out quite as promised but they did come together in the end. I will say, if you try these, be sure that the chocolate goes on really thinly and be sure to give them more like and hour to set up.
Later that night, when G and Hubbs got home, Z took a short break to let off some steam outside and that gave me a chance to clean up a bit. When we were done my Sister and Brother in Law came for dinner with his older brother and sister. He was so proud to show off his work, especially the ice cream and chocolate bowls.
I think I had as much fun as he did. There’s nothing like showing someone how to do something that you do all the time, to make it new again! Hopefully we’ll get to do more of these lessons. As it is, G is wanting to perfect some of his kitchen skills so I working on a menu to teach him next!
Have a lovely weekend! - XOXOX
Jennifer (White Tulip Designs)