Category: Cooking with Kids

The Wayback Machine: Zucchini "Carpaccio"

One of the biggest lessons I’d like to impart to people who “don’t cook-” not everything needs cooking! Case in point, this wonderful summer zucchini salad is made without a whisper of heat – and if you eliminate the parmesan, the most processed ingredient in it is olive oil! It doesn’t require any particularly specialized... Read more »

Sundays With Sparky: Chemistry Cake (In Chocolate or Chocolate Chip)

Sundays With Sparky: Chemistry Cake (In Chocolate or Chocolate Chip)
I am hereby re-naming the inaptly named “Wacky Cake,” a product of WWII rationing that regained popularity in the 1970s. It is not at all wacky, but is a product of…of…SCIENCE!!! Yes,  your third-grade volcano project makes the cake fluffy, its delicate texture from only sugar, oil and flour. It does not pass muster as a breakfast... Read more »

The Wayback Machine: Super-Easy Spinach Pasta

The Wayback Machine: Super-Easy Spinach Pasta
I made this recipe a long time ago, and have made it several times since then – and learned a lot.  So, if you go back to my old blog, you’ll notice I made some tweaks. Someday, Sparky will go to college. Like it or not, there is a future ahead where he goes out... Read more »
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Sundays with Sparky: College Survival Foods - Guacamole and Queso Dip

Sundays with Sparky: College Survival Foods - Guacamole and Queso Dip
Sparky, sigh, is growing. It couldn’t be helped – at some point your little sous-chef reaches the age when he’s handing YOU things from the tall shelf instead of the other way around, and you’ve got to adjust. As a parent, you know that adulthood is inevitable and you even look forward to it, but... Read more »

The Wayback Machine: Potato-Leek Tartlets

The Wayback Machine: Potato-Leek Tartlets
This week, I decided that we needed a vegetable dish that could be eaten with our hands…and I happened to have a couple of leeks in the fridge that needed to be used. Leeks, potato, bacon and cheese are natural partners – and I also happened to have a box of frozen phyllo cups that... Read more »

Sundays with Sparky: Pork Chops with Thyme-scented Apples

Sundays with Sparky: Pork Chops with Thyme-scented Apples
This dish has a history that’s important to Sparky: it’s the first meal I ever cooked for his father, who was hooked immediately. For Sparky, I really wanted to show him how to sear and cook meat because that single skill can be applied to pretty much any fine-grained protein: chicken breast, fish, steak as... Read more »
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The Wayback Machine: Stompin' Savoy Cabbage Rolls

The Wayback Machine: Stompin' Savoy Cabbage Rolls
I’ve been thinking about giving Sparky a cookbook as a Christmas present, compiled from the pages of this site, so I took a gander at the Recipe Index to see where we were: Hmmm—we’re a bit dessert-heavy, don’t ‘cha think?  Because most desserts involve baking and chemistry, they’re a really good starting place for novice... Read more »

Sundays With Sparky: Reverse-Spherified Yogurt Blobs

Sparky and Dr. Lasergonapus followed the directions, putting sodium alginate in the yogurt, and creating a "bath" by mixing calcium lactate and water.
This holiday season, Dr. Lasergonapus and his mother surprised Sparky and I with a beautiful molecular gastronomy kit.  It contained a number of cool cooking gadgets and several chemicals: agar-agar, sodium alginate and calcium lactate, xanthan gum and soya lecithin. Sparky and I have actually used some of these ingredients before: agar-agar is a type... Read more »

The Wayback Machine: The Eleventh Doctor's Fish Custard

The Wayback Machine: The Eleventh Doctor's Fish Custard
By now, I suppose, it won’t shock you to find that we’re a nerdy family, right? So, when the 11th Dr. Who threw down the gauntlet of fish fingers (sticks) and custard, what else was left for us but to pick it up? April 3 has been officially adopted as “Fish Fingers and Custard Day”... Read more »
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Sundays with Sparky: Carrot Torte

Sundays with Sparky: Carrot Torte
So, I went a little crazy buying carrots. You see, Sparky puts in his lunch order for the week on Sundays, and I happened to go shopping on Monday and remembered he’d asked for carrots, and then I ran out on Wednesday and had that niggling feeling that I’d forgotten something and bought carrots…and by... Read more »