Real Housewife | REAL Cooking: Cooking with kids
Cooking is a creative outlet for me and I honestly couldn’t imagine if I wasn’t able to do it. I can remember having my grandmother teach me how to make Mexican food, standing next to her in the kitchen as she showed me how many coffee cups of flour to use for tortillas. She also showed me the temperature of the water to use by feel, not using a thermometer. Whenever I make tortillas I still follow those guidelines she gave me all those years ago. By teaching me these things, she gave me the ability to be creative while cooking and not be tied down by traditional measurements. That’s the lovely thing about cooking, expressing yourself through the food.
A few weeks ago Michael and I had our nephew staying with us for the weekend. While planning the menu I asked him what we should make for dinner. His eyes lit up when he realized that he was going to be involved in the process. After deciding on pizza I took him to the pantry to pick out an apron. He climbed up on the stool next to me and we began cooking. As I looked down at him I thought about the fact that we aren’t just making dinner, I’m giving him the opportunity to start building his cooking skills. These skills are ones that he’ll take with him through his life.
Involving your kids in the kitchen isn’t just a way to dole out tasks, it’s a way to get them excited about what they are eating because they had a hand in making it. Plus, when they get a little bit older, they can cook you dinner! Homemade pizza is a fantastic meal to make with your kids…what kid doesn’t love pizza? From kneading the dough to putting on the toppings it’s a wonderfully interactive experience!
Well let’s jump in on this wonderful cooking experience!
~The REAL Housewife Pizza Party~
Making pizza dough seems like its a daunting task, but in all reality it’s quite simple. This is a recipe that I found in Tyler Florence’s book “Family Meal” and it’s a great all purpose pizza dough! You can make this in a bowl by hand, or in the bowl of a stand mixer…so don’t be intimidated. For the purposes of me making it, the pictures will reflect making it in a stand mixer.
Pizza Dough Ingredients:
- 1 package of Active Dry Yeast (equal to 2 1/4 teaspoons if you buy it in the jar)
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 cup of warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
I have a pizza stone that I use in my oven, I love it. It’s great for baking free loafs of bread as well! But follow the directions that came with it for use. For mine, I preheat it in the oven at 500 degrees for 1/2 hour or longer. Then when it comes time to bake the pizza I turn the oven down to 450 degrees.
Pizza toppings Ingredients:
- Pizza sauce. You can buy store bought if you’d like, but I make a simple one.
- Tomato sauce, crushed red pepper, kosher salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning
- Any toppings that you like!!
Making pizza is such a fun thing, as you can see the dough comes together rather quickly, and while it’s rising you have time to preheat your oven and get all of your toppings ready! My nephew and I had so much fun making this meal together and he was so proud to tell Uncle Mike that he helped out in the kitchen. As we sat down to eat, he said, “Uncle Mike, did you tell Uncle Brian thank you for making your dinner?” I started to laugh as Michael told me thank you. When you involve kids in the cooking process they have a sense of pride and ownership of what is on their plate. Seeing how things are made also gives them a chance to try things out. My nephew tried red onions and kale…and found out he didn’t care for either. HA! But that’s the fun of it…allow them to try it and decide for themselves.
I hope you try out this pizza recipe, the dough is also great on the grill! Let me know what you think and if you involve your kids in the kitchen! What are some of your favorite recipes?
Until next time…Keep Cooking!
– By Brian Baisch
About me: As a gay man I’m not your typical housewife…I have a husband, two dogs and chickens. Through blogging and YouTube videos I share my love of cooking while running a household that seems more a bed & breakfast in the middle of a urban farmyard.