Robin Anish | The Table Is Set: Have fun in the kitchen with kids

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Do your kids a favor, teach them how to cook.

Fearlessly bring them into the kitchen and let them cook with you. Let them measure, pour, stir, mash, knead, roll, spread, taste, season, create. In time, they can learn to safely slice, chop and use the stove.

Let them grocery shop with you and choose recipe ingredients. Take them to a farmers market. Pick apples and berries at local orchards. Stop at a farm stand to buy fresh eggs and teach them how to cook those eggs.

Let your children take great delight in feeling proud of what they have made.

Here are two recipes that are easy and very hands-on, perfect for budding young chefs!

Easy chicken and dumpling soup

Kids can tear the chicken into bite size pieces and use a plastic or butter knife to cut the biscuit dough and they can add the ingredients to the pot.

INGREDIENTS:

2 celery ribs, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

1 small onion, diced

6 cups chicken broth

1 rotisserie chicken

1 can refrigerated biscuit dough

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a large pot, combine celery, carrots, onion and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cook until carrots are just tender.

Tear rotisserie chicken into bite size pieces and add to soup.

Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces. If using larger biscuits, cut into 8 pieces. Stir biscuit pieces into simmering soup. Cover pot and cook 10 to 15 minutes until "dumplings" are cooked through.

Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

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This is a messy recipe, but kids will love mixing and rolling the dough then spreading the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls.



Quick no yeast cinnamon rolls

INGREDIENTS:


Dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons softened butter

3/4 cup milk

1 large egg

Filling:

1 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 tablespoons butter, melted

Glaze:

2 cups confectioners sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



DIRECTIONS:


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch square or round baking dish.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in softened butter or work the butter into the flour with fingers.

Whisk milk and egg together and stir into flour mixture to form a soft dough. Do not over work the dough.

Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and butter.

On a generously floured surface, dust dough with flour and gently roll or pat into a 10 by 12-inch rectangle. Spread with filling.

Roll dough up jelly roll-style, starting with the long side. Pinch the edges to seal

Slice into 8 rolls and arrange in prepared dish. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Stir together glaze ingredients until smooth and spread over warm rolls. Best enjoyed warm from the oven.

After all is said and done, don't forget to teach your kids how to clean up the messy kitchen!


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