About Kids Cook Dinner and Max and Alex’s Adventures on Chopped Junior
Sep 29th, 2017 by Katekoster

Welcome to a website/blog dedicated to kids cooking (usually dinner, but not always) and also to draw attention to the fact that a lot of people don’t have enough to eat.   And thanks for all of you who watched us compete on Chopped Junior on Food Network which first aired in 2017, and then still occasionally reruns.   We were thrilled to compete to raise awareness (and hopefully money) for Action Against Hunger, an international hunger relief charity that we have supported since we first won a prize for our website domain name: and donated $17,000 to that charity.  If you want to find out more about Action Against Hunger or donate to this charity, please click HERE.  But if you just want to see what we cooked this week or other weeks, just scroll up or down! 

2022 Update: as our city, state, nation, world continue to struggle to deal with COVID-19, hunger is not going away, in fact it’s getting worse.  As we see it affect our fellow New Yorkers, we have also been donating to local hunger relief organizations, such as City Harvest.  Please consider giving locally if you can (HERE is City Harvest’s link.) Another great charity is Feeding America (link HERE). Stay safe and well!


Dinner in 2015


Dinner in 2020

As you may know, we (Max and Alex…the kids) started cooking dinner for our family once a week back in 2015.  We realized how fun it was to cook and we wanted to share our experiences (and encourage kids to cook), so we started this website.  We also randomly entered the website in a national domain name contest.  Amazingly enough, we won the contest and $35,000!  Click HERE for more about the story of our domain name.


But because we have plenty to eat, and millions of people around the world don’t, we donated half of our prize ($17,000) to Action Against Hunger–a charity dedicated to saving the lives of malnourished children and helping vulnerable communities become self-sufficient. We were lucky enough to get to visit the Action Against Hunger office in New York and meet some of their amazing staff. (Below we are sitting with Alex Cottin, Director of External Affairs, and Andrea Tamburini, CEO of AAH-USA, in August 2015)

Max and Alex with Alex Cottin, Director of External Affairs and Andrea Tamburini, CEO, of AAH-USA

We hope you enjoyed watching us compete on Chopped Junior and we hope you are inspired to cook more.  Let’s all try to take the time to enjoy what we cook together. And, at least for our family, let’s be thankful for what we have and try to help those in need.

Dinner No. 93, Monday, September 25, 2017: Brisket, Frisee Salad & Apple Crepes
Sep 27th, 2017 by Katekoster

Because Monday nights are always super busy, we decided to make barbecue brisket in the slow cooker on Sunday so all we had to do Monday was reheat it and make a salad.  But because we like sweet things, and its apple season, we also made apple crepes.  For the salad, we were inspired by a salad our mom told us about that she had in a French bistro and loved: a frisee salad with lardons (big bacon bits), croutons and a poached egg.  Our take on it uses pancetta lardons, tops the croutons with goat cheese and uses a fried egg instead of a poached egg.  And we also made orso as a simple side dish.  It was a GREAT Monday night dinner (a little more work than we intended but worth it!)

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Barbecue Brisket

For the brisket, first we made a dry rub out of a bunch of secret spices, but which definitely included paprika, salt and pepper.  Then we put it in the slow cooker with plenty of barbecue sauce and let it cook over night.  We let it cool, skimmed the fat, shredded it and refrigerated it until dinner.

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Frisee Salad

For the frisee salad, first we chopped and sauteed the pancetta. Then we made goat cheese croutons and fried an egg in the pancetta oil.  Then we put it all together.  Mom loved it although we all decided that next time we needed at least two eggs, not just one.

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Apple Crepes

For the apple crepes: first we made the crepe batter (it’s really easy: just eggs, milk, flour and salt) but it’s good to let it sit a bit.  So while the crepe mix was sitting, we peeled and sliced 4 apples. Then we cooked them with a little butter and cinnamon sugar. Then we made the crepe on our crepe maker, filled it with apples, folded and topped with whipped cream.  Delicious!

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Sunday, September 17, 2017: Dinner No. 92: Stir Fry & Chocolate Lava Cakes
Sep 23rd, 2017 by Katekoster

Tonight we wanted to have something healthy AND something decadent so we decided to make beef and broccoli stir fry with rice (healthy) and chocolate lava cakes (not quite so healthy). Both were delicious and the chocolate lava cakes were much easier than we thought they would be.  We served them with vanilla ice cream.

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For the stir fry we kept it simple: beef and broccoli, flavored with a little garlic, olive oil and soy sauce.  We blanched the broccoli before we put it in the wok so it was a little cooked already and would keep its nice green color (blanching is when you boil vegetables for 30 seconds and then plunge them into ice water.  We also tossed the beef in a little rice flour before hand (because the recipe called for it) but we won’t do that again.  The flour just got gunky in the wok and wasn’t necessary.  The rice was easy: we just used our hand rice cooker.

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The chocolate lava cakes (or molten chocolate cakes) were a lot easier than we thought.  The ingredients were simple: chocolate (bittersweet and semisweet), butter, eggs, egg yolks, flour, vanilla and powdered sugar.  First we melted the chocolate and butter together in the microwave.  Then we let it cool a little bit and added  the powdered sugar. (The only slightly tricky thing was we didn’t have quite enough powdered sugar so we figured we could make it from regular sugar using the cuisinart.  It worked!) Then we whisked in 2 eggs and 3 egg yolks, added the vanilla and finally the flour.

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The batter tasted a lot like our fudge brownies, only slightly eggier.  We poured it into ramekins and baked for 13 minutes (sides were firm but centers still soft) at 425 degrees. Then we let them sit for 1 minute and inverted them on a plate…Ate with icecream. YUMMMY, especially with vanilla ice cream

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Monday, September 3, 2017: Labor Day Grilled Pizza
Sep 9th, 2017 by Katekoster

Today we wanted to grill something  for lunch but we had so much grilled meat already this weekend (steaks, burgers, hot dogs, sausages) that we wanted a change so we decided we would make grilled pizza!


First we made the pizza dough: it’s really like bread dough except you use olive oil as your shortening and it only rises once.  The recipe is simple: flour, salt, warm water & yeast, and olive oil.  You add the yeast to the warm water until it dissolves, then add to the flour, salt and olive oil.  Then you form into a ball and let rise for an hour or so.

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Then you turn on the grill and rollout the pizza in a slight oiled rectangular pan.  Once it’s rolled out, you brush the top with oil slightly and fold over the pizza (this is so you can unfold the pizza on the grill….it’s too big to lift.)

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Make sure your grill is clean because you put the pizza….unfolding in….right on the grill. You let it cook on one side for 3-4 minutes (bubbles form and grill marks appear on cooking side).  Then you flip over and lay slices of mozarella on the cooked side.  You cook another 4-5 minutes and then remove from the grill.  Then you can add whatever you want. Max and I like ours just plain but mom and dad added arugula and tomato.

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