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Announcement: Friday, June 27, 2020: Baked Banana Berry Oatmeal
Jul 3rd, 2020 by Max Koster

Welcome to kidscookdinner.com.  Today I (Max) wanted to make something healthy for breakfast that I could also snack on for a couple of days, so I decided to make Baked Banana Berry Oatmeal.  It’s easy to make but does have a fair number of ingredients, including butter, milk, eggs, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, oats, bananas, blueberries and walnuts.

Instead of writing about the process,  however, I made a video: watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHYRnfRV_1I

And here’s a still from the video of the final product. Enjoy!

Oatmeal

Announcement: Saturday, June 20, 2020: Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder
Jun 30th, 2020 by Max Koster

Welcome to kidscoodinner.com, a website my sister and I started 5 years ago (read more about that a few posts below) For dinner tonight (Saturday), I wanted to cook a big piece of pork (pork shoulder) but it’s been really hot so I decided to cook it the day before in a slow cooker, let it sit overnight (so all the fat that cooks out hardens so its easier to remove).  Ingredients are simple: pork, of course; bunch of spices for the dry rub; ketchup, and apple cider vinegar.  You can also add your favorite barbecue sauce to the slow cooker, or just add at the end when you serving the pork.

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First step is to make the dry rub: I combined: onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano and salt and pepper. If you want it spicier, add cayenne.

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Then you rub it over the pork.

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Into the slow cooker the pork goes, then mix the ketchup and apple cider vinegar together (should be about a cup of liquid) and add around the pork.  (I added a little barbecue sauce as well), and let cook on low for 8 hours.

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Here’s what it looked like about 4 hours in:

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Once it’s cooked for 8 hours, it should be very tender. Let it cool for a bit, then remove the pork from the pot, cut the strings keeping it together (discard strings!) and shred it with a fork. I put the shredded meat in a separate bowl and refrigerate it overnight.  I also refrigerated the slow cooker pot with the liquid in it (which had a lot of fat in it), overnight.

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In the morning, there was over 1/4 inch of solidified orange fat on top of the cooking liquid.  It was actually fun to cut it off….but there was a lot of it.

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Here’s the plate of fat I removed.

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And here’s what the remaining sauce looked like:

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I added back the shredded pork and warmed everything up for an hour or so before serving.

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Mom made fresh rolls to go with the meat:

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Delicious! And lots of leftovers.

Announcement: Monday, June 15, 2020: Sweet Cream Ice Cream (to go with Strawberry Pie)
Jun 21st, 2020 by Alex Koster

Welcome to kidscookdinner.com.  Scroll down a few posts to learn more about the website my brother and I started in 2015, or, to see what we’re cooking right now, just keep reading Today Max was focusing on making fresh strawberry pie so I decided to make Sweet Cream Ice Cream to go along with it.  Sweet Cream Ice Cream is vanilla ice cream without vanilla….tastes like frozen whipped cream, but with a better consistency.  Ingredients are very simple: egg yolks, sugar, cream and milk.

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First step is to separate the yolks from the whites and whisk them.

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Then combine the yolks with sugar:

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Meanwhile heat whole milk and cream until almost boiling (little bubbles should be forming around the edges):

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Then you have to combine the yolk/sugar mix with the hot cream/milk mix.

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You do this by adding about a cup of the hot cream to the yolk mix while whisking.  This brings the temperature of the egg yolks up without scrambling them.  Then you add the yolk mix to the hot cream, again whisking all the time.  After that you let it cool for a couple of hours.

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Fast forward several hours, and we’re ready to make the ice cream.  Pour it in the mixer, put the lid on and wait about 25 minutes.

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When it starts to firm, test it, and if a good consistency…ENJOY.  I think it’s better eaten with something (like strawberry pie, oreos….to add more flavor.)

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Announcement: Monday, June 15, 2020: Strawberry Pie and More
Jun 16th, 2020 by Max Koster

Welcome to kidscookdinner.com.  To find out more about this website, and my sister’s and my cooking adventures, scroll down a couple of posts.  To learn about we’re cooking now….just keep reading.

This past Saturday we went strawberry picking at a nearby organic berry farm called Thompson Finch.  We wore masks and practiced social distancing and picked 15 pounds of amazing berries. As soon as we got home we made Joe’s shortcakes to go with the strawberries, but we can’t share that recipe because it’s, well, Joe’s recipe.  But they are sweet, moist biscuits (and really good with strawberries and whipped cream.)  (Sometimes they are for sale at Thompson Finch Farm).

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Today, however, I wanted to make a family favorite: strawberry pie.  My mom usually makes it this time of year but I wanted to try myself.  It’s actually really easy.  You need 5 to 6 cups of strawberries, water, corn starch, pre-made graham cracker crust, and sugar.  (You can make the graham cracker crust from scratch but we had one in the cupboard and I still have school, so I chose to use the pre-made one).

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First step is to wash and hull the strawberries.  (Hull means to chop off the green leaves and stem).  About 1 cup needs to be set aside to make the strawberry sauce; the rest will go in the pie crust.

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Before I took out the plastic liner from the pie crust, I checked to make sure I had enough berries to fill the pan.  Then I mashed up the other cup to make the sauce.

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Next step was to combine the mashed up strawberries with sugar and bring to a light boil.

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Then, mix cornstarch and water, add to the strawberry mix, and drizzle over the berries in the pie pan.

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Finally, you put all the berries and all the sauce in the pie pan and refrigerate for a couple hours.

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After dinner, it was ready to eat.  Alex made sweet cream ice cream so I served it with that. Delicious!20200615_203231  20200615_203516

 

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

Welcome to kidscookdinner.com: 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 on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017 and then ran again on Tuesday, June 19, 2018.   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: kidscookdinner.com.  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! 

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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 too 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.

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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.

 

Friday May 13, 2020: More COVID Comfort Food: French Bread (& Fondue)
May 22nd, 2020 by Alex Koster

Welcome to kidscookdinner.com.   Today, after school finished (early since it’s remote), I decided to make French Bread.  We aren’t shopping much thanks to COVID and we often run short of bread.  Since we were planning on having fondue for dinner, it was essential we have bread.  (Max couldn’t help because he is studying for four AP tests). Ingredients for French Bread are pretty simple: flour, water, yeast, a little salt, and egg white (for an egg wash):

DSC_5876ingredients

First step is to mix the yeast, water, salt and flour using an electric mixer.  Then you slowly add the flour (you start with 2 cups and try to work in almost 6 cups).  You have to use a spoon and your hands as the dough gets stiffer.

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Then you knead it until it’s a smooth ball (6 -8 minutes

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You place the ball of dough in a greased bowl, turn once, and let rise for an hour.

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After you punch down the dough (the most fun part of making bread), then you shape it into two long loaves by rolling out the dough in a rectangle and then rolling each up.  You let the loaves rise for 45 minutes; and then brush with egg wash (water + egg white).

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Then you make 3 diagonal slices in each loaf, about 1/4 inch deep, and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

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After 20 minutes, you remove from the oven and brush them one more time with egg wash so they get really crusty and brown.  They need about 15-20 minutes more of cooking time.

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Best way to eat them? With fondue, of course!

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Saturday May 2, 2020: More COVID Comfort Food: Thanksgiving in May!
May 10th, 2020 by Katekoster

Welcome to kidscookdinner.com.  To learn more about our website, and we why started doing it five years ago, scroll down a couple of posts. To read what we cooked today: read on right here!

Even though it was May, we decided we really needed some traditional comfort food so we decided to make Thanksgiving Dinner: turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. The only thing missing was the pumpkin pie.

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First step was to make sure there was nothing inside the turkey (mom said sometimes the neck or liver is inside…unfortunately she was right).  Good thing we had extra gloves.

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Next step was to tuck the wings into the skin and then rub the bird with butter and salt and pepper.

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Then into the oven at 325 degrees for 3 and 1/2 hours.  (Time to cook depends on the size of turkey: this was one 13 pounds).  We covered it with a tent of foil for the first two hours of cook time so it wouldn’t get too brown. We checked it every hour. The second photo is about halfway through the cooking.

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About an hour before the turkey was supposed to be done, we started peeling potatoes.  Then we chopped them into quarters and put them in water to boil.

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Max was in charge of mashing once the potatoes were fork tender

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For the stuffing, we chopped an onion, sauteed it and added chicken broth.  Once that was combined, we added the stuffing mix.  Right before serving we toasted it in the oven.

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Cranberry sauce was easy: from a can (that’s our favorite; homemade has too many whole berries!) We pulled out the turkey and let it sit for 20 minutes while we finished up the stuffing, added butter to the potatoes and set the table.  Mom sauteed kale since we “forgot” to include a green vegetable.

Then it was time to plate and eat. Each individual part of the dinner was pretty easy. Hardest thing was making sure each part was done at the same time). Happy Thanksgiving in May!

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Sunday, April 26, 2020: More COVID Comfort Food: Barbecued Brisket
May 3rd, 2020 by Katekoster

Hi, welcome to kidscookdinner.com.  To learn more about this blog, scroll down a few posts.  To find out what I cooked for COVID comfort food this week, keep reading here.  This week’s comfort food was barbecued brisket, made in a slow cooker.  I started it on Saturday morning, let it cook all day, refrigerated overnight and then reheated it for Sunday dinner.  Ingredients are simple: spices for a dry rub, beef brisket and barbecue sauce.

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The first step is to remove some of the extra fat on the brisket.

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Next, put together the dry rub for the brisket and rub it in.  The dry rub has onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and salt and pepper. It needs to rubbed into the meat.

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Then into the slow cooker with barbecue sauce and let it cook.

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Here’s what it looks like after eight hours in the slow cooker. Yummy!

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After it cooked for 8 hours, I let it cool down and put it in the refrigerator overnight.  This makes it super easy to remove excess fat because it solidifies.  (Orange stuff around the edges is solid fat).

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The bowl has all the fat we removed!!

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Then I reheated it.

I like to break up the brisket with a fork so the sauce penetrates deeper into the meat.

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Then it was time to eat.  I served the brisket with a hamburger bun and arugula salad.

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Saturday, April 18, 2020: More COVID Comfort Food: Spanish Tapas
Apr 24th, 2020 by Katekoster

Hi, like most of you, I am stuck at home with my family (parents, sister, and dog, Koko) as a result of COVID and New York State’s “PAUSE” Act.  Our family had talked about going to Spain this summer but I don’t think that’s going to happen, so for some COVID Comfort Food, I decided to make two classic Spanish tapas: Gambas as Ajilo and Tortilla Espanola.  We like this restaurant in NYC called Soccarat, and besides their paella, these are two are of our favorite tapas.

Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelette)

I made this first, really as an appetizer before dinner. (Tapas are small savory dishes, so that makes sense).  Ingredients for this are simple (potatoes, eggs, onion and olive oil), but I have never made it before so I found a recipe from Mark Bittman, one of my favorite food writers.

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First step is to peel the potatoes and slice them as thin as possible.

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Next step is to slice the onion.

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Next step: sautee the potatoes and onions until they are soft but not falling apart.  Remove from heat, drain the oil with a colander and let cool for a few minutes while you beat 3 eggs together.  Mix the eggs and potato/onion mix back together.

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Next step, back into the pan with the whole mix until the eggs set.  Once that happens you have to do this crazy flip thing to plate it.  You put a plate on top of the cooked eggs/potato and flip everything over.  Not easy!

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But the end result was worth it.

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Gambas as Ajilo (Shrimp with Garlic)

Ingredients for this are also simple: shrimp, garlic, olive oil and paprika (and of course salt and pepper).  I made a larger portion of this because we ate it as our main meal.

I used frozen shrimp (because we are sheltering in, and it was in the freezer).  After thawing the shrimp, the worst part of the prep: removing the tails from the shrimp.  Our family is a no shrimp tail family.

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After that, I minced the garlic and sauteed it in olive oil.  It needs to soften but shouldn’t brown

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Then it was time to add the shrimp, sprinkle with paprika and cook.  I also started some pasta to serve with the shrimp.  Traditionally, you eat it with toasted bread, so I did that as well.

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Finally, time to plate and eat.  I plated the shrimp with both pasta and toasted bread and added some roasted broccoli (mom made that). Buen Provecho!

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Sunday, April 4, 2019: More COVID Comfort Cooking: Turkey Chili
Apr 9th, 2020 by Katekoster

This morning I wanted to make more comfort food so I decided to make turkey chili in a slow cooker.  This is a really easy recipe, plus it uses a lot of beans (and my mom bought a lot of beans).  Ingredients are ground turkey, black beans, red beans, white beans, tomato sauce, corn, chopped onion, and of course chili powder.

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The first (and hardest) step is to chop the onion…I hate chopping onions.

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Then you have to brown the ground turkey in a little olive oil.

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Then you add everything but the corn to the slow cooker: first the turkey, then the beans, then the onions, tomato sauce and chili powder.  You stir and let cook for 4 hours on high, 6-8 on low, and add the corn 30 minutes before serving.

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Here’s what it looks like about 4 hours in, before and after the corn.

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When you are ready to eat, add a few toppings (we had avocado, cheddar cheese and tortilla chips, sour cream is good too if you have it.

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Then it’s time to eat!

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