Category Archives: Best Of…

2010 Has Been a Good Year (What’s Next?)

2010 Has Been a Good Year (What’s Next?)
It has been a good year for What's Cooking!  I have met amazing people and have accomplished things that I never thought possible. [caption id="attachment_3675" align="aligncenter" width="342" caption="Chefs Move to Schools"][/caption] Here are a few highlights of 2010 - a good place to start if you are just getting to know me and my mission: Readers started sharing their amazing stories about their experiences in the kitchen with family in our new series, What's Cooking with YOUR...

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Judging Blog Success- Chefs Move to Schools

Judging Blog Success- Chefs Move to Schools
Over the past year or so, I have been struggling with the idea that my blog wasn't very well-known.  But then I realized that I was using the wrong parameters to judge success. I can't compare myself to some of the top-notch bloggers that I adore - we each have our own distinguishing feature.  My photographs are good, but they'll never compare to Shaina's, Heidi's, or Alice's. My recipes will always taste delicious (unless I am writing about a flop) but they won't be as refined and well tested...

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School Lunch Reform – Stick a Spork In My Eye

School Lunch Reform – Stick a Spork In My Eye
Okay, it's time for me to tell it like it is.  It's not like I was lying to you before.  But I realize that I may have suggested that our school lunch reform efforts were all flowers and butterflies.  It's time for a reality check.  For you.  So you don't think that this is easy.  I'll be honest  - there have been many days when I have wanted to stick a spork in my eye.  But I haven't told you about those days because I didn't want to be a complainer.  And I didn't want to make anyone look...

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Realistic Kid-Friendly Menu Plan for the Week

[caption id="attachment_5210" align="aligncenter" width="448" caption="Michelle Obama at the Chefs Move to Schools Launch in DC"][/caption] Last year, the Let’s Move campaign launched a new arm of the plan called Let’s Cook, with the intention of helping families across America select healthy recipes to cook for their families.  Chefs would share menu plans, and families could print the recipes and share them with their friends.  But these recipes are too time consuming and expensive for...

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Tips for Teaching Knife Skills to Kids & 5 Sugge...

Tips for Teaching Knife Skills to Kids & 5 Suggestions for Kid-Safe Cutting Tools
In my 8 years of teaching children to cook, I have encountered countless parents who wistfully express their desire that their children would eat more vegetables.  After a few classes, those same parents enthusiastically report that their kids are eating better and are more open to tasting new foods.  What’s the secret?  Nothing surprising – just the simple fact that kids who cook and learn some basic knife skills become better eaters. You may be thinking, “Wait a second. Not all kids...

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Chefs Move to Schools - My White House Experienc...

When I was growing up, my parents taught me that it is customary to be grateful and polite when you are invited to somebody’s house. The rules would be no different for the White House, of course.  Maybe that is why I have been hesitant to write about my trip to DC until now.  I have been struggling with how to capture the whole event – the thrill, the honor, the inspiration…and also some of my concerns and constructive feedback.  I don’t have any real dirt to share and I am not leaking...

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Recipe Types for Cooking With Kids

What's with the junk food on Kid's Menus at restaurants?  It reminds me of the assumption that most people make when they learn that I teach cooking classes for kids.  "You must bake a lot of cookies," they say... Is it that difficult to believe that kids can enjoy good food?  I don't mean "good" like "indulgent".  I mean good as in fresh, just-picked, seasonal and sustainable.  We all know that kids who help in the kitchen are more likely to eat what they have created.  Kids don't need...

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Include Your Kids in Meal Planning: 6 Ideas To T...

It's almost impossible to find a parent who doesn't eagerly share his or her woes about his or her child's food "issues." Some kids refuse to eat anything green. Others only want to eat food that is white. Some love crunchy while others will abstain. Taking each person's preferences and aversions into account can certainly put a crimp on planning family meals. Don't despair. By getting your kids involved, they will be more likely to participate peacefully in the family meal (even if they still don't...

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4 Great Reasons to Cook with Your Kids

I was proud to be named the "Cooking with Kids expert" for a new audio program, soon to be released on A Million Cooks.  Each of my "food-casts" will be one minute long and will be related to family meals and cooking with kids.  After 6 years of teaching cooking classes for children, I have loads of ideas to share.  But I thought I'd start at the beginning - my first food-cast will give my readers an overview of why you should cook with your kids in the first place. Cook with your Kids Take...

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Negotiating Dessert with the Kids

Does this sound familiar:  "How much more do I have to eat before I can have dessert?"  If so, you are not alone.  In fact, we started hearing this so often at our table that we decided to stop serving dessert every night.  Dessert was becoming such a powerful incentive to eat their "growing food" that our kids were no longer listening to their bodies.  Instead of  considering how full they were, they were completely focused on the prize at the end.  Now, we only offer dessert randomly, as...

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