7 Ways to Turn Cooking Into a Game

“So what do you like to cook with yours kids?” my brother asked.
“It doesn’t matter what we cuisine. Its how that makes cooking with kids such a blast.”

Discover our revolutionary cooking techniques that transform mundane kitchen gestures into playful moves. Quality results guaranteed:
- Your meals will taste as delicious as with your usual style
- Your memories will turn out absolutely divine

Once you’ve tried our hilarious cooking techniques, you’ll be hungry for our cleaning up ones too!

1. Slice with Scissors

Our pizza recipe read, “Cut ham into squares.” Why? With scissors it’s so much more entertaining to cut various shapes and sizes! We planted a ham tree (!!) on our pizza and decorated it with dollops of tomato sauce to look like apples. The younger children simply enjoyed using the scissors and covered their pizza with original squarish shapes of ham. (Think inspiration by Picasso’s cubic years.)

Recipe Ideas:

For pizza topings, open face sandwiches (most kinds of lunch meat and sliced cheeses), herbs, bananas (hope you have a dishwasher!), dried fruit to put into fruit cakes...

2. Chop with a Mallet

“Can I get the plastic hammer please?!” the kids invariably pipe up when I take out a bar of cooking chocolate. In France, we don’t have the chocolate chip selection available in the US. We have one model: 8 oz bags of dark chocolate chips. So we make our own...with a mallet!

Place the desired amount of chocolate into a zip-lock bag. Lay the closed bag on a cutting board. Swing the mallet down, aiming at the chunkiest pieces. And that’s how you get truly perfect chips: made with love and each one is unique. Just like your kids :-)

Noise reduction tip: slide two to three folded dishtowels under each end of your cutting board. The fabric will absorb the vibrations... keeping the serious-faced adults from barging in to check that you’re not breaking the house down.

Recipe ideas:

Chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip pound cake, chunky brownies, anything with chopped nuts, recipes which require a pestle and mortar (alternatively try a rolling pin), breaking cheese into chunks for pizza (freeze cheese for 15 minutes before putting it under the hammer), quick crumble topping by chopping up sugar/cinnamon/ginger cookies, making bread crumbs from stale or toasted bread, cheesecake crust...

3. Juice after Playing Catch

What to drink with such a feast? Lemonade! Whether you have an ultimate citrus presser or not, first prepare your lemons’ squeezability. Soft and malleable citrus generate more juice. A simple game of catch-the-lemon does the trick. We definitely prefer this technique during the warm months when such “cooking” can be taken outside, but the living room cleared of the fragile trinkets does the trick too.

Show the children that you take this job seriously by testing the squeezability. “You’re getting there. Three or four more tosses and it will just right!”

Recipe ideas:

Lemonade, fish, soups, guacamole, pico de gallo (we use red onions marinated in lime juice) , jams, fruit salad...anything with lemon (or orange or lime) juice

4. Knead with Squeeze

We make home-made pizzas so that we can knead the dough...by playing catch. Tossing and playing with food is usually a “no-no” chez nous (in our home), but we make an exception when kneading dough.

Play as a team and toss the dough to each other across a table, With each catch, give the dough an extra squeeze. Play for at least five minutes.

Cleanliness Tips: clean the floor beforehand :-), and give bonus points for keeping the ball from dropping.

Recipe Ideas:

Pizza dough...add pizzaz to your regular recipe by including spices or condiments: tomato pizza dough (replace water with tomato juice), curry pizza dough, barbecue pizza dough, “herbes de provence” pizza dough...

5. Beat to the Beat

We initiated this technique to scramble eggs while on a camp-out. Why limit its utility and our fun?! (Check out the recipe ideas.) Crack eggs or pour (pre-measured) liquids directly into a jar. Firmly close the lid (and keep cover in place with your hand for accident-prevention). Shake your booty and shake that jar.

For best results, blast KC & the Sunshine Band’s tune “Shake your booty” to fully get into the cooking rhythm.

Recipe Ideas:

Scrambling eggs for omelette, quiches, beating eggs for making meatloaf, burgers, or steak tartare (!), beating eggs for making crepes, cakes, or cookies, mixing salad dressing, mixing sauces...

6. Paint with Sauces

Food painting works with a brush or with fingers. We still find the best “artwork” results from food in tubes. That’s why we buy tomato paste and tomato sauce in tubes. It’s also why we recycle a used bottle of ketchup so that we can fill it with our newest concoction and paint through the spout. Sign your cooking work with your initials, write a love note, or simply let creativity flow freely.

Recipe Ideas:

Tomato sauce on pizza’s or lasagna, ketchup and mustard on burgers, displaying food and sauces/purées on plates, frosting on cakes, decorator icing on top of the frosting on the cakes...

7. Say “I Love You” in Spilled Flour

What if the blunders were really opportunities? Read on.

Discover more parenting insights from baking mishaps here!

Cleaning Up Games

Read more about taking the bore out of the chore during clean-up time.

 
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