I always tell my friends and people who ask me. . if my daughters learn to appreciate food, the time it takes to cook it and develop a love for cooking (along with eating healthy), all this food blogging and cooking will be worth it. Well, it’s already worth it but I guess I should say, it would be THAT much better and worth it more.
I feel like my foodie ways and presence in the kitchen is already starting to pay off. . my girls are still really young, ages 2 and 5, but it’s never too early to have your kids see you in the kitchen cooking and helping to develop their taste buds while feeding them good food. We have a routine in the house whenever I am cooking dinner. My husband usually is not home yet from work so I have to be creative to keep the girls occupied so I can cook. Sometimes, my girls watch TV. I’ll be honest. Sometimes, that’s the only way I can pull it off. . but not all the time. Most of the time, they are playing in the room right next to me – so I can watch them. Sometimes, they are coloring or fighting over crayons and paper. . . OR if I’ve turned my back, they are sometimes causing havoc in our study. . . getting into all kinds of trouble.
Now that I am cooking and baking more frequently, they love to copy me. They even take turns wearing my apron (when I’m not wearing it). Madeline, my youngest, will grab her Elmo stool and come up next to me, usually banging wooden spoons and some measuring cups she got out from my baking essentials drawer. Note to self: have the Hubs put a child lock on this drawer stat. Of course when I’m handling hot food, am at the stove or oven or even boiling water, I make sure the girls are safe.
The girls also (well, more just Phoebe, my 5 year old) now request what they want for dinner and snack time. . sometimes Phoebe is a little too specific. As long as she eats everything, it doesn’t bother me. For example, when it comes to apples, she tells me if she wants the skin on or peeled. Whole or cut up. I think Phoebe got this from her BFF, Alyssa, who asked for an apple “whole, with the skin on” one day while here for a play date. I need to thank her because up until then, Phoebe never ate an apple with the skin on.
Last night Phoebe requested stir fry and went on to tell me exactly what she wanted in the stir fry. . of course not naming the vegetables she doesn’t like. So, here’s their favorite Chicken and Shrimp Stir-Fry. . and I made a version with BEEF for my husband. Oh, you know why. It’s hilarious because whenever I make stir-fry, this is usually when Madeline, my 2 year old , comes up next to me with her plastic bowl and my wooden spoon. . maybe it’s the WOK. The wok that I always whip out to cook up their stir-fry. Anyway, I don’t know how she knows, but she does!
Fortunately, now Madeline has this awesome Stir Fry set from Melissa and Doug. And it came with a WOK. It was delivered on her birthday (which we just recently celebrated) so it’s still new and shiny, with all of the parts still together. And it comes with chopsticks! Madeline loves this. They have sticky felt/velcro on the ends so she can actually pick up the food with them. She totally loves this. We’ve been playing “identify the food or vegetable, identify the food color”, counting the veggies, and she just loves playing with it, mixing things up, cutting and cooking! I think I’ve got a true CHEF in the making!
I just LOVE this shot. I was just watching her play and she thoroughly LOVED it. She was down right serious too. . just look at her cutting up the beef all by herself! Such concentration should always be there when cutting meat. Word.
A few of the food pieces fell on the carpet. She then proceeded to pick up all the food and threw it back into the WOK, like any good chef does! 😛 (Chef’s secret)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 cups broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 package mushrooms, sliced
- 2 to 3 carrots, cut
- 1 bell pepper (red or yellow), chopped
- 1-2 cups sugar snap peas, chopped
- 1 cup onion, diced
- salt and pepper
- about 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- about 1 pound shrimp (fresh or frozen, but if frozen, make sure it's completely thawed)
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken; chopped
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
- Serve with brown rice
- Get all your veggies prepped: washed and chopped. And cut up your rotisserie chicken.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. After a minute or 2, throw in all of your vegetables and allow them to cook until just tender, for about 2 minutes. Stirring occasionally. After 2 minutes, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook your vegetables or another 3 minutes or so. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- Add the shrimp and chicken. Drizzle the sesame oil, add the low sodium soy sauce and a splash or 2 of balsamic vinegar. Taste and add more soy sauce or balsamic vinegar if needed. Cook for another 5 minutes or so. Serve over brown rice.
Disclaimer: I received a free Stir Fry Slicing Play set from Melissa and Doug. I received no monetary compensation and I only share brands that I like and use and want to support! All opinions expressed here are my own.