I try and cook with my kids as much as I can. It's definitely not been hard to convince either of them to help out. In fact, my 10-year-old is a bit of a foodie and has made entire meals for the family. My six-year-old just loves making a mess.
But, I'll admit, it's not something I always look forward to. Meal prep goes a lot more quickly when it's just me at the wheel. And I don't have to constantly remind somebody to "Be Careful," "Don't Touch," "Wash Your Hands!"
But there are plenty of benefits to having kids help in the kitchen. They are more likely to eat what they cook. They learn math skills. We're actually doing something together - talking about what we're cooking or life in general.
The New York Times' Kids in the Kitchen series had a post this month about five reasons kids should be helping in the kitchen (other than cooking knowledge is an important life skill). The post has been shared umpteen million times on my Facebook page.
So, last weekend, I knocked out a simple recipe for blueberry buttermilk muffins with my six-year-old. And here's the thing: I was a little overbearing as I was certain that she was going to make a complete mess out of the exercise, but I tried to step back as best as I could. And she did just fine. Other than a little sprinkle of flour on the table, the ingredients stayed in the bowl. The muffin pan wasn't a gloopy mess. There were no injuries to report.
My daughter also made her own addition to the recipe, adding a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar to each of the muffins. Here's what we made.
Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins
Adapted from Food.com
2 1⁄2 cups flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
3⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
4 ounces butter or 1⁄2 cup canola oil (we used the oil)
1 1⁄2 cups blueberries (we used frozen blueberries)
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional) (We ran out so skipped it)
cinnamon sugar (Just enough to sprinkle each muffin)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Get two bowls. Mix the dry ingredients in one. Mix the eggs, buttermilk, butter/oil in another. Combine the two and mix quickly. Fold in your blueberries. Then sprinkle each muffin with the cinnamon sugar. Spray some non-stick oil in your muffin tin or line it with muffin cups. Put in the batter. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. It took about 25 minutes for our 12 muffins to bake.
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