Cooking School

Kids' cooking questions, Canadian Living answers and recipe ideas for kids

Author: Canadian Living

Cooking School

Kids' cooking questions, Canadian Living answers and recipe ideas for kids

Christine Picheca chatted up with kids across the country in a special kids-only live Q&A in our forums. What do kids want to know about cooking? Read on to find out.

Q. I like cookies and I was wondering if there were any easy no bake ones with chocolate for me to make? -- Brianna

A. Here is an easy yummy recipe that would be good for you to make -- No Bake Fudge Crispies. Use the microwave instructions so that you don't have to use the stove and make sure you check with mom or dad before you start cooking!

Q. What is the weirdest fruit or vegetable you have ever eaten? Why does baking powder make muffins rise? How do I get my brother to wash my dishes? -- Kate

A. The weirdest fruit I have ever eaten is a durian fruit. It has a spiky bumpy skin and smell a bit like rotten eggs, I didn't really like it! There is also this other strange fruit called a dragon fruit that has a bright pink skin and the centre is white with black speckles, it's good and taste a bit like melon.

Baking powder is the combination of two acids that react with heat and create a gas that gets trapped in the muffin. When the gas expands it makes the muffin rise up, the starch in the muffin sets when it is risen and creates the airy structure of the muffin. Check out some of our best muffin recipes.

As far as your brother goes -- try hiding his Game Boy until he agrees to clean up!

Q. Hi Christine. My niece would like to know if it's better to make things from a mix or from scratch? -- Fisher

A. Food tastes better when you make it from scratch -- you also know exactly what is going into what you are making so it can be healthier. Plus you know what you are eating. It is also good to learn how to make from scratch so that you know how when you don't have a mix.

Sometimes, however, a mix is helpful in the kitchen because it might help to make things faster when you might not have time, or are missing ingredients you need to make from scratch.

Q. Why are there different measuring cups for wet and dry ingredients? I don't understand why I can't use the same measuring cups for flour and oil. -- Cookiecookie

A. When you are measuring a dry ingredient like flour you do not want to have the ingredients packed down into the cup because you will end up with too much of the ingredient in your recipe, so a dry measuring cup works best. You should dip the cup into the flour to overflow it and then swipe off the extra flour to make the ingredients level with the top of the cup to get an accurate measure. Don't tap down the ingredient or shake the cup to level it off.

If you are measuring liquids, it would be difficult to use a dry measuring cup because you would have to have the liquid flush with the top of the cup. A see-through measuring cup lets you see that the liquid is at the measurement line and leaves enough room on top so it doesn't overflow. When you use a liquid measure, the liquid will curl up slightly at the edges of the cup make sure you take the at the lowest point of the liquid.

Q.  l'm wondering if you have a good and easy recipe for Peanut butter cookies for my kids?
-Ms Claus


A. Yes - here is a basic peanut butter cookie recipe. If you like your cookies a bit chewy (I do) under bake them slightly: Peanut Butter Cookie

Page 1 of 2 -- Rachel wants to make some delicious pancakes for her sleepover. Find out Christine's easy solution on page 2
Q. I am planning to have my friends sleepover this weekend. I want to make really delicious pancakes for breakfast! Do you have any pancake making tips? What toppings are good on pancakes? Is it better to use real maple syrup? -- Rachel

A. Here is a link to a buttermilk pancake recipe -- I love to use buttermilk in pancakes because they come out soft and fluffy. It's really easy to make pancakes, the secret is to not over-mix the batter or they will be tough. If you use a little oil on the griddle you will get a nice crispy outside. Try out our Weekend Breakfast Buttermilk Pancakes.

Toppings: I love real maple syrup on pancakes better than the imitation stuff but it can be quite expensive -- so if you are having a lot of friends at you sleep over you might want to go with imitation. Or you can serve your pancakes with fresh fruit mixed with maple syrup to make it go farther. There are also good spreads with honey, or here is a recipe for blueberry topping that is yummy and easy to make or try a delectable cherry berry sauce:

Wild Blueberry Topping
Cherry Berry Sauce

You can also slice up bananas and lay them onto of the pancakes when they are cooking and serve them with this mango sauce from our coconut panna cotta recipe. Then sprinkle them with shredded coconut to really make them tropical!

Mango Sauce:
2 mangoes, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) each lime juice and orange juice

In food processor, purée together mangoes, sugar, lime juice and orange juice; press through sieve into small bowl. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)

Q. I was helping my grandmother to slip skins off of almonds this morning. Do you know a simple way to do this job? Can you suggest a recipe for fruit smoothies? -- Gabriel

A. The best way to get skins off of almonds is to boil the almonds for a few minutes on the stove so the water gets under the skin, rinse them under cold water and then the skins should slip right off -- it is very time consuming but a good way to spend some time with your grandmother.

Here are three recipes for delicious fruit smoothies that you can make.

1. Fruity Yogurt Smoothies recipe
2.
Pineapple Berry Smoothies recipe
3.
Strawberry Mango Smoothies recipe

Can you figure out if a fruit is fresh by looking, touching, or smelling it? What is the easiest way to separate eggs? Is it hard being a vegetarian? -- Gabriel

A.
Yes you can -- the way the fruit should feel would depend on the fruit. Usually to pick a good piece of fruit it should smell of the fruit that it is and not stale or rotting in anyway, it should feel firm unless it is a soft fruit and them it should have a slight resistance but not mushy.

The easiest way to separate an egg is probably to carefully crack the egg over your hand and let the whites drop into a bowl. Do his over a small bowl and transfer the egg into your ingredient in case the egg yolk breaks and it gets mixed together.

If you are dedicated to being a vegetarian you probably won't mind any compromises you need to make. You should however be careful to make sure you are eating a balanced diet -- that means you are getting enough protein and fresh vegetables and not just French fries and bread.

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Cooking School

Kids' cooking questions, Canadian Living answers and recipe ideas for kids

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