Holiday cooking with kids

Holiday Baking
Holiday Baking
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Thanksgiving is next week! I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to all the yummy casseroles, cranberry sauce, turkey, cornbread, pies and cakes.

On Thanksgiving Day, we enjoy lunch with extended family – aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and second cousins. Everyone brings a dish or two to share and I always have to try a little bit of everything. Thanksgiving lunch has to be the biggest meal I eat all year!

This Thanksgiving, instead of making a dish myself, I’m going to let my children choose a recipe, shop for the ingredients and make something to take to our Thanksgiving meal.

All of my children like to cook and my oldest son especially loves to try new recipes. He looks through magazines or checks out kids cookbooks from the library to find interesting recipes to try. Lately he’s made pull-apart pizza bread, a cake, mini pumpkin pies, cheesy eggs and mango fruit dip.

Despite the inevitable mess, cooking is a great experience for kids. Not only do they learn a life skill, but they are also more likely to try new foods if they help to make them. Cooking for others can also increase their confidence and self-esteem as they tell family members, “I made this myself!”

Thanksgiving will be my kids’ first experience cooking for a crowd. I look forward to seeing their smiles when grandparents, aunts and uncles compliment their budding cooking skills.

Why not give cooking with the kids a try this Thanksgiving? Here are two ideas for simple desserts you can make with your kids this holiday season:

Mini pumpkin pies
2 9-in pie crust doughs
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t. salt

Roll pie crust dough about 1/16 inch thick. Using a 4 in. wide bowl or cookie cutter, cut dough into 12 circles and press into greased muffin tin cups. Combine remaining ingredients and stir until blended. Fill each mini pie crust with the pumpkin mixture. Bake 25-30 minutes at 375. Makes 12 mini pies.

Pumpkin muffins
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. plus 2 t. pumpkin pie spice
2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. salt
3 c. granulated sugar
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
4 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. orange juice

Combine flour, spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine remaining ingredients and beat until just blended. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moistened. Fill lined muffin cups. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350. Makes about 30 muffins.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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