Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Boy Can Cook

Have you seen the new show on Food Network, Worst Cooks in America? The premise of the show is based on bringing together 16 of the 'worst' cooks in America to be taught by two Food Network chefs. And they really did go out and find the worst cooks they possibly could. Watching their clumsy attempts in the kitchen is almost painful. From the recruit who couldn't tell the front of a chicken from the back (and called the breast the 'boobs') to the recruit who set a fire with her green beans, it would be comical if it weren't so sad!

I don't want my children, even my boys, to be nearly so incapable in the kitchen as these adults. I've been cooking with my kids fairly often since they were old enough to stir or sprinkle. Lately though, I've taken it a step further and am teaching them to plan a healthy meal. I guess you could call it our home economics course.

This evening was my oldest son's turn to cook. Gavin will be turning 13 years old next week (if you hear loud sniffling and snobbing next Monday, the 17th, that'll be me bemoaning the onset of the teenage years). Because he's older and has had plenty of experience in the kitchen, Gavin can pretty much tackle a meal on his own now. Tonight he chose to make Pan Chicken Parmesan which he served with whole wheat pasta and Italian Green Beans, both recipes from Sparkpeople.com.

Pan Chicken Parmesan was a pretty simple dish to prepare. Cook salted and peppered chicken in a lightly oiled skillet. 

Top it with spaghetti sauce, mozarella cheese, and a few herbs. Pop it under the broiler briefly to melt the cheese and it's done.

The Italian Green Beans were a cinch to make as well. Gavin cooked and drained the green beans (we started with a frozen bag) and then tossed them with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a packet of Italian dressing mix.

The Chef

Kid Rating: 6 Thumbs Up!


  1. Fantastic! The meal looks delicious and healthy to boot! Congratulations on the wonderful job you're doing preparing your children with life skills!

  2. This is such a good idea to have your children actually help prepare (and prepare by themselves when they are capable) some of their meals. How much better off they will be when they branch out and live on their own. Plus, you can also let them use measuring skills, reading and following directions---all very important skills when cooking.

    I have watched some of the "Worst Cooks in America" and it is sad, indeed, to see how pitifully ill equipped these people are to even walk into a kitchen, much less try to cook anything there!! You might notice that among their problems are not listening when they are being taught kitchen skills and not being able to follow directions when they have a written recipe to follow. So those really are skills that will prove to come in handy in the kitchen!

    Bon appetit and can I come to your house one day for lunch or dinner???

  3. Hi! I'm your new follower. That's great that your children are helping out in the kitchen! Looks yummy!

  4. I'm excited to watch you and your kids. My oldest is only 9, but he loves, loves, loves to be in the kitchen with me. So do the others, ages 2, 6 and 7. We homeschool, and my husband works nights. So I'm always looking to experiment with the kids of an evening. :)

  5. I want to come eat in your cafeteria!

  6. This looks very yummy as I am a huge fan of chicken parm..one problem I always have is getting my chicken cooked all the way through when cooking with some olive oil..I even pound the chicken to make it thinner but still is too pink for me in the center..


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