Cooking with Kids for Summer Picnic Fun

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Summer Cooking with Kids

“Cooking is one of the great gifts you can give to those you love.” -Ina Garten

One of my most favorite activities to do with my boys is cooking in the kitchen. I enjoy baking and cooking, although I am far from Pinterest-worthy dishes. I am more of a recipe-follower than a let’s-see-what-goes-together cook. But from a very young age, I’ve gotten my boys involved with cooking.

During the summer, my kids each get to pick a meal to make each week. They plan the meal, write out a shopping list, pick out the ingredients at the store, and then make the meal.  Currently, our grocery shopper is grabbing their list items for them.  As they are getting older, they need less assistance from me, but everyone has a role in the kitchen. My youngest can help take out ingredients, mix things up, and he’s always the cookie dough taste tester. My middle guy is learning to read and follow a recipe, while my oldest is starting to use the stove and clean up the dishes. Score!

The end of May seems to kick-off the start of BBQ season and backyard picnics. This time is a great opportunity to have your kids help in the kitchen to prepare a few side dishes you can serve at your backyard potluck picnics all summer long!

Print Recipe
Caprese Pasta Salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package and set to cool.
  2. Once the pasta is cooled, toss with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, and fresh pesto. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Print Recipe
American Flag Fruit Platter
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry fruit. Lay out fruit and pretzels in alternating rows on platter to represent flag stripes.
  2. Place blueberries in a small bowl and place in the top left corner to represent the stars.
Print Recipe
Pepperoni Rolls
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Do not preheat oven until the roll is prepared.
  2. Roll dough into a 12x12 square on a lightly floured surface.
  3. Arrange pepperonis on the dough and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Top with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and roll dough into a log. Pinch seam to seal and place seam side down on a parchment lined pan.
  4. Mix melted butter, parmesan cheese, and garlic powder. Brush on top of rolls. Place on stove to rise while oven preheats.
  5. Cook for 18-20 minutes at 375 degrees. Serve warm with marinara sauce

What’s your favorite kid-friendly picnic dish?

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Ellen Kehs was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois where she met and later married her high school sweetheart, Mason. Together they’ve traveled the world, most recently touching down in Omaha in June 2019. She’s a mom to three little boys, Theodore (seven), Woodrow (five), and Maximus (two). Life is never boring with her boys! Ellen loves being a military spouse and she embodies the “bloom where you are planted” mentality. In addition to soaking up whatever current city she’s living in, she is passionate about reading and getting books in the hands of children, as well as helping other mamas connect with each other. She has a bachelor’s degree in secondary English education, a master’s degree in adolescent literacy and technology, and she teaches part-time online, but is primarily as stay-at-home mom. Her hobbies include, exploring, reading, swimming, napping, snapping pictures, playing games, baking, and loving on the little men in her life.

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