Saturday, March 11, 2006

Cooking With Toddlers

Swampy Swamp Recipe
(mature 2 3/4 years only please! serves 3)


8 oz uncooked basmati rice
12 oz water
1 bouillon cube (chicken, veggie, whatever)
Handful of spinach
3 American pats of butter

9 medium mushroom caps
3 American pats of butter

3 American pats of butter
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
two chicken breasts diced
15 broccoli florets
1/4 cup white wine
one bouillon cube (chicken, veggie, whatever)
one medium carrot
1/4 medium red pepper

In a small shot glass
pinch pepper
dash celery salt
dash paprika
toddler handful of parsley
teaspoon italian seasonings
teaspoon garlic granules
teaspoon onion granules

Make Land
1. Supervise toddler as he spoons rice into a measuring cup. He must stop when we reach 8 oz.
2. Pour rice into clean bowl and set aside.
3. Have toddler catch water in a measuring cup. (Drain excess to 12 oz.)
4. Have toddler pour water into a small pot with a tight fitting lid.
5. Let him put the bouillon cube in the water.
6. Holding the knife with the toddler’s hand on top of yours, cut three pats of butter.
7. have him put those in the water with the bouillon cube.
8. Have him grab handfuls of spinach and throw them into the pot. (Stop when you think you’ll have to do too much picking around at the table. It is usually 3 toddler handfuls to one adult handful.)
9. Bring water and ingredients to boil.
10. Toss in rice, allow toddler to gently stir and turn off pot.
(Note: I use LeCreuset pots so rice will cook while you do other things. If you use other types of pots: peek, stir and check rice. As you finish the swamp and rocks, you may want to turn the heat on low to finish the “Land.”


Make Rocks/Bubbles
1. With the toddler’s hand on top of yours, cut three pats of butter.
2. Have toddler throw butter into a skillet.
3. Melt butter in skillet.
4. Toss in mushroom caps.
5. Sauté and remove from skillet.
6. Remove to an oven-safe plate.
7. Place in warm oven - maybe with some lovely bread.

Make Swamp
1. Have toddler stand against the wall to cut onions. Toss onions into skillet. (Avoid hurting eyes.)
2. Add 3 more pats of butter to warm skillet and toss in onions. Sauté on low heat.
3. Smash garlic. (Flat side of knife down, have your toddler push against your hand over cloves of garlic. After each clove, have him take the “paper” off. Repeat until all are ready for mincing.
4. Have toddler place his hand over yours. Mince garlic by chanting “Up and down! Up and down!”
5. Toss into skillet.
6. While onions and garlic brown, cut up carrots.
7. Cut carrot into thirds. Then 1/2 each third. Then cut into small cubes. Toss in skillet.
8. Toss in cubed chicken.
9. Using another shot glass, turn down cook top and have toddler pour in wine.
10. Have him gently toss the bouillon cube and administer shot glass of spices.
11. Allow him to give a gentle stir. Cover skillet.
12. Tend to rice. Breathe for 5 seconds.
13. In about 15 minutes the chicken should be tender and bubbly. Add more water if it’s running low.
14. Cut broccoli and toss in skillet.
15. When broccoli is lovely green. Turn off heat.
Optional - thicken with gravy granules or flour as desired.

Assembling The Swampy Swamp

On a large plate (while toddler observes.)
1. Make a circle of Land (rice.)
2 Arrange the Rocks/Bubbles (mushrooms) like a path across the plate.
3. Spoon Swamp into the middle.


NOTE: This recipe was developed by Master Chef Winston this evening when I asked him what everyone would like for dinner.

He said: “Swampy Swamp.”
I said: “What is in Swampy Swamp?”
He said: “Chicken.” After more prompting I understood it also involved rocks/bubbles, trees and land. Eventually land was defined as rice.


Katy said...

Sound good! You have the next Celebrity chef on your hands ;o)

Christina Springer said...

It was awesome! These days - I'm loving his culinary ideas. We had sausage and chip butterflies this afternoon for lunch.

I have to admit - I'm anticipating all manner of life choices these days. (What with the stories, poems and butterfly wing accessories he's taken to wearing everywhere.)

Jax said...

Love the recipe. Can't imagine Small doing similarly, and sounds like they are similar ages. Not that he gets chance to witness much in the kitchen, I'm a poor cook.

boodafli said...

so. american pats of butter would be like, 3 tablespoons? ask him what a first birthday cake should look/taste/feel like. he's closer to my target audience on that one.

Christina Springer said...

Trying to remember proper American pats of butter. It would be like 3 tablespoons. But - that's actually a bit much. I was thinking more along the lines of Fancy-American-Restaurant pats of butter which in the context of this recipe would be about 2 tablepoons.

Subsititute margerine for watching waistlines.

I'll ask about the cake Boodafli.