his week, I’ve been in the kitchen with the boys. Now for most of you, cooking with your children probably isn’t such a big deal. It’s simply part of good parenting that as they get older you teach them how to cook and how to be somewhat self sufficient in the kitchen. (As appropriate for their ages, of course!)
My nine year old, Alex, is absolutely fascinated by what I do. One of his favorite ideas of mom time is to watch Iron Chef together.
And not just because he gets to stay up late.
He says he wants to be a chef when he grows up. (I’m pretty sure it is because he knows I cook for a living and he doesn’t really understand what his Dad does.) But still, he is definitely interested cooking.
He asks me all the time if he can help me in the kitchen. Because if he helps me, little brother will want to too and because the two of them together are all boy and turn cooking into a competitive sport, I usually find a reason to put them off.
I know, bad parenting. Really bad parenting.
I justify it by saying that I’m working, but the truth is that I have been spread too thin since Skye came along and I haven’t always done the best at getting them what they need and deserve.
The other day, it hit me like a ton of bricks that in another couple of years I may have missed the chance to teach Alex to cook because he will no longer want to spent time with me like he does now.
So this week I decided to do something about it.
It’s been really fun having their help, and believe it or not the kitchen even survived. (Though I may have had to call for back up when it came to cleaning up. :)) One of my favorite memories will forever be them helping me make their favorite from scratch Mac n Cheese and then being in awe of themselves that they actually made it because it was SO GOOD.
I don’t know why I am sharing all of this, but maybe one of you has been putting off something you know you need to do with your little ones and needs to be inspired to take action. As busy as I thought I was, I didn’t realize how badly the guilt was impacting me every time I said “not today”. I didn’t realize how happy working together in my favorite space was going to make us all.
Some day I hope that their are four of us in the kitchen. With Skye toddling around and making messes. I hope I can always remember how quickly it all goes, and the extra work of cooking with little ones is always worth it.
Cheesy Chipotle Chili Quinoa Casserole
- Olive oil spray
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 2 ounces diced turkey bacon or tempeh bacon
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce minced + 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons quinoa flour
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 ¼ cups unsweetened milk of choice
- 6 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
- 4 cups cooked quinoa
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray a large skillet with olive oil spray and heat to medium high. Add onion, pepper and bacon and cook for eight minutes. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Stir in minced chile, adobo sauce, flour, chili powder, paprika, cumin and sea salt. Cook for 1 minute. Gradually add milk and cook until thick and bubbly, about 4 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk and scraping up brown bits from the pan. Reduce heat to low and slowly add in 4 ounces of cheese and cilantro. Add quinoa and stir well. Transfer to an 11 x 7 backing dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned.