Being a “mommy blogger” means I have my hand in a lot of cookie jars, methophorically speaking of course. I’m regularly blogging about my kid’s activities, toys, along with my own finds, fashion, and travel. I love trying new recipes, dining out, and photographing those too. I’ve realized I have a huge lack of photos in my own kitchen prepping meals with the family and there’s a reason why. Because they don’t exist! No, I’m not one of those bloggers that purchases recipes for their blog (ick!), everything you see on my site is made by me, in my kitchen, and photographed (sometimes in the backyard in the middle of the afternoon because the lighting is better than dinner time!) but my kid’s hands in the photos, stirring the pots, are nonexistant because for the most part I work better on my own.
A recent survey commissioned by the makers of UNCLE BEN’S demonstrates that while 77 per cent of Canadian families eat home-cooked dinners five or more nights a week (hooray!), only 12 per cent let their kids help cook these dinners. I see that I’m not the only parent happily buzzing away in the kitchen alone, but this isn’t actually a good thing (whoops!)
The survey revealed that 90 per cent of parents actively believe that teaching kids to cook is an important part of helping them live healthier lives, yet we’re not actually doing that teaching. This is worrisome because we’re essentially creating a generation of kids who don’t know how to cook for themselves. I don’t want my kids to live on pre-packaged foods once they move out, yet we all know statistically that happens. I know helping my kids learn to cook will benefit them in the long run even if it might stress me out while doing so. Because of that, I’m teaming up with Uncle Ben’s to change my kitchen practices, AND share some contest information with you!
Uncle Ben’s has paired up with the winner of U.S. MasterChef Junior Season Two, Logan Guleff, to tackle kid-less kitchens like mine. Every week Logan will be sharing a kid-friendly cooking tip at GetKidsCooking.ca, as well as a recipe challenge for them and their parents to try. By participating in a weekly challenge, and sharing your image on the site, YOU could win 1 of 3 prizes of a $10,000 RESP!
This week, Logan shares some tips for cooking with herbs and while I know these tips are for kids, I didn’t know them myself. I love his tip for using rosemary and butter as a basting brush – check it out here:
I browned the ground beef and onions in a pot ahead of time and set it side. Then I got my eleven-year-old son set up slicing the red peppers. Yup, I was definitely nervous with him using a knife but close supervision and some tips go a long way for getting the job done. In fact, he finished up the rest of the dicing at the kitchen table while the girls and I moved on to the next step.
I moved the pot with the browned beef and onions onto a pot holder on the counter – this way we could work at a larger area away from the hot stove (tip for nervous moms: do what works for you!) We measured and added the beef broth to the pot.
Next we added the rice to the rice cooker, another easy task for preschoolers that makes them feel (rightly so!) that they can help too! You can add the rice to the soup itself but I like adding a spoonful or two at the end on top instead so cooking it in a rice cooker first works for us.
Cooking is serious business.
After returning the pot to the stove, we added the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, red peppers and basil, then simmered on low until the rice was ready. If you have more time, let the soup simmer for an hour or more for the flavours to blend. This is one of those soups that tastes even better the next day, so add in the remainder of the rice to the pot and store in the fridge for a school lunch the next day or after-school snack!
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 can (398 ml) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (19 oz) tomato sauce
- 2 cups red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cups beef broth
- ½ tsp dried basil
- 1 cup rice
- 1 cup water
- Brown the ground beef and onion in a large pot.
- Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, red pepper, beef broth and dried basil to the pot. Simmer on low.
- Add 1 cup rice and 1 cup water to a rice cooker and set to cook.
- To serve, fill bowl with soup and add 2 tablespoons of rice to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.