I can’t think of a better way to bond with your grandchildren than to cook with them.
That’s what Santa Ana resident Joyce Simpson has found since signing up granddaughter Daphne, almost 12, for the Raddish Kids Cooking Club. (A Baking Club and Global Eats Club are also available.)
Once a month Daphne receives a kit with three illustrated recipe guides, three culinary skills lessons, as well as assorted swag. Membership includes digital access to all clubs as well as the recipe collection. Plans start at $20/month. Visit RaddishKids.com for more information.
Daphne is my great-niece, and I was thrilled to host her and her Nana Joyce for a stuffed crust pizza baking experience.
“I hadn’t cooked from scratch before,” Daphne told me, “just simple things with my mom like mac and cheese. These recipes are easy and fast and fun to make. They give you all the instructions and a list of ingredients.”
I was impressed with the skills these recipes teach.
“I learned from the confetti cake to cool the cake down before doing the frosting and how to fill the cake by frosting one of them and then putting another cake on top,” Daphne said.
The chocolate cream pie recipe they will try next will teach her how to blind-bake a crust, and baking this pizza taught her how to knead dough, all skills that she can use to make other dishes. She is also tasting new ingredients.
“The tacos were very different,” she said. “I never used garam masala before, and I never cooked with fresh ginger. I would do it again.”
“The recipes are really good too,” Joyce added. “The salted chocolate chip cookies were the best I ever had!”
Even many adults are afraid of yeast and have no experience kneading. The illustrated guide accompanying the pizza recipe teaches you how to prep your surface with flour, use the heel of your hand to knead the dough and how to move it around, with tips such as: “Pick up the dough and turn it 90 degrees – from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock,” and “Be patient. Kneading may take several minutes.”
The recipe ends with a skill check to reinforce the lesson: “Yeasted dough is full of air bubbles. Kneading strengthens dough’s structure. What do you think happens to a baked good that is not properly kneaded?”
Daphne will be entering seventh grade in the fall. She is fluent in French and spends about a month every summer in France with her mother’s family de ella there.
“Sometimes I make waffles with my other grandmother,” she said, “but maybe next time we will do more cooking.”
Fullerton’s Judy Bart Kancigor is the author of “Cooking Jewish” and “The Perfect Passover Cookbook.” Her website is cookingjewish.com.
STUFFED CRUST PIZZA
From Raddish Kids, raddishkids.com, a cooking club for kids that also offers additional learning opportunities online.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 package (0.25 ounces) instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 mozzarella string cheese sticks
- 1 1/4 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 20 pieces pepperoni
- Your favorite pizza toppings (olives, mushrooms, peppers, etc.)
1. Add flour, yeast, sugar, salt, water, and oil to a large bowl. Stir until a soft dough forms. Add dough to lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Return dough to bowl. Cover with a towel. and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
3, Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Mix tomato sauce, garlic powder, oregano, and pepper. Set aside.
4, Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease baking sheet with cooking spray.
5. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Roll into a 14-inch circle. Carefully move dough to baking sheet (some dough will hang over the edges). Tear string cheese in half lengthwise. Lay around pizza edge, leaving 1 inch of dough as a border. Fold dough over string cheese, pressing firmly to seal cheese inside dough. Spread tomato sauce over pizza. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Add pepperoni and your favorite toppings.
6. Bake 15-18 minutes, until crust is browned and cheese is bubbling. Taste and share!