Dave and I watched our nieces, ages 7 and 9, during Super Bowl, while their parents went away for the night for a little mini-vacation. My sister-in-law has done an excellent job training our nieces in the basics of cooking, knife skills and clean-up. (Extremely grateful for that last skill) We decided to do a Tex-Mex meal for the Super Bowl since it has flavors most everyone loves and it’s fun to make and eat. Our menu consisted of recipes found, as usual lately, from Joy of Cooking. We decided on Beef Tacos, Salsa Fresca and refried beans.
H is especially good with a knife, so I set Dave and her up to make the Salsa Fresca.
Here she is chopping up the peppers. We tweaked the recipe to decrease the heat for our younger palates by just adding one jalapeño pepper with no seeds instead of the 3-5 that the recipe recommended. We used a yellow bell pepper to make up for the missing jalapeños. The end result looked beautiful and had just enough heat for those who like that sort of thing and little enough heat so all could enjoy.
While Dave and H were working on that, I had G working on the meat. G is sometimes a little fearful of the stove, so I assigned her this task to help her overcome this fear a little bit. We warmed up the frying pan with the oil slowly and added the onions early so the oil wouldn’t splash too much. Once the onions were tender, we added the meat and she was feeling more comfortable with the process.
She did great and kept oohing and awwing over the smell of the meat as it was cooking. She paid attention to detail to ensure that all the beef was browned before adding the next ingredients. Again we put less than the suggested amount of jalapeños in the mixture, but enough that it still added flavor. Towards the end, G said her arm was getting tired from stirring so I took over and she was put on tortilla duty.
We then set the meal up buffet style and called Nana and Poppop to dinner! G had a hand in the presentation, telling me we should use these particular bowls “because they’re prettier” than the ones I choose. Like all good aunts, I agreed and I have to say she was right, these bowls are prettier!
Of course Nana and Poppop loved it and had many compliments to the chefs. The girls were proud and G even admitted she was happy she was able to cook more of the meal than she usual. She then asked if she could have the recipes of “EVERYTHING we made”!! I don’t have kids yet, but I’m a huge proponent of having them in the kitchen at a young age, especially when they can do all the clean up! Just kidding, Dave helped too!
Learning experience for the girls, tasty meal for all, now if only the Seahawks had won!