Cooking can be a challenge when you’ve got tiny, and probably even picky, mouths to feed -- and especially when quarantine mandates have you wishing you could be anywhere other than your kitchen.
It doesn't have to be this way. There are plenty of fun, kid-approved recipes that will reignite your passion for cooking, and even inspire you to enlist the kids as helpers.
Fox News reached out to a number of celebrity chefs for easy-to-make recipes that involve the entire family, making dinnertime fun for all.
Anne Burrell’s Ham and Cheddar Sandwich
Ann Burell suggests we opt for simple when trying to please the whole fam.
- ½ cup coarsely chopped dill pickles
- ¼ cup mayo
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 4 crusty kaiser rolls, cut in half
- • ½ pound sliced cheddar (about 8 slices)
- • ½ pound baked ham, sliced thin ( about 8 slices)
- In a small bowl, combine the pickles, mayo and mustard. Mix to combine well.
- Coat each top and bottom of the roll with the spread, lightly but evenly coating.
- Lay a piece of cheddar on the top and bottom of each half of the bun. Lay 2 pieces of ham in a "crinklely," fluffy way on the bottom half of the roll. Cover with the top half of the roll and press lightly to secure. Carefully cut in half.
- Call yourself a rockstar.
Anne Burrell’s Homemade Chips
Sure, the sandwich recipe was a breeze, but that leaves time to whip up these fresh and crispy potato chips for a fun lunch. Just be careful if the kids are nearby -- make sure they understand the dangers of cooking near hot oil, and that they use a mandoline guard or cut-resistant gloves if helping to slice the potatoes.
- 1 cup sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 large baking potatoes, such as Idaho, peeled and shaved into thin slices with a veggie peeler or mandoline
- Peanut or veggie oil, for frying
- In a large container, combine the vinegar, kosher salt, sugar and 2 cups water. Whisk or shake to combine. Toss in the potatoes and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- In a large wide pot, heat the oil for deep frying to 350 degrees F. (Tell the kids to stay back for this part.)
- Remove the potatoes from the vinegar solution and gently pat dry to remove any excess water.
- Set up a sheet tray lined with paper towels, for putting the chip on when they come out of the oil.
- Working in batches, fry the potatoes until they are brown and crispy. Be careful not to overcrowd the oil; overcrowding will result in greasy limp chips rather than crispy crunchy ones.
- When the chips come out of the oil, land them on the paper towel setup and give them a sprinkle of salt. Let cool and then store them in an airtight container (if you don't eat them all at once!).
Ed McFarland’s Garlic Parm Wings
Finger foods are a kid-approved favorite, but again, be careful. You may want to keep the little ones back until the wings come out of the fryer. Instead, have them help mix the seasonings and toss the wings in the garlic oil.
- 8 party wings (multiply for larger quantities)
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic lightly cover in olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
- 1/8 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup of flour
- ⅓ cup of cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of pepper
- Oil, for frying
- Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper.
- Once hot, fry wings for 12 minutes, and then remove from oil.
- Toss wings in the mixture of flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper, and then fry for 5-7 more minutes or until crisp.
- Place in bowl with the chopped garlic and olive oil, and toss till coated.
- Arrange on plate and sprinkle cheese over top evenly, followed by parsley.
Geoffrey Zakarian’s Pancake Batter
Breakfast for dinner is always a popular option -- and even more so when it involves pancakes.
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1½ tablespoons sugar
- 3 whole eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2¾ cup milk
- ½ cup butter
- Melt butter, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. In another large bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, milk and vanilla extract.
- Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
- Stream in melted butter and mix until smooth.
- Spoon about a quarter-cup of batter in griddle pan over medium-high heat, and cook until pancakes begin to bubble. Flip and continue cooking until cooked through. Remove from griddle and serve.
Donatella Arpaia’s Nutella Hot Chocolate
Don’t forget dessert. Not that your kids would let you.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups half and half
- 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped (Valrhona is best)
- ½ cup chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella)
- Gourmet marshmallows, toasted if desired
- Combine milk and half and half in a saucepan and bring to a low boil.
- Remove from the heat and add chocolate and Nutella. Whisk until the chocolate melts and the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Toast marshmallows one at a time over a gas flame until sides are golden brown.
- Pour the hot chocolate into a small mug and top with the marshmallow.
For an even more decadent experience, drink with one of DoubleTree’s signature chocolate chip cookies.