Wednesday, April 9, 2014

5 Days of Culinary Adventures for Boys: Unlocking the Mystery of a Recipe




I don’t wander too far into stereotype land, but men are notorious for ignoring an instruction manual.  This starts when they are boys. 

However, I’ve noticed something. My son can watch a tutorial on youtube for hours on how to beat the bad guy in his “favorite game of the moment.”  Forget reading the directions when he’s ready to sit down with his English homework. 

Reading recipes have been much the same. Why should I care so much about how much baking soda goes in those cookies? One of these days I’m going to let the chocolate chips fall where they may. 

Just not today. 

So how do we go about reading a recipe?

I am going to do it step-by-step and give you a handy printable (or two) at the end. 

Today we are making a Cookie Monster Pie (also known as a Tollhouse Pie with a twist). I’ve found that baking is great for teaching basic cooking skills. For one, baking is like chemistry. It might not turn out if you don’t pay attention. 

Here is the recipe:

Cookie Monster Pie
Serves: 8
    2 unbaked 8-inch pie shells
    2 large eggs
    1/2 cup flour
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
    1 cup (6 oz.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips
    1 cup M&M’s
Directions:
PREHEAT oven to 325° F.
BEAT eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in morsels and nuts. Spoon into pie shell.
BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired.

* If using frozen pie shell thawed completely. 

The first thing we do is make sure to read the recipe all the way through. Do I have all the ingredients? Do I understand what the recipe is asking me to do? Will it make enough?  And do I have enough time to complete the recipe?


You will notice that initially Josiah got out the pressure cooker instead of the mixing bowl. Oops.


Recipe title: Cookie Monster Pie. This obviously tells me what I am making. I could have called it the Tollhouse Pie or a Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie. No matter what I call it I know that I am making a pie that will taste like a cookie.


Servings: This number will tell you how many the recipe will make. For example, this recipe serves 8. Which tells me it will make 8 pieces of pie. Oops! Josiah is making the pie for his dad’s friends at work. There are 10 of them. We decided we need to make 2 pies. That means we will need double the ingredients. 


Here are what we need for the ingredients:

    2 unbaked 8-inch pie shells
    2 large eggs
    1/2 cup flour
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
    1 cup (6 oz.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips
    1 cup M&M’s

Not every recipe will tell you everything you need to know. This is a well written recipe, but it doesn’t necessarily tell me what some of the terms mean. For example, what does granulated mean? How about packed brown sugar? And how soft does the butter really need to be?


When you are teaching kids to read a recipe there will be things you might know and take for granted. How about recipes that talk about teaspoons? We have to teach them the difference between measuring spoons and our cereal spoons.  Also, some recipes might abbreviate measurement terms. C for cup. T. for tablespoon and so on. 

Directions:  These are step-by-step instructions. We can’t forget any of them. It could be a disaster! 

PREHEAT oven to 325° F.

BEAT eggs in large mixer bowl. Beat in flour, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in chocolate chips and M&M’s. Spoon into pie shell.





BAKE for 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

The directions also tells us how hot the oven has to be. 325. We talk about “preheating.” The time tells us how long we have to cook it in the oven and what to look for when it’s done. I also teach Josiah to check any kind of baking early. Our oven gets hot. And the timer is our friend.

 Another thing to look for in a recipe are all the describing words. For instance we can see that it calls for granulated sugar. Which is, of course, regular white sugar. The brown sugar needs to be packed.This simply means to get as much brown sugar in the measuring cup you can by pressing it down.


You can print out this recipe below. Just be sure to save me a piece.

 





I've created some boy-themed recipe printables for the dudes.

Click on the pictures. The links will take you where you need to go to download anything you would like to print off.

This is the western-themed set for all of the cowboys in your life.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/217110809/Western-Cover

http://www.scribd.com/doc/217112166/Western-Recipe-Page


http://www.scribd.com/doc/217112633/Western-Recipe-Card

Here is a set just for the Little Chef.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/217113254/Chef-Cover

http://www.scribd.com/doc/217113812/Recipe-Card-Chef


http://www.scribd.com/doc/217114576/Little-Chef-Recipe-Page

This set is perfect for the Dude who might think a Little Chef is too babyish. We have to keep our men happy.  It's has a grungy look.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/217117452/Grunge-Recipe-Cover

http://www.scribd.com/doc/217115201/Grunge-Recipe-Page

http://www.scribd.com/doc/217115555/Recipe-Cards-Grunge

Tomorrow I will be talking Growing and Preserving Food. Good Stuff.








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 Beth @ Acorn Hill Academy ~ Nature Study
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Sara @ Embracing Destiny ~ Purposeful Living
Beth @ Ozark Ramblings ~  Photoshop Elements for Homeschool
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio ~ Fitting in the Extras

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