April 4, 2011 by Flora Dawn
I am happy to be participating in The Kids Cook Monday campaign. The idea is simple, set one night a week (preferably Monday) to cook with your kids and eat together at the table as a family.
Although my kids are always in the kitchen with me, The Kids Cook Monday has really given my oldest daughter the opportunity to help plan and create a meal she really wants to.
If your kids are new to cooking, patience is really the key ingredient needed 🙂 Kids can be kind of messy and not exactly accurate with measuring, so choosing recipes that are forgiving is important. (Baking is much more of an exact science than cooking, so starting with dinner recipes is a smart choice. This will hopefully lead to some initial successes that will in turn build confidence in the kitchen so they can create more complicated dishes in the future).
If you have apprehensive children, allowing them to look through cookbooks, cooking magazines, or food blogs will really help. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine what a dish will be, so seeing a colorful photo and a list of ingredients helps. I think this is true for most adults as well; I am a sucker for those cookbooks with beautiful, glossy food photos. The library is a great resource for cookbooks and most children’s sections have at least a few titles that are especially targeted for children.
This week we cooked Chili Cheese Fries. Although I made the oven fries from scratch, if you want to keep this simple, buying a bag of your favorite frozen french fries will work great too! This recipe has some chopping, grating, browning, and stirring required; so there are lot of opportunities for an older child or teen to practice their cooking skills.
My kids aren’t too fond of spicy foods, so we kept this chili super kid-friendly and mild. If you prefer more kick to you chili, adding some chili powder or passing the hot sauce around the table would be options.
Although there is a long list of ingredients, the chili is simple to make. For the best flavor, this chili should simmer for about an hour, giving you plenty of time to make a salad, get the fries ready, and set the table.
Chili Cheese Fries…messy, tasty, and always a hit with the kids!
This chili is really mild, adding a couple tablespoons of chili powder and a dash of cayenne would definitely add some spice.
- 1 pound lean ground beef (ground turkey would work too)
- 1 (29 ounce) can chunky tomato sauce
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned and no pink remains (drain if needed and return to pan). Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour.
Chili Cheese Fries
- 1 package frozen french fries, cooked according to package or homemade oven fries, cooked
- grated cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, for topping, optional
- Carefully remove fries from the baking sheet and place on a large platter or individual plates. Pour chili over fries and garnish with desired toppings.