Spending Quality time with Dad in the Kitchen
by Samantha Conner
Growing up, some of my fondest memories of my parents were the times we worked on projects together. Whether it was craft, yard work, or trying a new recipe—I loved that one on one time. Now that I am the parent, it comes as no surprise that one of my daughter’s favorite “special activities” is getting to help with the cooking. I would love to say that is because I am a total “Martha Stewart” and cook all of our meals by myself from scratch. But in our family, my husband is actually the one who does most of the meal preparation. Now I am the baker, however since our family cannot live on cake and cookies alone, I am glad that my hubby enjoys spending time in the kitchen.
With Father’s Day fast approaching, I set to thinking about how we will spend the day celebrating our dear Dad. The first thing that popped into my mind was of course the food. And what better way to spend some quality time with Dad than working on a project together? Cooking is the perfect, tasty and simple activity that both Dad and the kiddos will enjoy. Even if your husband’s idea of creating a ‘home-made-meal’ means ordering pizza, this will be fun!
Getting your kiddos in the kitchen gives them a chance to work on reading and following directions, experience real-world application of math skills, and create something they can be proud of. There is no substitute for quality time. As an added bonus, my daughter is always more willing to try a dish if she has had a hand in preparing it. And it is always easier to talk and laugh when food is involved. You never know what you kids might say!
You can use any recipe for Dad and the kiddos to put together. But think about simplicity, ease and ‘talent’ of the chefs involved. Keep it simple and yummy!
Since we will be grilling out and swimming with family for our Father’s Day, munchy-appetizers are a must for the menu. My oldest daughter is 6 years old and her pick for their recipe –Daddy’s famous “Texas Queso”. Whether your husband is a novice or a professionally trained foodie, everyone can appreciate a good queso.
Remember, this a time for Dad and the kiddos to have fun in the kitchen. And since it is his day, don’t worry about the mess! Take into consideration the age of your kiddos before handing over a knife or working around a hot stove. Parental supervision and guidance is needed.
Now let’s get cooking!
- 1 pound seasoned ground beef
- 1 can Rotel Tomatoes
- 2 pounds Velveeta cheese cubed
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 boiled and diced jalapenos; reserve 2/3 cups of jalapeno water
- 8 ounces cream cheese
First, Dad removed almost all the seeds from the peppers. Don’t forget, the more seeds the hotter the queso. One of our friends gave us this nifty ‘pepper corer’ a few years ago, but it can be done easily with a knife as well. Next the peppers are boiled for 5 minutes. Reserve 2/3 cups of the ‘jalapeno water’ to use later in the recipe. The peppers are then diced and set aside.
Brown the ground beef in a skillet. My daughter loved this step, because she enjoys ‘seasoning her food’. Sprinkle on salt, pepper, chili pepper and a bit of olive oil for flavor.
Then cube 2 pounds of Velveeta cheese. This is a good opportunity to work on cutting skills with the kiddos. Just make sure to mind those fingers.
Finally combine the can of Rotel, diced peppers, 2/3 cup of jalapeno water, ground beef, cubed Velveeta, and 8 ounces of cream cheese. Mix it all together and then let it simmer on low for 2 hours before serving with tortilla chips. “Texas Queso” is creamy and flavorful. Depending on the amount of seeds you leave in your jalapeños, it is also mild enough to be enjoyed by little ones.
Help your kids show Dad how much they love him this year with some fun in the kitchen. Children grow up too fast. The gift of quality time together is valuable and the memory of happy times is something your family will always treasure. Happy Father’s Day!
Samantha Conner: In my “past life” I earned a degree in Education at TCU and taught elementary school. But these days, I am working as a super stay-at-home-mom with a serious craft addiction. During naptime, I am an avid blogger, runner, and nester. My blog is the place where I chronicle my journey in homemaking and sell my fabulous handmade bows, tutus, and hair accessories. Follow my crafting journey at craftytexasgirls.com