Tag Archives: teenager

Cheese, butter mayo…

8 Nov
How are these items related?

How are these items related?


This is a recent conversation between myself and my teenaged son.  In literary terms it is known as a drama.  Why? Because everything with teenagers has the potential to be a drama…

Quinn: Why do we only have hard butter in this kitchen?

Me: Because it is real butter and healthier for us than margarine.

Quinn: But I can’t spread it for a grilled cheese sandwich!  Ugh!  Stupid butter!

Me: Heat the pan up, melt the butter, and grill your sandwich that way.

Quinn:  Why can’t we just have the spreadable tub stuff?  Man! (insert a sarcastic cough/snort here).

Fast forward a couple of days.  I was chatting with a friend that happens to be an executive chef.

Me: My son was all ticked off because we didn’t have spreadable margarine for his grilled cheese sandwich the other day.

David: Just use Mayonnaise.  Its oil and egg.  And it makes a great grilled cheese.

Me: Do you mean use mayonnaise instead of butter on the bread grilling side?

David:  Yes.  Its simple.

Me:  Seriously?  (I realized my mouth was hanging open.  I felt a mixture of surprise at David’s suggestion and disappointment in myself because this did not occur to me unaided.  I was excited with the idea but mad at my big bad self for not thinking of this earlier…)

Oh yeah, this sent my mind spinning.  It made sense.  Mayonnaise is oil and egg.  So maybe, I thought, the grilled cheese would end up with a little “french toast” essence to it.  As far as chefs go, David has a fabulous palate with an opinion that I trust.  I couldn’t wait to try this!

Friday rolled around.  I grab a quick dinner on Fridays because my son is an athlete that plays varsity football on Friday nights in the fall.  I rush home from work, have a quick bite, and head out to the game.  It was the prefect time to make a quick grilled cheese sandwich before heading out.  It was time to go rogue!

Taste test in the making…one grilled cheese with butter and one with mayonnaise.  Yup.  I was going to try it.  I used the same pan, the same heat, the same bread and the same cheese on both sandwiches.  This had to be a true side by side taste test.

The results:  Both cooked up in about the same amount of time.  Both sandwiches browned nicely, and had a crisp outside bite with a creamy inside.  Surprisingly, the sandwich with the mayo on the grilling side was the favorite.  It had a “cheesier” flavor than the grilled cheese with butter.

At  first look at the picture in this blog, the food items do not look related.  But they are.   Try this.  Let me know what results and preferences come out in your household.  It is fun to experiment with food!

Toddlers in the Kitchen!

21 Jul

Having a toddler around is a blessing, but can be a challenge at times too. Especially at meal time. It can be stressful to get meals onto the table while juggling parental responsibilities. Ease parental duties a bit by getting your toddler involved! Getting children involved in meal preparation is important for a couple of reasons. It can decrease work load and increase confidence of the child. It also provides a wonderful time to interact, chat about the day, and plan for future meals.

When working in the kitchen with your child, always begin with hand washing. Encourage your child to sing the ABC song or the Happy Birthday song while lathering up to assure proper hand washing time. This is an excellent habit to get into, not only for yourself, but for your child as well.

Start slowly when engaging your child in the kitchen, and be patient. If your child is young, you can begin by having them:

  • Wipe a table top.
  • Measure and pour dry ingredients.
  • Take salt and pepper shakers to the table for a meal.
  • Put toast into the toaster and pop it down.
  • Take forks to the table for meals.
  • Place cups on the table for meals.
  • Clear items off the table following a meal.

Remember that children need instruction. Resist the urge though, to hover or to micromanage the child when they are trying to help. Praise their efforts. Doing something well takes practice, and it is important to remember that no one does something well the first time. Only practice improves performance! Try to give the child a rough time limit, but remember that they work on their own time.

Mealtime is a great opportunity to interact with your child. It is also a good opportunity to talk about nutrition and portion size with your child. Expect spills, and then teach your child how to clean them up! Keep the television off and the distractions to a minimum. Enjoy your child, the time together, and the experience of teaching.

As parents, it is our job to raise our children up to be self sufficient. This can start early. Toddler hood is not too early to begin teaching your child about how to prepare a meal, appropriate serving sizes, and nutrition. And it can be a lot of fun if you let it!

P.S.  This post also applies to teenagers.  Replace the word toddler with teenager.  I’ve had both, so this is the voice of experience talking.  Just saying…