After a few days of hot weather, today's cool rainy weather inspired me to roast veggies. Our Tiny Chef loves roasted cauliflower, but it has to be nicely caramelized and soft.
Here's what we did:
1. preheat oven to 400f
2. wash & core 2 small heads of cauliflower.
3. set a sheet tray out and ask your child to break the cauliflower into pieces
4. while they are breaking, pick out the big pieces and cut them down (aiming for florets all the same size)
5. drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil over the cauliflower (I held my 3-year-old's hand on the bottle and we did this together)
6. sprinkle seasonings (give your young kids just the right amount of seasonings - they tend to want to put them ALL on the food) - we used salt, pepper, garlic powder, & smoked paprika
7. with clean hands, mix the cauliflower, oil and seasonings on the pan and then make sure they're covering the bottom of the pan in a single layer
8. when the oven is preheated, put the cauliflower pan on a middle rack and set a timer for 20 minutes
9. after 20 minutes, use a spatula to flip the cauliflower over & set the timer for another 20 minutes
10. when the timer goes off, flip the cauliflower over one more time (it should be browning now)
11. after a final 10 minutes, take the cauliflower out to cool down (it would be a good idea to test it with a fork to see if it needs to be in any longer to get soft)
12. adjust the seasonings as needed and serve warm (we added a bit more salt to ours)
In case you haven't heard, many chefs recommend cracking eggs on a FLAT surface. When you hit a raw egg on a sharper edge, you're more likely to get a small piece of shell in the egg (because the sharp edge pushes small shell pieces inside). Many people like how an edge helps to break eggs cleanly into two large sections, but that's a trade-off for producing more small fragments.
Something we've discovered is that a flat surface also works better for small, less-coordinated hands! Not only does the raw egg come out more slowly, but (most importantly) the egg is already OVER the surface where you want it to fall. Young kids have a hard time coordinating multiple connected movements (they often need to practice one at a time), so cracking an egg on an edge and then swiftly moving it to the interior of a bowl can be very challenging (and frustrating). Instead, we use a large plate so we can use the wide surface to both crack the egg and open it.
Steps for Cracking a Raw Egg
I usually dump each egg into a bowl (or plastic bag) after our Tiny Chef cracks them so he doesn't end up trying to crack a new egg on top of the old one (and so it's less likely new fragments will get into the already clean egg).
The Tiny Chef in our house loves pomegranates! For breakfast this morning, I scored the pomegranate and pulled it apart to make a 6-petaled flower shape. Then, I set Tiny Chef up on a towel with a bowl full of water, and he spent half an hour separating seeds from pith and eating them. We still ended up with a half a cup of seeds after he ate his fill for breakfast.
For more detailed instructions on how to tackle a whole pomegranate, see Mama Natural's Youtube video: https://youtu.be/5BExPRwPdAs
Dr. Kendall Becherer is an author, teacher, photographer, and learning scientist, who loves helping families naturally integrate kids in their everyday activities (such as preparing food).