grandparents teach too

Children cook creatively in snug mugs


Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment, about creativity. — Guy Fieri

No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing. —Julia Child

What other activity can we do together as a family that provides connect time, builds math skills, enriches vocabulary, teaches science concepts, boosts reading skills, introduces life skills, develops fine motor, and promotes social skills?  One or two others may come to mind, but cooking is probably on top of the list. Mug cooking is fun and child size. 

Mug Pie Cooking

For four strawberry mug pies, you will need 2 pounds of fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered, 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 Tablespoon all- purpose flour, 1 thawed puff pastry sheet cut into 4 inch circles or squares to set on top, 1 egg lightly beaten. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine strawberries, sugar, flour, salt and mix to combine. 

Now you have a choice. You can place all ingredients in an oven safe mug with the egg brushed puff pastry on top (baking time is 25-30 minutes).

If you are not sure your mugs are oven safe you can use this second method.   Place the strawberry mixture in a large baking dish and bake. Separately place the egg brushed puff pastry on a parchment covered cookie sheet and also bake for 25-30 minutes.  The puff pastry is done when golden brown. When the two are done you can put the strawberry mixture in mugs and place the cooked puff pastry on top 

Whether you use the all- in- one or cook separately method, cool for 5 minutes. Then serve. Add a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream. 

Blueberries, apples, sweet cherries, or other fruits will work.  The amount of sugar and spice will vary just like making a pie filling. Any fresh berries or fruits will work. The recipe still makes a child sized mug treat. You can also make brownies and cakes in the oven and microwave safe coffee mugs in a matter of minutes.

Breakfast Mug

Here is a fancy quick meal in a microwave safe mug that is adaptable to your children’s tastes. For each serving the ingredients are 1 egg, 1 ½ Tablespoon milk, salt and pepper to taste, ¼ bagel or similar amount of French bread, 2 teaspoons cream cheese, a little Dijon mustard, if desired. Beat egg and milk with a fork in each safe mug or ramekin. Add salt and pepper. Tear bread into dime size pieces, Stir in cream cheese and ham. Microwave about 1 minute 5 seconds. Stir. Garnish with mustard, thyme or chives.

Esther Macalady is a retired schoolteacher in Golden. For more see and Through the Seasons.

Esther Macalady, mug cooking, cooking with kids


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