In the French Kitchen with Kids: Steak Frites

Forget cooking shows and YouTube; kids best learn to cook by getting in the kitchen and doing the actual food prep and cooking.

I feel like I’ve been saying this for years (maybe because I have been saying this for years), as well as stressing the need to teach the younger generation this important life skill.

One person who totally gets this hand-on approach is my friend, Mardi Michels. She’s a food writer and an elementary school teacher, and now she’s written a fantastic cookbook: In the French Kitchen with Kids: Easy, Everyday Dishes for the Whole Family to Make and Enjoy.

It’s a cookbook for children, their parents and, well, people of all ages. I mean, who doesn’t love French food?

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Double Chocolate and Maple Tahini Puffed Cereal Treats

I‘ve been packing school lunches for eight years and lunchbox treats are one thing I have down to a science, thanks to plenty of practice and a whole lot of honest feedback.

Today I’m sharing two versions of puffed cereal treats that I regularly make with my kids: Double Chocolate and Maple Tahini. They are no-bake, one-bowl, vegan recipes, with just a handful of ingredients, perfect for a kitchen project with little ones.

Yes these are based on the popular Rice Crispy treats, but you find that my version is a little more nourishing. I love to play around with puffed ancient grains such as millet or quinoa, I use natural sweeteners, stir in seed butter for protein, and leave out the marshmallows entirely.

Read on for two new recipes and then stir up a treat for Valentine’s Day with the kids.

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The best cooler hacks for a picnic at the beach

Ad. This post is sponsored by Coleman Canada and Canadian Tire.

We’re logging quite a few beach days this summer, as our three children are the ideal age for this outing.

Now that everyone knows how to swim, the beach is actually relaxing, and that is a welcome change after a decade of rescuing kids from the surf. After applying sunscreen to three little people, my main job is feeding them all and that takes some organization – and the right gear.

This summer I’m partnering with Coleman Canada and Canadian Tire to encourage families to get outside. So far I’ve shared backyard cookout tips, steps for a clean camp kitchen, and now I’m dishing my best hacks for packing a cooler. On blistering hot July days, it takes some strategic planing to keep everything cold.

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Kids who Cook: an update from our kitchen

The whole idea of “spring break” is rather laughable when it’s too cold to go outside and winter storms batter the house from all angles.

Still, the children had five days off of school last week, so we had the “break” – just without any of the spring. Regrettably, all three of the kids were suffering from coughs and colds, so we laid low, watched movies, built pillow forts and ate a lot of homemade soup.

We also cooked up plenty of fun in the kitchen, with each child taking a turn to prepare various meals and snacks for the family. It was really lovely to have ample time to cook – and teach – instead of the frequent rush that is our daily life with 3 kids and 2 jobs.

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Maple Cinnamon Apple Chips

Today I’m packing up the family for two nights in a secluded cabin in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Friends of ours have a cottage in the woods, and we’re slipping away to join them over the weekend.

The maple and oak trees have started to don their fall foliage, and the weather is much cooler. This is our favourite time of the year to hike and immerse ourselves in the forest.

We won’t quite be camping, but I’ll be doing some cooking over an open fire, and am adapting our meals for a simple, outdoor setting. I want to relax on this little getaway, which means plenty of food prep in advance. Today’s maple-sweetened, cinnamon-spiced apple chips are part of that plan.

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