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Les Petits Chefs Cook the Books: Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce from New Favorites for New Cooks

This term the Petits Chefs are cooking our way through a series of cookbooks and this week, we used New Favorites for New Cooks.

This is a brilliant book for kids both new to the kitchen and a little more experienced. I love the fact that Federman doesn’t talk down to kids – the recipes and information are written clearly and are easy to follow and understand and don’t scream “kid recipes” at all. I’ve always maintained that what kids really need to get them going in the kitchen are well-written recipes for dishes they’ll be excited to cook and eat and this book does an excellent job of providing those (heck, I love the look of many of these recipes!). It’s a beautiful looking book with gorgeous photography that makes the food look approachable and accessible which is so important for a kids’ book.

With recipes for all meals of the day (Breakfast, Lunch, In-Between Meals and After School Snacks, Drinks, Dinner and Sweets and Treats), there is definitely something for any kid to get excited about (having great looking food in cookbooks is a great starting point for getting kids excited about food). There’s a handy glossary of the terms used in the book as well as a list of the kitchen tools and equipment you’ll need to make the recipes. Federman provides parents with some guidance about how to work with kids in the kitchen but also encourages kids to “investigate” – find out things they are unsure about and bolds all the words included in the glossary to encourage them to look the terms up as they work so they learn as they go. There’s a Recipe Rating System to help parents decide how much help their budding chefs will need, a guide to measurements and measuring (ingredients are only listed in volume, not weight) and a handy Knife Skills Primer with photos of different cuts of vegetables which is very useful. Throughout the book you’ll find other tutorials teaching various other essential skills (how to separate an egg, how to wash and dry lettuce etc…) which all feature photos to show the techniques. There’s so much to love about this book! 🙂 Highly recommended!

I chose the Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce for this week’s recipe, figuring well, who doesn’t love meatballs and who doesn’t need to learn how to make them – right?

We divided into three groups to work on this recipe – one group made tomato sauce and the other two made meatballs. Our tomato sauce group was super industrious, mincing loads of garlic and tearing basil leaves to go in the tasty sauce…

Kids mincing garlic for Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce from New Favorites for New Cooks on eatlivetravelwrite.comWe also had the BEST time hand-squishing the tomatoes…

Hand squishing tomato sauce Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce from New Favorites for New Cooks on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd it took team work to assemble the sauce…

Adding garlic to the tomato sauce for Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce from New Favorites for New Cooks on eatlivetravelwrite.com(yup, even though the recipes are super kid friendly I still highlighted different parts of the ingredients and method in the same colour so they boys would know what to do with the different ingredients…)

Et voilà:

Tomato sauce simmering for Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce from New Favorites for New Cooks on eatlivetravelwrite.comMeanwhile, over on team meatball, we had a few steps to work through – soaking bread, grating cheese, microplaning garlic and mixing all this plus some salt and pepper and herbs into the ground beef…

Kids grating parmesan Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce from New Favorites for New Cooks on eatlivetravelwrite.com Team work making meatballs for Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce from New Favorites for New Cooks on eatlivetravelwrite.comThen we compared different ways to mix all this together… With a wooden spoon…

Making the meatball mixture Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce from New Favorites for New Cooks on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd by hand…

Making meatballs by hand Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce from New Favorites for New Cooks on eatlivetravelwrite.com(blurry photo, busy hands!)

We didn’t “quite” make “marble sized” meatballs (the mixture is pretty wet and hard to make tiny ones, at least when you have 15 boys crammed in a less-than-ideal setup in a STEM lab) so I let them go with “regular sized” ones. They did a great job…

Production line making Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce from New Favorites for New Cooks on eatlivetravelwrite.comWhile the meatballs baked, we cleaned up… Full disclosure here – this included asking boys to wash raw meat out of their hair and off their face (#reallife cooking with kids!). We learned about rinsing the dishes with raw meat before stacking them in the dishwasher (nothing worse than finding lumps of cooked meat on the bottom of the dishwasher after the cycle) and then we went through the recipe together. I find recipes with “down time” are great when you’re cooking with kids because it allows you to get that cleanup done (and it’s also incentive to get the work done – no food unless the area is clean…!).

Then the boys got to plating. We had some beautiful creations and the boys loved adding extra flair to their dishes with extra Parmesan, pepper and basil…

Kid plated Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce from New Favorites for New Cooks on eatlivetravelwrite.com Finished plating of Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce from New Favorites for New Cooks on eatlivetravelwrite.com The recipe made a LOT more sauce than we needed and in hindsight I should have cooked up some pasta to serve with this but no matter – the boys seemed VERY happy as they left the lab and I know many of them sampled the food before they even left the building!

Stay tuned to see what book we cook from next week!

New Favorites for New Cooks on eatlivetravelwrite.com

 

 

Buy New Favorites for New Cooks on Amazon (this should bring you to the Amazon store in or close to your country) or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository.

 

 

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Please note: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This post also contains affiliate links from The Book Depository. This means that if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you). Thank you in advance!

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Disclosure: I purchased this book for myself. I was not asked to write about it and am not being compensated for writing this post. All opinions are my own

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2 Responses to Les Petits Chefs Cook the Books: Marble-size Meatballs with Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce from New Favorites for New Cooks

  1. Mr. Neil February 7, 2019 at 08:54 #

    Hey LPC team – welcome back for another semester!

    I had some of your leftovers (thanks for making extras for Mr. Neil) with pasta for lunch – and they were super delicious.

    In the evening, I paired with a Tawse Cabernet Franc from Ontario, and it went beautifully.

    • Mardi Michels February 8, 2019 at 06:24 #

      Actually there were NO leftovers here – you had another recipe I was trying out! But I;ll make these ones again – they are super tasty!

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