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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cook for Kids on New Year's Eve

Never thought how easy it is to cook for kids until I was put in that position. Last New Year's Eve that was my assignment - taking care of my younger sister's kids, a 12 year-old niece and a 9 year- old nephew. Told them I would cook something nice and encouraged them to assist. Bet kids love to mess around in the kitchen so as I had suspected they both agreed to help.

First we had to do some shopping. Had no idea what was available in my sister's kitchen so ought to plan for something easy and convenient. So I told the kids we were going to cook linguine with lots of cheese! Their eyes sparkled showing they both loved the idea. And of course I did know how to pamper kids' taste buds by including crab sticks in my recipe - those appealing red colored sticks that are not just appetizing but actually taste great. Even I like them!

Kids cut garlics and onions, and shedded tears. Sliced mushrooms and chicken fillets. Grated cheddar cheese. Real cooking experience they might remember for the rest of their lives.

As we were having our dinner, they both really enjoyed their meals. My niece commented that it tasted even better than what she once had in an Italian restaurant! Upsss! So as we still had some left in the pan, she enthusiastically reserved it for her breakfast.

So this is what I want to share in case you are in the same shoes...

Serves 4 persons

- Linguine > 250 grams
- Salt -> 1 teaspoon
- Cooking oil > 4 tablespoons
- Corn flour > 1 tablespoon
- Water > 2 tablespoons
- Garlic - mince > 3 cloves
- Onion - slice > 1 medium size
- Ham - slice in thin squares > 100 grams
- Button mushrooms - slice > 100 grams
- Chicken fillets - cut into big chunks > 125 grams
- Fresh milk > 500 ml
- Cheddar cheese - grate > 250 grams
- Pepper > 1/4 teaspoon
- Crab sticks - shred into long thin strips > 125 grams
- Parsley - chop > 1/4 teaspoon

- Cook linguine in boiling water. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Remove from fire when linguine is cooked but not too soft. Strain. Apply 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to linguine and use chopsticks to mix thoroughly. Leave aside.
- Mix corn flour and water. Set aside for later use.
- Saute garlic and onion with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil until fragrant. Fold in mushroom, ham, and chicken chunks. Continue frying for a short while.
- Add milk and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir to mix well. Pour in corn mixture. Continue to stir until it is thick.
- Fold in linguine and stir well. Add grated cheese, pepper, and 100 grams of crab stick strips. Stir well till cheese completely melts.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Decorate with the rest of crab stick strips and parsley. Serve hot.

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