cooking with kids

4th of July Parfaits


Happy 4th of July everyone! To celebrate you can make this parfait for a snack or even if you’re having a party. These are so simple to make. My favorite part about them is how there is no specific recipe. Also it helps you cool off in the summer sun. All you need is: strawberries, blueberries and French vanilla (or vanilla) yogurt. I like to use special glasses such as a parfait glass or you can ask your parents if you can use one of their wine glasses. If you don’t have access to either of those, an everyday glass would work.

First get all of your ingredients ready, cut the strawberries into fourths (save the prettiest one for later)  and figure out how much fruit and yogurt you will need to fill your glass.

Then add a large-sized dollop of yogurt into your glass.

After that you can start to add layers of strawberries and blueberries until your glass is filled up. If you are using a tall glass, add more yogurt after the fruit and then some more fruit and yogurt. Just keep layering.

Add your last amount of yogurt (which should be thin) and garnish with a few blueberries and the perfect strawberry you had saved from before.

For the last step: Enjoy!


My favorite brownies!


Last year when I was eight I didn’t like brownies. I thought they were too fudgy. Then I discovered Fat Witch Brownies. My mom was making brownies and she said I should try them. I did. They were so good.

They aren’t too chocolatey and the texture is perfect. I like how there is a crispy layer on top – thinner than paper – that melts in your mouth. I prefer the original brownie recipe from the cookbook. I recommend that you try the brownies. I still don’t like any other brownie than Fat Witch. The recipe is really easy. I have made it many times by myself. I encourage you to make them too.

Here are a few tips. An easy trick is that when it says to grease the brownie pan you grease it and then you add parchment paper with two sides hanging out so that once they are out of the oven you can just pull them up and out. To hold down the parchment paper you can use binder clips which can go in the oven with your brownies.

I hope you enjoy making and eating these brownies! Please let me know what your favorite brownies are!

Fat Witch Brownies (recipe from page 26 of Fat Witch Brownies: Brownies, Blondies, and Bars from New York’s Legendary Fat Witch Bakery (Rodale, 2010) by Patricia Helding

14 tablespoons (1-3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips
1-1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablepoons unbleached flour
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan with baking spray paper and line with parchment, leaving an overhang on two of the four sides.

2. Melt butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring often; set aside to cool.

3. Cream the sugar, eggs, and vanilla together; add in the cooled chocolate mixture; mix until well blended.

4. Measure the flour and salt; then sift together directly into the chocolate mixture.

5. Mix batter gently until well combined and no trace of dry ingredients remains.

6. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

7. Bake 33 minutes or until toothpick tests done (clean or with only crumbs, no batter).

8. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 1 hour; cut just before serving.


Coconut Easter bunny cake


Photograph by Philip Ficks

Wondering what you’re going to make for dessert this Sunday? How about a bunny cake? My family has many Easter traditions, and this sweet creation that my father makes is one of my absolute favorites. The process is fun, and the end result is truly delectable.

To quote one of my kids, “Come see what we made with Pop Pop…it’s awesome.”  And it was—a big, beautiful, fluffy white bunny.

The recipe, which I posted over at today, comes from my new cookbook Sweet Home (Kyle 2012), which launches April 16, and is available already on Amazon.

Click here for the recipe. I hope it brings you as much joy as it does me. .