By Tyler Hale | Photography by Jamison Mosley
The holidays are fast approaching, and so is the eating season. Instead of having one cook in the kitchen doing all the work, put everybody in the family to work this year making part of the meal. Even kids can get in on the action!
These recipes are easy to make and kid-friendly. While adults might need to help out with some knife work or by operating the oven, the kids can create their own culinary masterpieces that will delight the whole family.
Savvy Baker, an 11-year-old extraordinaire and daughter of AY’s publisher Heather Baker, demonstrates these recipes along with Chef Anne Wood of Honey Pies in Little Rock. Savvy and Chef Anne will take you through the process of making home-style chicken ‘n dressing and pumpkin pie, from beginning to end.
Savvy, while already an experienced chef herself, will show how easy it is for kids to get the hang of cooking. She started cooking and baking two years ago and goes to the Clinton Library Culinary Camp. “I enjoy cooking because I get to be creative and be myself,” she says. “I love baking because you can express your creativity.”
Chef Anne encourages families to cook together and to have children learn how to cook, noting that cooking is a skill that will come in handy later in life. These recipes, she says, are an excellent place to start learning. “They use simple ingredients. They’re simple to make and have an easy process,” she says.
Put on your apron, grab your cutting board and start cooking!
Chef Anne’s Homestyle Chicken ‘n Dressing
• 1 cup celery, diced
• ½ cup yellow onion, diced
• 5 teaspoons dried sage
• 3 eggs
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 1 teaspoon pepper
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 6 cups prepared cornbread
• 1 cup croutons, cubed
• 1 cup roasted chicken, shredded
• Cutting board
• Large mixing bowl
• Large spoon
• 13x9x2 baking dish
• Get a parent to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
• Dice the celery and onion. Cut the sage into small pieces.
• Put the roasted chicken into your bowl.
• Pour the chicken broth into the bowl.
• Pour the celery, onion, sage, cornbread, croutons, salt and pepper into the bowl.
• Crack the eggs into the bowl.
• Mix all the ingredients and blend them well.
• Lightly grease a 13x9x2 baking dish. Pour the bowl’s contents into the baking dish.
• Put the bowl in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Chef Anne’s Chicken Gravy
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 2 teaspoons garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon onion powder
• ½ dried sage
• ¼ cup cold water + 3 tablespoons corn starch
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Medium sauce pan
• Small bowl
• Pour chicken broth into a medium sauce pan. Bring it to a boil on medium-high heat.
• Stir in garlic powder, onion powder and sage.
• Whisk cold water and starch in a small bowl until the starch dissolves.
• Pour the water-starch mixture into the boiling chicken broth and reduce the heat to medium-low.
• Stir it until thickened.
• Salt and pepper it to your taste.
Chef Anne’s Pumpkin Pie
• 2 eggs
• 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin purée
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• 4 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix
• 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Pie dough
• 9-inch pie plate
• Parchment paper or foil
• 2 large mixing bowls
Start with the pie crust:
• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
• Roll the pie dough so that it’s 12 inches across.
• Put the dough in the 9-inch pie plate. Trim any excess dough and flute the edges.
• Line the dough with parchment paper or foil. Cover the bottom and fit the paper in the corners and sides. Place pie weights (dried beans or dried rice) on top of the paper.
• Bake the crust at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
• Take the pie crust out of the oven and take off the paper or foil.
• Put the pie crust back in the oven and bake for another five minutes.
• Take the pie crust out and allow it to cool.
Prepare the filling:
• Whisk the sugar and pumpkin spice together in a large mixing bowl.
• In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin purée, evaporated milk and vanilla.
• Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together.
Make the pie:
• Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the baked pie crust.
• Place the pie in the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes (the center should be a little wobbly).
• Take the pie out of the oven and let it cool for 2-3 hours.
• Cover it tightly and put it in the refrigerator for several hours.