Cooking With Your Kids, Thanksgiving Edition

With Thanksgiving a little over a week away, and the impending doom of the holiday shopping season lurking soon after, it’s probably a safe assumption you’re two steps away from tearing your hair out. Don’t worry – all you need to get through the craziness is some organization and a plan. Take a minute to write out your Thanksgiving menu, and include a little kitchen time with your kids.

No matter how young your kids are, there are definitely ways to get your kids to help out in the kitchen, and even enjoy it at the same time. Even though it sounds like an impossible task, that doesn’t mean it’s difficult. By keeping it simple, you’ll get to have fun with your kids without adding any extra stress to your life.

Here is a great way to add an easy dessert to your Thanksgiving line up, keep your kids entertained, and stimulate their creativity. You may need to stock up on a few things beforehand. You’ll need all purpose flour, prepackaged sugar cookie dough, food coloring, ready – made vanilla frosting, and some Thanksgiving themed cookie cutters, like turkeys or leaves, which you can pick up at your local craft store. Start by preheating your oven according to the directions on the cookie dough package. Then, instead of slicing your standard cookies from the dough, spread a little flour on a smooth surface, like a cutting board or your kitchen counter, then roll the dough out to form one sheet about ½” thick. Your kids can even help you. Then let them take a cookie cutter and press out the shapes. This next part is for an adult only. Once you have the cookies lined on a cookie sheet, place them in the oven and bake until golden brown. When they’re ready to come out, let them cool completely before going on to the really fun part. While they’re cooling, take the frosting and divide it into several small bowls. Next, take the food coloring and add a few drops to each bowl, stirring the frosting until it turns the color you want it to. You can also do the same with some sugar and the food coloring, creating homemade colored sugar. Here’s where your kids come back into the picture. Set them up with the cookies, frosting, and sugar, and let them decorate each to their hearts’ content. You can even join in if you want.

You can do this the day before Thanksgiving so you don’t have to worry about it the day of. That way it will take some pressure off and allow you to relax and enjoy decorating, and maybe sneaking a few cookies, with your kids.

Jesseca Stenson