Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cooking With My Kids - Part 2

My middle daughter is 12 years old. She loves food and is a great helper in the kitchen. She chose to make lasagna when it was her turn to plan and prepare a family meal this summer. I have shared a recipe for spinach lasagna previously on this blog, but she wanted to make a "plain lasagna," meaning no meat, no veggies, just cheese, noodles, and sauce.

So we started with the sauce. She did most of the work, but I stayed nearby and coached her through it all. The lasagna is basically layering sauce, noodles, and cheese, so I'm not going to share that recipe here (refer to the spinach lasagna recipe for details about layering and baking), but I will share how we made the sauce.

Marinara Sauce

2 28-oz. cans of crushed tomatoes

1 can (14-16 oz.) of petite diced tomatoes

1 8-oz. can of tomato sauce

1 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped fine (or 2 small shallots)

4 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)

½ t dried oregano

1 t dried basil leaves (or a handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped)

½ t salt

Black pepper to taste

· Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

· Add onion and cook until soft (about 3-5 minutes).

· If using fresh garlic, add it to the pan a couple of minutes after you've started cooking the onions.

· Add all tomatoes and sauce.

· Add remaining spices and seasonings.

· Bring to a boil.

· Lower heat to a simmer.

· Simmer for at least 15 minutes, longer if you have the time.

Sauce can be frozen in containers for several months.

Her meal was delicious. And we have a second lasagna frozen for a future meal ~ following my rule of never make just one lasagana! I'm saving it for the back-to-school craziness.


  1. Wow, she can really cook, that's so sweet. My kids love hanging out in the kitchen with me, but not exactly to help or anything. They'll just gather around the counter on their high chairs, ask endless questions, poke on what I'm doing once in a while, and check every now and then if its ready yet for tasting! They love lasagna, any kind actually as long as it got cheese they don't really care what you put in there, lol!

  2. that's a great story and a great comment! I never helped cook growing up (rarely) but I hung out allot in the kitchen. Even if kids aren't cooking, I imagine they are picking up allot. Kids who just enjoy eating family meals will take that habit with them when they leave the nest, though they may have more to learn! My Dad was worried about my lack of interest in cooking, but my mom said, "She loves to eat, she'll learn to cook." She was right! Kudos to you both!

  3. Thanks Katja. And thanks "lasagna recipe" for the link to other great lasagna recipes.


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