'''Kid Cook - Offs!'''

''Starting a Tradition''

As a boy, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my parents, and I love that I can pass along that experience to my kids. Inspired by the Food Network show, The Iron Chef, and my passion for cooking, i started a kid cook - off contest with my kids and some of there friends. The cook - off is held monthly and the kids put on homemade aprons and chef's hats, they come up with their own menus including the funny names for the dishes and prepare their own food then the parents do the judging and choose the winner.

We often suggest a theme such as Sandwiches,Holiday Treats,or color foods and the kids usually get pretty creative, they've made pickled burritos,pb&j noodles, even a Custard Sandwich. The themes also mean the kids can share ingrediennts, which cuts down on the need to buy lots of different groceries.

The parents role in this show is to help out with the cutting and chopping department, but our most important role is to serve as judges. For each cook -offwe select one winner based on taste, creativity and presentation of the meal.

At the end of the cook - off the winner get the recognition of creating the best meal and a Walmart gift certificate, but all the kids receive a treat such as a candy bar or extra time on the computer. As the kids learn new cooking techniques, their dishes are becoming more sophisitcated, they have recently made grilled veggie quesadillas and a green bean casserole.

During the contest we try to capture the moments on flim using a digital camera taking shots of them at work and their dishes, then we save them on the computer along with the recipes, the kids like to look back at there creations to see how they've progress as cooks, We also post the most recent cook - off menus on the fridge. We try to keep it fun even when the food isn't, we once did a whole cook - off talking like French Chefs, most of all the kids really love it my son Chris tells me that they really get to express themselves through their creations and each of them gets to shine,James says going to our family restaurant really taught him some of the things that he uses in the cook - off and Daruis said the judging is so much fun it puts butterflies in his belly but the best part is when we get to eat it. So get your kids do a family cook - off and start a new family past time, that will last a life time.

Family values!

creating love

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