We LOVE sweet potatoes! And sweet potatoes are what Zoe picked for the second dinner she wanted to make us. I think I've mentioned it before, but since we are talking about sweet potatoes here, there is a really great book called, Sweet Potato Power, that I love.
But back to the kids. Zoe's idea for her second dinner (created all by herself) was Honey Bacon Sweet Potatoes. (And now I'm thinking this sounds like an awesome pancake recipe - honey bacon sweet potato pancakes! But again I digress.)
I got some great feedback from you guys after the last Kids That Are INSPIRED to Cook, which got me thinking. Some of you hinted at the mess that kids make when they cook. This is true. But I have a few thoughts and suggestions about that:
1) Kids will be messy whether it's in the kitchen or everywhere else (am I right?) so we may as well let them be messy doing something valuable, like learning to cook and eat healthy :-)
2) Get them cooking outside! When the weather is nice let them wash their veggies on the patio!
3) It's surprising how many recipes kids can make with very little work and very little mess. For instance, this recipe required scrubbing the sweet potatoes, putting the bacon on the broiler pan, chopping the cooked bacon and assembling. Very minimal.
Water was spilled, especially when Zoe finished scrubbing and Ginger got rambunctious, but oh well. When one of the kids spills in the kitchen I think of it like, "I guess that spot's going to get clean now!" This may take some practice, but it's a great feeling when you really don't care about these things. I think I've gotten especially good at it (not that I'm perfect!) from having a child who is very delayed. It's like there's always been a toddler in the house, and now she's like 70 pounds :-) If I got upset every time Ashley spilled something I would be a very miserable person. So I decided many years ago that I wouldn't care. And I don't.
It's like the saying goes, "I have chosen to be happy because it's good for my health." Every day I focus on the positive, like my kids health and happiness, and we dance around the house, and I chose to be happy. And I take pictures of major cuteness. Who doesn't feel good when they see this smile?
Zoe was very serious about me not helping.
The only guidance I gave her was reminding her how to hold the knife and chop.
I can't believe how much she's grown up. It's bitter sweet.
To make this goodness:
1. Set the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Scrub the sweet potatoes.
3. Place the bacon on a broiler pan.
4. Put the bacon and the potatoes in the oven together. (We put the bacon on about the middle rack and sweet potatoes above.)
5. Remove the bacon after about 40 minutes, or when it's nice and crisp.
6. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees and keep baking the sweet potatoes for about 30 minutes more, or until they're done.
7. Chop the bacon and assemble.