Bright Ideas to Get Teenagers Cooking
Another month, another blog post! How are the summer holidays going in your house? Do you find they’re flying past too quickly? Or are you looking for activities to fill the long days? If you’re activity hunting, I’ve got news about a very exciting seasonal cook-along, plus ideas for keeping some of your older offspring busy. And finally, I’ve included two yummy recipes for keeping hunger and thirst at bay during all the summer fun. So, let’s go!
Tips for Cooking With Teens
If you’re the parent of a teen, you may be feeling all at sea trying to keep them entertained. For many teenagers, the 3 months of freedom can leave them feeling unmotivated and bored. And of course, the screen time can mount up very quickly too!
This month, I got my thinking cap on and gathered some ideas for helping teens to get into the kitchen, get inspired and get cooking/baking. With the right approach, they’ll enjoy developing a practical life skill and a creative hobby. At the same time, you’ll hopefully be getting a break from making the dinner now and then: a win-win situation!
1. Let Them Follow Their Interests
Teenagers are always looking for ways to express themselves and the things that matter to them. Why not encourage your teen to reflect on how they can incorporate that into their time in the kitchen?
Do they have a cause that’s close to their heart? Encourage them to raise funds with a bake sale. Are they fascinated by a particular country or culture? Challenge them to recreate some of its traditional cuisine.
2. Get Creative With Fakeaways
Most teenagers love a good takeaway. And when they move out, they’ll probably rely on them for dinner more than you’d like! Think about designating a weekly summer “fakeaway” night in your house, putting your teen in charge of planning, preparing and cooking the meal. The options are endless, from Chinese noodles to burgers and chips. As well as being an enjoyable highlight in the week, it will help your teen realise that tasty food can be healthy too.
3. Experiment With Outdoor Cooking
There’s something very exciting about cooking and eating a meal in the Great Outdoors. Imagine your teen cooking on a barbecue at the park, a campfire in your back garden (depending on bye-laws) or a gas stove on a camping trip. Even the most reluctant chef won’t be able to resist the thrill.
There are so many fun, tasty and simple outdoor recipes available online. Get your teen to spend some time choosing some they like the look of. And of course, make sure everyone knows how to use the equipment safely and responsibly.
Make sure to head over to my Instagram for a super-easy outdoor recipe: Erin Cream of Tomato Soup with basil and pan-fried croutons. Yum!
4. Enter a Local Agricultural Show
Wherever you live in the country, there’s bound to be an agricultural show near you this summer. Many shows have special baking competitions for teenagers, with the tasks designed to be of interest to their age group.
Even if they don’t, there’s nothing stopping your teen from putting their best foot forward and entering the adult sections.
Having a goal to practise for might be just the motivation they need. Plus, there’s nothing like the excitement of turning up at the tent or hall to see how you’ve got on. If your family prepares any entries this year, make sure to let me know!
5. Follow Along With Our Weekly Cook-Alongs
Don’t be put off by the name “Kids in the Kitchen”. These sessions are great for teenagers too, although I know they may not want to appear on screen. Perhaps your teen might enjoy following along with the replay afterwards? Consider showing them more advanced skills (like safe use of kitchen knives) if you think they’re ready and responsible. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be cooking:
- July 4th: Red Pepper, Ham and Cheese Tart
- July 11th: Satay Chicken Skewers with Boiled Egg Soy Rice
- July 18th: GEM Ice Cream Cupcakes (see more info about this FREE class below)
- August 8th: Mild Mexican Chilli with Homemade Tortilla Chips
- August 15th: Pork and Apricot Sausage Rolls
Last month’s GEM class was a blast, with everyone finishing the session with a restaurant- worthy BBQ cheeseburger. There was great excitement all around, but I’m sure there’ll be some extra excitement in the homes of our monthly prize-winners.
This time round, the winner of our Gem goodies was Ellie Gahan and the winner of our Junior baker kit was Ruby Duffy.
Summer Snack Attacks
I’m so excited to introduce you to my favourite snack: white soda bread with Irish strawberry jam and Carbury Cracker cheddar. It might sound unusual, but when you think about it, nobody bats an eyelid at brie and cranberry! I think the strawberry jam makes this the perfect light bite for summer.
Plus I’ve got an idea for some homemade slushies that are so easy they practically make themselves.
Cheese and Jam Soda Snack
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 Weighing scales
- 1 Teaspoon Measure
- 1 Measuring jug
- 1 Sieve
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 Baking tray
- 1 Greaseproof paper
- 1 Butter/eating knife (for making the cross)
- 500 g Self-raising flour
- 70 g Butter
- 1 tsp Bicarbonate soda
- 50 g Caster sugar
- 400 ml Buttermilk or Milk
For the toppings
- Irish butter
- Irish strawberry jam
- Sliced Carbery Cracker Smooth White Cheddar
- Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl.
- Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Pour in the buttermilk and mix again.
- Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface.
- Tip the dough onto the work surface and gently work it into a circular shape.
- Make a cross shape on the top of the loaf.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and pop the loaf on top.
- Oven bake at 180 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.
- Leave to cool, then slather a slice with butter and strawberry jam.
- Finish with some slices of Carbery Cracker smooth white cheddar.
- 1 Ice cube tray
- 1 Blender
- 1 Large jug
- 1 Measuring jug
- 100 g Ice cubes
- 20 ml MiWadi Orange no added sugar
- 20 ml MiWadi Summer Fruits no added sugar
- 160 ml Water
- Crush the ice cubes in a blender and add to a large jug.
- Add 20 ml Orange MiWadi and 20 ml Summer Fruits MiWadi.
- Add 160 ml water.
- Serve straight away!