Kids in the kitchen: Healdsburg cookery school teaches life skills, confidence – The Santa Rosa Press Democrat | Directory Mayhem

“That’s usually at the end of the day when everyone’s tired,” she said. “You don’t want a bigger mess when you’re cooking a regular meal… That’s why they pay me to clean up.”

The recipes below are by Carey Angerer of Little Monsters Culinary.

“I love doing this with kids because it gets them trying vegetables they think they don’t like,” she said. “So many students have told me that they don’t like spinach or mushrooms but always devour this dish at the end of class. The richness of the cheese, cream and artichoke hearts balances the earthy spinach and mushrooms.”

Spinach Artichoke Rice

Makes 6 to 8 servings as a side dish, 4 to 6 as a main course

2 cups white rice

½ cup butter (1 stick)

1 yellow or white onion, chopped

1 container white button or baby portobello mushrooms (1 cup), diced

1 12-ounce bag fresh spinach, torn into pieces

1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts (in water), chopped

¼ cup broth or water

2 garlic cloves, finely diced


Black pepper

2 cups shredded cheese (like mozzarella and cheddar)

½ – ¾ cup cream or milk

1 – 2 tbsp fresh thyme (1 tbsp dried)

Cook rice according to package directions (or use leftover rice).

In a large saucepan, melt butter and add diced onion and mushrooms. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chopped artichoke hearts, shredded spinach, and stock/water and stir until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add cooked rice, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme. Stir until everything is well mixed.

Gradually add the cream and grated cheese, stirring constantly, until a creamy mass is formed. Season with salt and pepper.


“Most kids enjoyed canned tomato soup and a gooey grilled cheese on a rainy day,” Angerer said. “I encourage using fresh tomatoes when they’re in season, but canned tomatoes are great in the winter. When using canned tomatoes, I like to take a moment to teach students that canned and frozen vegetables are picked at their peak, so they make great substitutes when fresh aren’t available.”


Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 onion

½ cup butter

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes

1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce

1 garlic clove, diced

2-3 tablespoons agave (or 1-2 tablespoons honey)

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

2-3 cups chicken broth

1 cup cream or milk

salt and pepper to taste

Croutons (optional garnish)

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and add chopped onions. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent. Add whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, minced garlic, agave or honey, and Italian seasonings. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes.

With the help of an adult, place in a blender (in batches if needed) and puree until smooth; Be careful – it’s hot! (You can also use an immersion blender under adult supervision.)

Return the pureed tomato mixture to the saucepan, add the broth and cream, and stir. Heat over medium heat until hot. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour into bowls and garnish with croutons if you like.


“This is a fun project to do with a group of kids for a birthday party or sleepover,” Angerer said. “You can always pre-cut the fruit if you don’t mind having a group of kids use knives. Even the pickiest eater who “dislikes” fruit will love this dessert, especially if they make it themselves. You can use any type of fruit you have at home, but you must eat the fruit to get the sweet treat ‘bowl’.”

Krispy Cereal Fruit Bowls

Makes 8-10 servings

½ cup butter (1 stick)

2 12-ounce bags of marshmallows

1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

4 cups Fruity Pebbles cereal

5 cups puffed rice or Rice Krispies cereal

1 large container of fresh strawberries

4-5 kiwis, skin removed

4 – 5 tangerines

In a large saucepan or deep pan, melt butter, then add marshmallows and vanilla, if using. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula until marshmallows are melted and well blended with butter and vanilla.

Add cup at a time Fruity Pebbles cereal and the puffed wheat (or Rice Krispies cereal) to the melted marshmallows, stirring with a rubber spatula after adding each cup. Let the mixture cool for 5 to 8 minutes.

Scoop about 1 cup of the granola mixture into small or medium bowls. Place parchment paper on top to keep it from sticking to your hands and gently press the granola mixture into the shape of the bowl.

While the cereal bowls are cooling, dice the strawberries and kiwis and peel and slice the tangerines. Fill each bowl with some of each fruit.

Contributor Diane Peterson can be reached at 707-521-5287 or On Twitter @dianepete56

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