Many of us got our start in the kitchen as youngsters, watching our parents or grandparents cook family favorites and then following their examples. Nowadays, young cooks can watch YouTube or TikTok videos of children their own age, whipping up cookies, pies and even like our winner this month, “TikTok Spaghetti.” We were impressed by the submissions we received, and we’re ready to join these young cooks for a meal anytime!
Cook of the Month: Kady Graham, Arab EC
Kady began cooking and baking at age 4. Now 12, she independently cooks and bakes ‘from scratch’ recipes, making delicious desserts, salads and dinner dishes for her family and friends. Kady saw this spaghetti recipe on TikTok and recreated it. She passed it ‘up’ the generations as she showed her mother and grandmother how to make it. It has become one of her family’s favorites. Submitted by her grandmother, Sandy Kiplinger of Union Grove.
Kady’s TikTok Spaghetti
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 20 ounces grape (or cherry) tomatoes, washed and sliced in half
- 1 8-ounce block Feta cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 5 leaves fresh basil, chopped
- 16 ounces thin spaghetti
- Extra crumbled feta cheese, optional for garnish
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a 3-quart glass oblong baking pan, place block of Feta cheese in the center. Place grape (or cherry) tomatoes, cut side down, around the cheese. Drizzle olive oil over the feta and tomatoes. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over cheese and tomatoes, to taste. Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes. While the cheese/tomatoes are cooking, break the spaghetti in half or thirds and cook in accordance with package directions. Coordinate cooking times so the spaghetti is finished at the same time as the feta-tomato mixture. After removing the feta-tomato mixture from the oven, while still hot, use a potato masher to mash and then mix it together. After draining the cooked spaghetti in a colander, mix it with the feta mixture. The optional feta cheese can be sprinkled on top and it is ready to serve.
Basic Bread Recipe
- 1 egg plus warm water to make 1 1/3 cups together
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 rounded tablespoon sugar
- 1 rounded teaspoon salt
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast, sprinkled over
Add ingredients to a bowl in the order listed. Stir until all mixed together. Knead a few times to shape and place in a well-greased loaf pan. Let rise 45 minutes or until it’s at the top of the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 24 minutes or until golden brown on top and bottom.
Erin Schulze’s favorite way to eat this is straight out of the oven, sliced and buttered. But it also makes very yummy toast when left over.
Andrea Schulze, Erin’s mom, Central Alabama EC
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peaches
- 1 refrigerated pie crust
- 2 1/2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch cinnamon
Defrost the peaches. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a 4-inch bowl or cup as a guide, cut circles from the pie crust. A 9-inch refrigerated pie crust usually makes 5-8 circles. Roll out slightly, then place on a baking sheet. Crush graham crackers to make crumbs. Place 1/2 tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs in center of each crust. Using a plastic knife, cut thawed peaches into chunks. In a medium bowl, mix peach chunks with sugar and cinnamon. Divide the peaches among the crusts. Fold the edges of each crust up and over the peaches to form small pies. Bake 30 minutes or until the pies are golden brown. Let it cool before serving, about 5 minutes. Tastes delicious paired with ice cream or topped with cool whip.
Natalie Brosseau, 10 years old
David’s Easy M&M Cookies
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup M&M’s
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter, brown sugar, vanilla and white sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and add to the butter mixture a bit at a time, mixing after each addition. Fold in M&M’s and drop by heaping tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes.
David Crowder, 4, says he is going to be a veterinarian when he grows up, but cooking has always been his favorite hobby.
Carol Sposato (David’s “Memama”) Dixie EC
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 small box (1.4-ounces) instant pudding mix, we use chocolate
Wash your hands. Empty pudding mix into a bowl. Add 2 cups of heavy whipping cream. Mix with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Makes four servings. Refrigerate any leftovers.
The Turner Brothers, Brittin, 8 and Elliot, 6
Fran Turner, Baldwin EMC
From the Buttered Home
Some of my best childhood memories are from being in the kitchen with my momma, grandmother and aunt. They taught me how to love cooking, enjoying what we create in the kitchen, and how to love others with food. I think it’s important to get kids in the kitchen early, even if it’s just to roll out biscuit dough. But have some fun, too! This recipe for Bears in a Blanket is easy enough for kids of all ages and is also pretty yummy! For more great recipes, head over to www.thebutteredhome.com.
Bears in a Blanket
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 12 Hershey’s mini chocolate bars
- 12 Teddy Grahams cookies
- 1 egg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whip egg lightly in a small bowl. Cut each sheet of pastry dough into six equal pieces. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Snap each Hershey bar into two pieces and lay them near the top of the pastry rectangle, like a pillow. Place a teddy graham on top of chocolate and fold bottom end of pastry up halfway on top of bear.
Crimp edges with a fork and brush pastry with whipped egg. Repeat for each pastry rectangle. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Cool and enjoy!