In this week's Martin & Sylvia: Saturdays! story, “When You Need Your Numbers”, Martin isn't sure math is so important. He can't think of when he ever uses it. When Momma challenges him to count how many times he uses numbers in his day, however, he is not only surprised but grateful for all that math offers him.
One of my favorite places to use math with kids is in the kitchen. “Bring me two eggs, please.” Boom—we're counting! “I need ½ a cup of sugar.” Yay—fractions! “Pizza dough is two parts flour to one part liquid.” Ratios, galore!
If you're a little nervous about cooking with your kids, though, a good recipe to start with are these 1-2-3 cupcakes, which are a variation on French yogurt cake.
In France, this cake is traditionally made using yogurt jars as a measuring “cup”, which allows even the youngest bakers to help make it. American yogurt cups are too big for that, unfortunately, but by using a ½ cup measuring cup as your “scoop” you can get the same idea.
We took these ten cupcakes to the park, where we topped them with whipped cream and shared them with some friends we were meeting for dinner. If there are four people in our family and three people in their's how many extra cupcakes did that leave for seconds?
## 1-2-3 Cupcakes (makes 10 cupcakes)
(Remember 1 scoop = ½ cup)
1 scoop Greek yogurt
2 scoops sugar
3 scoops flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 scoop canola oil
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, sugar, and eggs together. In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and lemon zest. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring until they just come together.
Next, add the oil, and keep stirring until it emulsifies and comes together smoothly. Then, evenly distribute the batter into ten cupcake papers, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. These can get a little dense if you overbake them, so err on the side of caution.
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, then top with whipped cream and sprinkles just before serving.
About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.