In this week's At Home With Martin & Sylvia story, “A Very Big Mess,” Momma is away for two days, and Daddy has some fun things planned.
But before they go on any adventures, Daddy needs a nap. He charges brother and sister with the responsibility of making a snack while he snoozes on the couch. "Just make sure it has something substantial... and please clean up after yourselves, no big messes."
Martin and Sylvia make some creative and innovative snacks, but then they are faced with clean up. My, what a mess!
One of my longterm goals in raising my kids is to teach them good cooking skills. One of the biggest impediments to that longterm goal, however, is that I have one of those personalities that gets anxious when the kids start to make a big mess.
Part of the solution to that problem is, of course, that I need to meditate on the words “let it go.” Kids make messes when they're learning. That's part of the process.
But, there are a few tips I've found that help corral the mess, too.
For one, it helps a lot if you can bring the ingredients and tools down to child level. If we move to our shorter kitchen table versus using a stool at our tall kitchen counters, far fewer ingredients tend to get spilled or sloshed.
Second, I've also found that it helps to have the kids work on a cutting board. We have a variety of wooden and plastic boards, and putting one down before we start mixing or chopping creates a boundary for the mess. And when cooking time is over, you can just toss it in the sink and wipe it down. Easy-peasy!
These peanut butter, banana, and chocolate chip quesadillas are perfect for letting even little kids make their own snack. Just lay out the ingredients (on a cutting board) and let the kiddos spread and chop and sprinkle to their heart's content. When they're done, fold the quesadillas in half and have an adult lightly toast them on a griddle. The resulting snack meets Daddy's criteria perfectly — substantial but no big messes!
Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Chip Quesadillas
Ingredients (for two quesadillas)
a few tablespoons peanut butter
a small handful of chocolate chips
Working on a cutting board, peel and chop the banana (with a dull butter knife) and set aside.
Use the same knife to spread the peanut butter over the tortillas.
Arrange several of the banana slices on top of the tortillas, then sprinkle with chocolate chips.
Fold in half, and toast lightly on a warm griddle.
Slice into small triangles before serving.
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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.