Just in "Case"adilla
by Keleigh May on June 4th, 2014

Just in "Case"adilla
  • Tortilla
  • 1/4 cup cheese
  • 1 cooked chicken sausage
  • 1/4 cup sliced bell peppers
  • 1/2 avocado sliced
  • 3 tablespoons hummus

Lay out all ingredients for your "sous chef". This is called "Mise en place" which means "putting in place", as in set up. This saying is used in professional kitchens to refer to organizing and arranging the ingredients (e.g., cuts of meat, relishes, sauces, spices, freshly chopped vegetables, and other components) that a cook will use (thank you Food Network and Wikipedia).

Invite your "sous chef" to come and assemble his very own quesadilla. Only rules are he must use something from every bowl. Feel free to use whatever ingredients you have (grilled chicken, black beans, corn, salsa, the possibilities are limitless).

Let your "sous chef" use real cooking utencils. I allowed Tucker to use a butter knife to spread his hummus on, this thrilled him because normally he's not allowed to use knives (never fear, I explained to him that he can only use a knife if he is cooking with an adult and I kept a close eye on him, safety first).

Snacking will happen,  and it's encouraged.

As the head chef, make sure to encourage your "sous chef's" accomplishments, and let them know how awesome they are doing. Tucker ended up dipping his toppings in the hummus and then placing it on the quesadilla, what a great idea to ensure flavor placement. 

Once all desired tppings have been placed on the quesadilla, gently fold it over and cook on medium heat in a greased frying pan for about 3 minutes per side. Let your "sous chef" watch this process, making sure to stay close by  (again, safety first). 

Let your "sous chef" marvel at his creation, then use a pizza cutter (if you don't have a pizza cutter a knife will be fine) to cut the quesadilla into small triangle slices.
Tucker had such a good time making his quesadilla, he requested to make it again another day!

How to Make a Mini-Chef

I came up with this one afternoon  when we didn't have alot going on and I was desperate to think of something to entertain Tucker. I had a bunch of random ingredients that individually, Tucker probably wouldn't have eaten, but when I place everything in front of him and tell him he was in charge, everything vanished! I've learned that when you give kids ownership over their food and get them excited about the cooking process and the ingredients, they are much more likely to try and like new things. I also like to use the real names of things in the kitchen (he told someone at preschool this year he was a "sous chef"). I'm not a rocket scientist, I can't play an instrument, I've never played sports, but I do cook almost everyday, so if I can teach my little man some cooking basics, one day when he's all grown up hopefully he'll be able to hold his own in the kitchen and won't have to live off of fast foods or starve. Cooking this dish was so popular that I now keep quesadilla supplies stocked you know, just in "CASE"adilla. Whether your a master in the kitchen or just trying to keep your "sous chef" entertained, where there's a meal, there's a way!

Posted in Dinner, Just for Kids!, Pickey Eater Friendly    Tagged with no tags


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