Recipes Kids Should Know How to Cook Before Leaving Home: Omelets
Ever since my kids could walk I’ve gotten them involved with cooking. I believe cooking makes kids smarter (hello, math!), gives them life skills and provides great memories. But, until now, my kids have simply played a supporting role in the kitchen. I’m definitely the one driving things, giving them tasks I know they can tackle. I’m realizing, however, that my 11-year-old daughter Cate is now old enough to start taking the wheel and cooking on her own. This has opened up a whole new world and I’m excited about this new stage of “cooking with kids” that our family is beginning!
Over the last few months Cate has started cooking more and she is loving it. Cate is the one of my three kids who was least interested in cooking projects when she was younger. That has changed! She is more engaged and interested in cooking now that she feels empowered in the kitchen. It’s pretty awesome.
I recently asked Cate if she would like to start a journey with me. We are going to tackle a list of “Recipes Kids Should Know How To Cook Before Leaving Home.” The goal is two-fold. First, Cate will be able to help out more as she develops her cooking skills and builds a repertoire. Second, when Cate leaves home she will know how to cook, an invaluable skill that will serve her throughout life.
Luckily we have a few years to tackle all these recipes! We’re going to start out simple then slowly build to more complicated recipes as her abilities increase. She is excited. I am excited. It’s going to be great!
We’ve kicked off our journey with Omelets. Cate started cooking eggs about 2 months ago and it has been awesome. She cooks them for breakfast and for snack…and even for the occasional dinner!
I introduced cooking eggs to Cate with a basic 1- or 2-egg omelet. She’s still working on her folding and flipping skills, but she gets better every time. What I’m discovering as I teach Cate how to cook something like an omelet, is that until you give your child full control, you don’t realize all the little tips and tricks that you employ yourself when cooking.
As I’ve started teaching Cate how to cook, I find I am constantly re-discovering those tips as I watch her cook. Just handing Cate a stack of recipes would only be half of the learning process. By having me at her side and guiding her through each recipe, Cate is really learning cooking skills. It’s been a great experience for both of us!
Cooking time: 5 minutes
- 1 or 2 eggs
- Dab of butter (about 1 teaspoon)
- Salt and pepper
- Heat a small, non-stick frying pan (approximately 6-8 inches in diameter) over medium heat. Explain to your child that when looking at the heat dial for your stove, you should set it to right in the middle between LOW and HIGH – for many stoves this will be “5” on a scale of 1-10. Add the butter to the pan and let it start to melt.
- While the butter is melting, whisk the egg(s) in a small bowl. Add 2 pinches of salt per egg. So, if you are cooking 1 egg, add 2 pinches of salt. If you are cooking 2 eggs, add 4 pinches of salt.
- Once the butter has fully melted in the pan, use a spatula to spread the butter all around the pan and coat the bottom of the pan evenly.
- Pour the whisked egg into the pan and let it fill the bottom of the pan. As the egg starts to cook, use the corner of your spatula to push the edges of the egg to the center of the pan, working your way constantly around the omelet. Each time you push the edge of the egg into the middle, tip the pan so that egg liquid fills in the empty spot that you create with the spatula. Once there is no more liquid to fill in the empty spots, stop pushing in the sides of the egg.
- At this point, let the egg cook for about a minute, until it looks mostly cooked on the top surface, which means that it won’t look as wet any more. Using your spatula, carefully fold the egg in half. Let the egg cook for about 15-30 seconds, then flip it over. (If you are cooking a 2-egg omelet, sometimes it’s harder to flip it over. If that happens, just cut the omelet in half with the edge of your spatula, then flip each half over separately.) Let the omelet cook another 15 seconds or so, then slide onto a plate. While it cooks on the second side, press down gently and flatly with the spatula to help push out any leftover liquidy stuff that might be inside the folded omelet.
- Slide the cooked omelet onto a plate, sprinkle with a bit of pepper and eat!