ATK Kids
Kitchen Classroom: Week 11
Week 11 of resources to help kids learn in the kitchen—and make something delicious along the way.
05-22-2020
America's Test Kitchen Kids

Welcome to week 11 of Kitchen Classroom, where America’s Test Kitchen Kids is sharing kid-tested and kid-approved recipes, hands-on experiments, and activities paired with suggestions for how to bring learning to life in the kitchen.  

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This week, young chefs can make pizza for lunch (yes, really!) with Pesto Flatbread “Pizza,” bake a batch of granola for breakfast or snacks, enjoy some Bean and Cheese Quesadillas (with a recipe designed especially for kids ages 5 to 8), and whip up some Blueberry Muffins for weekend brunch. 

Don’t forget to share what your family makes by tagging @testkitchenkids or using #atk kids on Instagram, or by sending photos to kids@americastestkitchen.com. Visit the America’s Test Kitchen Kids website for more culinary content designed especially for kids, plus all of the Kitchen Classroom content in one easy-to-scan location. 

Here’s what’s cooking for the week of May 25th through May 31st.  

From left: Pesto Flatbread "Pizza"; Cherry, Almond, and Chocolate Chip Granola

Pesto Flatbread “Pizza”

This week, when kids ask “what’s for lunch?” tell them it’s pizza (and that they’re making it). Pesto Flatbread “Pizza” to be exact. Store-bought naan bread makes an excellent stand-in for pizza dough—the edges crisp in the oven while the interior remains soft and slightly chewy. Kids spread pesto (homemade or store-bought) over the naan, then sprinkle it with shredded cheese and halved cherry tomatoes—or they can swap in their favorite pizza toppings, such as sliced bell pepper, pepperoni, or sliced scallions. 
[GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need
1 teaspoon extra-­virgin olive oil
1 (8-­inch) naan bread
2 tablespoons pesto
⅓ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Learning Moment
Math (Multiplication, Division, Logic):
As with any pie, pizza pies lend themselves very well to math problems! While kids’ “pizzas” are baking, have them solve these word problems:

  • This recipe uses 12 cherries tomatoes that you cut in half. How many tomato halves do you have in total? (Answer: 24 cherry tomato halves)
  • If you cut your “pizza” into 8 slices and you want an equal number of tomato halves on each slice, how many cherry tomato halves will be on each slice? (Answer: 3 cherry tomato halves)
    • What about  if you cut your “pizza” into 6 slices? (Answer: 4 cherry tomato halves) Four slices? (Answer: 6 cherry tomato halves)
  • If there are 16 cherry tomato halves on one half of the pizza, how many cherry tomato halves will be on the other half of the pizza? (Answer: 8 cherry tomato halves)

Take It Further 
Social Studies (World cultures; Geography):
Did you know that quick-cooking flatbreads, such as naan, are the oldest breads in the world? Humans have been making and eating flatbreads for thousands and thousands of years, since the late Stone Age. These first flatbreads were likely cooked near an open fire, and eventually on a heated, flat stone.

Today, many cultures around the world have their own unique flatbread recipes. Here are eight flatbreads from across the globe. Ask kids how many they’ve heard of before and how many they’ve eaten. Encourage them to look up each country or region on a world map and identify its continent. 

Naan (India): Naan is a chewy flatbread that’s often eaten with stews and curries. It’s traditionally cooked on the hot surface of a special tandoor oven, which gives the bread its spotty brown color. 

Tortillas (Mexico): Tortillas can be made from corn or wheat and are used in tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, and more. Corn tortillas are made from a special kind of corn flour called masa harina.

Lavash (Armenia): Lavash is a soft, thin flatbread that’s usually rectangular. Sometimes it’s rolled around fillings, such as meats and cheeses. Other times it’s baked into crisp crackers for scooping up dips, like hummus.

Pita (Middle East): For thousands of years, people have been baking soft, tender pita bread. Its signature pocket forms when the dough hits a hot surface in the oven and puffs into a bready pillow.

Injera (Ethiopia): Injera is a spongy flatbread made from a grain called teff. In Ethiopia, many dishes are served right on top of injera and people use pieces of the bread to pick up their food. 

Frybread (North America, Native American): Fry bread is a round, bubbly, fried dough (though different Native American tribes make different styles). The Navajo word for fry bread is dah díníilghaazh ("dock-de-kneel-a-gaj"). Dah means “edge,” and díníilghaazh means “bubbly.”

Laufabrauð (Iceland): These thin, crispy, round flatbreads with a delicate cutout pattern are enjoyed at Christmastime in Iceland. Some people even hang them in their windows as decorations!

Scallion Pancake (China): Scallion pancakes are crispy and browned on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside, with lots of thin layers of dough. They’re usually fried instead of baked.   

 

Cherry, Almond, and Chocolate Chip Granola

Crunchy granola makes breakfast time so much sweeter. It’s great on top of yogurt, eaten with a little bit of milk, or nibbled by the handful as a snack. This version with dried cherries, sliced almonds, and chocolate chips is sweet, but not too sweet. 
[GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need
Vegetable oil spray
¼ cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
2½ cups (7½ ounces) old-­fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup dried cherries
½ cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Learning Moment
Math (Measurement, Ordering):
We recommend that young chefs measure all of their ingredients before they begin a recipe. After kids have measured all the ingredients for this granola, challenge them to order the ingredients from least amount to greatest (excluding the vegetable oil spray). If there are two ingredients with the same measurement, kids can place those ingredients next to one another in their lineup. Before they begin, you might have kids review the relative sizes of teaspoons, tablespoons, and cups. 

Answer Key: ¼ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, ¼ cup vegetable oil, ½ cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, 1 cup sliced almonds, 1 cup dried cherries, 2½ cups (7½ ounces) old-­fashioned rolled oats.

 

From left: Bean and Cheese Quesadillas, Blueberry Muffins

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

This simple recipe, written with young chefs ages 5 to 8 in mind, can double as lunch and a scavenger hunt as kids identify the shapes they see in every recipe step. This recipe can easily double to make four quesadillas and has flexible ingredients; feel free to substitute pinto beans for the black beans or swap in other melty cheeses, such as cheddar or mozzarella, for the Monterey Jack.  
[GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need
⅓ cup canned black beans
2 teaspoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, measured separately
2 (8-inch) flour tortillas
⅔ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (2⅔ ounces)

Learning Moment
Language Arts (Rhyming):
Kids can use some of the action words and ingredients in this recipe to practice their rhyming skills. While the quesadillas bake, challenge kids to come up with some rhymes using key words from the recipe, such as:

  • How many words can you think of that rhyme with MASH? (Examples: smash, rash, crash, etc.)
  • How about BEAN? (Examples: green, clean, mean, etc.)
  • What about words that rhyme with CHEESE? (Examples: please, squeeze, sneeze, etc.)

 

Blueberry Muffins

These “berry good” breakfast treats use tart blueberries to balance the sweetness of the muffin batter. Kids can practice their measuring and portioning skills by making these bakery classics, as well as learn the surprising truth about what makes a berry, a berry!
[GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need
Vegetable oil spray
3 cups (15 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, measured separately
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups plain yogurt
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Learning Moment
Science (Botany):
As kids are measuring out their ingredients before they start cooking this recipe, have them set a few extra blueberries aside. While the muffins are baking in step 6, ask kids to observe the extra blueberries: What do they notice about their outsides? 

Then, have kids cut the berries in half across their equator (or do this for them if they’re not quite ready to use a knife) and observe the insides. Can they find any blueberry seeds?

It turns out that these seeds are a key clue to whether these berries are actually berries! Tell kids that raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries AREN’T ACTUALLY BERRIES. (Well, at least according to plant scientists they aren’t.) 

In our everyday conversations, “berries” are small fruits that grow on a bush. But, if you ask a plant scientist “What’s a berry?” they will give you a different answer: A berry is a fruit that grows from one flower and usually contains several seeds inside. Blueberries fit this scientific definition (whew!), so scientists call them “true berries.” But raspberries and strawberries? Not berries. A single raspberry is actually made up of lots of tiny, round fruits, each with its own seed inside. Strawberries also contain many teeny, individual fruits, each with their own yellow seed on the outside. If you have any strawberries or raspberries on hand, have kids examine those up close, too.

Ready for some even more shocking news? According to plant scientists, fruits like bananas, kiwis, grapes, and even watermelons are berries, too! Each of these berries grows from its own flower and their sweet flesh surrounds tiny seeds.

Take It Further 
Literacy (Reading Comprehension):
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey is a classic picture book all about: blueberries! If you have a copy, read the book together. If not, you can click here to enjoy a read-aloud video of the book, or listen to an audiobook version of the story borrowed from your local library’s collection or on Audible. After reading or listening to the story, ask kids:

  • Besides Mother and Little Sal, who else is out looking for blueberries in this story? (Mother Bear and Little Bear)
  • What do Mother and Little Sal want to do with the blueberries? (Mother wants to can them to save them for the winter, and Sal wants to eat them right away.)
  • What do the bears want to do with the blueberries? (Eat them before hibernating for the winter.)
  • What happens in the story that gets everyone mixed up? (Sal begins to follow Mother Bear instead of her mother, and Little Bear begins to follow Sal’s mother.)
  • How would you feel if you discovered you were following a bear around instead of the grown-up taking care of you? How do you think the bear would feel?

 

Join the Club

On sale until May 31, 2020, the June box of the Young Chefs’ Club is all about ICE CREAM! It includes recipes for ice cream and raspberry sorbet (no ice cream maker required!), classic toppings like Hot Fudge and Strawberry Sauce, and more. Kids can invent their own ice cream flavors, learn the science of making ice cream scoopable, and roll their own sundae combinations in a fun game.