Welcome to Kitchen Classroom, where America’s Test Kitchen Kids is sharing a weekly set of kid-tested and kid-approved recipes, hands-on experiments, and activities paired with suggestions for how to bring learning to life in the kitchen.
Kitchen Classroom: Week 18
Published July 10, 2020.
This week, kids can make Buffalo Chicken Lavash Flatbread for lunch or snacking, along with a batch of refreshing Real Lemonade, meant for sipping on a summer day. They can also tackle breakfast (or breakfast for dinner) with our simple recipe for Scrambled Eggs. Finally, enjoy peak summer strawberries in a Strawberry Cream “Shortcake.” The recipe was designed with younger chefs (ages 5 to 8) in mind, but kids (and adults) of all ages will enjoy baking (and eating) this delightful dessert.
Don’t forget to share what your family makes by tagging @testkitchenkids or using #atkkids on Instagram, or by sending photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 July 13th through 19th.
Buffalo Chicken Lavash Flatbread
This recipe uses store-bought lavash—a thin, rectangular flatbread that’s a traditional part of Armenian cuisine—as a base for a cheesy, just-a-little-bit spicy pizza that’s perfect for lunch or a shareable snack. While the flatbread bakes, kids can practice calculating the area of their flatbread and other kitchen items. Math has never tasted so good!
[GET THE RECIPE]
What You’ll Need
1 (12-by-9-inch) lavash bread
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup shredded cooked chicken (from rotisserie chicken or from leftovers)
2 tablespoons Frank’s hot sauce (or other not-too-spicy hot sauce)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (3 ounces)
½ cup baby spinach, chopped
Math (Measurement, Geometry):
This recipe calls for a rectangular lavash bread that is about 12 inches by 9 inches in size. Before brushing the lavash with oil in step 1, have kids use a ruler to measure the length and width of their lavash in inches or centimeters (it’s okay if it has slightly different dimensions than the recipe calls for). Once kids know the length and width of their rectangular lavash:
- Ask kids: Do you know how to calculate the area of a rectangle? (Answer: Multiply the length by the width. Area is measured in square inches or square centimeters.)
- Have kids calculate how many square inches or centimeters make up the area of their flatbread. (For example, if their flatbread measures 12 inches by 9 inches, the area is 108 square inches.)
- Ask kids if they can identify any other rectangles in the kitchen? (Examples: Baking sheet, cooling rack, cutting board, oven door, refrigerator door, freezer door)
- While the flatbread is baking or cooling, have kids calculate the area of any of the other rectangles they can find in the kitchen. Ask kids: Which one had the largest area? The smallest area?
Take It Further
Social Studies (History):
Buffalo sauce is a combination of vinegary, not-too-hot hot sauce—often Frank’s Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce—and melted butter. Ask kids: How do you think buffalo sauce got its name?
Explain that it’s not from buffalo the animal, but from the city of Buffalo, New York. That’s where the Anchor Bar restaurant first started to use this buttery, spicy sauce to coat fried chicken wings (all the way back in the 1960s!). The snack became so popular and the sauce so beloved that the City of Buffalo has celebrated Chicken Wing Day on July 29th every year since 1977, and holds an annual Buffalo Wing Festival every fall. For many years, Buffalo wings were a dish you could only get in the New York area, but over time, they spread all over the country. For the story of how Buffalo wings were invented and how popular they are today, check out this video. Today, you can find lots of other Buffalo-flavored things besides chicken wings on restaurant menus and in grocery stores, such as pizza, crackers, chips, and pretzels! Ask kids: What other foods do you think would taste good with Buffalo sauce?
As summer gets into full swing, what’s better than a big pitcher of tart, sweet, refreshing lemonade? While making their lemonade, kids will learn about the different parts of citrus fruits and the power of maceration! Stay classic with plain lemonade or try one of our variations to make Strawberry Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade, Watermelon Lemonade or even Limeade!
[GET THE RECIPE]
What You’ll Need
¾ cup sugar
3½ cups cold water
The first step in this recipe has kids slice lemons into semicircles. Before they proceed, have kids observe one of the lemon slices (this is a good time to employ a magnifying glass, if you have one). What do they notice? How many different parts does a lemon have? What does each part look like?
Then explain to them that citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and oranges, have three parts:
- Zest is the outermost, colored part of the peel of the fruit. Zest is full of tiny aroma compounds, which are responsible for the signature smell of lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits. Zest can add lots of flavor to everything from pasta to salad dressing to cookies to lemonade!
- The pith is the soft, spongy, white layer just below the zest. It contains bitter compounds that don’t taste very good—if you’re ever zesting (removing the zest) from a lemon, lime, or orange, avoid the pith.
- The edible, fleshy middle of the lemon is called the endocarp. It’s divided into very small segments by membranes—the juice is stored in each segment. Lemon juice gets its tart, sour taste from citric acid.
Using one of the lemon slices, have kids identify each part of the fruit. If you have an extra lemon, have kids smell and taste the zest, pith, and juice. How would they describe their smell and flavor?
Take it Further
In step 2 of this recipe, kids mash together sugar and lemon slices, which is a technique called maceration. Week 13 of Kitchen Classroom contains a simple experiment to demonstrate how sugar pulls water out of fruits during maceration (it uses strawberries, but you could replicate it with extra lemon slices instead).
Scrambled eggs are quick and easy for kids to make themselves for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (it’s always a good time for scrambled eggs). An extra yolk and a splash of whole milk or half-and-half help make these scrambled eggs extra tender.
[GET THE RECIPE]
What You’ll Need
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon half-and-half or whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Science (Scientific Observation):
As kids prepare their scrambled eggs, encourage some eggsploration. In step 1 of the recipe, kids crack three of the eggs into a medium bowl and then crack the fourth egg into a separate small bowl. Have kids pause and observe the eggs:
- What are the different parts of the egg? (Answer: The white and the yolk)
- What does each part look like?
- How do they look similar? How do they look different?
Then, have kids use their hand to gently transfer the yolk from the small bowl into the medium bowl. (Save the egg white.) Ask: How do the egg whites and the egg yolks feel? Why do you think we are adding an extra yolk to our scrambled eggs?
After kids finish cooking and plating their scrambled eggs, help them wipe out the skillet, add 1 teaspoon of butter, and quickly whisk and cook the egg white until it is solid. Have kids taste the cooked egg white and their scrambled eggs? What do they notice? How is the flavor and texture different?
Explain to kids that eggs are like two ingredients (the white and the yolk) in one package (the shell). Egg whites are made of mostly water and some protein, which is why they appear more runny and watery when they’re raw and leaner when they’re cooked. Egg yolks are made of a combination of water, fat, and protein, with a thicker consistency when raw. The fat in egg yolks helps make our scrambled eggs a bit richer while special molecules in the yolks (called emulsifiers) help prevent the eggs from overcooking.
Strawberry Cream “Shortcake”
This twist on strawberry shortcake, which traditionally uses biscuits as its base, starts with an easy-to-make tender yellow cake that was designed with young chefs ages 5 to 8 in mind. The cooled cake is topped with fluffy whipped cream and sweet, juicy strawberries. It’s the perfect ending to just about any summer meal.
[GET THE RECIPE]
What You’ll Need
Vegetable oil spray
1½ cups (7½ ounces) all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (5¼ ounces) plus 1 tablespoon sugar, measured separately
⅔ cup (5⅓ ounces) milk
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (10 ounces) strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 cups whipped cream
You can’t have strawberry shortcake without the whipped cream! The process of making whipped cream is simple: Take cold heavy cream, mix it with a bit of sugar and vanilla for flavor, and whisk it—with a mixer or by hand—until it’s light and fluffy. Ask kids: Why do you think you need to use heavy cream when you’re making whipped cream? Do you think you can turn milk into whipped cream? Why or why not?
Let kids give it a try: Have them pour ½ cup of cold milk into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if you’re using a handheld mixer). Turn the mixer to medium-low speed and whip milk for at least 1 minute. Ask kids: What do you notice? What’s happening to the milk? (If you do not have an electric mixer, you can use a whisk.)
Likely, kids will notice that the milk becomes foamy, with lots of bubbles, but it won’t turn into whipped cream. And, over time, those bubbles dissipate. It has to do with the difference between heavy cream and milk: Heavy cream contains much more fat than milk.
When you whip all of those air bubbles into heavy cream, the fat in the cream holds the air bubbles in place. As more and more bubbles form, the heavy cream expands and becomes light and fluffy. Since milk doesn’t contain nearly as much fat, there’s nothing to hold the air bubbles in place.
To learn more about the science of whipped cream, including why it’s key to always start with cold heavy cream, check out this science experiment.
Catching up on Kitchen Classroom? Find previous weeks using the links below:
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 17
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 16
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 15
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 14
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 13
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 12
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 11
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 10
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 9
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 8
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 7
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 6
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 5
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 4
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 3
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 2
- Kitchen Classroom: Week 1