Another contribution from my chef friend, Karen, in North Carolina. She has two little boys - well, okay, one isn't so little anymore, he's 10! - and she taught them both to cook "as soon as they could climb up on the barstool to reach the stove."
I met Karen about 13 years ago in a teeny-tiny town called Charlottesville, Virginia that backs up to the Blue Ridge mountains. I was in school at the university and she owned the best pizza spot in town, Pie in the Sky, which did gourmet toppings (spinach, feta, sun-dried tomatoes) well before anyone else. When she got pregnant with Noah, we'd have dinner together once a week at her apartment on Main Street (how quaint that sounds!). She'd cook - she's the type who is always taking care of everyone else - and more often than not the menu was dictated by her pregnancy cravings: rosemary rösti potatoes, butter beans (sorry, I'm from the South, that's what we call lima beans) and Brussels sprouts or a simple cheese quiche and a salad. Good, simple fare, satisfying and comforting. (Note to self: worth eating at least once a week.)
Yield: 4-6 servings
Says Karen: "I have an old-fashioned egg beater with the crank handle. My boys love making this, and better yet - they love to eat it! They think a hand grater is magical. They also feel very grown up if you give them a timer to be in charge of - and don't forget to put the oven light on - they also like to watch while it cooks. Serve with a green salad and orange slices for dessert and you have dinner."
1 prepared pie crust, either homemade according to your favorite recipe or from the market freezer
1/4 cup milk
4 oz. cream cheese
4 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix the eggs and milk with a whisk. Add salt and pepper to taste (well, don't taste it - raw egg, yuck! - you'll have to know how seasoned you like your food)
2. Cut cream cheese into thumb-sized chunks and distribute evenly around pie crust.
3. Pour egg mixture over cream cheese. Top with cheddar cheese.
4. Bake 25 minutes at 350.
It's good just out of the oven, or cold, or at any temperature in between. If you're not teaching your kids to cook, let your mind drift while you make it. You can't screw it up.