Plymouth Kids in the Kitchen

Follow these simple tips from expert Joan Donatelle for a fun and easy afternoon in the kitchen.
While we might offer specific ingredients portions, be prepared to use more--heaping piles of cheese and pepperoni often succumb to hungry helpers.

If your kids are clamoring to get their hands on your chef’s hat, why not let them? With six years of teaching kids cooking classes and the Boy Scout merit badge for cooking at Byerlys, culinary manager Joan Donatelle was eager to share her tips for family-style cooking.

“Always try a little of the food, even if you think you might not like it,” she says. Follow Donatelle’s golden rules, and you’re in for some valuable bonding time and a delicious meal that everyone will enjoy.

1. Have a plan. Decide on the menu and recipes you’d like to try and stick to it. Make sure you have all of the ingredients and equipment before you start cooking so you won’t have to run out to the store or improvise while cooking.

2. Be clean. Remember to wash your hands before cooking and while handling any eggs or raw meats. Wear an apron to protect your clothing from the food and the food from any germs you might have on your clothes. Cleaning the kitchen as you cook will also minimize the work you have to do after you’ve eaten, so you can simply relax and enjoy your evening.

3. Maintain food safety. Set rules for the kitchen, like which family members are allowed to use knives or scissors, and delegate jobs accordingly. Help each other measure, sift, stir or do any other prep work so that it’s a bonding experience. Make sure to keep hot food hot and cold food cold, and avoid cross contamination.

4. Eat a rainbow. Incorporating colorful fruits and vegetables into your meals is a fun way to ensure you’re taking in all of the vitamins and nutrients you need each day. Just a half-cup of veggies is equal to one serving of the recommended five per day.

5. Be polite. Have fun, but don’t forget your manners!


Bagel Pizzas


4 bagels, split

½ cup pizza sauce

2 cups finely chopped fresh vegetables (try broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes)

1 (8 oz.) package shredded pizza cheese


Preheat oven to 425o F. Arrange bagel halves on a baking sheet, and bake until crisp (3–4 minutes). Remove from oven, and spread about 1 Tbsp. of pizza sauce on each half. Arrange the vegetables over the sauce, and sprinkle ¼ cup cheese on each pizza. Return the pizzas to the oven, and continue baking until cheese is melted (6–8 minutes).


-Substitute 8 mini whole-wheat pita breads for bagels

-1/2 cup cut-up cooked chicken, turkey, ham or pepperoni for or with vegetables


Homemade Ice Cream

Ingredients (serves one, so each person can make their own!)

1 one-gallon freezer food storage bag

ice cubes

6 Tbsp. salt

1 one-pint freezer food storage bag

½ cup whole milk

1 Tbsp. sugar

¼ tsp. vanilla extract


Fill gallon food storage bag half-full of ice cubes. Sprinkle salt over the ice. In the pint food storage bag, combine the milk, sugar and vanilla. Seal the small bag, and place it inside the large bag; seal the large bag. Shake, turn and roll the large bag until the ice cream is ready (about 5 minutes). Remove the small bag, open, and enjoy!


Banana Bread


½ cup margarine or butter, softened

1½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1½ cups mashed bananas (4–6)

½ cup buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour

½ cup bran flakes cereal

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)


Cream margarine and sugar. Beat in eggs, bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients until well-combined. Spread batter into 2 greased and floured 8½- x 4½ -inch loaf pans. Bake in a preheated 350o F oven until a deep golden brown (about 65 minutes). Remove from pans, and cool on a wire rack.


Peach and Berry Cobbler

Filling ingredients

2 (16 oz.) bags frozen sliced peaches, no sugar added

1 (16 oz.) bag frozen blueberries, no sugar added

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Topping ingredients

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. ground nutmeg


Crust ingredients

2 cups flour

¾ cup sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

½ cup soft margarine or butter

1 cup milk



Thaw frozen fruit, and reserve juices, adding water to equal 1 cup liquid (only if necessary). Combine fruit, spoon into 9- by 13-inch baking pan. In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch, 1 cup brown sugar and reserved liquid. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens. Pour lemon juice over fruits, and stir. Prepare cobbler crust by combining dry ingredients and then beating in the margarine and milk until smooth. Carefully spread the crust evenly over fruit. Combine topping ingredients, and sprinkle over crust. Bake in a preheated 350 F oven until bubbly and browned, or about 40–50 minutes. Can be served warm or cold with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.