I am mom to Enzo, a boy who loves to cook with me. A boy who likes to create and explore new things. I started cooking with Enzo before he was born. I would spend my last three months of pregnancy making meals and freezing them for future chaotic days. I would talk to him about what I was making and he would answer back with baby kicks.
Our adventures in the kitchen hasn't always been blissful. We've had our share of spills and messes and tears, yes tears. Enzo has recently discovered that not all foods are created equal and that according to his taste buds somethings are yucky. I tell him "Enzo, I will never feed you something yucky. I try hard to make delicious food and because I love you I will always feed you delicious food." He doesn't really believe me and many times he says "no thanks" which is code for "There is no way I'm eating that." So we move on. And we cook some more. Cooking with him has been rewarding in that a)he's actually quit helpful and b)he tends to have ownership of what he creates and in those circumstances he's more likely to try new ingredients and be less picky.
We've been in Halloween mode lately and we're experimenting with different treats and dessert. A couple weeks ago I saw an idea that I loved on a parenting website. It's a hallowed orange cut out like a jack-o-lantern filled with chocolate pudding. Spooky!
I wanted to add a touch of nutrition to the dessert so we added pumpkin. We used instant chocolate pudding which calls for 2 cups milk. However, we substituted 1 cup of milk for 1 cup of pumpkin puree which gave us a creamy pumpkin chocolate pudding. Then we carved our oranges and filled it up to the brim.
Then we made another, and another, and another until we had enough to share with friends. One pudding recipe yielded 6 orange jack-o-lanterns, enough for a small crowd, a very happy crowd.