5 Child-Friendly Chores and Responsibilities

Responsibilities allow kids a sense of confidence, independence and start to build a great habit as they age. Before getting into what kind of chores and responsibilities you can give your children, here are some things to keep in mind.

How to go about giving chores to your kids?

With their easy going attitude towards life, children aren’t naturally inclined towards chores. Because of this, It’s best to ease your children into doing such chores. Remember to be patient and provide clear instructions. Your children aren’t going to be perfect when doing these chores, so leave some room for mistakes. Praise the right thing they did, but also correct their mistakes. Again, chores aren’t something children want to do naturally, so ensure you don’t discourage them from it.

Finally, children usually model the adults around them. Demonstrate how you do the chores and allow them to mimic the behavior. The earlier you involve them, the better, as it becomes a natural part of their lives rather than a sudden switch in routine.

Child-Friendly Chores and Responsibilities

With that in mind, there are many different chores and responsibilities to assign your children. Here are some of them.

Help in the kitchen (our favourite one!)

Whether it’s cleaning small messes or helping in cooking prep, the kitchen is a great place to find lots of chores for your children, and ones they will get excited about too – with supervision, of course. Getting them to take part in simple cooking tasks like grating cheese, picking herbs, 

Ask them to join in on trips to the grocery store and collect the items on your list, set the table, help to clear the table and if they are old enough, to load the dishwasher too. 

There are many ways to involve your kids in everyday household activities. If you’re looking to nurture your children’s skills in the kitchen, Rooks to Cooks is the place to be!

Water the plants and flowers in the garden 

This is a great chore for children especially since it also gives them the opportunity to be outside. Again, younger kids may need strict supervision to ensure they don’t touch or eat plants and flowers they’re not supposed to ingest. Assign areas and educate your kids about safety, especially once they’re much older to understand. If you have a garden, you know how satisfying it is to enjoy the “fruits of your labour” – kids feel that way too!

Putting their things and toys away in an organized manner

This chore is usually the first, starting from the age of 2 or 3. You can begin with ensuring they keep their toys and things away after playtime. As the child gets older, this chore can shift into other areas of the house, especially with things that they use. Remember, kids learn from demonstration to be sure to tidy up after yourself too. 

Wiping up and cleaning surfaces

Small spills can be handled by children as young as 2 or 3 years of age. Teaching them to clean up any mess they make is an important habit to build from a young age as this will inevitably be part of their lives as they get older.

Make their own bed

This is another must-have chore and habit to build. When they wake up every day, this chore must be enforced. Younger children can help their parents and be supervised, but it doesn’t need to be perfectly done. 

Even though we call them chores, all of these are habits and can be formed in a fun and nurturing way. If the kitchen is a tough spot on your house, let us handle the mess at our Fall After School Programs and Weekend Workshops!

The Importance of Vitamin D

Summer is finally here! Most associated with the happiest season, summer signifies so many things for people. We enjoy summer for the heat and the fact that it symbolizes vacation time. It’s a positive sign that the harsh and frigid weather is over and it’s time to enjoy beach days and fresh food. It also means that school’s out and kids get a break for a few months. Since we will be spending a lot more time outdoors, let us talk about the importance of the sunshine vitamin – Vitamin D.

Image Credit: New Africa / Shutterstock.com

Vitamin D is a nutrient your body needs for building and maintaining healthy bones. Our bodies make Vitamin D from sunlight when it interacts with a chemical in your skin. It also regulates and supports many other functions in your body.

Importance of Vitamin D:

  • creates stronger bone density
  • supports immune health
  • reduces the risk of cancer
  • helps treat skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema
  • alleviates arthritic symptoms

PLUS, Vitamin D has many health benefits! According to Healthline, it can reduce your risk of developing:

  • heart disease
  • multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • depression
  • weight gain

Studies have also shown that being outside in the sun boosts happiness and makes people feel more positive and energized. Healthline also states that “…serotonin…is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused”. So, what does this mean? It basically means that it stabilizes your mood and helps you feel content and at ease.

Doctors say it’s extremely important to have enough Vitamin D because depletion can cause high levels of fatigue, depression and anxiety. Few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D, however, many foods that we eat are fortified with vitamin D like dairy products and cereals.

According to Medical News Today, the following foods contain sufficient amounts of vitamin D:

  • fatty fish (e.g., salmon, mackerel, and tuna)
  • mushrooms
  • beef liver
  • egg yolk
  • fortified milk
  • fortified cereals and juices

With that said, summer is a wonderful time to enjoy the sunshine. As long as you pile on the sunscreen and stay hydrated, there’s no reason you shouldn’t spend all summer outside. After all, it’s the shortest season of the year, so make it count!

Are you attending any Summer Camps? Did you know that we offer In-Person and Virtual Camps this summer? Check out our website for more info: https://www.rookstocooks.ca/

Feel free to let us know about your exciting summer plans and tag us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (@rookstocooks). Stay safe and have fun!

How to Reduce Clutter, Prevent Lego-Related Foot Injuries and Make a Better World

Guest Blog Post from our partner Wish and Give

By Julie LeJeune, Founder of Wish & Give

Maybe you’re the world’s most organized person. Maybe your house is always clean, the laundry is always done, and the children’s toys are in labelled compartments, neatly stored in their rooms.

Or maybe your house looks a little more like mine with a healthy sprinkling of Lego, cars, dolls and miscellaneous art projects on almost every surface. I love Christmas, but there is a part of me that looks with unspeakable dread at the piles of toys accumulating in brightly wrapped piles knowing that more ‘stuff’ is about to be launched into my home.  The feeling is compounded with one birthday in the fall and the second in late winter! It would be easy to shake my fist at the toy companies, but the problem is that I’m partly responsible, too.  I can’t blame all the stuff on the grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends, I also like to shop for them and spoil them on birthdays and holidays.

But sometimes, countless gifts aren’t the best way to show love. Instead of excitement, kids can quickly get overwhelmed by too many choices, bouncing from one gift to the next until they’re sitting in the middle of a pile of toys saying, “I’m bored!”

While it’s amazing and fun to celebrate each other at birthdays (and we should), do we need to celebrate with more stuff?

In October 2017, I launched Wish and Give—a different way to celebrate (and save your feet from stepping on discarded toys)!  Each event supports a local charity or non-profit.  It’s not only for children’s parties but grown-up parties too.

By using Wish and Give for birthday parties, children still receive a gift, but family and guests are asked to contribute towards one bigger, more meaningful, gift and to give a donation to charity on the child’s behalf. Imagine this: Instead of your child opening that ugly sweater from Aunt So-and-So that they’ll never wear, your child gets something they actually wanted, and they get to feel good about giving back (and so does Aunt So-and-So!).

What you support is completely up to you! I’d encourage you to sit down together to choose a charity or non-profit to support. You search by postal code to find a charity near you. It’s a great way to discover the amazing things happening right in your backyard. All 86,000+ charities in Canada are on the site and any non-profit can be added (just Contact me at info@wishandgive.ca).

By refocusing celebrations, starting with young children, we will raise a generation of thoughtful, caring individuals who are just as concerned about the world around them as they are their own wellbeing.  I’m seeing the fruits of this with the kids who have already used Wish and Give for their birthday.

So here is to less stuff (and foot injuries and clutter) and more giving!

Rooks to Cooks offers fun and exciting Virtual Cooking Birthday Parties. Why not organize a virtual party through the Wish and Give website and plan a wonderful celebration for your child’s special day?!

For more information, please visit Wish and Give website, or email Julie: info@wishandgive.ca

Increased Screen Time: Learn about Blue Light exposure & Strategies to help protect your family

Since the start of the pandemic, we have found ourselves online a lot more than usual. Chef Shai recently spoke with a Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Marissa Canning, on the topic of how blue light from screens can affect all our health, but especially the health of our children. We thank Dr. Canning for her valuable and helpful suggestions, and we invite you to read on and visit her websites for more information on services and products. Dr. Canning is Co-Owner of Lakeside Naturopathic Clinic and NaturoAcademy.

While online learning, after-school cooking classes and our virtual culinary camps have played a huge role in keeping us all connected during this past year, we have become increasingly aware of the effects that added screen time has had on our children’s health.

Screen time is at an all-time high for most kids which has a number of consequences, many of which are related to excessive blue light exposure. This is a concern in all of us (kids and adults alike!), but blue light affects children more than it affects adults. This is due to the fact that the crystalline lens of the eye is not fully developed yet allowing more light to penetrate through. Children’s pupils are also larger than adults, meaning they are able to take in more harmful blue light than adults do.

Fear not!  We have partnered with Dr. Marissa Canning, ND from NaturoAcademy to share with the Rooks to Cooks Community some simple strategies to help protect your little ones and help to reduce their exposure, and a discount code for you to protect your family with NaturoBlocks, Canada’s best Blue Blocking Glasses!

How Blue Light Affects Kids:

Sleep Disruption

Exposure to blue light (present in screens and artificial lighting) in the evenings prevents the body from releasing melatonin, the hormone required for proper sleep and repair.

Learning Difficulties

Blue light can contribute to decreased productivity, attention, energy, poor concentration, and sore eyes. All of these symptoms make virtual learning a very difficult task!

Mental Health Concerns

Not only is blue light addictive, but it also alters our “feel-good” neurotransmitter called Dopamine, which is involved in pleasure and reward centres of our brain. It may be hard to believe, but blue light can have similar effects on our brain to gambling, sugar, and even certain recreational drugs, giving us a quick hit of feeling good but ultimately leading to dependency and craving for more. Children are especially susceptible to this addiction and overuse of technology can lead to anti-social behaviour, temper tantrums, and attention disorders. It’s important to minimize blue light exposure especially during the crucial years of brain development.

Headaches and Migraines

Screens (computer, iPad, phones, TVs, video games) and artificial lighting are common triggers for headaches in children. This may be due to the fact that excessive blue light creates reactive oxygen species leading to cellular damage (especially in the eye). This happens in all of us, but little ones are particularly sensitive to the effects!

Increased Appetite for Sugary Foods

Have you noticed that your kid is reaching for the cookie jar more often since switching to virtual learning? That is because blue light boosts the body’s primary stress hormone cortisol, which leads to blood sugar instability. With long term exposure to blue light this can lead to insulin resistance, leptin resistance, and changes in neurotransmitter function (especially dopamine), which can all cause sugar and carbohydrate cravings.

 

How to Protect Your Kids from Blue Light: 

  1. Frequent Sun Breaks

Whenever your kids have breaks, get outside!

  1. Use NaturoBlocks Blue Blocking Glasses during R2C Virtual Cooking Classes

During R2C Virtual Cooking Classes, wearing blue-blocking glasses can have a huge impact on reducing their exposure to blue light. NaturoBlocks Daytime Screen Glasses block out 88% of harmful blue light while still allowing some blue which is important in small quantities during the day. Most blue-blocking glasses do NOT block the problematic wavelength of light (455nm) that is emitted from these devices so beware! Shop now (https://naturoacademy.com/shop/) or learn more about how our glasses work (https://naturoacademy.com/learn/).

SPECIAL OFFER: Be sure to use discount code: ROOKSWEAR’ at checkout for 15% off!

  1. Use Blue Light Filtering Software

If you have a newer Apple product (MacBook, iPhone or iPad), be sure to turn on NightShift and set it so that it stays on all day. Android users can use Twilight App.

  1. Avoid Blue Light at Night

As discussed above, blue light exposure at night decreases sleep quality which has massive consequences for our overall health. This is especially important for kids because proper physical growth, development and memory consolidation (learning) all require proper sleep. After the sun sets, avoid the use of screens (especially a few hours before bedtime) and use dim lighting such as candles, salt lamps, or red LED bulbs. An alternative is to use NaturoBlocks Blue Blocking Glasses which block 88% of harmful blue light in order to maximize sleep quality.

Parents, you have taken on the impossible during this past year. We see you protecting your kids at every turn of this pandemic, now trying to help your little ones navigate this increasingly virtual world. You’re doing a great job! Rooks to Cooks and NaturoAcademy hopes this helps to ease some of the stress!

FREE Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Cake Pop Workshop

Roses are red, violets are blue, we LOVE our community and cake pops too! 

As a way to express our love and appreciation for our R2C families, Chef Shai is running a FREE Valentine’s Day baking workshop! We will be making none other than her EPIC Valentine’s Day Red Velvet Cake Pops for you to share with your loved ones!! These delightful heart-shaped treats are bursting with flavour … and love.

Please review the recipe booklet to ensure you have all the ingredients ready for the start date. Following is the LINK to the Recipe: https://bit.ly/3cM3bbF

Link to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rookstocooks

All materials can be purchased at your local bulk barn, or ordered through amazon for your convenience. We hope to see you all there! 

  • Date: Friday February 12th, 2021
  • Time: 4:00 – 6:00pm (EST)
  • Virtual: FaceBook Live
  • FREE 🙂

ATTENTION: IT IS EXPECTED THAT ALL PARTICIPANTS COME TO CLASS WITH THEIR INGREDIENTS PRE-MEASURED AS LISTED IN THE RECIPE BELOW 

Can’t make it? Not to worry! The workshop will be recorded and posted on youtube to watch and bake through at your leisure.

If you have any questions, please contact Chef Shai by email: info@rookstocooks.ca

December 2020 Contests / Winners Lists

THE FOLLOWING CONTESTS ARE CLOSED

Thank you VERY MUCH to everyone who participated in the Rooks to Cooks SHARE YOUR CREATIONS CONTEST and GOOGLE REVIEW CONTEST! We greatly appreciate all your enthusiasm and support!!

1. “SHARE YOUR CREATION” CONTEST [CONTEST CLOSED]: Take photos of your cooking and baking creations from any of our classes or workshops and share with Rooks to Cooks.

PRIZE: Eight (8) Winners will be randomly selected to participate in an EXCLUSIVE Virtual Cooking Class with Chef Shai as the host/instructor in the new year! FUN!!

WINNERS LIST:

  1. Zac G.
  2. Erin H.B.
  3. Cher L.
  4. Themis T.
  5. Patti M.
  6. Avianna G.
  7. Pippa J.
  8. Ben M.

*** SOCIAL MEDIA / EMAIL CONTEST DETAILS***

  • Option A: Post on Instagram. Post a PHOTO of your creation or your child(ren) cooking PLUS a description or review. Our Instagram handle: @rooks2cooks. PLEASE BE SURE TO TAG US when you post on IG
    OR
  • Option B: Email to Rooks to Cooks. If you are not able to Post and Share on IG, then please Email your Photo(s) plus Description to Rooks to Cooks: margaret@rookstocooks.ca
  • Ideally, photo should show the child’s perspective: the child in action in their kitchen, the child with finished product, or finished product only.
  • Photos can be from our Workshops (Yule log, Candy Canes or Gingerbread House), Virtual Fall Classes or Winter Camps. If you submit photos from more than one class or program, then those will be counted as another entry (For example, candy cane workshop photos (one entry), gingerbread house workshop photos (one entry), etc.)
  • We will be posting as many of the photos as possible to our IG Story throughout the month of December!
  • We will RANDOMLY select 8 Winners from all posts on Instagram AND all email entries received.
  • Contest Ends December 31, 2020 @11:59PM; Winners will be notified during the first week of January 2021 (Monday Jan. 4, 2021)

**************************************************************************
2.“LEAVE A REVIEW” CONTEST [CONTEST CLOSED]

We are excited to share the details of another December Contest. For the month of December, we are running a Google Review Contest. PRIZE is $100 Rooks to Cooks Voucher!!

WINNER: Ayala B. (recipient of $100 Rooks to Cooks Voucher)

***CONTEST DETAILS***

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Simply submit a Google Review about any of the Rooks to Cooks programs and services, such as after school and weekend classes, workshops, birthday parties, or private parties.
  • Follow this link to write your review: https://bit.ly/34fLSuC
  • One (1) winner will be randomly selected from all Reviews received by Dec. 31, 2020 (11:59pm)
  • Prize is a $100 R2C Voucher to be used towards any of our programs or services in 2021
  • Winner will be notified Monday, Jan. 4, 2021

Rooks to Cooks Fundraiser: Cooking Class for Change

Rooks to Cooks is pleased to announce our upcoming live fundraising event, Cooking Class for Change! Join Chef Shai on July 4th from 11:00am – 1:00pm and learn to prepare her specialty Chocolate Lava cakes with candied nuts, caramel sauce and maple whip cream! This class is PAY WHAT YOU CAN and a great way to support Black Canadians. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Black Solidarity Fund. – https://www.canadahelps.org/en/black-solidarity-fund/ 

The Black Solidarity Fund is a charity funnel that supports small and medium-sized charities throughout Canada. They include more than 40 charities that specifically support Black Canadians. These charities are advancing social services, economic opportunities, mental health supports, advocacy efforts, and access to education for Black Canadians. In addition, many of these charities are preserving and celebrating Black art and heritage!

Join Chef Shai in supporting the Black community while preparing this delicious menu of recipes! The time is NOW to do our part to end police brutality, anti-black racism and stand up for the value of black lives! IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT PLEASE SHARE AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO REGISTER!

TO REGISTER:

  1. Send e-transfer to info@rookstocooks.ca with your desired amount (please identify the transfer is for “Cooking class for change”
  2. Send a screenshot of your e-transfer to info@rookstocooks.ca
  3. Rooks to Cooks will email back with the Zoom link & recipes.

We hope you are able to join us to help create change!

Black Lives Matter. Always,

Chef Shai & The Rooks to Cooks Team

Let’s celebrate you, Dad. We’ve got the recipes to win Dad’s heart!

Special Contributor: Kenny Dawn Young, Marketing Intern at Rooks to Cooks family cooking #CONTESTREMINDER: Don’t forget about our Father’s Day contest on Instagram and you could win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. 3 Easy Steps: (1) Follow us @rooks2cooks, (2) Like our contest post, (3) Tag 3 Friends (contest ends Tuesday, June 22). Click here to enter. Bonding together over food is a perfect way to spend this Father’s Day. Read on for more details about our Instagram Live cooking class (plus recipes) on Sat. June 20th from 4-6 p.m.  Every year families love to get together in June to celebrate Father’s Day. On this day, we want to show just how special our fathers are to us with golf clubs, dress shirts, power tools… and maybe another pair of socks. Let’s just say, dads are notoriously difficult to shop for. This year, Rooks to Cooks is inspiring families to do something different for Dad and all the special male role models in our families — Let’s give them the gift of cooking together! Cooking is a secret weapon for bringing families together. The time spent preparing a dish creates happy memories that your family can cherish forever. This year let’s celebrate fathers and male role models in our lives by spending quality time in the kitchen making their favourite recipe! Rooks To Cooks is planning a special celebration for Father’s Day — Join our cooking event on Instagram Live on Sat. June 20 from 4-6 p.m. when Chef Sera will be making homemade potato salad, BBQ sauce, baked chicken wings and ranch buttermilk dip (All RECIPES BELOW). Fortunately, one thing all Dads have in common, is just how much they adore food and love to eat. So, by offering this finger-lickin’ meal, fathers across the country will have a happy heart and a full belly! If you already have a family tradition of cooking for your dad on Father’s Day, there are easy ways to add a little flair to the recipe. You can always incorporate an element of personalization to a dish that makes it unique to you and your dad. Whether it be adding a new ingredient, the artistic plate set-up or becoming adventurous with toppings…it’s up to you, make it special! If you want to dive even deeper and dedicate time to an extravagant Father’s Day, a fun idea is to create a theme around the recipe you are creating! Try to better understand where the food comes from culturally or situationally and decorate the eating space accordingly. For example, If you choose to participate in making Rooks To Cooks Father’s Day recipes on June 20th via Instagram live, you could create a picnic setting outside in the backyard to accompany the delicious food! Wings and Potato Salad go hand-in-hand with a picnic theme; have a little basket for the dipping sauce, get a pitcher of water, and implement some fun decor of your own.  At Rooks to Cooks we understand cooking is a large part of parenting, sometimes it may feel endless. Fortunately, on Father’s Day, this can be the time to thoroughly enjoy cooking with the whole family. Below we have provided the recipes that Rooks To Cooks will be cooking on June 20th to help make your Father’s Day a memorable one! 

GET Ready for your IG Live Class (@rooks2cooks). Following is a list of equipment needs and the recipes/ingredients you will need for Saturday, June 20 (4-6 p.m.): 

Equipment Needs:
  • 1 medium pot
  • 1 small pot
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Colander
  • Microplane grater or garlic press
  • 2 cutting boards
  • 2 chef knives
  • 2 x small mixing bowls
  • 2 x medium mixing bowls
  • 1 x large mixing bowl
  • Tongs
  • Baking Sheet with parchment paper
  • 2 x whisks
  • 1 x mixing spoon
Order of Operations:
  1. Boil Potatoes (if not prepped already)
  2. Par-Bake Chicken Wings
  3. Prep BBQ Sauce
  4. Prep Ranch Dip
  5. Toss wings and Bake
  6. Prep Potato Salad
  7. Serve all items
RECIPES for Father’s Day Cooking Class: Baked Chicken Wings Servings: 4 portions Ingredients:
  • 4 lbs chicken wings, wing tip removed (approximately 6-8 wings per portion)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Season wings with garlic powder, salt and pepper and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  3. Cook in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the fat is rendered off and the skin is crispy.
  4. Toss wings in BBQ sauce and return to the baking sheet.  Put wings back into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce is hot and has dried to the wings slightly.
Substitutions:
  • Cauliflower florets may be substituted for chicken, but cut the cooking time in half.
  Chef Shai’s Signature Finger-Licking Homemade BBQ Sauce Servings: 2 cups Ingredients:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder 
Directions:
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté onion & garlic for 2 minutes until golden brown.
  2. Add everything else and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes.
Dijon & Green Onion Red-Skinned Potato Salad Yield: 4 servings  Ingredients: 
  • 550g New potatoes (red-skinned preferred) 
  • 20ml Red wine vinegar 
  • 16g grainy dijon mustard 
  • 35ml olive oil 
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced 
  • 1 stalk celery, paysanne cut 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 24g chopped parsley 
  • 15g chopped dill 
  • Salt & pepper to taste 
Directions: 
  1. Slice the potatoes in half. Bring to a boil in a medium pot and cook until just tender (about 20 minutes).  
  2. While potatoes are cooking prepare the green onions, celery, and herbs. Drain potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. 
  3. Working quickly, whisk together the vinegar, dijon, and garlic. While continuing to whisk, add the olive oil in a steady stream until vinaigrette is well emulsified. 
  4. Pour the vinaigrette over the potatoes and mix gently. Be sure all potatoes are well coated with vinaigrette. Let potatoes cool in the vinaigrette. 
  5. Once potatoes are room temperature, mix in the green onions, parsley, and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Chill and serve.  
Buttermilk Ranch Dip Yield: 1 cup Ingredients:
  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives, minced
Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl.  Refrigerate if not serving immediately.
 

Mother’s Day Cooking Fun

Special Contributor: Mardi Roback, Marketing Intern at Rooks to Cooks


#CONTEST REMINDER: Don’t forget about our Instagram Contest to win a Rooks to Cooks Goodie Bag, which includes a chef coat, apron, no-cut glove, R2C hat and swag bag (valued at $60). Between Friday, May 8 and Monday, May 11 (11:59 p.m.) post a picture to show us what you made for your mom on her special day! Winner will be randomly selected from all posts received. Contest Instructions: (1) post a picture of what you made for mom use hashtag #RTCforMom, (2) Follow and tag us @rooks2cooks, (3) Go to our Instagram post, comment on the post and tell us “Done”, (4) for some bonus entries, tag a friend in the comments. Contest is open to all Canadian residents 18+ (or with parent’s permission). Winner will be contacted within 24 hours of the deadline. Happy Cooking and Good luck!!

There’s no better way to celebrate Mother’s Day as a family than with a delicious Mother’s Day breakfast or brunch. Mom will love a specially made feast created by her little ones! Let’s celebrate Mom and show her how much we appreciate everything that she does, from the cooking and the cleaning to all of the hugs and kisses!

During the pandemic, we appreciate that not all ingredients will be readily available, so we are providing a few different options to get kids into the kitchen to create some fun and delicious treats for mom!

To get all of your kids involved in the Mother’s Day activities, start with creating Mother’s Day cards! Kids of all ages can colour and decorate a special card for mom with crayons and pictures.

Before we get started, let’s think about Mom. Does she like sweet or salty food? What is her fa-vorite food? What does she order when you go out to eat or stay in? Brainstorming ideas about Mom’s food preferences is the best way to pick the perfect recipe for her!

family cooking

Here are a few fun brunch ideas that kids of all ages will love to help out with:

  • Pancakes: Does Mom have a sweet tooth? Pancakes are a breakfast/brunch staple, and we know mom will love the addition of some fresh blueberries! Pancakes are simple, easy, and fun! A pancake breakfast is sure to make Mom smile. P.S a few chocolate chips never hurt anyone…(Check out our fluffy pancake recipe below!)
  • Eggs and toast: Fried or Scrambled Eggs are an easy breakfast/brunch idea for Mom, making sure that she gets her protein and whole grains in early to fuel her busy day! Choose Mom’s favourite spreads for the toast such as cream cheese, butter, jam, peanut butter, or Nutella. Maybe cook up bacon or sausage on the side for some added protein. 
  • Fruit and Yogurt Parfait: Fresh fruits are full of good nutrients and vitamins, so make a list with your kids of Mom’s favorite fruits and get them to help you set it up. Mix the fruit with the yogurt and maybe add some granola or nuts and seeds for a nice crunch!
  • Baked goods – Croissants, cinnamon buns, cookies, cupcakes …Oh my! If you are up for a challenge, you might consider making one of these delicious treats. There is nothing more special than some home-baked goods to show Mom how sweet she really is!

We challenge you to expand your mind and try to be as creative as possible. Maybe you make a happy face out of fruit on top of the pancakes, pick some flowers from the garden, or add a se-cret ingredient like a pinch of cinnamon to Mom’s Yogurt Parfait! 

And finally, always remember to put safety first! Teach and remind your children about kitchen safety. Make sure that your kids are always supervised while they are in the kitchen – especially important if you are cooking on the stove, and while using any kitchen tools that may be sharp or dangerous if not used correctly. Kids of all ages can participate in helping the family whip up a delicious breakfast for Mom! Give your child a special job to make them feel important and like they are contributing to some-thing special. It could be measuring ingredients, putting them in the bowl, mixing the ingredients, decorating, etc. 

Now you are all ready to give Mom a special Mother’s Day treat. Join in the fun whether you are big or small and give Mom a Mother’s Day that she will never forget! Ready…. set….cook!

P.S. We look forward to seeing your creations on Instagram for your chance to win a great prize pack!! 

Rooks to Cooks Fluffy Pancake Recipe / Yield: 4 pancakes

** be sure to double or triple the recipe if you need more pancakes **

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • optional: blueberries or chocolate chips
  • Maple syrup topping 

Directions:

  1. Beat egg until fluffy.
  2. Whisk in milk and vegetable oil.
  3. Add dry ingredients and mix until JUST combined.
  4. Heat a frying pan which is greased.
  5. Pour a small amount of batter (approx. 1/4 cup) into pan and tip to spread out or spread with a spoon. Add optional items now, i.e. arrange a few blueberries on top. 
  6. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and begin to break and the edges firm up. Flip over and cook the second side until pancakes are fluffy, lightly browned, and cooked through.
  7. Plate your pancakes; add a few more toppings like maple syrup, fresh berries, icing sugar or whipping cream. Yum!

 

 

Rooks to Cooks Baking Bash Recipes

INTRODUCING ROOKS TO COOKS NEW BAKING BASH ON INSTAGRAM LIVE!  

New Virtual Cooking show lovingly created for children and parents by our amazing chefs!

We have been working hard in the Rooks to Cooks kitchen to come up with ways to keep our families cooking and your kids engaged during this challenging time. You may have tuned in to our Lunch Club videos already – if not, then be sure to check them out on our YouTube Channel (insert link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx4sEMGDmHWixHb9mE-msJw

NEW! The other initiative that we have been working on is Rooks to Cooks Weekend Baking Bash on Instagram Live!! 

On Weekends, starting Saturday, March 28th at 2:00 p.m., join Chef Mistry, our Lead Chef in Thornhill, as she goes Live on Instagram with WEEKEND BAKING BASH! Children and parents can tune in from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. and Chef Mistry will be teaching awesome baking recipes for kids and families to try while isolating at home. SEE BELOW FOR SCHEDULE AND FULL RECIPES

Chef Mistry’s BAKING BASH SCHEDULE:

Date: RECIPE
Saturday, March 28 Not All Alone Scones
Sunday, March 29 My World Won’t (Fruit) Crumble
Saturday, April 4 Bring Me Joy Bars
Sunday, April 5 Bananas for Friend-Chip Cookies

If you haven’t already done so, please FOLLOW us on Instagram and Facebook as we will be posting a reminder to tune in the DAY BEFORE. Feel free to share the Rooks to Cooks Baking Bash news with your friends and family; TAG your friends and they can join in on the fun!!

SHARE your Photos or Videos of your child with Rooks to Cooks!! Seeing their pupils cooking away in the midst of everything would help brighten our days and continue to motivate our chefs to continue working hard developing more content! Share on FB and / or Instagram with the hashtag #R2Cbakingbash. We look forward to seeing your creations!!

We hope that our Baking Bash live show and our Lunch Club videos help to teach your family new skills and recipes while at the same time bringing you entertainment, joy, and, of course, delicious food to enjoy all together! Stay tuned for more information coming during the week via our Social Media Channels.

Saturday, March 28

Not All Alone Scones

Ingredients: 

  • 2 ½ cup (330g) All-purpose Flour (substitution: Gluten-free flour, Whole Wheat Flour)
  • ¼ cup (60g) Sugar (substitution: Brown Sugar, Honey, Maple Syrup, Sweetener)
  • 1 tbsp + ¼ tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ cup (114g) Unsalted Butter, cut into small chunks (substitution: Margarine, Shortening, Vegan Butter)
  • ½ cup (135g) Buttermilk (substitution: Milk, Yogurt, Sour Cream, Dairy Alternative)
  • ½ cup (130g) 35% Heavy Cream (substitution: Milk, Yogurt, Sour Cream, Dairy Alternative)
  • ¼- ½ cup Inclusions – such use dried fruit, raisins for sweet scones or cheese for savoury scones or Anything your heart desires.

Directions:

  1. Measure out your ingredients. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. In a large bowl, sift in flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Rub the cold butter into the flour mixture between your fingertips until pea-sized bits are achieved. Add inclusions, if using.
  4. Pour in buttermilk and heavy cream and work dough until it comes together.
  5. Roll into an 8″ round and cut into 8 equal triangular pieces.
  6. Let dough rest for 20 minutes.
  7. Brush scones with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar or salt (depending on whether the scone will be sweet or savoury).
  8. Bake for 20- 25 minutes.

 

Sunday, March 29

My World Won’t (Fruit) Crumble

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients: 

Filling:

  • 6-7 cups Fruit, enough to fill pan (Fresh or frozen berries, peaches, plums, apples, rhubarb
  • ½- 1 cup Sugar
  • 1-3 teaspoon lemon Juice
  • 1-3 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ( optional)

Crumble: 

  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour (substitution: Gluten Free Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Oat Flour, Rolled Oats, Ground Almonds)
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon (optional) (substitution: nutmeg, clove, ginger)
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ cup Butter, room temp

Directions:

  1. Prepare the baking dish. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Coat baking dish with butter; set aside
  2. Prepare the fruit filling. If necessary, dice the fruit into bite-sized pieces, removing any stems, seeds, or inedible parts. Toss the fruit with sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and any spices in a large bowl. Use more sugar and less lemon juice when cooking with tart fruits, like rhubarb and blackberries, and less sugar but more lemon juice for sweet fruits, like peaches and plums. Best to taste a piece of fruit and adjust to taste. Use more cornstarch with very juicy fruits like plums and less with firm fruits like apples.
  3. Transfer the fruit filling into the baking dish.
  4. Prepare the crumble topping. Whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Cut the butter into a few large pieces and toss these in the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, a fork, or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dry ingredients until large, heavy crumbs are formed.
  5. Scatter the crumble over the fruit. Pour the crumble topping evenly over the fruit.
  6. Bake the crumble until the fruit juices are bubbling around the edges of the pan and the topping is firm to the touch, approximately 30 to 35 minutes.
  7. Let the crumble cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, April 4

Bring Me Joy Bars

Yield: 8 coconut macaroons

Ingredients: 

  • 1 egg white, large
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar (substitution: Brown Sugar, Cane Sugar, Honey, Maple Syrup)
  • 1 cup shredded Coconut (substitution: Desiccated coconut, sliced coconut)
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Jam (optional); any flavour you like
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips (substitution: good quality chocolate)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F (165° C) degrees. Line a small pan or baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg white with a teaspoon until foamy. Add sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix everything.
  3. Add coconut and stir until well mixed. You should be able to form balls with two teaspoons. They should be moist and sticky, but egg white shouldn’t be too visible because egg whites are runny once they are heated in the oven. Because egg whites vary in size, you may need to adjust the consistency with additional sugar or coconut.
  4. Roughly divide into 8 parts. Form into balls with two teaspoons or a cookie scoop and place them on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture, placing macaroons about 1 inch apart.
  5. Alternately, press all mixture flat into small baking dish.
  6. Bake them until slightly golden, about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Remove baking sheet from oven to a wire rack, and let macaroons cool on a baking sheet.
  8. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. I used the microwave method: put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and keep stirring the chocolate every 15 seconds until chocolate is melted and smooth. Do not overcook chocolate in the microwave.
  9. Lay out a large piece of parchment paper. Dip the bottom of macaroons into the chocolate and placed them on the paper to dry. If you still have extra chocolate left, drizzle the tops with chocolate.
  10. Let the macaroons sit until the chocolate has dried. These keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

Sunday, April 5

Bananas for Friend-Chip Cookies

Yields: 12 cookies

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup (120g) All-purpose Flour (substitution: Whole Wheat Flour, Oat Flour, Gluten Free Flour)
  • ¾ tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Ground cinnamon (optional) (substitution: nutmeg, cardamom)
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 ½ Tbsp (21g) Butter (substitution: coconut oil, margarine, shortening, vegan butter, oil)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla (optional)
  • ¼ cup (67g) Mashed Banana (Fresh or Frozen)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) Milk (substitution: dairy alternative, water) Note: Omit milk if using frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup (64g) Sugar (optional) (substitution: Cane Sugar, Brown Sugar, Sweetener, Honey, Maple Syrup)
  • 3 Tbsp (42g) Chocolate chips (substitution: Mini chocolate chips)

Directions: 

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the butter, vanilla, mashed banana, and milk. Stir in the coconut sugar. Add in the flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Fold in 2 ½ tablespoons of miniature chocolate chips. Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  3. Drop the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet using a spoon and a spatula. Flatten the cookie dough to the desired thickness and width. Gently press the remaining miniature chocolate chips into the tops. Bake at 350°F for 9-11 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

 HAPPY BAKING EVERYONE!!