Creative cooking for teens

What's in your kitchen?

I learned to cook from my Filipina mother in law. She had a restaurant and no recipes. I keep many different types of items in my kitchen in order to make food that is different and not boring. This seems to have worked with 5 kids and even when they passed through their teen years most of the time they would eat what I would make. My youngest 14 year old son is a bit picky but even he will eat my Tamarindo Soup with Vegetables and shrimp. Many of my ingredients I find in the oriental stores. I have shown a few of the items that I have in my kitchen below.

I also buy the garlic that is ready to cut and at the oriental store they have it in plastic, it is fresh and easy to use. I make different oriental noodles, white and black rice and once in a while sticky rice. I love to try new things and sometimes they don't work out but most of the time they do. I try not to do fried food very often but once in a while I will make lumpia (fried meat roll) from the Philippines.This is quite the process. Sinigan is my kids favorite dish that I make so they ask for it about every 3 months. It costs about $40 dollars to make a large container and we eat it for about 2 days. I normally put 3 pounds of shrimp and another pound of other sea food in it.

This paste makes a very flavorful soup and all you have to do is add meat, fish or vegs

This oriental hot sauce adds great flavor and a bit of spice, just add a little at a time. HOT

Just a little goes a long way. This is concentrated so it will last so don't add too much

I use this in stir fry and on top of steamed vegetables try it.

This is real fish just not crab. It is quick and with rice and some butter or a sauce it's great. Also in soup or stir fry

Just a dab will do you. This is Korean and adds a great flavor to many dishes.

This is a large container and the flavor is great, you can eat these right out of the jar. These help give a wonderful flavor addition to just about anything. Go buy some on Tuesday. About 3550 South Redwood Road it's called Tay Do and the jar costs like $7 dollars but lasts a long time. Great for food storage.

I try not to put garlic in everything but when I do this is a quick way to do it that tastes great. Just a sprinkle does it. Costs 5.95 in Tay Do

One night the kids said what are we having for dinner and I said FISH BALL SOUP and I got a yuck but now they love it. These come frozen and in fish, shrimp, crab, beef, pork etc....Just throw them in soup and they puff up and taste incredible

This is like jerky, except it is octopus jerky or squid and it is spicy, well you can buy the one that is not but that is not as good. My two daughters and I love this as a snack. It sounds strange but you need to try new things to appreciate them. Who knows you may love it like we do.

Another favorite snack is the dried Mango in small bags, you can get it with chile or without and it is sweet. We also buy the $2 dollar Vietnamese sandwhiches with the strange ingredients and some of you may have to take out the hot peppers before you eat it or ask for them without the peppers. (The best part) They sell these in Tay Do market on Redwood Road and they are wonderful or as my daughter would say they are SICK. That means good. They have meat and vegetables in them.

This comes frozen and is $8 which is about 14 oz and you just add it to an alfredo sauce and put over pasta and it is incredible. You can buy the white lump meat or the claw meat we have done both and love it. I make a non dairy white sauce and it is killer good.

These are only a few of the different hot sauces we have and they each taste a bit different. We have two from Guatemala that are wonderful as well. This oil is a great addition to lots of dishes. Just a few drops.

This is a soup base in granules and it dissolves very quickly and has a great flavor. I just try lots of new oriental things and much of the time they work out great and sometimes they don't and we just get rid of it quietly. lol

This comes frozen as well and for a clam chowder it works out great. I almost bought the grub worms the other day but decided against it.

Great for fried rice, it is a bit oily so I cook it and then use a paper towel to get the oil off and then put it in the fried rice with oyster sauce, vegs, soy sauce etc....

I use a sharp wustof knife and cut the sauage into tiny pieces just don't burn it, watch it closely. It is a sweet sausage and spicy

I buy lots of different vegetables and in the oriental market there are lots of things I don't recognize. I bought some shredded green papaya the other day and mixed it with chili (Siracha), 2 tablespoons of sugar, yes sugar, 1 tablespoon of PATIS FISH SAUCE and some white vinegar and it turned out killer good. So with teens you can be creative and try new things. Nothing I have made very hurt them and they seem to like the fact that we don't eat the same things all the time. My mom used to make the same 7 meals over and over so each week we knew what we were having. Sometimes I tell the kids just to make sandwich but most of the time we can throw something together quite quickly and we try to make it healthy.

Just buy them you will like them. Some are bitter once in a while but then you find out which ones to buy and all of a sudden you feel great because they are very healthy.

This is a lemon chilie powder with a touch of sugar that you put on fruit and many other things. I never would have thought it would be so good. Salt and chilie on fruit, mangos, oranges and they even have cucumber Popsicles with chilie or mango Popsicles

Most of the time you can buy this salad in Thai restaurants for about 8 or 9 dollars. But if you make it yourself it's great too. I bought this at Tay Do. My wife just loves it.

Don't know the name but they taste great with Oyster sauce,steamed and taken out before they get too cooked. You can add the stocks first  because it takes them longer to cook. I put them in soup too.

These little tree like things  are wonderful. They have different colors and these are only some of the things I normally have in my kitchen. Be adventurous go buy some of this stuff and try it out.

These don't have quite as strong a taste so there is a different flavor. I really should learn the names but the labels much of the time are in another language and I just buy them and  make them.

THis is a salty egg that you mix with rice and many people love it. I think it is ok, I have also eaten balut which is a developed duck inside the egg and you have to eat it warm and  suck out the juice first, don't knock it until.... whatever.

It takes skill to pull these apart after they thaw out without ripping them, so you can use a moist cloth and separate them one at a time, have patience and don't rush. These get a meat mixture put inside and then wrapped and deep friend. I mix garlic, shredded carrots, pork, beef and shimp with other things as well to make a lovely lumpia that you can dip in a sweet chili sauce.

Lots of different things inside but take my word for it , it is wonderful. SICK good.

THis is what you get when you go to sushi. Which by the way is my favorite food of all time.

We put this on eggs, lumpia and whatever. There is also a jafron banana sauce that you can use like ketchup and it is red too. This sweet sauce is almost addicting. I bought a bottle for my brother in law who is Guatemalan and now they have to go buy it because he likes it so much.

This is the open view but not so close. If you don't like the peppers then just take them off but they are my favorite part.

You see we really like these that is why I took 3 pictures. lol

They come sealed in the plastic vacuum packed bag and they are hard boiled.

As you can see food is a big part of our life, I can't stand eating the same thing all the time and when I make soup I try to make different types so the kids don't get bored. We eat Asian food but I also make Filipino food and even Mexican food. I used to make my own pasta and even color with vegies or carrots but now I try to be creative without taking as much time. I love to talk about food and make it and eat it. When I was in Guatemala I had to cook and we even went and bought live fish and brought them back to town so I could cook them. I can't get the kids to come into the kitchen and learn anything from me, they only want to come in and eat so I guess they will be eating ramen noodles all through college unless they start learning to cook now.