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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.
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.
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.
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.