Thursday, October 06, 2016

Cooking with Kids: Great Pumpkin Dessert

 This summer, Ethan decided he wanted to make a cookbook of recipes we were going to make.  He has really gotten into baking lately and I can't even begin to tell you how happy this makes my heart!  And, now that he's a bit older and can read, baking is a cinch! 

Right now, you might even be thinking that you don't want to read this post any more. You are tired and the very thought of cooking with your kids seems like a horrible nightmare.  I get that. 

I know.  It's a little more effort to cook with your kids.  If you are like me, you find peace and sanctuary as you dive into a recipe.  It's your space.  Your time.  Having your kids in there does not feed your soul, like you probably want.  More messes are made (it's just gonna happen!), But, cooking with kids is equally important and it excites me that someday my boys will be able to cook for their wives some day.  It excites me that they are doing something that is not in front of the tv, video games, or device. 

Want to know what else?  Your kids start talking.  They open up.  They share things with you.  It's absolutely wonderful!  Also, they start eating things they wouldn't normally try, because they created it.  They put the effort into making the deliciousness.  You could also throw in that measuring ingredients is math. . . but that's just boring.   I love the joy that radiated from Ethan's face as he made something entirely on his own.  I just sat there watching him.  Giving him advice when he needed it.  It was pretty awesome! 

This recipe is a great one to start out with because
1.  It's pumpkin. . . and it's October, so it just makes sense.
2.  It's easy and the only appliance you use is the oven (and even if you don't make this with your kids, make it and eat it and enjoy when the house gets quiet). 
3.  If you have a child old enough to read independently, they can really just make it on their own and you can put up your feet, drink some coffee, and enjoy the process through the eyes of your child.

First, you should print out the recipe.  Mine is written on a recipe card, because we've been making this recipe since it first appeared in Taste of Home back in my high school days.  It really is amazing!
Then open up the can of pumpkin.  He may have needed a little big of help, because ours in one of those take the seal off and not actually cut the can kind of deal.  But, I think he's pretty much getting the hang of it.

 And add the eggs.  Why is cracking eggs so stinking exciting for the kiddos? 

 Okay, so this part kind of took forever. . . Like F-O-R-E-V-E-R (please read like this).  I finally talked him into just pouring it all out over the cake instead of using a small spoon. After the cake mix, it went super quick. 

 I just want to say one thing:  BEST kitchen gadget ever!
And ta-da!  It's done and he is proud!  It was delicious and I am wishing I had a yellow cake mix in the pantry right now because I want to make some!  My mouth is watering and it's October, so everywhere I go screams pumpkin (no joke if you've been to Trader Joes recently!).  I mean, even if you don't want to cook with your kids today, I think you need to whip this up and eat it after the kids go to bed.  I won't tell. 
Great Pumpkin Dessert
Source: Taste of Home

1 can solid packed pumpkin (NOT the kind that is seasoned all ready)
1 can evaporated milk
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 pkg yellow cake mix
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional (we used what was left of a TJ's candied pecans bag)

In a large bowl, beat the first 5 ingredients until smooth.  Pour into a greased 13x9inch pan.   Sprinkle cake mix over the top of pumpkin mixture. Then, pour the melted butter over the top.  Then, toss some nuts on top and pop it into the oven.  Bake at 350 for about an haor.  Serve with ice cream or a big dollup of whipped cream. . . or both (no judgement here!).

See, super easy.  With kids or just by yourself in attempt to regain some peace from your day.  Either way, enjoy this delicious fall treat!

Happy Baking!

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