Ever since I was a kid, one of my favorite sounds in our house was hearing my mom's KitchenAid mixer turn on. I knew it meant something delicious was coming our way, like chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, blueberry scones, or her famous apple cake.
Introducing Cooking with Kids
The sound of the mixer also signaled a chance to bake with her. With delight, she would promptly move a chair over (when I was too young to reach the counter) and off we would go, creating that messy scene that occurs when you bake with kids — flour everywhere, sugar scattered, chocolate chips sprinkled about. That was the best!
I loved baking with my mom when I was little. I still love baking with her today! I know all those recipes by heart and it always brings up fond memories when I make them.
In the spirit of this memory (and many more like it), we created a new video series for Kitchn called "Cooking with Kids," where families are invited into our New York City studios to cook up one of their favorite dishes. Although you may not make their recipe, you'll enjoy watching the wonderful, heartwarming (and sometimes humorous) dynamic that unfolds between parents and children as they cook.
Episode 1: Anabel & Thaddeus Make Armenian Rice Pilaf
In our first episode, Michael and his 6-year-old twins, Anabel and Thadeus, make Armenian rice pilaf. Michael explains that it's the cornerstone of every Armenian house, and it varies slightly from family to family. According to Michael, "you get judged for the fluffiness and savoriness of your pilaf, so there's no messing around!"
Armenian Rice Pilaf
Serves 4 to 6
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup dried vermicelli noodles, broken up
1 cup Uncle Ben's Converted Rice, rinsed
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, warm
Freshly ground black pepper
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the vermicelli and stir until toasted to rich golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is toasted, about 2 minutes more.
Carefully add the broth, season with salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Resist the urge to stir the pot while it is cooking!
Remove the pan from heat. Uncover, then cover the pot with a kitchen towel. Place the lid over the towel and let the pilaf sit for 10 minutes to steam. Gently fluff with the fork. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Adapted from this recipe by Chef Carrie Nahabedian.