Cooking Ideas For Kids From Los Angeles Chefs

January 4, 2013 6:00 AM

(credit: Lulu Powers)

(credit: The Family Dinner)

(credit: The Family Dinner)

It’s time for parents and kids to put on aprons and spend time together in the kitchen. More and more American families are making an effort to sit down together for family meals, even during the busily programmed week. Local chefs Kirstin Uhrenholdt and Lulu Powers created fun recipes for families to make side by side.

(credit: The Family Dinner)

(credit: The Family Dinner)

Kirstin Uhrenholdt, personal chef, created all the recipes for Laurie David’s popular book “The Family Dinner,” which is a practical guide to inspire and help parents sit down with their children for family meals. Uhrenholdt created more than 75 recipes for the book that are easy for parents and kids to make together. She suggests her quick fix eggs for breakfast, an Asian noodle soup for lunch and a hearty ravioli lasagna cupcake for supper.

Two-Minute Teacup Eggs
courtesy of Kirstin Uhrenholdt & “The Family Dinner”

2 eggs (per person)
2 tablespoons milk (per two eggs)
A little olive oil on a paper towel (to oil the teacups)

In small bowls put out toppings, any or all of your favorites, as long as they cook quickly. For example:

* Swiss cheese, a bit of corn, chopped tomatoes and fresh basil
* Chopped ham, cheddar and sliced scallions
* Fresh mozzarella, pesto and peas
* Roasted peppers, jack cheese and ham

Give everyone two eggs and a microwavable teacup (mugs or ramekins are fine too). Rub a little oil on the inside of the teacup, then crack the eggs into cup and with a fork gently beat the eggs until all mixed up, then mix in two tablespoons of milk. Now you get to make it taste the way you want it by adding as many, or as few toppings as you like, just don’t fill the cup more than 75 percent of the way full (so it doesn’t overflow). Pop the teacup into the microwave and cook on high for about 45 seconds. With an oven mitt (parents may want to help with this) take the eggs out and give them a gentle stir, then put them back in for about 45 seconds longer (more or less depending on your microwave) until the eggs have puffed up and are no longer runny. Salt and pepper to taste. These can also be made in the oven, it just takes a few minutes longer. Use ovenproof ramekins instead of teacups.

(credit: The Family Dinner)

(credit: The Family Dinner)

Miso Noodle Soup with Vegetables
courtesy of Kirstin Uhrenholdt & “The Family Dinner”

four to six servings

8 ounces fresh (or dried) udon noodles*
6 cups dashi* or low-sodium chicken stock
1/3 cup miso paste*, (white or yellow miso are sweet and creamy, red miso is stronger and saltier)
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
4 ounces cubed firm tofu
2-3 cups quick cooking vegetables, such as chopped bok choy, spinach, corn or snow peas
*found in the Asian section of the grocery store

2 hard boiled eggs, sliced in half
1/2 cup chopped scallion
Hot sauce if desired

In a big pot of salted water boil the udon noodles according to the package directions, drain and rinse well. In the soup pot heat the dashi or chicken stock until simmering, whisk in the miso paste. Throw in the remaining ingredients and simmer (do not let the stock boil) until the vegetables are cooked but still sprightly with crunch, about three to four minutes. Fold in the noodles and simmer until hot.
Pour soup into individual soup bowls, garnish each with 1/2 an egg and a shower of scallions.

Ravioli Cupcake Lasagna
courtesy of Kirstin Uhrenholdt & The Family Dinner

12 cupcakes, serves 12 little people or six big ones

24 large ravioli (any flavor)
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces frozen spinach (or kale), defrosted
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
4 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
1.5 cups of your favorite grated melting cheese (mozzarella, fontina or jack)
3 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Start salted water cooking in pasta pot. Line 12 muffin tins with parchment paper squares, or cupcake liners. Meanwhile squeeze all of the moisture out of the spinach, either by hand or with a salad spinner. Heat up a skillet, drizzle in two tablespoons of olive oil and throw in the onions and garlic. Let them sizzle over medium heat until golden, then add the spinach. Sauté for another moment or two, then slip the spinach and onions into a bowl and let them cool. Boil the ravioli for half the amount of time the directions call for. Drain them well and gently toss them with a tablespoon of olive oil. Fold the egg and parmesan cheese into the spinach. Drop one ravioli into each muffin tin, top with a tablespoon each of spinach and cheese, then a dollop of tomato sauce. Tuck a ravioli on top, add another dollop of tomato sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Heat up the remaining tomato sauce and serve on the side. Go ahead and experiment. Try turkey bolognese sauce instead of tomato, chopped, cooked broccoli instead of spinach, use a smidgen of goat cheese or a spoonful of pesto.

Related: Best Brunches For You And The Kids

(credit: Lulu Powers)

(credit: Lulu Powers)

Lulu Powers is a best-selling author and entertaining lifestyle expert. A former celebrity chef with a client list including Will and Jada Smith, Madonna, Bill Clinton and Ariana Huffington, Powers is driven by her fresh approach to hassle-free entertaining. She is also a tastemaker for, a food website and online community for sharing recipes. Powers recommends grab-and-go foods for the fast-paced L.A. life including cinnamon bites to start the day, cucumber and tomato tea sandwiches for a healthy after-school snack, and burger bites with Lulu’s special sauce for dinner. Powers pulled recipes from her cookbook “Lulu Powers-Food to Flowers.”

(credit: Lulu Powers)

(credit: Lulu Powers)

Cinnamon Bites
created by Lulu Powers from her cookbook “Lulu Powers-Food to Flowers”

yields 48 muffins

For the muffins:
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 stick salted butter, melted
1.75 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the muffin topping:
1 stick unsalted butter
2.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar

Preheat the oven to 400. Spray four mini muffin pans with baking spray or canola spray. In a food processor or mixer bowl, combine egg, milk and melted butter until well blended. Add flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Pulse or mix until incorporated. Fill each muffin pan cup a little more than half full. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Take muffins out immediately (use a knife around the edges if they stick) and cool onto cooling rack.

Melt the butter with the vanilla in a small skillet over low heat. In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon. Roll muffins in the melted vanilla butter, and then dip into sugar cinnamon mixture. Place on a cooling rack until the topping is set.

Open-Faced Cucumber and Tomato Tea Sandwiches 
created by Lulu Powers from her cookbook “Lulu Powers-Food to Flowers”

Makes 40 sandwiches

1/2 loaf thinly sliced potato bread
1 cup Boursin cheese
1 hothouse cucumber, sliced thinly (40)
8 plum tomatoes, each cut into 5 slices
Dill sprigs

Spread one tablespoon of cheese on each bread round. Top each with a cucumber and tomato slice, and garnish with dill. Cut off the crusts and cut into two squares or triangles. Place a damp paper towel over the sandwiches to keep them moist and fresh until serving them.

(credit: Lulu Powers)

(credit: Lulu Powers)

Burger Bites with Lulu’s Special Sauce 
created by Lulu Powers from her cookbook Lulu Powers-Food to Flowers
makes 30 burger bites

For the burgers:
1 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons barbeque sauce
1.5 teaspoons Lindberg-Snider porterhouse and roast seasoning (or other meat seasoning)
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 loaf sliced potato bread

For the sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon barbeque sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1/4 cup chopped cornichons
2 tablespoons chopped pepperoncini
4 garlic cloves
1/5 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 cup chopped scallion, both white and green parts (optional)

In a large bowl, mix ground beef, ketchup, barbecue sauce, porterhouse seasoning, cumin and pepper until it’s incorporated.
Shape mixture into 1.5-inch patties. Roll out the bread with rolling pin. Use a 1.5-inch cookie cutter and cut four rounds out of each slice of bread. Set aside. Combine sauce ingredients in bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth. In a sauté pan over medium heat, sear the patties for one to two minutes on each side for medium rare, or until done until personal taste. Serve burgers between two potato bread rounds with a dollop of sauce on each patty.

Related: Best Sunday Dinners In L.A.

Sheryl Craig is a writer with a passion for interesting finds and treasures in Los Angeles. She has a background in journalism and public relations. A mother of two daughters, Sheryl integrates her healthy lifestyle into raising her children. Her work can be found at

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