Although I am a chef, my son is just a normal kid when it comes to wanting to cook in the kitchen – meaning it takes some convincing to get him in the kitchen with me! I remember helping my Mom and Abuela in the kitchen at a very young age, which exposed me to so many exciting and new flavors. I feel it’s very important to carry on that tradition and pass down family recipes, which is why I’m always trying to get my son to cook with me. What I’ve found is that the best way to get kids started in the kitchen is to excite them with recipes they’ll want to eat!
I love arepas because they are comforting and remind me of home. They’re great to make with kids because they give them an excuse to get their hands dirty while making the dough. In my kitchen, mixing the arepa dough is always one of my son’s favorite tasks, which I love to see because making arepas from scratch like this is a great way to teach kids about the importance of authenticity and why it’s important to use fresh ingredients. Plus, this recipe is beyond delicious. The Cacique Beef Chorizo has an amazing flavor thanks to its perfect blend of spices, and it works really well with the mild and creamy Panela and the pure fresh milk taste of the Ranchero Crema Natural.
And, of course, you can’t go wrong with Mac and Cheese! Every kid loves Mac and Cheese, so one of my tips for getting your kids to expand their cooking horizons is to simply integrate new ingredients into dishes they already love. When they have something familiar as a base, they are more likely to be open to experimenting with and learning about the new items you’ve added. Cacique’s Layered Mac and Cheese with Chorizo and Tomato Sauce recipe is great for this as it has everything a child needs: vegetables, protein and, of course, lots of creamy goodness from the queso. With robust, salty Cotija and melty, delicious Manchego, you know they will come back for more! This is definitely a family favorite in my house. After all, it’s simple and delicious, and even great for leftovers.