Hello everyone! I’m so excited to join Pardon My Poppet to share with you some of our successful recipes. I’m Kimberly from Five Little Chefs – Cooking with Kids. My Little Chefs, as I call them, love to help out in the kitchen and love to watch cooking shows. I decided to be extremely brave and let them take over the kitchen! They choose recipes which they find from watching a show, or looking through a cookbook or online. We go shopping together. I help them execute the recipes depending on their skill level. Most times the recipes turn out. Sometimes we like them enough to make them again. No matter the result we always have fun together and are sharing and creating memories. That is why we keep cooking through all the messes, successes and failures!
My Little Chefs love to eat anything small. I think because they are able to eat it much easier and quicker. The first recipe Little Chef A made was Crostini Alla Romana. For the most part it was a successful recipe. The main problem was the bread was too thick and difficult for my Little Chefs to put in their small mouths. We found Caprese Tartlets by Melissa D’ Arabian and decided to give it a try. Tartlets are small and the ingredients are very familiar easily accessible.
Little Chef A used a pizza wheel, one of our favorite tools, to cut off the crust. She then used a rolling pin and rolled it as flat as she could. Very carefully the now squashed bread was passed to Little Chef D who brushed both sides with olive oil and then placed each one in a muffin tin cup.
The next step is to add flavor to softened cream cheese. Measuring ingredients is a skill even the young Little Chefs are able to master. Hint: For the first few times you allow your Little Chefs to measure have them prep all the ingredients into separate bowls. This way if they make a mistake it is easily fixed. When all the ingredients are mixed into the cream cheese well add a dollop into the middle of each tartlet.
Bake tartlets at 375 degrees F for about 12 minutes. While they are cooking, dice the tomato. We have had quicker success with a Vidalia Chopper compared to a knife, but either way works well. Use whichever you prefer depending on the skill level of your Little Chef. Add salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
When the tartlets are cooked, remove from the oven and carefully add mozzarella cheese and top with the tomato mixture. Place in the oven for about 3 more minutes to allow the cheese to melt. We used shredded mozzarella because we usually have it in our refrigerator. Fresh mozzarella cheese may also be used.
Remove from the oven and add basil. We have found using a pizza wheel is the easiest to use to cut through a handful of basil leaves rolled together.
Enjoy! Little Chefs A and C were able to eat these easily. Little Chefs D and H needed theirs cut into fourths. Then they were easily eaten. They all loved this recipe and want to make it again. It was fun to make and fun to eat.
What You Need:
8 slices white bread
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Toma tomatoes, chopped
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
What You Do With the Stuff:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Remove the crusts from the bread and using a large spoon or rolling pin, gently press the slices of bread down flat until they are thin and almost doughy. Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Press the slices in the muffin tin, to form tartlet shells. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, using a fork to combine, mix together the cream cheese, garlic powder, dried basil, salt and pepper until smooth and creamy. Drop about a teaspoon of the cream cheese into the bottom of each muffin tn. Bake the tartlets until golden and crusty, 12 to 13 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dice the tomato and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, if using. Once the tartlets are golden, remove them from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Place some shredded mozzarella on top of the cream cheese, then add some diced tomato. Garnish with basil chiffonade.