Monday, August 22, 2011

Potato & Egg Salad: Cooking with kids!

Hi-ya!  As you read this, my family is off camping for one last summer hurrah before school starts {this Thursday!}  We tried to make meals very easy, so we prepared as much ahead of time as we could.  The day before we left, my girls and I made potato salad.  Since many people seemed interested in ways to incorporate kids in cooking, I thought I’d share some more ideas!

We’ll start with the ingredients:


18 red potatoes {I use organic cause potatoes are the #11 most contaminated with pesticides according to the dirty dozen list”}

6 hard-boiled eggs

5 ribs celery {I use organic cause it’s the #2 most contaminated with pesticides according to the dirty dozen list”}

1 cup red onion chopped {don’t worry about organic here, onions are #1 on the “clean 15” list of the least contaminated, yay!}

3/4 cup chopped bread and butter pickles

1/2 cup loosely packed Italian {flat leafed} Parsley, chopped

1/2 cup water from the pickles jar

3/4 – 1 cup mayonnaise

salt & pepper to taste

Ok, let’s get started, shall we?

Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes in VERY{!} salty water.  If you are cooking alone, you might want to chop potatoes before boiling and they’ll pick up more of the salty water flavor. If you are cooking with kids, be sure to boil whole.  Once the potatoes cool enough to touch/cut you can turn this over to your kids.  I’d say about 3 years and  up can do this step {my girls are 4}.  Boiled potatoes cut very easily with a butter knife. I just showed my girls how to cut them lengthwise and then just kinda keep chopping until they are small enough for them to take a bite of. I had them picture what they’d like it to look like on their plate and the visual was enough for them to get going.


Ok, now here comes the coolest part of this whole experience {for me that is}.  One of my daughters discovered how to quarter each half all on her own! And then she proceeded to teach the her sister. She showed her sister that if you cut it in half and rotate it without letting it fall apart, you can cut it in half again and get 4 equal size pieces that are bite-size.  OMG, music to this math teacher’s ears!! {Must be in the genes!}

Here she is quartering:IMG_9578

and then teaching her sister:IMG_9585

These teachable moments make all most of the frustration extra time it takes to have “helpers” in the kitchen so worth it. It’s not just about getting food on the table, it’s about the whole experience.  Instead of watching TV or doing something else to stay out of my way, my daughters were learning incredible lessons, that you kinda can’t even teach if you tried. 

Ok, moving right along {these posts take me longer to write than it does to cook the whole meal!}

While they chopped potatoes {remember there were 18 of them!} I chopped parsley, pickles and onions and boiled the eggs.  I boil my eggs for 12 minutes and then pour into cold water. If you crack them all slightly as they sit in cool water, the shells will loosen up a LOT! With easy to peel shells, here comes the next task for little hands: peeling eggs. If you’ve ever had trouble peeling an egg and think it’s too hard for wee ones, trust me…crack them in the water as they cool and they are SOOOO easy to peel. Ok, I just said the same thing twice, see why these posts take me so long?!


After the eggs are peeled, they are ready to be chopped: another great kid’s job. Again, a butter knife will chop these eggs just fine. 


Now that everything is chopped, it’s time to assemble.

Start by mixing 1/2 cup of the pickle juice into the potatoes {thanks grandma Gigi for that tip!}:


Next, add all of the other ingredients and stir!


Hope you are getting ideas for other jobs your kids can do with these pics!!


And there ya go! Our finished product:


I told ya it was for camping, so forgive the not so attractive serving dish/finished picture!

So next time your kids are in your way accidentally bumping into you in the kitchen, remember how valuable this time is and cherish them just wanting to be with you and learn from you. You are the best chef in the world {at least for today and to them} so put on your chef’s cap and show –em how it’s done!  They’ll remember it forever.


Just as I finished this post, I looked over and saw my daughter “cooking” some more! I had to add this shot:


Is that not the sweetest?


  1. so cute! This looks like a great recipe :)

  2. That looks delicious! What a fantastic recipe!
    Thank you for sharing this at Show & Share! I really appreciate it!

  3. YUM! This looks DELICIOUS!

    I would love it if you would share this and/or any other projects you have been up to at Tuesday Talent Show at Chef In Training Tomorrow! Plus there is going to be a fun giveaway too! Thanks so much and I hope to see you there!


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