5 Steps to Get Your Teens Cooking

loving mother and teen girl making pasta

by Troop Atomic Mommy

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Is it really possible to get your teens cooking? Yes! It happened to me today!

Ever notice how Gen Z seems to know nothing more than how to protest about everything wrong in the world yet when it comes to surviving in that world they’re like totally clueless?

Well today, I met my daughter’s friend and she actually knows how to cook full gourmet meals! She is 14 years old and she’s like a mini Emeril Legasse.

She decided to come to our house today because as I tired as I was, I just didn’t have the time to bring my kids there. I actually had homework to do of my own.

When she arrived here, the normal teen stuff happened. A bunch of goofing off, running around the house to the point where I couldn’t even focus on my homework, and of course the yelling and screaming like teen girls do about none other than Harry Styles.

After about an hour, they got bored. Out of the blue, this friend of my daughter yells out, “Oh my God! Let’s cook your parents dinner.”, and my daughters started laughing like something funny actually happened.

Then, she convinced them it would be fun and easy. She told them she knew a recipe that would take only 15 minutes to make, that we had all the ingredients right in our fridge (she had never even seen the inside of our fridge), and it would be an easy clean up afterwards.

I listened to this with open ears and eyes widened, wanting to know more myself! I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to make dinner in 15 minutes and have an easy clean-up after. Check out some of my favorite teen recipe books on Amazon if you want to get your teens cooking. Just click on the images to purchase each one.

5 Steps to Get Your Teens Cooking

Here it is. The 5 steps I saw happen right in front of me to get my own two teens cooking. I am literally eating it as we speak. It’s so yum! And, it really did only take 15 minutes!

#1 Offer Up an Easy Recipe for Your Sized Family that Requires Minimal Work in the Kitchen
#2 Have Them Invite Their Friends Over to Cook With and Invite Their Friends to Stay and Enjoy the Meal, Too
#3 Leave Them Alone in the Kitchen to Use the Kitchen as They Please
#4 Seriously, Do Not Helicopter Parent The Sh*t Out of Them During Their Cooking
#5 Offer to Clean Up For Them Since They’re Making Dinner For Everyone

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Get Your Ingredients Via Amazon Same Day

So, my teens love this concept. Today, they happen to be out of a few items. They were like, “Mommy, you need to go to the store.”, and I was like, “Oh hell no!”. Instead, I told them to just use their Amazon account, click on Fresh or Whole Foods and pick the one that has 2-hour delivery for today. They were shocked and in love!

So, in case you’re out of any of the ingredients listed below and your teens need an easy way to have them delivered to the house, just tell them to go on their Amazon app and sign up for Amazon Fresh and/or Whole Foods. Both offer same day, grocery delivery and right to your front door. It’s pretty awesome. I literally call both my Ride or Die B*tches! Click the links below to check them both out. You won’t be disappointed.

Amazon Fresh
get your teens cooking
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com
Amazon Whole Foods
Get your teens cooking
Photo by Nadi Lindsay on Pexels.com

15-Minute Recipe to Get Your Teens Cooking

Okay parents, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Below you will find the miraculous 15-minute recipe that had my teens cooking and eating at the dinner table as a family, with zero arguments and only smiles.

Recipe: Pasta in Vodka Sauce
Pots Needed: Big Pot and Deep Skillet
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Serves: 4-6 People

Get Your Teens Cooking

Ingredients for Pasta:

1 Box of Pasta
4 Cups of Water
1/8 Cup of Oil
1 Tablespoon of Salt
4 Tablespoons of Butter

How to Cook:

Fill a big pot with water and place on top of the stove. Turn the heat on to high heat. Pour into the pot the oil and the salt. Wait until water begins boiling. Then pour in the pasta. The water will cool down a bit and the boiling will calm down. Stir the pasta well to mix the oil and salt with the pasta. Leave on high heat for about a minute. When water begins to boil again, lower heat to medium heat and cover. Check and stir the pasta. You’ll know the pasta is ready when a piece is semi-soft. A piece of pasta should be slightly firm when bitten. So, not soggy. If the pasta is flimsy to the touch, it’s over cooked.

When the pasta is just right, you can drain the pasta in a colander (keep two large serving spoon sized amounts of this pasta water off to the side, you will need it for the vodka sauce, later). Be sure to turn the heat off before you start draining. Once the pasta is drained, place the pasta back into the same big pot. Add the butter. Stir and cover. Let sit, off to the side. You will now move on to the vodka sauce.

Instructions for Vodka Sauce:

1-2 oz. of Vodka
1 Cap Full of Crushed Pepper (1/2 a cap or 1 teaspoon full if you don’t like spicy food)
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Grated
Olive Oil (drizzled in a pan, see below)
Half a White Onion, Chopped
1 Small Can of Tomato Paste (can substitute with Tomato Sauce, Whole Jar)
1/2 Pint of Heavy Cream
A Pinch of Pepper
A Dash of Salt
A Splash of Paprika

How to Cook:

Place the skillet on the stove top. Turn the heat on to medium-high. Wait 10 to 15 seconds. Once the pan is warmed up, drizzle the pan with olive oil. Pour enough into the pan so that it will flow all around and just cover the bottom. Reduce the heat to medium. Place the chopped onions in the pan. Take a grater and grate the garlic cloves into the skillet. Pour the crushed pepper into the skillet. Stir all of this together for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not brown all of it. Simply soften up the ingredients. Then pour the tomato paste or sauce, whichever you have. Mix well with the garlic, onions, and crushed pepper. Then cover and let simmer on medium heat for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Once this part is done, you can add the heavy cream and vodka. Continue to stir as you add each one. Leaving the cover off, add the paprika, salt, and pepper for taste. Keep stirring. Add the 2 large serving spoons of the pasta water from earlier into the skillet. Stir again. Let simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Finally, add the pasta into the vodka sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Leave the pasta in the vodka sauce until the pasta softens and looks creamy. This should only take another 2-4 minutes, depending on your preference. Remove from heat and let cool, uncovered. Then serve.

Lessons I Learned

Teens need a little less hovering and little more trust. They want to feel like adults without the responsibilities. While I don’t necessarily think that teens not having responsibilities is a good thing, I do think giving them some room to act like adults is good for their self esteem. Today I got to see my older daughters cooking. They used sharp knives safely. They baked and cooked remarkably well and it made me realize that maybe, I don’t give them enough credit. Maybe them not wanting to do laundry is ok. Instead, I’ll do their laundry and they can just cook. Just kidding, but I was privileged to witness something magical today and I am grateful I was there to watch it.

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