Making Marinara With Kids and Cleaning Up With WaterWipes

I may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. This helps me support my blog and my family at no extra cost to you.

My daughter is just now getting to the point were she wants to help me cook. I love it and am always trying to figure out a way to include her in the process. I've discovered that having her help me with prepping bulk cooking that I do every month (making a taco spice mix, cooking up some chicken noodle soup for the week, and the like). Recently, she's been helping me make marinara sauce. She loves the getting messy part of it so much that I invited the kids next door over for a little marinara making party! Here's my recipe and tips for making marinara with kids and cleaning up with WaterWipes.

// This post was sponsored by WaterWipes as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. //

My daughter is just now getting to the point were she wants to help me cook. I love it and am always trying to figure out a way to include her in the process. I've discovered that having her help me with prepping bulk cooking that I do every month (making a taco spice mix, cooking up some chicken noodle soup for the week, and the like). Recently, she's been helping me make marinara sauce. She loves the getting messy part of it so much that I invited the kids next door over for a little marinara making party! Here's my recipe and tips for making marinara with kids and cleaning up with WaterWipes.

Making Marinara With Kids and Cleaning Up With WaterWipes #ad #WaterWipesMom #IC

My recipe is marinara is pretty much the only reason my husband married me (joking!) so I make it in bulk at least once a month. It's a very basic recipe but really tasty and simple to make. You can us any kind of tomato but, because I'm lazy and it's easy, I like to use the pre-canned fire roasted whole tomatoes. I just buy the generic ones from our local grocery store. Everything else is a pantry staple or something you probably have in your fridge already. Interested? Here's the recipe:

Basic Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes (use hands to crush into small pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cracked black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add the onion and saute over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the stock and cook on high heat for 3 minutes. Be sure to scrape up all the brown bits in the pan until almost all the liquid evaporates.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 15 minutes.

Making Marinara With Kids and Cleaning Up With WaterWipes #ad #WaterWipesMom #IC

Sure, you can make this by yourself (and frankly, it would probably be a million times easier) but this is an excellent recipe for introducing kids to cooking. It's brightly colored, messy, and can be safely tasted at any point during the cooking process. Here's a few tips on cooking marinara with kids:

Assemble Your Ingredients First. Always, always be sure that you have everything you need beforehand. Kids will not wait patiently while you dig around for celery or run to the store for more pepper. Just grab everything and set it on the counter before you even call the kids in.

Clean Hands Frequently. Obviously, you'll want to wash your hands before beginning to cook but, with kids, it's a good idea to clean hands throughout the entire process. I like to have some WaterWipes on hand just for this reason! Since the wipes are chemical free and contain only two ingredients (99.9% pure Irish water + 0.1% grapefruit seed extract), they are perfect for toxic-free cooking sessions. I find them durable enough to handle even the stickiest mess and effectively clean off goop without any of the harmful chemicals found in other wipes. I like to have a packet in the kitchen for quick and easy clean-up.

Break Down Instructions. Most kids have short attention spans and also get really excited (i.e. distracted) when it comes to fun projects. That's why I always recommend trying to break down every step in a recipe into even smaller, easier steps. For example, when it comes to creating the tomato base for the marinara, I always divide it up into several simpler steps. Like, "First, we'll open the cans and dump them into the bowl", "Now, let's mash up the tomatoes into tiny pieces using our fingers and hands!", "Last, let's add the tomatoes to the sauteed vegetables in the pan and let them cook.". Breaking everything up makes more sense to a child's developing mind and can reduce accidents/tantrums.

Prep As Much As Possible. If you take the time to prep everything, everyone will have a better experience. For example, my daughter is a little too young to use a knife so I always pre-cut the vegetables. You can also open cans/packaging so everything is ready to add right when needed. I also tend to pull out every kitchen tool I'll need so I'm not wasting time looking for them.

Big Bowls And Measuring Cups. This is a trick I figured out when I was a preschool teacher. Whenever you need to measure out ingredients that generally come in boxes or bottles, instead of trying to have a young kid hold a measuring cup or spoon completely still while you pour, just dump a bunch of it into a bowl. Then have the child scoop the proper amount out of the bowl and add it to the recipe. This makes for a lot less mess and frustration (though it will result in a bit more dishes/clean up for you).

Making Marinara With Kids and Cleaning Up With WaterWipes #ad #WaterWipesMom #IC

I encourage all of you to try cooking with your little one and remember to visit WaterWipes on their Facebook page or on Pinterest to learn more about these amazing chemical-free wipes! Be sure to post how you use WaterWipes to clean up your messes (use the hashtag #WaterWipesMom so I can see them)!