We are just back from the Frigidaire Kids’ Cooking Academy launch event to support Save the Children!

The Setup

Just before starting. The children were arranged at stations on tables set up in a giant U around the center stage.

Each station had a uniform, spatulas, knives, spoons and forks, a cutting board, and a tray for each of the four recipes they assembled one right after another. I was torn between stepping back and letting the kids scramble to keep up and leaning in to give a tip or show how to mince so that they had a chance to assemble and eat some of the dish before it was whisked away to make room for the next one. They all had a complete set of tools. including serious knives.

Just look at that crowd of people—it was a major production and the kids were so fired up.

You should all be so lucky as to see a dozen or more kids put on chef’s hats and jackets, tuck a kitchen rag into their aprons, and COOK STUFF.

The General Manager of Frigidaire, the head of Save the Children, and then spokesperson Jennifer Garner and celebrity chef Mary Sue Milliken introduced themselves and then jumped right into the food prep. Aaaah!

NO ONE got cut. Everyone was engaged and focused.

Logan wasn’t completely signed on until Jennifer Garner touched him on the shoulder as she took the stage and said, “You look great!” I think that may wind up on his resume. Or tombstone. Whichever comes first.

Jennifer and Mary Sue were very interactive with the kids, stopping by each child’s station to check progress, admire technique, or lend a hand.

With a little help, Daphne piped her mashed potato concoction into a perfect frosting-topping for the Turkey Meatloaf Cupcakes.

We made Charred Vegetable Salsa (omg it was soooo good), Mexican Chopped Salad (the kids actually ate this!!), Turkey Meatloaf “Cupcakes” with Mashed Potato “Frosting,” and my favorite, a Pear Ginger Crumble Crisp. Recipes at the end of the post! Each and every dish they prepared was one we agreed we’d happily prepare, cook, and eat again in a heartbeat.

Just look at those faces. There’s a pie throw in there somewhere.

The Spolier

Of course, Dylan’s absolute favorite was the one item we didn’t actually prepare: Churro Bites with whipped cream. “Mom, can I get another one of these, preferably in the Vegas all-you-can-eat buffet size?”

The Upshot

My kids were totally pumped up to start cooking at home, and were disappointed I didn’t have all the ingredients (shocking, I know) to do so after we landed that night. It was a life experience for them, and a boatload of fun. Special thanks to everyone at Weber Shandwick, Frigidaire, Save the Children, and Smashbox Studios for helping to make some wonderful memories and for showing all those children that corporations can and do practice philanthropy and that the entertainment sector can help build those bridges.

The Recipes (click to enlarge and print)

Charred Vegetable Salsa

Mexican Chopped Salad

Turkey Meatloaf “Cupcakes” with Mashed Potato “Frosting”

Pear Ginger Crumble Crisp

Disclosure: My participation in Frigidaire’s Kids’ Kids (good-for-you) Academy was sponsored by Frigidaire who provided me with travel arrangements to and from Los Angeles to participate.


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