Monday, September 20

Kids In The Kitchen: thoughts on kids & cooking on Nest by Tamara

For September let's look at kids in the home,
with a special feature showing
kids in the kitchen
Our two kids (Miles and Gabby) generously offered to cook for us as a gift for our 18th year wedding anniversary.  I am happy to showcase these two industrious kids cooking and serving a nine course dinner to us.  Please see the menu they planned and cooked and printed up as a surprise-
Randal & Tamara
18th wedding anniversary dinner
Asparagus ribbons in lemon sherry vinaigrette
Pork scallion dumplings with ginger soy dipping sauce
Grilled lime shrimp over avocado mousse
Homemade pasta in a basil tomato sauce with meatballs
Filet mignon with parsley butter over potato puree
Seared scallop with candied bacon and basil pesto `
Cheesecake cookie cups topped with strawberries `
` Chocolate pomegranate tart `
` Cinnamon rice pudding in coconut `

Gabby planned, shopped and prepared the menu herself, 
including making homemade pasta.

She made hand made pork filled chinese dumplings - rolled them thinly, cut them and stuffed them earlier that day

Her younger brother Miles agreed to act as waiter and sommelier for the occasion 
(note the pen in the pocket, nice detail).

more surprises were in store
both the kids scoped out my wedding head band and Randal's tuxedo necktie and decorated the table with these details, lit votive candles and placed a single white flower, similar to the one from the bouquet I had carried eighteen years earlier on my wedding day on Martha's Vineyard.
they designed the menu,

printed it up and placed in on our dinner plates. 
We were told to  bring our favorite wine and
with the assistance of dad, they uncorked it.

We knew they were making us dinner, and I had witnessed the preparation for days ahead of time, however, when we were sent upstairs for two hours before dinner and told not to peek, I knew we were in for a big surprise. Since our dining room and kitchen are one adjoining room the kids had the idea (unbeknownst to me) to create a wall of sorts to allow us a private cozy dinner. They stacked stools high and draped them with fabric, bestowing the constructed wall with photographs of our wedding, flower petals, lanterns and candles, as a shrine. Ha!  They moved the large farm house style dining table and brought in a smaller table from another room to create a romantic mood. We were completely taken by surprise at the room's transformation and it was an amazing experience, one we will remember for a long time.
With the assistance of her younger brother Miles, 
Gabby created a beautiful dinner.  
Take a bow, young chef Gabby Stephenson!
Happy Nesting
XO Tamara

personal note:
While they may never cook such an elaborate meal again, this experience has been good for all of us.  Although we spent the latter part of the evening cleaning dishes, we still relish in this experience.  Whenever we travel, we encourage our kids to try new foods and embrace new experiences.  We also like them to spend time in the kitchen with us as we prepare our holiday meals in order for them to appreciate the process, and hope this will instill a life-long passion for food, healthy living and spending time with family.  

Gabby and friends at 
Loaves & Fishes cooking school
in Bridgehampton, NY summer 2009


My Dog-Eared Pages said...

T, what an absolute joy for you and your husband!! Your children are so thoughtful and amazing... and talented!! It looks like they were in the kitchen for days on end. It's just mind blowing... how delicious! Happy anniversary ; )

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

How wonderful that your children are celebrating with great joy, the love that you and your husband share every day.
My husband and I truly believe that children are a reflection of the parents and their home in which they all live. I cannot think of a better compliment to you both. Congratulations.
I am so glad that you included Barbara's tribute to her mother. The day she posted it was the day that I discovered Barbara and fell in love with her "dog-eared pages."
I look forward to reading Dominique Browning's thoughts as this does seem to be the season for so many changes.
I'm off to meander around here a bit and will check back soon. Just a wonderful post Tamara! xo Lisa

Renae said...

Your children are so lovely and have shared what they have learned from you. The table set so beautifully and creatively, the thought and the detail are amazing. I am not sure I could pull off a dinner like that. Cheers, and here's to 18 more!

Lea McIntosh said...


I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to meet you this past week and learn more about your family and blog! We are finally back in California and one of the first things on my agenda was to head over to your Nest blog and preview the 9-course dinner prepared by your daughter and......WOW!!! What an impressive spread it was too! LOL. Now, I am craving candied bacon and asparagus ribbons! I look forward to stopping in soon for some more amazing Culinary inspiration!

-Lea McIntosh
Nesting Newbies said...

Wow Tamara, what a magnificent 18th anniversary treat for you and Randal. Gabby and Myles are adorable, sweet, thoughtful and talented! You are lucky to have them and they are lucky to have you. What a wonderful relationship you all share. Here's to many many many years of bliss, love, health and prosperity to everyone. Hugs!! Great seeing you the past week!