December 7: Junior Sous Chef

I have a little sous chef in my kitchen!
Like his mom, Mason loves to make yummy things to eat. He recently discovered Easy Mac while at the grocery store with his Meme, and loves that he can make it all by himself. While I personally don’t consider Easy Mac yummy, or even food for that matter, I encourage his independence and try to keep my opinion to myself.
He also shares my knack for picking a good recipe. He asked to look through my cookbooks for kids and made this yummy fudge for Thanksgiving.
It is a great recipe for kids to make, which means if you’re cooking skills are lacking you can probably successfully make it too. While it doesn’t quite make the cut as far as fudge standards go, it is a very yummy chocolate dessert.

No-Bake Fudge

  • 8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • chocolate chips/pecan halves for topping (optional)

Break chocolate into squares, and melt in microwave in 30 second intervals until just melted. Cool slightly.  Grease an 8″ square pan with butter. Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, then add melted chocolate, vanilla and salt. Mix until well combined.  Spread into buttered pan. Top with chocolate chips and/or pecans, then cover and chill for at least 3 hours. When well chilled, cut into squares. Store in refrigerator until time to serve.

Kids typically aren’t a fan of nuts, so we chose to top half with chocolate chips and the other half with pecans for the adults. If you’re making this for yourself, you can add ½ cup of chopped pecans to the batter instead.

Mason absolutely loves it when I have one of my “knitting parties” and hates to be left out. He often makes these Caprese Skewers:
He shows me up at any event with these little tomato-mozzarella-basil skewers. There are never any left over! I was reading the society page recently, and one of the prestigious caters served these at a society ladies party. They were impressive enough to get a special mention in the article.
This cracked me up because Mason started making these when he was only four years old. He learned how to make these while watching Tasty Time with ZeFronk on DisneyJr. It was totally his idea! Perhaps I need to start hiring him out for society events.
My love of cooking started when I was a kid too. I saved my cookbooks from when I was a kid and am so happy to see him enjoy them too. Just because they’re recipes for children, doesn’t mean there aren’t some really good recipes in the mix. In fact, Keely’s World Famous Cheeseball was born out of one of these kiddy cookbooks. I’ve shared it many times before, but it’s too good not to share again in case you missed out.

Keely’s World-Famous Cheese Ball

  • 2 – 8oz packages of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 – 8oz package cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 2 envelopes of dry onion soup mix
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups chopped pecans
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups chopped parsley

You can easy out and use pre-grated cheese and the fake lemon juice in a bottle, but fresh is always best. I’m on the fence as far as fresh vs. dried parsley in that I’ve done it both ways. I always lean toward fresh, but the dried doesn’t tend to get as mushy when stored. Buy either Liptons or Campbell’s onion soup mix – tried the generic once and there is a huge difference.

Put both cheeses in a big bowl. I don’t measure the lemon juice, but squeeze a big lemon’s worth onto the cheese (watch for seeds). Add one whole package of onion soup mix. Sift the onions out of the 2nd package and just add the powder. I put about 6 to 8 good shakes of cayenne, depending on my mood (and my audience). Squish these ingredients together so they are mixed well, divide in half and roll into 2 balls.

In a smaller bowl mix together the pecans and parsley. Roll balls into this mixture until completely covered. To store wrap in wax paper, then in foil. Serve with crackers. My family’s favorites are Wheat Thins, Ritz & Chicken in a Bisket. My new favorite is the new Triscuits with olive oil & cracked pepper.

It may be about time for me to pass the cheeseball making over to Mason soon. I wasn’t too much older than him when I started making these for the holidays. I almost left it off the Thanksgiving menu by accident – boy would that have been a huge holiday fail. I’d never live that one down!
Hope you enjoy these recipes. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy making…and eating them!
In other news, when I wrote yesterday’s post I had left my notebook at the shop. I grabbed it last night and discovered I had not two, but four VIP tickets to the Oklahoma Winter Quilt Show to give away. So I will be giving two tickets away to two lucky winners today!
Update: And we found 2 more tickets, so we’ll draw 3 winners!


  • karyndm

    07.12.2015 at 05:55 Reply

    I have had those tomato mozzarella skewers and they were delicious. I think the cheese ball is pretty yummy too. I always look forward to all your knitting “catered” events as they are all amazing.

  • mschoir01

    07.12.2015 at 12:25 Reply

    Agree! I love anything that begins with “Caprese” and I could probably finish off that platter myself!
    The fudge looks good, too! Will have to try all these recipes with the grands.

  • laurasart

    07.12.2015 at 13:09 Reply

    cheese ball and caprese skewers make life easy!

  • kjarred

    07.12.2015 at 14:17 Reply

    I’m definitely trying Mason’s fudge recipe this week – better yet, I’ll let Emma do it for me!! Also, I think I’ll take my mom to the winter quilt show – she’d love it.

  • Betty

    07.12.2015 at 14:41 Reply

    I too started “cooking as a child.” It was so much fun to share these skills with my chilldren, & now my granddaughters! (I would share with my grandsons if they ever appear, but for now it’s 6 granddaughters!)

  • beckihomecki

    07.12.2015 at 17:33 Reply

    Can we get together and make small pies????

  • rczb

    07.12.2015 at 19:24 Reply

    Love that Mason likes to cook! My nieces and nephews started helping cook when they were about 2. My husband was pretty close to adulthood when he started, but he’s in there cooking supper now!

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