Cooking with my child means a lot more than cooking. It’s an opportunity for both of us to create beautiful memories, an opportunity for her to have fun and get dirty and an ‘opportunity’ for me to clean a lot after her cooking experience. 🙂

Erica is almost 3 and a half years old now and she practically wants to do everything I’m doing, except for the cleaning part, which she obviously dislikes and she’s always telling me with a cute little face and a sweet voice that she cannot clean because she is too little. Kids today… 🙂

Until very recently I didn’t let her near me too much when I was cooking because it was really hard to cook and watch over her at the same time, because for her everything is a new experience and she wants to get her hands on anything and into anything. I said until recently, because now she is able to push a chair next to me, get up on her own and start her “cooking”.

About 2 weeks ago I was challenged by Groupama to cook with Erica one of the recipes from the Groupama Recipe Collection (Colectia De Retete), as part of a campaign which promotes healthy eating from an early age. As “Health begins in a plate” (Mihaela Bilic, nutritionist), under the advice of Chef Adi Hadean and nutritionist Mihaela Bilic, Groupama gathered a collection of the healthiest and tastiest recipes recommended by parents working in this company. All these recipes were cooked by the employees with their children, so I really liked their idea and agreed to be part of it.

We never took pictures of our cooking experiences, so I decided this is the perfect opportunity to really remember this day, to make the most out of it, to let her do almost everything she wanted, not to rush anything, to just enjoy it and have fun doing this. I decided that a CARROT CAKE will be perfect for this occasion, as it’s a lot more interesting to receive a cake at the end of a long cooking session than some spinach or a piece of meat, no matter how good it might taste. Plus, I really liked carrot cake and I never tried it at home.

So, we are all set…

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Groupama-9Erica has her own kitchenware, so I let her use some to imitate what I was doing. It kept her busy for a while when I was doing my ‘magic’.  But not for long…

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and Voila! So proud of us both… For our first cake, we did really good.

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From the beginning to the end, it took several hours to do this, but mostly because she played a lot and I let her have it her way. Plus, we were cleaning the table and her hands every 5-10 minutes. While the cake was baking in the oven, she even took a nap, because she was so tired of all this cooking.  We didn’t even have to tell her to go to sleep, she told us she is tired and wants to sleep. And that my darlings,  is pretty amazing. So, besides the fun, a nice day to remember and a great cake to eat, this cooking with your children is a sure recipe for consuming their energy, and all the parents know how precious this can be. 🙂

The RECIPE:

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Ingredients:

300 g flour

250 g brown sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup of oil

1 and a half teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

300 g grated carrots

200 g pineapple puree (blender mashed pineapple)

1 teaspoon grated ginger

150 g finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven at 180 degrees C. In a large bowl beat together eggs, sugar and pineapple puree, then mix in flour, baking soda and baking powder. Stir in carrots, ginger and walnuts. When everything is really mixed, pour the composition into the prepared pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool so you can cut in 3 slices and put the cream on.

Filling and Frosting – Cheese Cream:

 400 g cow cheese, 50 g powder sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla  mixed together.

Thanks Groupama for the challenge! We enjoyed it and now I have a great Recipe Collection to cook for her. Plus, she already told us that when she grows up she wants to be a ballerina, a nurse and a cook. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the photos,

Gia

Photos: Sebastian Bacioiu Photography

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