Let’s Get Cooking!


Hello, everyone! My name is Cat Kenny and I run our After School Program at the 14th Street Y.

At After School, we offer a wide range of enrichment classes to engage children’s heads, hearts, and hands in different ways. Our most popular class BY FAR is our cooking class. Cooking with kids can be stressful, but it’s such an amazing way to engage with them on so many different levels.

Cooking requires our students to be incredibly aware of their surroundings in order to stay safe, while also paying attention to the details of the recipe. It also gives them a great tactile activity that can include lots of different textures, and can serve as a wonderful way to encourage mindfulness.

Cooking and sharing food together are also some of the best ways to connect with one another. When kids get to help with cooking, they gain a better understanding of where their food comes from, what they are putting in their bodies, and how much work actually goes into making a yummy meal.

Trusting our kids to cook with us gives them an amazing sense of responsibility and pride, and is a great way to spend some quality time, while also getting some much-needed help in the kitchen! Below are some of our After Schoolers’ favorite recipes!


Homemade Biscuits 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled/frozen
  • 3/4 cup milk (whole milk works best)
  • Melted butter for topping (optional)
  • Extra granulated sugar for topping (optional)
  • Set oven to 425F and line baking sheet with nonstick liner or parchment paper.
  • Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • Using a box grater, grate cold butter into flour mixture. Stir to combine until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. (If you do not have a grater, you can cut butter into flour mixture using a fork or pastry cutter.)
  • Add milk, and use a wooden spoon or spatula to lightly combine dough. Be sure not to overwork the dough.
  • Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and work dough together with your hands. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky.
  • When the dough is cohesive, fold it in half over itself and gently press the layers together with your hands. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat the folding and pressing step. Repeat the turning, folding, and pressing steps 5-6 times.
  • Using your hands, flatten the dough to 1 inch thick. Do not use a rolling pin.
  • Using dusted biscuit or cookie cutters, press cutter down into dough and place biscuits at least 1/2” apart on prepared tray. Biscuits should be 2-3 inches in diameter.
  • Continue working scrap dough together to get as many biscuits as possible.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or until tops are beginning to lightly brown.
  • Optional: brush melted butter and/or sprinkle granulated sugar on biscuits immediately after removing from the oven.

Cornflake Chicken Tenders

  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp lemon pepper seasoning (or family-favorite seasoning)
  • 1 1/4 lb. chicken tenders
  • 2 cups finely crushed cornflakes
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Set oven to 450F.
  • Lightly grease wire rack and set it in a baking sheet.
  • Crush cornflakes in a bag, or use a food processor to make crushed cornflakes.
  • In a bowl, stir together yogurt and seasoning. Place tenders in mixture, and coat each tender evenly. (To make this fun for kids, put the yogurt, seasoning, and tenders into a closed plastic bag and have them squish the bag to evenly coat the tenders.)
  • In a separate bowl, mix together crushed cornflakes, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.
  • Coat each tender in crumb mixture, and place on wire rack.
  • Bake until cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.

Creamy Veggies and Noodles

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced (about 3 large carrots)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups veggie broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 Tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 Tsp paprika
  • 8 oz. egg noodles (or pasta of choice)
  • 1 cup corn (canned or frozen)
  • 1 cup peas (canned or frozen)
  • 1 Tsp salt (or to taste)
  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat for 30 seconds.
  • Add onion, celery, and carrots to pot and cook for 6-7 minutes until the veggies are tender.
  • Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the broth and bring to a boil.
  • Add thyme, paprika, noodles, corn, and peas.
  • Return to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, add milk, and cook for 10-15 minutes until the noodles are tender and the mixture is thickened.
  • Add salt, if needed.
  • Take off heat and let sit for 8-10 minutes for serving to allow mixture to continue thickening.

We’re offering two hours of virtual After School activities each weekday for registered families, including games, hangouts, and enrichment classes, to help children stay social and give busy parents a break. For more information on how to join the After School live stream, please email AfterSchool@14StreetY.org.

We also invite After School parents to join our new private After School Facebook Group, where you can can post pictures of the recipes you’re making at home with your kids!