Tonight S and I made apple cobbler and vanilla ice cream. I always think you have to make recipes your own, no matter how wonderful they might be. For example, for me, apples (in a sweet) sparkle with something like cinnamon or ginger. Unfortunately, I forgot that fact until after we made the cobbler, so we did a little sprinkle of cinnamon on the crust. (Next time I would add it to the fruit directly.) I also think that vanilla ice cream should have vanilla bean (hello, I grew up around Philly) so we added some vanilla bean seed to the ice cream. (Use 1 T of extract and scrape 1/2 of the insides of a bean.)
We came up with the idea to do this combo after going apple picking at a local orchard. We liked the empire apples best, so that's what we picked. Empires taste nice cooked, but they tend to "sauce," so we added some granny smiths to make sure we had some texture.
The whole ensemble tasted lovely, but the apples ended up overcooked because the whole mess had to stay in the oven for almost an hour in order for the topping to be cooked. I think I'll have to cut bigger chunks/slices in my apples next time to make sure they are more al dente.
Because the apples were overcooked, S said the cobbler was "yucky" and she "not like hot apple sauce on ice cream." I liked the cobbler quite a lot. We both loved the ice cream. S said she'd like to try the cobbler tomorrow cold with the ice cream so "it not melt so much." (See -- what kid would try it again a different way?)
Since I'm sure people are wondering what the heck a 4 year old could do in the kitchen, I do anything dangerous (involving sharp knives or hot stoves) and eggs. She does all of the rest. No kidding! She can operate my kitchenaid mixer and knows not to put her fingers in there, although I do use the splash guard as a safety measure.
I encourage everyone to cook with their kids. It teaches them some life skills, and they gain math skills (shh, don't tell!) and self-confidence! S lights up when people compliment her culinary genius.