Cooking with the Kids

Updated: May 5, 2020

I put together a list of some of my favorite recipes to make with campers and my own kids, or for them to even do by themselves! Check it out and post your creations on Instagram - make sure to tag Tumbleweed at @tumbleweedcamp.

I know cooking can be a little intimidating for some folks and especially so with children around. Cooking and baking are great educational experiences and are often very forgiving when it comes to making mistakes. Try not to be too micromanaging with your kiddos - even little ones can learn how to use a knife, stir a pot, crack an egg - they just need to be shown how and taught how to be safe.

Ice Cream #1

Love me some home-made ice cream. This recipe is not so much an exact science and more of a trial and error situation.

You will need:

Gallon size plastic bag OR empty gallon paint can

Quart size plastic bag OR empty quart (or smaller) paint can

Lots of ice

Rock salt or "ice cream salt"

Whole milk 2 cups

Sugar 1/2 cup

Vanilla Extract 1 tablespoon

Chopped fruit (optional)

Candy, sprinkles, or chocolate chips (optional)

Food coloring (optional)

This is a great activity to do outside on a hot day since it involves it can get a little messy.

  1. Take your milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and any flavorings, and mix them together in the quart size bag, make sure they are well incorporated.

  2. In your gallon size bag (or can) fill up 1/2 way with ice, leaving enough room for the smaller bag or can to fit inside. Sprinkle a bunch of rock salt over the ice, about 5-10 tablespoons. You can always add more later.

  3. Put the smaller can or bag inside the gallon size one and seal the gallon size container tightly.

  4. Now, SHAKE THAT BAG LIKE CRAZY! Shake, shake, shake... shake until you can't shake anymore. Seriously, you will need to shake the bag to agitate the ice and rock salt to make it as cold as possible. Sometimes the bag or can gets too cold! Wear oven mitts to keep your hands warm.

  5. You might notice that you have more water in the big container than ice. Dump out some of the water, place it with ice and more rock salt and shake some more.

  6. Your ice cream will be ready when it is solid. Depending on how fast you shake, you could be done in 10 minutes!

Ice Cream #2

This recipe is more legit. Adapted from the famous San Fransisco Ice Cream parlor, Humphry Slocombe, this recipe will make you never want to get ice cream from the store again. This does require some special equipment, so plan ahead.

Adapted from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book

You will need:

a blender or food processor

a fine-mesh strainer

an ice cream maker

1 pound fresh ripe strawberries, hulled and halved

2 cups heavy cream, cold

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (trust us! it helps balance the sweetness of the condensed milk)


  1. Place 1 pound fresh strawberries in your blender or food processor and process to a smooth puree. Strain into a medium bowl using a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds (you can also leave it unstrained, but your strawberry ice cream won't be as smooth).

  2. Once the strawberry puree has been strained into the bowl, add 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and whisk together until the sugar has dissolved. Once the mixture is smooth, taste your ice cream batter — if it needs more sugar, add a pinch, if it’s too sweet, add a splash of red wine vinegar.

  3. Once you're satisfied with the flavor of your ice cream, transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and spin according to the manufacturer's instructions. The ice cream will be ready once it looks frozen and the ice cream has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Eat immediately, or transfer into an airtight container and freeze for a few hours if you prefer a more frozen texture.

Home Made Butter

Why I don't do this more often... who knows?! It's so easy and is so fresh that it is the perfect table item for all meals. It does take a bit of arm strength, so you might have to switch off with the kiddos. Maybe don't make ice cream and butter in the same day as well :)

You will need: • 1 pint sized (16 oz) mason jar • 1 cup heavy cream (38% fat content) • cold water PRO TIP: if you want to speed up the churning process, add a clean marble to your jar or something else small and clean. This will work as an agitator and help churn the butter a bit faster.

1. Pour heavy cream into the mason jar, filling it half-way full. Screw the lid on. 2. Shake mason jar for approximately 5-7 minutes. After the first 2 minutes you'll have whipped cream. Keep shaking until you hear that a lump has formed inside, and shake an additional 30-60 seconds after that. 3. Remove the solids from the jar. The remaining liquid is buttermilk. You can save that for other recipes, or discard it. 4. Place the solids into a small bowl. Pour cold water over the butter and use your hands to squish it into a ball. Discard water and repeat rinsing 2 times more. 5. At this point you have butter. You can add in things like salt, honey, and herbs to create flavored butters, or serve in its pure form as is

How should I store my homemade butter? How long will it last? The butter will stay good for 3-5 days at room temperature, and about 7-10 days refrigerated. Store it with the lid on. The liquid leftover after the butter forms is buttermilk! You can also store this in the fridge for about a week for later use.

Bagel Bites!

One of the easiest dinners to make with the kids! This will definitely bring back some 90s memories. I recommend getting mini bagels, but any brand of store-bought bagels works too.

You will need: