Quite a few busy NY Moms are technically challenged when it comes to the kitchen. And many of them don't want to pass this ineptitude to the next generation. That's where Dough Re Me Kids comes in. Romy Horn is a mom who is very comfortable in the kitchen. Her cooking classes combine kitchen skills with playtime.
The small-group classes are held in a gorgeous DUMBO loft. Kids can start this drop-off class as early as 3. Romy's older 'tween students can take on more intricate recipes. Only the finest ingredients are used in the classes and kids really learn to respect food. Intrigued? Sign up now for the Winter Session ($240 per session). It starts January 25th. Want a small taste? Try one of Romy's one-day workshops. And now let's learn more about the mom behind the apron.
Why did you launch the business?
When my daughter started to show an interest in cooking, I realized how much fun it was to cook with her and her friends. From that point on, I knew that I wanted to start a cooking school. I started by going into her classes and teaching her classmates various recipes. While I was working as a full-time attorney, I would take vacation days to go to her school. After a couple years, I worked a four-day week and was able to start Dough Re Me Kids with weekly classes on Fridays. Last year, after I was laid off from my job I was able to finally do what Ive wanted to do all of my life cook and teach full-time.
Why do you think kids love cooking so much?
Cooking is like one big art project with lots of creative tasks and supplies that can be eaten. No one is going to say, Please dont put that crayon in your mouth. The kids get such satisfaction from making something they can eat when theyre finished. They even get to show off their work at home and are so proud when they hear how tasty their food is from someone they love.
What are some of the most popular dishes?
They especially enjoy working with dough, so I would have to say pasta making is high on the list. When we use herbs for recipes, they really enjoy picking them, smelling them, cleaning them from the stem and chopping them. Another favorite is sprinkles for cupcakes, for popcorn balls or cookies. There is always a lot of munching going on. They even munch on the herbs.
Ideas for beginner cookbooks for kids?
The old-school Betty Crocker's Cookbook for Boys and Girls: Facsimile Edition and the more modern Williams-Sonoma Kids in the Kitchen: Fun Food.
Can you share a quick recipe to try over the winter break?
Working with phyllo dough is something that every kid should try. Just stack 5 or 6 sheets, place a mixture of cheese and vegetables on top and roll up like a log. Think of sushi rolls. In class, we recently used drained ricotta and shredded cheddar with steamed kale patted dry, zucchini and carrots sticks, but the possibilities are endless. Just try not to use anything too watery or the end product will be soggy. Brush the outside with butter (unsalted) and bake at 375 on a buttered baking sheet until golden brown. Although the paper thin dough can rip, it is very forgiving once it is baked. The cooked log can be sliced into bite-sized pieces and arranged on a platter. The dough gets crunchy on the outside and the kids absolutely loved eating it. It is something you can take to party too.
Favorite place to dine-out with the kids?
We love everything on the menu at Frankies 457 and Frannys. For pizza, my daughter could eat at Grimaldis every day (in fact, she is quite proud that the host calls her one of their favorite regulars). In Chinatown, the very casual Nice Green Bo on Bayard has awesome dumplings and noodles. For Middle-Eastern we share a platter of hummus, babaganoush, and other salads at Waterfalls on Atlantic or go to Barbounia on Park Avenue South when we want a more grown-up atmosphere.
What do you love about your neighborhood?
Dumbo is special in many ways, but the two best things about it are the location and the people. Its a special little enclave with lots of parks so close to the city. It has a small town friendly feel to it with many families yet; the people are young and artistic.
Favorite spot for a winter playdate?
Ice-skating at Prospect Park or at Chelsea Piers. Otherwise, we have cooking playdates at home.