5 recipes with less than 10 ingredients that kids can help create

Easy mouth-watering recipes for the entire family from America's Test Kitchen.

 America's Test Kitchen


The kitchen can be a busy place and it's tempting to send kids outside or to another room. But I think the kitchen is the perfect place to get kids involved, especially when there's so much prep to do! To help navigate the process, find small, meaningful ways to involve them in prepping and cooking for the holiday. Kids will love using a wooden spoon to smash potatoes, or they can trim green beans and mince garlic for a garlicky skillet green beans dish. You can also encourage creativity with flavored butters the whole family will enjoy spreading on tender biscuits. Plus, we find that kids are more inclined to eat a dish they've had a hand in making themselves!

Here are five kid-friendly meals from America's Test Kitchen Kids that help make cooking a family affair:

Roasted broccoli

Serves: 4 Servings

Time to cook: 35 minutes


  • 1/4 cup extra-­virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 6 cups broccoli florets, large florets cut in half
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together oil, salt, and pepper. Add broccoli to bowl and use your hands to toss until broccoli is evenly coated with oil mixture.
  3. Transfer broccoli to baking sheet. Arrange broccoli in single layer, placing flat sides down when possible.
  4. Place baking sheet in oven and roast broccoli until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  5. Use oven mitts to remove baking sheet from oven and place on cooling rack. Use a spatula to transfer broccoli to serving dish. Serve broccoli with lemon wedges.

Buttermilk drop biscuits

Serves: Makes 10 to 12 biscuits

Time to cook: 45 minutes


  • 2 cups all-­purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil spray


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt until combined. In liquid measuring cup, use fork to stir buttermilk and melted butter until butter forms small clumps.
  3. Add buttermilk mixture to bowl with flour mixture. Use rubber spatula to stir until just combined.
  4. Spray inside of 1/4 ­cup dry measuring cup with vegetable oil spray. Use greased measuring cup to scoop batter and use butter knife to scrape off extra batter. Drop scoops onto baking sheet to make 10 to 12 biscuits (leave space between biscuits and respray measuring cup as needed).
  5. Place baking sheet in oven and bake biscuits until tops are golden brown 12 to 14 minutes. Use oven mitts to remove baking sheet from oven (ask an adult for help). Place baking sheet on cooling rack. Let biscuits cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Smashed potatoes

Smashed potatoes

Serves: 4-6 Servings

Time to cook: 1 hour and 10 minutes


  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt, measured separately
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  1. Place cream cheese in medium bowl and let soften on counter.
  2. Meanwhile, place potatoes in large saucepan and cover completely with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bay leaf.
  3. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-­low and simmer gently until potatoes are soft and paring knife can be inserted very easily into potatoes, 35 to 45 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat. Use ladle to carefully measure 1/4 cup cooking water from saucepan into liquid measuring cup and set aside.
  5. Carefully drain potatoes in colander set in sink (ask an adult for help). Discard bay leaf. Return potatoes to empty warm saucepan and let sit, uncovered, until potatoes look dry, about 5 minutes.
  6. While potatoes dry, add melted butter, chives, reserved cooking water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to softened cream cheese and whisk until smooth.
  7. Use back of wooden spoon to smash potatoes in saucepan just enough to break skins. Don't work potatoes too much (finished dish should be chunky).
  8. Stir cream cheese mixture into potatoes until liquid has been absorbed and chunks of potatoes remain. Serve.

Garlicky skillet green beans

Serves: 4 Servings

Time to cook: 30 minutes


  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  1. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 1 minute (oil should be hot but not smoking).
  2. Add green beans, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally with rubber spatula, until spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Carefully add water to skillet. Cover and cook until green beans are bright green, about 2 minutes. Use oven mitten to remove lid (be careful—steam will be hot!).
  4. Increase heat to medium-high and cook until water evaporates, about 1 minute.
  5. Stir in butter and garlic and cook, stirring often, until green beans are lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Turn off heat. Use spatula to transfer green beans to serving platter. Serve.

Roasted fingerling potatoes

Roasted fingerling potatoes

Serves: 4-6 Servings

Time to cook: 1 hour


  • 2 pounds fingerling or small red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-­virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Use chef's knife to cut potatoes in half lengthwise.
  3. In large bowl, combine potatoes, oil, salt and pepper. Use your hands to toss potatoes and coat evenly with oil and seasonings.
  4. Transfer potatoes to baking sheet. Turn each potato cut side down and spread potatoes into single layer.
  5. Place baking sheet in oven and bake until skins are wrinkled and spotty brown, 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Use oven mitts to remove baking sheet from oven (ask an adult for help). Place baking sheet on cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Use spatula to carefully transfer potatoes to serving platter (baking sheet will be hot). Serve.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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