Here's the deal, my preschooler loves to cook with me but sometimes I don't necessarily want to eat what we made together. 😂 (There are only so many chocolate chip cookies and slices of banana bread one can consume.) So I wanted to figure out a way to make more "grown-up" food but with the ease of a box of cake mix.

Enter: Farmsteady kits.

This is not just any regular boxed food mix, though. It's real ingredients coupled with their simple step-by-step instructions, plus sophisticated fun options that help you think outside of your cooking comfort zone. Think: kombucha , hot sauce or goat cheese.

For cooking with my preschooler, though, I chose something that would be accessible for his palette, too. We made soft pretzels with deliciously gooey beer cheese to dip it in.

Soft Pretzel & Beer Cheese making kit

farmsteady pretzel making kit

My son absolutely adores pretzels, and getting him to make this with me was almost like combining a science experiment, cooking class and art class all at once. We talked about how mixing in the yeast was going to make the dough rise—and he kept peaking at the resting dough ball to see if it was growing.

When it came time to form the pretzel shapes, we made a little assembly line, where he helped roll each dough strip into an even log (it's like Play Doh! he said), and then I took them and formed them into the classic pretzel shape. His favorite part was probably sprinkling the sea salt over all the soft dough—there were a few times where he got a little overzealous in his sprinkling (those were a little bit too salty, but who cares because it was fun 😆).

To prep the pretzels for baking, we had to dip them into this boiling water that had malt syrup and baking soda in it, and my son was amazed to watch as they sunk to the bottom and then rose to the top of the pot as soon as they were ready to go to into the oven. Then we patted those bad boys down, my son helped me brush melted butter all over the pretzels (art! project!) and then off to the oven they went as we (im)patiently waited for them to cook.

I think my favorite part was seeing how proud he was of his creations. He kept grabbing another pretzel and saying, "Mm, yummy! I'm a great cook." Yes, you are buddy.

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