Guest "Kiddie Chef": Alana

No specific recipe to share today, however I'd like to introduce you to my guest kiddie chef for the day. My niece, Alana (aka "Nana"), is visiting from Virginia until the end of the week. She's 8 years old and quite a budding little foodie who seems to take after me. Today after work, Alana and I spent some time together the local zoo to check out some apes, monkeys and gorillas...

Alana has quite an adventurous palate (hmmm... I wonder who she takes after?!) and next to sushi (which we enjoyed Monday night), her favorite food are noodles. After our short trip to the zoo, we had dinner at one of my favorite Thai restaurants. There she got to try Thai ba mee noodles for the first time!

With dinner in our bellies, we headed home and got to work in the kitchen making dessert. We initially planned on cookies but decided to have something fresh made with fruit. She loves strawberries so she made some fresh strawberry tartlettes with fresh whipped cream.

Alana asked me if I had some "Cool Whip" for our tarts and told her that I don't usually buy it. Instead, I make it from scratch. She was pretty surprised with my answer so I showed her how whipping heavy cream and powdered sugar is way better than any tub of whip topping. Clearly, she became a fan...

Even her uncle got in on the action!
To make our strawberry tartlettes...

1 package of premade mini graham cracker pie crusts
1 cup of sliced strawberries
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Place sliced strawberries in the premade pie crusts.
Combine the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar; beat with a hand mixer or whisk.
Once the whipped cream has formed stiff peaks, place a dollop on top of the fresh strawberries.


  1. She is too cute, looks like you had fun! I LOVE licking the whip cream off the whip!

  2. So cute! Looks like she had a blast.

  3. Too cute! And your husband cracks me up in these photos ;)

    Glad you had such a great time together!

  4. Joelen, she is adorable! That's awesome that she enjoys cooking and eating good food! I bet she has a ton of fun with you. :)

  5. Way to spread the doctrine of fresh whipped cream to the young ones! I didn't see the stuff until I was 17 or 18 - just think of the baking life ahead of her.
    thanks for sharing!

  6. Looks like you had a lot of fun! I bet she had a blast!

  7. Looks like you are having a wonderful time with your niece...and she's beautiful!

  8. She's adorable! It looks like you guys had lots of fun!

  9. How cute! The tarts look delicious as well. I wish I had had as adventurous of a palate at her age. To think of all the years I missed eating amazing food!

  10. SO cute!!! I love that she is an adventurous eater. The pic of her pointing at the chimp is too cute!!

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  12. looks like you have some family competition!

  13. Those pictures are SO CUTE! I love the uncle trying to eat up, SO CUTE!

    Looks delish!

  14. What a cute post - your niece is just darling and obviously on her way to great gastronomical success!

  15. Joelen - she's fabulous! I had to laugh about the coolwhip. I'm the opposite - I had (until recently) NO IDEA what coolwhip even was. I've only ever had the real stuff!

    Lovely to see a budding chef in the making - hope she enjoys her visit with you, how could she not?

  16. How cute! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun together!

  17. What great pictures! Looks like y'all had a tremendous amount of fun. :)

  18. Thanks for sharing these great pics! Alana is a complete natural in the kitchen - a foodie and food blogger in the making!

  19. She's so cute! I think it would be so fun to show a kid that age around the city. She's adventurous, too, eating stuff like Sushi. I love it!

  20. She's so adorable! And what a great thing it is to cook with kids.