Young Chefs’ Club is a monthly subscription box for children. Each themed package includes a mixture of both STEM activities and food related recipes and activities. This box comes from America’s Test Kitchen whose been educating adults on cooking and food science for 25 years and now they are bringing that same education to children. This box is perfect for kids aged 5+ and this is their inaugural box! Subscriptions are $24.99 monthly and ship free. Subscription to longer terms to get reduced subscription prices. NAT received this package at no cost for review purposes.
Subscription Box Unboxing
Subscription Box Review
Our first glimpse inside the Young Chefs’ Club for November.
Everything that came in our November Young Chefs’ Club package. This month the focus is CHEESE. Which is an item that is very near and dear to my heart!
So what is all this stuff?
First up is a letter from the Editor. Not only will kids experiment with the flavors of cheese but they’ll also dabble in the science of stretching which is what cheese loves to do.
The reverse side of our card also has a shopping list for this package. Many of these items you may find you have on hand though!
And with every package we receive from Young Chefs’ Club we recieve a pin. This month… of course it has a “Cheese Wiz” saying on it. Which is what your child will be after completing this box!
The first recipe is making your own Cheddar Fish Crackers … which are essentially Goldfish. This was so simple and I had everything I needed for this recipe on hand! It’s only six ingredients – FYI
You do need a food processor to complete this recipe properly. I didn’t have cheddar on hand so I swapped it out for a Mexican mix shredded cheese. This recipe also includes variations on the traditional crackers = one adds oregano and garlic and tomato paste for a pizza style cracker and the other adds parmesan and rosemary for a more Italian style cracker!
The back of the fold out tells us why refrigerating the fish before baking is important!
This fish cutout will also be used to create our DIY fish crackers. It’s cute and cuts out four crackers at once.
To make our recipe we mix corn starch, flour, cheese salt and butter in a food processor.
I actually find these baking processes really relaxing and seeing a recipe come together is one of my absolute favorite things!
We get this crumbly sort of mixture and then we know it’s time to add the water.
After we add the water the mixture starts to clump, like so. That’s when we pull it out and roll it!
On our floured surface we roll our dough into a ten inch circle. Vivienne loved this part… she was really excited to help Mom out!
Then you’ll cut out these cute little fishies and bake for ten to fourteen minutes. The result is a delicious (way better than what you buy at the store) snack!
Our next recipe is a DIY Ricotta cheese which is something that I’ve been wanting to try now for quite a while.
The recipe is extremely simple and requires just three ingredients; milk, salt and white vinegar.
The back of the card explains what Whey is and what it meant in the rhyme, Little Miss Muffet. It also tells us how we can use our ricotta cheese.
Our first task in creating our homemade ricotta is lining a colander with cheesecloth. For this I use flour sack towels.
Next we add eight cups of milk and salt in a pan on high. You’ll stir this often with a rubber spatula. You’ll also need a thermometer because this needs to be removed from the heat at 185 degrees.
Mine hung a bit as evidenced by the small brownish bits but I worked with it. Once we remove this from the heat we’ll add the vinegar and let it sit for a bit until the mixture begins to separate. You’ll have milk solids on top and clear whey on the bottom.
Okay so this picture is awful. But once the mixture has separated you’ll put it in a colander and strain it. I then transferred it to a bowl… and this is the blurry result! I am happy with it and will be using this in lunches (my kids love it on tortilla roll ups)
Next up in our box is an experiment. I love that they add these as it adds to the STEM elements of this subscription box. This has an intermediate difficulty level.
The premise of this experiment is to see which cheese stretches the most… you’ll use mozzarella and cheddar and you’ll essentially be making grilled cheese sandwiches … so great outcome!
The reverse goes over the results and the whys of this experiment which I think is great because it ties it all together and really makes this a well rounded learning experience!
Next up we have a stovetop macaroni and cheese recipe. This is a simple dish and includes just six ingredients.
I was really surprised to find that this recipe included mustard (one of my favorites).
The reverse of this card explains why American cheese is so important in this recipe. It does say explicitly that you should not use cheese singles.
Then we have a technique card. These explain to us a method for doing a common kitchen task. This one teaches us to either grate or shred cheese.
I think these are great as well to really convey how to do stuff that we commonly don’t think about!
Next up is our game for this month. Say Cheese. This is like Go Fish but covers the different types of cheeses.
The cards are in pairs and go over the origins of different types of cheese and how they are derived.
This is easy to learn and play and instead of saying Go Fish when someone doesn’t have your desired card… you say, “Say Cheese”.
Here is me and my girl playing this fun game!
Every box from Young Chefs’ Club comes with a Make it Your Way Challenge. These are great for getting kids to experiment with foods that they otherwise might not try.
The back gives you options for creating your own personalized cheese plate. There’s different bases as well as cheeses and extras! I love these… such a great help with picky eaters.
Finally we have an experiment. This is a Blind Taste Test and includes a little mask so you can’t see what you are eating.
Basically for this experiment you’ll use both regular and sharp cheddar to see what your child thinks when they eat it. Once they have tired both you’ll ask which one was sharp and which one wasn’t.
The reverse tells us the results and again, the why of this problem…. spoiler… it’s all in the aging process. Sharp cheddar is aged longer!
Here’s my little Vivienne in the blind taste test mask!
Every package from Young Chefs’ Club comes with a sheet of stickers that relate to that month’s box. This month it was… you guessed it cheese. These are super cute!
So in summary
Presentation: Everything was packaged well and arrived to us perfectly!
Quality: I love the attention to detail in the recipes. They are all easy to complete and require very little ingredients that we don’t have on hand!
Curation: This cheese themed box is perfection! It teaches kids not just the hows but the whys and it even taught this salty dog a few tricks as well!
Young Chefs' Club
Young Chefs’ Club is a great STEM cooking subscription. This month’s box is cheese themed and had us in the kitchen making goldfish crackers!