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Chef on A Shoestring: Cooking For Kids

Early Saturday contributor and Food Network Iron Chef Bobby Flay takes on the Chef on a Shoestring challenge to "Throwdown!" a kid-friendly brunch on a $40 budget.

Kids will love this meal so much they may want to help make it, too!


  • Turkey Sausage & Thick Cut Bacon
  • Banana, Cinnamon & Sugar, Granola and Berry Belgian Waffles
  • Gourmet Hot Chocolate with Assorted Toppings

    Belgian waffles have a crispy outside with a soft and moist inside. They are generally prepared from a yeast-leavened batter, and are often lighter and crispier compared to other waffle varieties. Waffles are rectangular and usually about an inch thick, with fairly deep "dimples."


  • Mix in your family's favorite fruits or spices for personalized waffles.
  • Use very ripe bananas; they are easier to mash.
  • For a richer hot chocolate, always mix with milk.

    Mini Belgian Waffles with Three Toppings

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    2 cups well-shaken buttermilk or Greek yogurt
    3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
    2 large eggs
    Melted butter for waffle iron

    1. Put oven rack in middle position and put a large metal cooling rack directly on it. Preheat oven to 250°F and preheat waffle iron.

    2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs in another bowl, then whisk into flour mixture until just combined.

    3. Brush hot waffle iron with some of the melted butter and pour a slightly rounded 1/2 cup of batter into each waffle mold. Cook waffles according to manufacturer's instructions until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer as cooked to rack in oven to keep warm, keeping waffles in 1 layer to stay crisp.

  • Banana Version:
    Add 2 very ripe mashed bananas to the egg yolk mixture
  • Granola-Fruit Version:
    Add any berries to the batter and sprinkle granola on top of the batter right before you close the lid of the waffle iron.
  • Cinnamon-Sugar Version:
    Mix together 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Add a few teaspoons on top of the batter right before you close the lid of the waffle iron. Remove from the waffle maker and sprinkle with a little more of the cinnamon sugar.

  • Hot Chocolate with Assorted Toppings

    Your favorite hot chocolate mix (made according to directions on back of package)

    Toasted Marshmallow Toppings

    Large marshmallows

    Place marshmallows on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place until the broiler until golden brown on all sides.

    Chocolate-Peppermint Whipped Cream

    1 cup very cold heavy cream
    3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
    2 tablespoons best quality cocoa powder
    1/8 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
    Peppermint sticks, for garnish, optional

    Whisk together the cream, sugar, cocoa powder and peppermint extract together in a large bowl until soft peaks form.

    Coconut Whipped Cream

    3/4 cup very cold heavy cream
    1/4 cup Coco Lopez
    1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Toasted coconut, for garnish, optional

    Whip together the heavy cream, Coco Lopez, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with a balloon whisk until soft peaks form.

    So how did Flay do with a $40 budget?

    Turkey Sausage $2.49
    Thick Cut Bacon $1.99

    Buttermilk $1.99
    Bananas $1.59
    Granola $5.49
    Berries $3.99

    Gourmet Hot Chocolate $5.95
    Cream $1.19
    Cocoa powder $3.79
    Peppermint extract $2.99
    Peppermint sticks $1.39
    Coco lopez $2.79
    Coconut $2.00
    Marshmallows $1.49

    FINAL COST = $39.13!

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