Dinner duos: Families cook up a storm

Take six parents, six kids, one knowledgeable instructor, an entire list of fresh ingredients, access to a professional kitchen and mix well.

The result? The Hot Cakes parent/child cooking class!

On Sunday, March 6, Hot Cakes owner Lisa McEwan held a cooking class for kids who like to lend a helping hand in the kitchen and parents who want to encourage their enthusiasm.

Decked out in crisp white aprons, children ages 5-11 (with moms and dads) gathered in the Hot Cakes' kitchen, ready to cook up some fun. Armed with a recipe sheet and everything else they needed, the groups listened as McEwan walked them through the steps to make a delicious three-course meal.

They chopped, coated, juiced, and pared their way through a menu that included cornmeal-crusted chicken fingers, potatoes with fresh thyme and olive oil, baby lettuce salad with shredded apples, carrots, and orange vinagrette, and strawberry shortcake. Once all the hard work was over, everyone sat down together to enjoy the fruits of their labors.

This was McEwan's first parent-child cooking class, though she holds several other participatory classes for adults throughout the year.

"I had a good time," she says. "The parents were happy, and it was fun watching the enthusiastic kids."

All the hard work paid off in the form of a delicious meal, topped by strawberry shortcake for dessert.

A chef in the making: Emily Freeman, 11, preps corn-meal crusted chicken fingers.

Cassie Ferrer, 6, and her dad, Paul, look forward to tasting the treats.

Tyler Huneycutt, 6, and his mother, Barbara, work well together.

Coool!: (from right) Mick Masone, 5, Alexandra King, 7, and Tyler Huneycutt, 5, watch as the blender does its magic.

Lisa McEwan gives her students some helpful hints.