We're excited to introduce our new ChopChop Kids Advisory Board (KAB). This group of cool kids was hand-selected from kids that applied. They’ll help us to test recipes, think of new ideas for the magazine, and make sure ChopChop gets the kid approval. For the next few weeks we’ll be spotlighting different members of the board.
This week, meet Aleeza! In addition to baking and cooking, some of her hobbies are sewing, dance, violin, reading, drawing, and crafting.
Location: Newton, MA
Age and Grade: Age-11; Grade 6
How I got involved with the ChopChop Kids Advisory Board: I got involved with the ChopChop Kids Advisory Board when I learned about the ChopChop Magazine, and wanted to take part in some shape, size, or form. I immediately started filling out the application, and when I received the acceptance letter from Sally Sampson, the founder of ChopChop, I couldn’t wait to be part of ChopChop’s KAB.
Have you ever messed up a recipe? What happened? Yes. When I was making a chocolate cake, I was putting water into my dry ingredients, and accidently put a ½ cup of water rather than 1 cup of water. I realized my mistake in the end when I was combining my dry and wet ingredients together as the texture was like a chocolate paste. Since I did not know what happened, I slowly added multiple tablespoons of water until my mixture became the consistency I would have wanted.
Do you have any advice for kids just learning to cook and who may be nervous? Or who haven't learned but want to? My advice for kids just learning to cook and who may be nervous is that even if you are cooking/making/baking a shorter recipe, it can still build on your culinary knowledge, and it still counts as your piece of art. From then on, you can build on your recipes. For example, maybe you could start with making oatmeal for breakfast, then try oven roasted vegetables with a spice medley, and finally make granola energy bites! In conclusion, start small, and build your culinary path off of that!
My favorite food is: Shrimp risotto with peas, parmesan cheese, and spinach.
If I was a vegetable or fruit I would be: An avocado because they have so much versatility. Avocados can become savory in a spicy salsa, or even sweet in an avocado mousse or avocado ice cream!
What I love about ChopChop is: They are always open to multiple different ideas and try new things with different ingredients! Also, they always make sure that the recipes on the blog, in the magazine, or even on the websites are filled with nutritional foods that are full of flavor in creative ways!
My favorite thing cook is: Kale, watermelon, and feta salad. First of all, I quickly saute the kale for about two minutes with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. If there is any excess moisture, I drain the kale and combine the feta and watermelon with a quick toss. The whole combination is delicious!
My secret ingredient is: The zest of different citrus fruits. Sometimes, I will put orange zest in chocolate chip pancakes or lemon zest in/on bread.
A fun fact about me is: I am currently participating in the Cradles to Crayons TLC (Teen Leadership Corps).
What I want to be when I grow up: I would like to be a dermatologist. This is because I love medical activities, and when you practice dermatology, you can combine art with medicine because you can make cosmetics.
My favorite ChopChop recipe is: “Beanie Burger” (pg. 106 in ChopChop cooking guide) because at first, I was a bit unsure how the final taste would be, but once I tried the recipe, the taste was flavorful, delicious, and even more delicious! This definitely exceeded my expectations!