Who cooks dinner every night in the house which both parents leave every morning for work? Usually, it's the parents.

Although older children may be home several hours earlier than the adults, they are not usually responsible for the evening meal. Sometimes the kids don't want to cook. Sometimes the person in charge of food doesn't want to give it up.

With just a little effort and planning, older children can be taught to prepare the more substantive parts of a dinner, satisfying them as well as helping the parents.

We recommend the following recipes for children ages 11 and up. If they don't have the necessary skills, a parent can make the dish with them on a weekend and leave them to their own devices the next time. Kids often have trouble figuring out the proper pots, pans and utensils. In the beginning, these items should be set out for them. It's also a good idea to have a neighbor or a parent available to answer questions by phone.


(4 servings) 1 frying chicken, about 3 pounds, cut into serving pieces 1/2 cup peanut oil 1 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 eggs

The parent should make sure the chicken breast is split in half and the thigh is served from the drumstick.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, if pan is not nonstick.

Pull skin off all chickn pieces except wings, and discard. Pour about half of the oil on bottom of pan.

Mix flour, paprika, salt, and pepper on a plate or on a sheet of wax paper, using a fork. Beat eggs lightly in a small, shallow bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in egg and roll in seasoned flour to coat lightly but all over. Arrange, right side up, in pan. Pour remaining oil over all pieces.

Bake for about 20 minutes and then brush pieces with juices from bottom of pan so no white specks of flour are left. Bake until chicken is tender and batter is crisp, about 40 minutes more.


(Makes 12 pieces) 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter 1 cup milk 1/3 cup honey 2 eggs 1 1/3 cups cornmeal, preferably stone ground 1 cup flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 7-by-11-inch pan with butter, if pan is not nonstick.

Melt butter in a medium (2-quart) saucepan. Stir in milk and honey. Beat in eggs.

Add cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly. Pour batter into pan and spread with a spatula.

Bake until cornbread cracks on top and edges begin to brown and pull away from sides of pan, about 20 minutes. Serve with honey. (Cornbread can be baked in same oven as chicken in previous recipe.)


(4 servings) 1 medium head romaine lettuce, about 1/2 pound 1/3 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 clove garlic (optional)

A younger sibling can help tear lettuce leaves from stem and rinse under cold water. Dry thoroughly on a dish towel or on paper towels. Rip into pieces. Put in a bowl. Cover with a towel and refrigerate.

Put olive oil, vinegar, salt, ad peper in a mesasuring cup. Peel garlic, if using it, and skewer with a toothpick. Add to dressing. Keep at room temperature.

Just before serving, remove and discard garlic. Stir dressing with a fork, pour over lettuce, and toss.


(6 servings) 6 ounces (1 cup or 1 small bag) semisweet chocolate chips 1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate 1/4 cup milk 3 eggs

Put cholocate, orange concentrate and milk in top of double boiler. Cook over very hot, but not boiling water, stirring occasionally, until chocolate melts. Remove from heat.

Separate eggs. One at a time, beat yolks into chocolate mixture. Beat whites with an electric mixer in a small bowl until stiff but not dry. Stir about 1/3 of whites into chocolate mixture and fold in remainder. Spoon into cups. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.