Thyme for Kids - a family, food, and franchising blog
Thyme for Kids - a family, food, and franchising blog
Into food, family, or franchising? You're in the right place. The recipe for blogging here at YCA is to keep it simple, entertaining, educational, and to the point. We take one simple concept and give you our unique perspective.
From our franchisees, our students, or our corporate staff - if you hear it here, you know it's all us, all original and all fresh. We might tell you the story of a bright young chef who taught his instructor a few things, then next maybe the latest culinary trend (beef tongue sliders?). There is nothing ordinary about any of our franchises, and we delight in sharing the extraordinary "scoop"! Enjoy, comment, and please share.
9:43 AM

Get Cooking for the Holidays with Kids

As the holidays approach, some of our favorite flavors are on the tips of everyone’s tongues – peppermint, chocolate, pumpkin, chestnut and gingerbread. Between family get-togethers, school parties and extracurricular activities, there’s often a lot of cooking involved, too – perfect for sharing family favorites and trying out new recipes to add to the holiday repertoire!

There’s no better time to get the kids involved in cooking than around the holidays. This could be a wonderful opportunity to teach your children how to make a traditional family favorite that they, in turn, will pass on to their families in the future. With a patient hand and a watchful eye, you could be raising up a Young Chef in no time!

Holiday Collage-Small_copy1

Here are some compelling reasons to get the kids involved in cooking this holiday season:

•Children are more willing to try nutritious and healthy food if they help prepare it themselves – with the rising rate of childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes, this emphasis on self-taught nutrition is more important than ever.

•Kids who don’t know how to cook often rely on packaged foods of questionable nutritional value for snacks and meals. One survey showed that 87 percent of 4th through 8th grade students cook or make some of their own meals – wouldn’t it be great if the food they were preparing was healthful instead of microwaved or filled with sodium, corn syrup and food dyes?

At Young Chefs Academy, the culinary education teaches more than simply cooking skills. Kids learn organization, self-reliance, motivation, teamwork and sanitation in an environment that fosters creativity, curiosity and lifelong learning.

For more information on the Young Chefs Academy franchise opportunity, educating tomorrow’s community leaders in the culinary arts, please visit

9:20 AM

Thanksgiving Baking with Kids: Pumpkin Mini Tarts

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we can’t stop thinking about the big feast…and we know that our Young Chefs are excited to show off their culinary skills to friends and family!

If you’re looking for a delicious, easily portable dessert to make or share, try these Spiced Pumpkin Mini-Tarts - they’re sure to get anyone in the holiday spirit!

This recipe uses a refrigerated pie crust, but some of our ambitious Young Chefs like to make their own homemade crusts. Check out the recipe below, and share your photos with us on Facebook and Twitter


• 24 tarts

• 1 pkg. (15 oz.) refrigerated pie crusts
• 1 can (15 oz.) solid pack pumpkin
• 2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
• 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
• 1 pkg. (3.4 oz. ) cheesecake instant pudding and pie filling
• 1⁄4 cup confectioner’s sugar
• 1⁄4 cup chopped pecans
• 1 small orange, zested

• Measuring cups and spoons
• Mini-muffin tins
• Round cookie cutter-31⁄2 in.
• Large bowl
• Whisk
• Hand sieve
• Pastry bag or zipper baggie

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Roll the pie crust into a 12-inch circle. Using a 31⁄2 inch cookie cutter, round or scalloped, cut out 12 pastry pieces. Do this with the second crust.
3) Press one pastry piece into each cup of a mini-muffin pan. With a fork, pierce the bottom of each pastry. You should have 24 tart shells.
4) Bake the pastries for 14-18 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes. Remove tart shells from pan to a cooling rack and cool completely.
5) To prepare the filling: Combine the pumpkin, whipped topping, and spice in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add the dry pudding; whisk until smooth and thickened. Refrigerate until ready to use.
6) Lightly sprinkle tart shells with powdered sugar. Pipe the pumpkin mixture into shells with the star tip of a pastry bag, or you can use a zipper baggie as a pastry bag.
7) Sprinkle with pecans and top with a little bit of orange zest.

10:48 AM

Celebrate National Apple Cider Day with Us!

Hot, delicious apple cider is a fall/winter favorite around the world. Try our tasty Young Chefs Academy Caramel Apple Cider recipe at home to celebrate National Apple Cider Day on November 18!

Apple Cider_copy

• 4 servings

• 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
• 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
• 3 cups apple cider
• 1⁄2 cup water
• Caramel Whipped Cream: 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
• 1 Tbsp. brown sugar


• Measuring cups and spoons Medium saucepan
• Chilled bowl
• Electric mixer or whisk
1) Bring the cream and brown sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cider and the water and raise the heat to medium high, heating just until the cider begins to steam, about 4 minutes.
2) Caramel Whipped Cream: In a small chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream with the brown sugar until soft peaks form.

To Serve
Divide cider among 4 mugs, top each one with 2 tablespoons of caramel whipped cream and serve immediately.

8:39 AM

Young Chefs Academy Reflects on MasterChef Junior as Season Four Premiers Tonight

One of our favorite shows on TV is MasterChef Junior - not only is it inspiring and fun, but we’re often able to spot some familiar faces on the show as we’ve had two Young Chefs Academy students as contestants!

Josh from New York City competed in season two and Riley from Carrollton, Texas was a contestant during season three. Young Chefs Academy isn’t just a cooking school - we’re providing fantastic opportunities for talented youngsters like Josh and Riley to compete at a national level alongside other world-class kid cooks. We couldn’t be prouder of Josh and Riley, and we absolutely love to see their passion for cooking continue to come to life in our kitchens and beyond.


Pictured above: YCA student Kaitlyn Nidhan who appeared on ABC’s “The Chew” (middle); Josh from season two of MasterChef Junior (right).


Pictured above: Riley from season three of MasterChef Junior (left).

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