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.
4:31 PM

YCA Franchise Owner Offers Advice on How to Better Utilize Kitchen Space

We’re all guilty of it – countertops and drawers get cluttered with small appliances, tools and gadgets that may or may not serve a specific purpose. Many home cooks eschew one-use tools (think garlic presses, meat claws and egg cubers) because of the space they take up – so this fall, why not take a closer look at your kitchen gadget drawer, and see where some cuts can be made?

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Some of our favorite ways to cut down on clutter:

• Invest in a quality chefs knife. Egg cutters, avocado slicers, scallion shredders and more can be tossed, recycled or donated – a sharp knife will make easy work of these kitchen tasks.

• Dig out the shredding disks on your food processor. Remember those metal plates that came in the food processor box? They’re probably in a cabinet somewhere, possibly still in their bags. Find them, give them a wash and put them to good use – you can shred, puree and thinly slice food with ease!

At Young Chefs Academy, we teach our students the value of organization – not only to save space, but also as a way to be aware of time and cleanliness while cooking.
What are your favorite ways to organize your kitchen? Share your photos with us on our Facebook page here!

This post was written by Julie Krumme, the owner of Young Chefs Academy of Lenexa, Kansas.

4:24 PM

Usher in the Flavors of Fall with This Tasty Recipe!

This fall, Young Chefs Academy is fully embracing the flavors of the season, utilizing the freshest ingredients to enhance the recipes we teach to our ambitious Young Chefs. This year, we’ve got pumpkin on our minds!

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One of our favorite recipes to make with our Young Chefs is Spiced Pumpkin Mini Tarts – not only is it a portable treat, but it’s a wonderful opportunity to work on pastry skills such as piping, blind-baking crusts and decoration. Check out the recipe below – and for an extra challenge, make your own pie crust! We like this recipe.

We’d love to see how your Spiced Pumpkin Mini Tarts turn out – post a picture and tag us on Instagram, or share it to our Facebook page! Happy baking!

11:32 AM

When You Join Young Chefs Academy, You’re Joining a Family

If you’re looking into franchising, chances are you’re comparing several different concepts to find the best fit. You’re probably looking for the perfect blend of franchisee support, great ROI and growth potential. With so many brands to decide from, why should you choose Young Chefs Academy?

Simple: with Young Chefs Academy, you’re never alone. You’re joining a network of like-minded entrepreneurs who are passionate about education, cooking and positively impacting their communities. Our robust, curated curriculum is taught in detail during training, which extends past the opening period into an ongoing internal education program to keep our franchisees on top of the latest, greatest trends in food and more.

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Our franchisees are individuals who are ardent believers positively impacting and changing the lives of children through the planned, written and targeted curriculum. We let you, the franchisee, focus on the children, and provide the operational, marketing and training support you need to be successful.

Through our wide range of expertise, there’s always someone on the Young Chefs Academy team to turn to for answers.

For more information on Young Chefs Academy and franchising opportunities, visit

10:00 AM

Young Chefs Academy Celebrates Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day with Charitable Bake Sale

Giving back is at the heart of the Young Chefs Academy model – it’s something that’s reflected in everything we do. Further to this point, Young Chefs Academy has partnered with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a nonprofit organization raising funds for research to develop new and improved treatments for pediatric cancer.

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Collaborating closely with the charity through the end of the summer and early fall, each Young Chefs Academy is hosting a bake sale to raise funds for the cause. Events will begin Sept. 13, in conjunction with National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day and National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and will run throughout the month. In addition to the donations collected at the events, Young Chefs Academy is raising funds online for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through customized websites for each of the Academy’s locations.

For the location closest to you, click here. See you there!

5:34 PM

Young Chefs Academy Joins Food Network Magazine for Back-To-School Open House Events

Something’s always cooking at Young Chefs Academy! As the school year kicks off, Young Chefs Academy locations nationwide are hosting Food Network Magazine Back-To-School open house events. These fun culinary events featuring back-to-school snack recipes, cooking demonstrations, prizes, samples and kitchen safety tips, all at interactive stations.

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Despite the devastating flood conditions, Young Chefs Academy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was able to bring a much-needed distraction to their community through their event where kids and families could take a break and enjoy the festivities. Young Chefs Academy in Seminole, Florida, combined their open house events with their grand opening, hosting over 400 members of the community, providing them with interactive, culinary fun. 

Stay connected with your local Young Chefs Academy here, and stay tuned for more fun, interactive culinary events!

8:00 AM

Young Chefs Academy of North Druid Hills, Ga. Explores Unique Ice Cream Flavors for Summer

Chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, coffee. . . there’s nothing wrong with the classic ice cream flavors, but with a Young Chef in the family, why not go one step further and create a totally different, delicious ice cream that utilizes the best ingredients of summer?

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There’s nothing like summer corn – sweet and versatile, it begs to be used in every meal from June through September. Ice cream is no exception – a sweet corn puree can be strained and added to the typical ice cream base. Try mixing in crushed pieces of caramel corn for a crunchy, seasonal treat!

Stone fruit is beautiful during the summer – why not add diced peaches or nectarines to a pistachio ice cream base? The nuttiness of pistachios is perfectly balanced by chunks of fresh, sweet fruit.

And don’t stop here! Let your imagination run wild – and don’t forget to show us your creations! Visit our Facebook page here and show us how you’re cooling off this summer.

This post was written by Lynlee Bradley, the owner of Young Chefs Academy of Druid Hills, Georgia.

8:00 AM

Young Chefs Academy Makes National Business Headlines

Young Chefs Academy’s proven franchise opportunity continues to attract the attention of the media across multiple platforms nationwide, showcasing increasing numbers of Young Chefs learning just how rewarding it is to be creatively fulfilled.

Recently, Young Chefs Academy Founder Julie Burleson was interviewed in Business News Daily, the highly read business-focused website that features the hottest entrepreneurial topics of the day. Julie was featured for her unique perspective on company unity.

“The key to harmony in our company is freedom. For example, many of our franchisees bring a wealth of creative ideas to their business,” said Julie in the article. “We advocate freedom for our franchisees to initiate special promotions that may be pertinent to only their community while also providing the structure through our operating systems for them to do so. We also have a tremendous corporate staff that provides ongoing guidance for our franchisees.”

Click here to read the full story on Business News Daily.

For more information on Young Chefs Academy and franchising opportunities, visit

8:00 AM

Young Chefs Academy Partners with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

Young Chefs Academy is taking philanthropy to heart an effort aimed at supporting children’s illnesses. During the month of September, Young Chefs Academy franchisees will be selling cookies at each location – the proceeds will go to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, an organization that provides annual research grants to five of the nation’s leading pediatric cancer centers to advance the development of less toxic, more effective treatments for children battling cancer.

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In addition to selling the cookies, many different franchisees will be participating in philanthropic activities to involve students and parents in the givebacks. We’re taking the organization’s motto, “Be a Good Cookie” to heart!

For more information on individual locations’ participation, click here. For more information on Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, click here.

2:00 PM

Hit the Road Energized with Healthy Snacks

Summer is the perfect time for a road trip – the kids are out of school, and the sun beckons us to the open road. While it can be tempting to stop along the way for burgers and fries, your health and budget will thank you for taking a little extra time to prepare healthy road trip snacks.

Try homemade granola bars - they’re totally customizable, clean and fun to eat, easy to accommodate if your kids have any allergies or aversions, and super quick to throw together before a trip.  Start with your grains – rolled oats, dry quinoa, puffed rice, flaxseed, millet, buckwheat and chia seeds are all good choices that are high in protein and filling – then toast them until aromatic and golden. Finely dice some dried fruit - kids love apricots, golden raisins, dried cranberries, dried mango and dehydrated strawberries. In a small pot, reduce apple or pomegranate juice to a syrup, mix with honey to thicken, plus a dash of vanilla and a pinch of sea salt and let cool. In a large bowl, stir together toasted grains, dried fruit and any other add-ins (chocolate chips, nuts, sunflower seeds or anything else you like) until fully combined. At this point, taste your mixture and adjust the seasoning. Using a large spatula, scrape the mixture into a parchment-lined pan and press down to flatten. Bake at 350F until set, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and chill – then cut into bars or squares.

8:00 AM

Cool Off with No-Heat Meals

In the heat of summer, the last thing anyone wants to do is turn on the stove. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an amazing, seasonal home-cooked meal – you can still eat well and stay cool!


One of my favorite ways to beat the heat is with Vietnamese-inspired spring rolls. Transparent rice wrappers are dipped in water to moisten, then filled with the vegetables and protein of your choice. For a no-heat option, try shredded purple cabbage, julienned carrots, fresh cilantro and mint leaves, small cubes of firm tofu and scallions. Make a quick dipping sauce of equal parts mirin, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar garnished with some sesame seeds, and you’ve got a delicious, healthy and effortless meal that your whole family will have a ball eating.

Your young chef can contribute by helping roll, or by practicing his or her knife skills preparing the fillings.  Here in Frisco, we’re always looking for meals that get the family involved and introduce unique flavors. We’d love to see your no-heat meals – visit our Facebook page here and show us your amazing creations!

This post was written by Nora Lerner, the owner of Young Chefs Academy of Frisco, Texas.

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