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.
8:00 AM

Have a Big Game Blast with Burger Bombs!

It’s time to huddle up and strategize on the menu for game day.

Hand-held is the name of the game when it comes to game-day eats. Using critical kitchen skills like dough shaping and kneading, and combining it with the beloved flavors of perhaps the most classic sporting event food – hamburgers? Pure genius. These burger-inspired bites will have you satisfied and begging for more in no time!

This recipe was also featured during our recent Food Network Magazine open house events – see below!

Next week we’re tossing over our Stadium Slaw recipe for a surefire touchdown!

YCA2015-Burger Bombs Countercard V2 copy

YCA Pizza Dough
• Cooked frozen hamburgers
• 18 oz. block of Cheddar cheese Ketchup
• Mustard
• Mini dill pickles
• Olive oil
• Garlic salt 

• Pizza cutter or knife Grater
• Pastry brush

1) Knead dough for 2-3 minutes.
2) Flatten out with hands like pizza.
3) Chop beef and pickle.
4) Grate cheese.
5) Place beef in the middle of the dough and top with cheese, ketchup, mustard and pickles as desired. Wrap dough around beef and toppings and place seam side down on prepared baking sheet.
6) Brush top of each “bomb” with olive oil and garlic salt. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes, or until dough is golden brown and cooked through.
7) Serve with extra ketchup and mustard for dipping.


1:43 PM

Frugal Feasting for the New Year

As we set our resolutions for the New Year, we at Young Chefs Academy have renewed our focus to bringing the best quality culinary education for kids out there – beginning with our newest curriculum! Our theme for January is “Frugal Feasting” – cooking an exceptionally delicious meal on a budget. Using everyday ingredients to make something extraordinary, a fun and satisfying meal is just a few steps away.

Our class series this month kicked-off with a simple yet delectable weeknight meal, which will culminate into an over-the-top, blow-the-budget celebration dinner. Join us as we bring the title “Frugal Foodie” to life!

Week 1: Weeknight Meal Makeover
Dull, uninspired and rushed. Does that describe your usual weeknight meal? Well, let’s change it up! We’re pulling off a “coup d’kitchen” – a fantastic, frugal feast – right in the middle of the week! Savory and sweet, these incredible dishes will warm your heart and tummy without making a dent in your wallet!

Week 2: It’s a Wonderful Weekend
When the workweek ends, the leisurely pace and indulgence of the weekend often means dining out. But our newly discovered fiscal conservatism means one thing – a home-cooked dinner so mouthwateringly delicious, it rivals any restaurant fare. Let the tantalizing aroma of roasting tomatoes, herbs and spices draw you into a magnificent Italian feast so authentic, you’ll feel as if you’ve just hopped on a plane to Rome! Buon appetito!

Week 3: Gifts from the Heart…. And the Kitchen!
A heartfelt gift can mean so many things, but the essential ingredients are planning and thoughtfulness for the ones you love. Show your family and friends an unforgettable celebration dinner for a birthday, anniversary or other milestone. We’ve loosened the purse strings a bit for an elaborate dinner – complete with cupcakes!

Week 4: Let’s Party!
Have you ever dreamed of throwing a gourmet gala so over-the-top it makes your head spin? Your dreams have come true! Rich and delicious can only begin to describe what we have in store. Be prepared to be impressed as we throw caution – and our budget! – to the wind preparing this over-the-top feast. Young Chefs Academy is your culinary celebration destination!

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

2:58 PM

Get Your Fill on Game Day

This week’s Big Game recipe, the Pro Bowl Kielbasa, will fill even the hungriest stomach on game day.

Kielbasa, otherwise known as polish sausage, is a popular dish in the North and Midwest, especially on game day. With a combination of pineapple juice and brown sugar, this recipe is a fun and easy recipe for kids to provide hearty nourishment to big fans. Our recipe focuses on the cooking techniques of slicing, simmering and boiling, while constantly ensuring kitchen safety standards are upheld.

Next week, we’re rolling out the recipe for Burger Bombs, another Game Day favorite.

Pro Bowl Kielbasa Image

• 4-8 servings

• 3 lbs. pre-cooked kielbasa sausage or turkey sausage
• 2 cans of chunk pineapple, with its own juice
• 1⁄4 cup brown sugar

• Measuring cups
• Large pot
• Pastry bench or plastic knife

1) Cut kielbasa into 1⁄2 inch slices (like a thick quarter).
2) Place in a pot with the pineapple, its juice, and the brown sugar.
3) Stir and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil.
4) Once it is bubbling, take it off the heat and serve. (It is even better if it is left in the refrigerator overnight and eaten the next day!)
5) This makes enough to feed 4 hungry people OR 6-8 people as a supplement to hamburgers and hot dogs.

This is a football favorite up north – ENJOY!

2:52 PM

Fun Family Recipes for the Big Game: Mini Muffuletta Sandwiches

In preparation for the Big Game, Young Chefs Academy is rolling out game day recipes for the whole family to enjoy. These kid-friendly recipes focus on specific skills and are safe for children to prepare with parental supervision.

Our first recipe is Mini Muffuletta Sandwiches, a scrumptious combination of meat, cheese, mayo and more. This satisfying snack began in New Orleans in 1906 from Sicilian-born immigrant Salvatore Lupo. He noticed local farmers eating each ingredient separately and, like a true entrepreneur, improved the experience by selling them together as a sandwich.

Please see the recipe below and stay tuned for next week’s recipe, the Pro Bowl Kielbasa.

Muffuletta Image

• 12 small servings


Olive Salad
• 1 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
• 1 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
• 1 Tbsp. capers
• 1/3 cup roasted red bell pepper, finely diced
• 1/4 cup celery, finely diced
• 2 Tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
• 2 tsp. garlic, finely minced
• 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
• 2 Tbsp. olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste

• 12 small dinner rolls, cut in half
• 1-2 tsp. olive oil
• 1/4 lb Genoa salami*, sliced
• 1/4 lb capicola ham*, sliced
• 1/4 lb mortadella, sliced
• 1/8 lb Mozzarella, sliced
• 1/8 lb Provolone, sliced

• Measuring cups and spoons
• Knife
• Bowl
• Spoon
• Pastry brush
• Plastic wrap
• Serrated knife

1) Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 1 week to let the flavors intensify.
2) Spoon olive salad on one side (You may wish to hollow out some of the bread to make room for the salad), gently pressing into bread. Brush the other side of the bread lightly with olive oil.
3) Layer olive-salad side of the bread with overlapping slices of salami, ham, mortadella, mozzarella, and provolone. Top with the oil-coated side, gently press down, wrap in plastic wrap and let stand for 20-30 minutes.
4) Unwrap and serve immediately, or chill until ready to use.

*While Genoa salami, capicola ham and mortadella are preferred authentic ingredients, any type of salami and ham will do; mortadella is similar to bologna*


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