Family Cooking Fun with MESA Kids Cooking School

MESA Kids Cooking School in New Albany is an extension of the city’s popular MESA, A Collaborative Kitchen. While MESA, A Collaborative Kitchen focuses on fun for adults with themed, interactive tasting events, dinners and cooking classes, MESA Kids teaches children valuable techniques to make cooking at home a fun and enjoyable experience with their families. Here, MESA Kids’ Culinary Director Liz Martino, whom you may recognize from Adrienne & Co. Bakery Café, and her all-star chef instructor team provide a delicious recipe for kids to try at home with their families. They’ve also included some useful tips for young chefs and parents looking to prepare more meals at home together. Bon Appetit!

Lemon Blueberry Quick Bread with Simple Lemon Glaze

Yield: 3 to 4 mini loaves

(2 large loaves)


1½ cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1½ sticks unsalted butter

1¼ cup sugar

2 whole eggs, 1 egg yolk

2 lemons, zested and juiced

¼ cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ cups fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Simple Lemon Glaze

2 cups confectioners sugar (powdered)

1 lemon

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a bowl; set aside.

Add butter, sugar and sour cream to a large mixing bowl, and beat on medium with a hand or stand mixer until creamy and fluffy.

Crack the eggs and separate yolk into a small bowl. Be careful not to get any shells into the eggs. Add the eggs to the creamed sugar mixture and beat until incorporated.

In another small bowl, zest lemons and juice over a sifter. Be careful not to get any seeds into the liquid.

Add lemon juice, zest and vanilla to creamed mixture and mix until incorporated. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure that all the creamed sugar is mixed well with flavorings and zest.

Add sifted flour mixture to wet ingredients and beat on low until well combined (no lumps).

Separately, measure the blueberries and wash them in the sink. Pat them dry with a clean towel to remove excess water. Feel free to use as many of these juicy berries as you’d like!

Dredge blueberries in cornstarch until coated. (This step helps keep blueberries from sinking to the bottom of your bread, but you may eliminate the cornstarch if desired). Fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula.

Spray three to four mini or two large loaf pans with non-stick pan spray. Using a measuring cup or a steady eye, scoop even amounts of batter into the pans.

Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes for mini loaves and approximately 35 minutes for large loaves until golden on top and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

For glaze, add confectioners sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla into a bowl and whisk until all the confectioners sugar is dissolved. Drizzle over freshly baked lemon blueberry bread, slice and enjoy.

Tips for Cooking with the Family

Have fun! Cooking at home should be a joyful experience, so don’t take it so seriously. At MESA Kids, we call most mistakes “happy accidents.” You never know what new favorite you may create experimenting with a recipe, so don’t be afraid to try something different or new. And, if you make a mess, it’s OK! As you find your rhythm together in the kitchen, you will find ways to streamline your prep and clean up.

Go grocery shopping together…yes, it can be faster to go alone, Moms and Dads; however, you are probably missing out on valuable teaching opportunities that tackle real life obstacles your children will face as they enter into adulthood – lessons such as budgeting, price and quality comparisons, time management and healthy eating habits. Walk through the produce, dairy, bakery, butcher departments, etc. and look for ingredients you haven’t cooked with yet. Make it a challenge and try something new. You may be surprised!

Find kid-friendly tools and recipes to encourage your children to learn new skills in the kitchen. We love brands like Curious Chef and other kid-friendly companies. They are inexpensive, effective and can be purchased at MESA, A Collaborative Kitchen, online and at MESA Kids Cooking School soon.

Choose recipes and menus that can be completed in your preferred time frame. Again, cooking should be enjoyable! Rushing around, especially when trying a new recipe, can be hectic, confusing and a sure fire way to make crucial mistakes.


Weekly classes and workshops are available for kids ages five to 15-years-old (some workshops welcome children of all ages). You can view the MESA Kids class schedule online and register at mesakidscookingschool.com.

MESA Kids accommodates and celebrates children with special needs and partners with various local organizations to offer classes and workshops specialized to meet a variety of needs for all children.


MESA Kids partners with Blessings in a Backpack and the Kids Cancer Coalition to host quarterly scratch-made dinners to raise funds and awareness for these organizations. Students also give back by participating in backpack stuffing (for Blessings fundraisers) and hosting a night with pediatric cancer patients making fun recipes while the recipients’ parents enjoy a night at MESA, A Collaborative Kitchen. MESA Kids also donates a portion of all monthly class fees to Blessings in a Backpack.


MESA Kids’ staff is culturally and industrially diverse, ranging from health food instructors, experienced chefs and pastry chefs, small business owners and culinary school instructors, including many international chefs. The school values and encourages healthy eating and cooking techniques, proper kitchen skills, an in-depth knowledge of kitchen safety and sanitation and, of course, creativity in the kitchen. In the kitchen lab, MESA Kids goes beyond teaching students how to cook tasty recipes. Students also learn to solve math problems, use new vocabulary and learn about culinary history. VT


154 E. Main St., New Albany




Cooking Classes
(Four-class series Monday and Tuesday evenings)

Pumpkin Ravioli (pasta art with striped pasta recipe) with Sage and Brown Butter

Butternut Squash Soup and Bread Bowls

Chicken and Dumplings

Halloween Pumpkin Cinnamon Donuts

Baking Classes
(Four-class series Thursday and Friday evenings)

Chocolate Manicotti with Raspberry Sauce

Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Chocolate Crust and Salted Caramel Sauce

Apple Crisp Dessert Bars

Halloween Pumpkin Cinnamon Donuts

Workshops (Saturdays)

Daddy and Me – Healthy Snacks – Granola Bars

Candy Corn Cupcakes

3D Pumpkin Rice Crispy Treats

Spider Pizza Party

Harvest Popcorn Extravaganza for Harvest Homecoming Weekend Oct. 13-14 (this is an open house workshop)

Breakfast Fun (two Saturday series)