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Kreative Kindergarten Kooks

June 04, 1997|BETH SHUSTER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ryan Cornateanu may not know the difference between a jalapen~o and a poblano pepper, but he knows how to make cupcakes.

All you need is one cup of garlic, five cups of flour, five pieces of chocolate, six cups of milk, one onion, two eggs, three potatoes and four tomatoes.

"Pour in all the stuff and it turns into cupcakes," Ryan says. "Bake it in the oven at 9 degrees for six hours or the morning--whichever comes first."

Then, as a gastronomic Nike ad might say: "Just eat it."

A new generation of culinarians has arrived.

OK, most of these chefs can't even reach the stove, and they're certainly not allowed to turn it on. But the kids in Sally Loevner's kindergarten class at the West Valley Jewish Community Center know what they like.

Danielle Grunfeld, for instance, gives this recipe for making tuna fish: mix three eggs, four pieces of garlic, six cans of tuna and five cups of water a lot. Bake it all in the oven at 30 degrees for six minutes. "Then you eat it." Yum.

As a gift for Mother's Day, Ryan, Danielle and their classmates described their favorite dishes to Loevner, who compiled the recipes in a cookbook only a parent could love. It's a project Loevner does every year, without the parents' help or knowledge.

This year, the 5- and 6-year-olds wrote recipes for a wide range of gastronomic delights. Ariela Cohen described cereal with melted chocolate; Danielle Yehuda likes hot dogs in soup (the soup base comes from four cups of catsup). Turkey bacon came from Jess Ross; crumpets, from Wolfie Shapiro; meatballs with red sauce, from Eden Salem; and rice, from Ricky Eini.

Then there's Daniel Pill-Kahan's "just plain turkey," which calls for five eggs, three "garlics" and three onions. "It bakes at 90 degrees for 10 hours," Daniel says, "but then don't forget to put it on top of the stove and let it cook some more."

Some recipes, of course, were duplicates. Everyone knows there are two ways to make chicken: one, as Alex Newhouse says, with a gallon of dough, and the other, as Yael Gilboa advises, baked at 3 degrees for an hour.

Macaroni and cheese also was a double favorite: Jesse Weiman likes it with a zip bag of macaroni and two squares of American cheese; Aviel Amitai likes it with two eggs and a bag of cheese.

And here's how Michael Unger's matzo ball soup is made: three cups of pepper, two cups of salt, four cups of water and four cups of cheese. Put everything in a pot and put it in the oven for one hour at 4 degrees. Open it for a minute and put more pepper and salt and cook for three more minutes. "That's it," he says.

And let's not forget an old favorite for any kid: spaghetti. David Gravich makes his with half a cup of "green stuff," half a cup of cheese, six bags of spaghetti and four drops of oil. Buon apetito.

Claire Healy's pasta, made with one bag of "straight spaghetti" takes "two things" of broccoli, seven olives, one big tomato--all placed in separate bowls. (No wonder I always have so many dishes to wash.) The lucky eaters get to pick whatever they want on top.

Mrs. Fields could learn a thing or two from the cookie recipes. The chocolate chips Laura Lindeen likes require 1/4 cup salt, along with flour, chocolate chips and sugar. And they take only 10 minutes when baked at 19 degrees.

If you have more time, you might prefer Rachel Newman's cookies with sprinkles: They take 30 hours at 30 degrees.

Morgan Currier's pancakes, however, require only about five minutes and call for just a half teaspoon of flour and 1/4 ounce of water. And Adie Meiri's French fries take just eight minutes when they're baked at 80 degrees.

A final word of warning, though: Kids, don't try this at home.

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They're All Over

The kindergartners at the West Valley Jewish Community Center aren't the only kids doing class cookbooks. Teachers all over Southern California find cookbooks are a great project for young children. "Recipes From Your Little Chef" was presented recently to the parents of the 3-year-olds at the Westchester Lutheran Pre-School. Among the recipes: chicken with pickles, casserole masghetti, and pasta and gravy, made with, as chef Karah put it, "a little gravy, a little sauce, a little pepper, a little tea, a little tiny bread, a little chip and a big strawberry on it."

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