Kids in the Kitchen: Grilled Citrus Teriyaki Shrimp Kabobs

Food 1658Before I start on talking about the kids or shrimp kabobs, I have to tell you…

I won an award! Kelly at Evil Shenanigans so graciously shared the Premio Meme Award with me! Thank you Kelly!


Along with this award, I am to tell you seven things about my personality, and then pass the award on to seven other bloggers. The seven things about my personality will be listed after the recipe. As for the seven winners of the Premio Meme Award, they are:

Amanda at Amanda’s Cookin’

Terry B at Blue Kitchen

Dan and Joy at Gourmeted

Cindy at Jacob’s Reward

Sharon at Jefferson’s Table

Ryan at Nose to Tail at Home

Peter at Kalofagas

Every one of these bloggers has an incredible blog that I really enjoy, all for very unique reasons.

And now, onto the other reason for this post…

 I am a bit of a control freak. I admit it. When we’re going somewhere, I have to drive. I prefer that I pay the bills. (Well, let me clarify. I would prefer that the bills did not exist at all, but if they must be paid, I would like to be in charge of ensuring that they are handled.) I love to have my hands in everything in the kitchen, making sure everything is “just right”. So when the kids come into the kitchen while I’m cooking, and proclaim “I want to help!”, there are times when I don’t allow them to help as much as I should. I get wrapped up in what I’m doing, and have this crazy feeling that if I don’t do it myself, some horrible thing will happen and the dish won’t turn out. Shame on me!

I came to this realization a few weeks ago. The kids are interested in what’s going on in the kitchen. They want to be involved. From a parenting perspective, I certainly need to teach them basic kitchen skills, so that one day they might be able to survive without regular trips to McDonald’s. But most of all, they might just share in my passion for cooking, if I’d only let them, and how wonderful would that be?

With this in mind, I told John that I had decided to start teaching the kids to cook. Of course, in order for me to commit myself to this task, I decided to designate the Saturdays that we have the kids as the “Kids in the Kitchen” days. Each one of them was to select the meal they wished to prepare for the family, and we would come up with the recipe, and I’d have the ingredients ready for us on Saturday. Yesterday was the first “Kids in the Kitchen” Saturday, and it was Brittany’s turn to cook. She chose Shrimp Kabobs.

This recipe, compared to a lot of others she could have chosen, was relatively simple to prepare, as there were relatively few ingredients, and a short marinade time. (I did “cheat” more than I usually would on a recipe, and used bottled teriyaki sauce, in order to simplify the dish.) It would actually be a great weeknight dinner, and a relatively healthy one at that. The citrus teriyaki marinade is a wonderful combination of sweet, salty, and spicy, which perfectly compliments the succulent shrimp without overwhelming them. Add the grilled factor, and you have a colorful, fresh, flavorful meal, excellent for spring or summer!

Brittany zesting an orange

Brittany zesting an orange

When asked, Brittany said that the hardest part of preparing the meal was cutting the onion and bell pepper. (We’re just beginning to learn knife skills.) She really enjoyed putting everything on skewers, however, and of course, loved eating it! This recipe would serve 6-8 people easily, unless you have teenage boys, and then, maybe 5 people. (Let’s just say our middle son, Brandan, enjoyed the dish a little too much.) We served the kabobs with steamed jasmine rice, and the simmered marinade as a sauce on the side. The best part, in my opinion, was that I actually really enjoyed teaching, rather than doing, with Brittany. We both had a lot of fun. I suppose I don’t have to be a control freak all of the time!


1 c Kikkoman’s Teriyaki Marinade

Juice from one orange

Zest from one orange

¼ t crushed red pepper

2 cans pineapple chunks, drained, ¼ c juice reserved

2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces


 Also needed: skewers


If skewers are wooden, soak in water for at least 30 minutes. This will help prevent the skewers from catching on fire.

 Mix Teriyaki sauce, orange juice, orange zest, reserved pineapple juice, and red pepper to create marinade. Place in large Ziploc bag, and add shrimp to marinade. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade. Place marinade in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer. Keep warm while you prepare the remainder of the dish.

 Thread shrimp, bell peppers, onions, and pineapple onto skewers.

Grill kabobs over medium heat, about 2-3 minutes each side, until shrimp turn pink.

 Serve simmered marinade as an accompaniment.


Okay, as I mentioned above, here are the seven things about my personality.

1. Not athletic. I try to be. (I play amatuer indoor soccer) I am just a bit envious of those that actually are. But this is something I have accepted, that I am a bit more of a klutz than an athlete, and so I enjoy myself.

2. Boring. I would prefer most times, to be at home with my family, in the kitchen cooking, reading (about food or cooking), and getting to bed at a reasonable hour. Not a party girl. See? Boring.

3. Analytical. Not all the time, of course, being in the kitchen allows me freedom to use my creativity. But during the day? I’m paid to be analytical. What’s bad about analytical? When I over-analyze…which I have been known to do.

4. Emotional. I have always been the one that is most likely to cry at a sad movie. I am quick to tears, even if they’re angry tears, sad tears, or happy tears. I used to dislike this attribute, but as I grow older, I realize I don’t mind showing my emotions so much. Of course, there’s always a time and place…

5. Talkative. My husband teases me sometimes about this one…that I have a comment about everything. Maybe that makes sense, as now I have a blog, where I can share what I want to say to all of you?

6. Easy-going. I know, that kind of conflicts with “control freak”. But I really don’t like drama, and I would much rather let the small stuff slide off of my back, rather than let it bother me.

7. Stubborn. If something does matter to me, I like to have it my way. Maybe that’s where the “control freak” part fits in.

Well, that’s it! Aren’t you excited?


  1. says

    It’s great to know you a little better. Gives blogs a little more personality, I think. =)

    It’s always great to see kids get interested in cooking. Nice job on the kabobs!!! I’d eat more than my fair share if i were there.

  2. says

    Alta, thanks for the shout out and it gave me a chance to see your food as well. I love the shrimp skewers and I’ll delve more into your blog. Drop by mine and say hi too!

  3. says

    Alta, thank you so much for the award! Very humbling to be recognized and to be in amazing company of food bloggers. :)

    I kept nodding my head while reading your post. We certainly almost have everything in common, except that I do sleep at questionable hours that even I’m ashamed to admit, too. I am quite a control freak in the kitchen. I like to keep the place clean while cooking/baking, and my fiance tends to be like the tornado in there when it’s his turn. Drives me insane! Haha.

  4. says

    I adore the concept of “Kids in the Kitchen” day! Looking forward to reading what they come up with next. 😉

  5. says

    I think that it is great that you are teaching your children to cook. So many of the “20 somethings” and “30 somethings” that I run into today cannot even boil water. And, I am a total control freak in the kitchen. It is my space and I start to itch when Mr. G. is in there trying to fix something.

  6. says

    I think that’s a great idea! My mom was like you… she would help us cook, but only with small jobs: mixing boxed cornbread mix, making cocktail sauce for shrimp, etc. I ended up learning to bake because it was the one domain in the kitchen she didn’t love. Now I love all aspects of cooking, but there’s still something about baking that reminds me of my first little cooking jobs at home.

  7. says

    You sound JUST LIKE ME, the need for control!! I could’ve written this entry myself! The shrimp looks wonderful! Great job, Brittany!


  1. […] The shrimp scampi recipe is based on a recipe from Cooking Light. Personally, I have prepared shrimp scampi sans recipe many, many times, but we opted to rely on this recipe as a guideline, for purposes of instruction and ease. My only modification was to add butter (which makes it less “light”, I realize that…) It turned out quite well, and was super-speedy to prepare. (Shrimp is a fast-cooking option for dinner, which happens to make it great for weeknights as well.) Even though we doubled the recipe, Brittany had minimal prep work to do, as the only knife work needed was chopping a bit of garlic and parsley. (I peeled and deveined the shrimp while she was attending a birthday party…is that cheating?) Within a matter of minutes, dinner was ready to eat. And eat we did! I found pretty sizeable shrimp on sale, so these babies were plump, buttery, with just the right amount of garlic and that little burst of lemon. One of my favorite ways to enjoy shrimp. Brittany and I agreed we even liked this dish better than kabobs. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *