My new meal-planner

For Christmas my sister gave a wonderful gift to my daughter. She made a little apron, and wrapped it up with a kid's cookbook. Ella loves it, and frequently browses her cookbook asking, "Can we make this? And this?" Or, "Mommy, when's it gonna be Valentine's Day so we can make these heart cakes?" We've made a few things, but generally when I'm planning meals I'm not thinking about making sure to stock ingredients for Ella's cookbook requests.

This past month I decided to be proactive. I told Ella she could choose one day a month to plan a meal for our family using recipes from her cookbook. I suggested that she choose the 5th of each month, to go with her age. She was oh-so excited about the prospect, and happily ran to get her cookbook to plan her meal right then and there.

She looked through the pictures in her cookbook and selected a main meal, and then promptly told me what else she'd like to go with her meal.

Here's what she wanted:

chicken wraps
jello (for dessert; she chose blue)

I made out the list and then when we went shopping I had her help me find the ingredients on the list that were for her meal.

Here's our little cook:

And this is what we ate:

Mmmm. It was very good! She sat through the entire meal positively *glowing* from everyone's compliments.


  1. Yum, it looks good. How great that you are helping her in this area. I wish I would have done more of this when I was younger.

  2. Wow! It looks great, my compliments to the chef! (Cheffette?) How exciting for both her and you. Peregrine has one cookbook (Salad People) that he loves. He looks through it and bookmarks all the recipes he wants to try. I need to consult him before shopping sometime because I often don't have all the ingredients on hand. I like your idea of letting them plan a whole meal.
    I don't think I've told you yet that your new blog design is beautiful, peaceful. Fitting.
    Bless you,

  3. It is wonderful to have daughters that want to learn to be keepers at home? We had friends over for lunch today, the girls wanted to make us dessert and I didn't really have anything in the house so I let them make buttercream frosting on graham crackers. It was a hit all the way around, and they beamed with delight.

  4. This is so cute! Your daughter is a great cook in training!

  5. Those chicken wraps ARE yummy! What a good mama, for this is a hard thing to do sometimes; open up our kitchen to a little chaos. But it looks like things stayed well under control, and I am inspired to do this with Corban - he's been begging to cook, and since Eliana is...well...16 months, perhaps we'll take a crack at it! :)

  6. If this dish is delicious as much as it looks then i would like to have at list one bite of it :)

  7. What a fantastic idea, Stacy! My little Snuggle Bug (2 years old) loves "helping" to cook. When he gets a bit older, I'll try this.

    That meal looks delicious!

    I see that Susie did your blog design. It's beautiful! She did mine too. :)

  8. What a wonderful gift idea, and I love the way you are letting your little Ella prepare for the family. She is such a sweetheart, and her meal looks delicious!

  9. Hey this cookbook might be great for me too! No really, this sounds like a great birthday present for my niece! What is the name of the cookbook?

    Inspired me too,

  10. So cute!

    And that new blog header is perfect! Cheery and lovely like you.

  11. OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHH, Ella....remember when I was at your house and you made those yummy graham cracker smore treats from the recipe in your cookbook?? Those were so yummy! What a great cook. I can't wait to show this to Erica, she will be so proud of you....she is definitely our little meal planner, too! Great job, Ella!!!


  12. Stacy,
    I don't know how many times I have said I will do this and haven't! (It's on my 101 in 1001 list!) Using the child's age is a great idea! All three of my kids want to do this. They're always cooking with me, but they never get to choose... I think you've given me the KITP (kick in the pants) I need to get started. THanks!

  13. Thanks for stopping by my blog from Elise's! I am sure enjoying reading other book ideas for Children's Book Monday! How fun for your daughter to cook once a month! I should try more with my 6 year old. She loves it when I give her cooking opportunities.

  14. In response to Letisha's question, the cookbook we received is called Pillsbury Kids Cookbook. :)



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