It isn’t easy to learn how to cook, but everyone can do it! I didn’t learn to cook until I was well into my 20's. Sure, I could boil water or preheat an oven for frozen pizza as well as anyone, but real cooking was a foreign and terrifying experience to me. I didn’t know what a roux was or what it meant to cut butter into flour, and I didn’t use spices at all. Not even salt. Worst of all, I had no confidence. I didn’t know what I was doing in the kitchen, and so thought that I couldn't do anything. Nothing could be further from the truth.
If I could learn to cook, just about anybody could learn! Don't give up and keep experimenting until you're satisfied with your skills!
I don’t know why I never remember how to boil eggs. It’s some sort of mental block. I always look it up, and everytime I find so many different methods that I never know which to follow. I’ve finally decided to add a preferred method to my recipe binder and be done with it. (Why didn’t I think of that sooner?) Through my experimentation, I’ve found two methods that work for me.
Method #1: Bring to Boil and Let Sit
For this method, I put my eggs with enough cold water to cover them into a saucepan and bring to a boil. I let them boil for about a minute, turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes. Then I drain off the water and recover them with cold water. I might do this a couple of times, I might not. I’ve never known it to make much of a difference to the finished product. It depends on when I want to use them. I rarely boil eggs in a hurry, so this method is perfect for me.
Method #2: Bake them!
For this method, I preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I put one egg into each of the muffin cups of a muffin tin. Then I bake them for 30 minutes. Once done, I cool them in cold water just like the previous method. This is a super simple method. The only issue is that a small brown burn mark appears on the eggs, and this spot has a strange texture. You can slice it off, but this is annoying when making deviled eggs. (If anyone knows how to avoid the burn mark let me know in the comments!)
I ALWAYS make extra hard boiled eggs. Everyone in my house enjoys them plain, as deviled eggs, in a tossed salad, or in egg salad sandwiches. I have no problem using them up!
I can’t claim to be an expert on cooking with small children as I just started with Drake. In fact, I don’t think you’ll ever hear me say I’m an expert on anything. It’s not my way. Even though Drake is only beginning in the kitchen, I have learned so much! I love having him help me! So far we made pancakes twice, pizza crescent rolls, and he has chopped a banana. He’s even cracked an egg on his own! (And I fished the shell out after.)
There are many reasons I decided to cook with Drake, but the main one is that I wanted to give him an opportunity to complete a project and feel proud of his hard work. I love seeing him confident and proud.
Some Tips (especially if your tot is as wiggly as mine!)
Stay safe. I won’t give too much guidance here because only you know what your child is capable of doing safely. For Drake, I save cooking on the stovetop and sharp knives for me. I let him chop with a butter knife though.
Prepare your space, ingredients, and tools ahead of time. Just take everything you need out. You don’t want to be distracting looking for a measuring cup when there’s a big bowl of flour sitting in front of your curious toddler. Clear a large space for them to make a mess in.
Speaking of messes… It is messy! The more you let your little one do, the messier it becomes. I usually have a lot of clean up! I’m hoping to include Drake more in the cleaning soon though.
Expect the unexpected. Drake has always had an independent streak. He doesn’t quietly wait for my next instruction. He takes the lead, dumping in the milk I just poured or grabbing the whisk and mixing a bowl that is not ready for mixing. He plows forward confidently and sometimes erroneously.
Avoid negative comments. They’re learning and experimenting. If they spill half a cup of sugar on the floor… well that isn’t great, but it isn’t the end of the world. For myself at least, it is more important to cultivate his joy of cooking before we worry about anything else.
Why I love Cooking with Drake
Drake loves being in the kitchen with me! And it gives us a special time to bond. We finally have a shared interest! (Sorry Drake, I don’t love Thomas the Train the way you do.)
Drake is gaining basic cooking skills, and he is learning to enjoy the work. I didn’t learn to cook until I was well into my 20’s, and I wish I had more experience.
Drake is getting practice completing a project that takes multiple steps and requires that he follow directions. These are areas we need to work on with Drake.
Beware, there is one drawback. Now he wants to help cook ALL THE TIME, and it’s not practical. Sometimes there isn’t much for him to do, and sometimes the kitchen is not kid ready. (Our kitchen is small so I tend to keep the kids out.) I love, love, love that he wants to help and enjoys it, but sometimes I just have to get dinner on the table!
All in all, Drake and I are having a ton of fun cooking together, and I’m so happy I gathered enough courage to try it with him.
I first came across frozen watermelon on Pinterest, and I immediately wanted to try it with my boys.
As an adult, the frozen watermelon is okay, not my favorite, but not bad. It loses the crunchy, juicy texture I love in fresh watermelon. But, the kids LOVE it. They love watermelon in general and the frozen kind is no different. We took some on our trip the beach, and it made for the perfect snack. You can even rinse sand off of it easily!
It is healthy and easy
It cools the kids down
It stays frozen in the cooler
It acts like an ice pack.
It isn’t as messy as a popsicle
It is an easy way to store watermelon after it has been cut
It’s not really difficult to do, but Cookthestory.com has detailed instructions if you need them and lots of beautiful pictures.
Welcome to the family!
We are a laid back, fun, family of four living on a dime in 900 square feet. Life might not be perfect, but every moment of every day, it is beautiful.