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What’s the next best thing to having dinner make itself? Enjoying the pride inside your kids when THEY prepare dinner for the family. Cherilyn Dahlsten has authored an amazing cookbook, Hey Mom, I’ll Start Dinner, that literally breaks cooking down into tiny increments for children of all skill levels.
Looking through the cookbook, your children will be drawn to the images of dinners they are able to achieve. Explicit instructions for preparation are given from what to do the night before to numbered instructions as they are working in the kitchen. You will be amazed with their thoroughness as they follow instructions to prepare AND clean up afterwards.
Before even choosing a recipe, author Cherilyn Dahlsten recommends having a “cooking weekend” with your children. We found that this was a valuable time to practice measuring and especially working on our stove and oven skills. It was time well spent preparing my 7 year old daughter with basic kitchen skills. Going through several recipes (including peanut butter cookies –yum!), we were able to handle and discuss everything from cooking tools and appliances, to the nitty-gritties of how to approach opening tricky packages. I highly recommend you take the time to invest in the “cooking weekend” before tackling the main recipes.
My daughter chose to first prepare “Sloppy Joes,” which is classified as a beginner recipe. As a mom, I loved how the first instructions she read aloud reminded her to wash her hands and go over all of the instructions before even touching the ingredients. Although she needed a little help with our gas stove, she took full ownership of the meal preparations from browning the meat and mixing in the ingredient to serving.
I valued the explicit numbered instructions in the book, including the direction to remind my daughter to “rinse the tomato sauce can and put it in the recycling…” which parallels our own personal values to clean-up AND recycle. Instructions like this are presented throughout the book, teaching that clean-up is a part of the meal preparation process, rather than a chore to do afterward.
My daughter’s first “real” meal was a huge success. Everyone in the family cleaned their plates and she basked in the positive comments given around the table.
The experience gave her such a spark of cooking enthusiasm, she later went on to make the Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Turkey and No Bake Cookies, both of which were greatly enjoyed!
I highly recommend this cookbook for children of all cooking levels as recipes are laid out for beginners, intermediates, and advanced skill levels. The cookbook not only provides an education in using the tools in the kitchen, but is an easy approach to learning what goes into making a meal from beginning to end. Not only that, but as a mom, it has taken dinner off my shoulders and put me in the assistant position.
Do your kids love owning their own cookbooks as much as my kids do? If you’d like a hard copy of the book, be sure to check it out on Amazon where I noticed it is presently marked on sale!
#1 – Enter a contest! Visit the web site Hey Mom, I’ll Start Dinner and enter to win a hardcopy of Hey Mom, I’ll Start Dinner, along with the chance to win a set of cooking supplies for your chef-in-training! While you are there, be sure to follow Hey Mom, I’ll Start Dinner on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. This contest runs until April 16th, so don’t delay!
#2 – Enter the Rafflecopter below! Author Cherilyn Dahlsten has generously offered a pdf copy of the book to the readers of each reviewer. This would make it easy to follow recipes on your Kindle, iPad, or other electronic device. Enter to win by following the Rafflecopter link below by the end of Sunday, April 20th. I will notify the winner no later than April 21st.
#3 – Click the linky to see what others had to say about Hey Mom, I’ll Start Dinner…AND be sure to enter to win their giveaways too!