Cooking and baking has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mom and her mom (my grandma) had me helping with holiday treats at a very young age, as they loved making things from scratch as well. I remember my grandma’s cookie jar always had fresh baked cookies to enjoy. Looking through my mom’s recipe cards brings back so many great memories, and I hope to have similar memories with my children.
Making things from scratch, or semi-homemade, teaches a lot of different skills to children as well. You need to read a recipe thoroughly and correctly or take the risk of your hard work not turning out. Measurements need to be pretty precise for baking, and knowing the difference between a teaspoon and tablespoon can make a big difference to your end result. And, of course, getting to spend time together laughing and working is the best part.
I bought my step-daughter a teenager cookbook with great recipes, and it teaches great skills, like proper cutting techniques. I love when she offers to make dinner and I’ll gladly purchase all the ingredients so I can sit back and watch as she figures it out with little assistance.
As soon as I knew my son could handle climbing up on chairs without falling off, I asked my dad to make me a “kitchen helper” that a friend of mine had. This allows Cameron to participate in the kitchen safely, and have fun with the family.
Below, I share some of our favorite recipes, and you will even catch the kids in some of the videos. (Note: Because these are recorded “live”, I try to incorporate something that goes along with the video that may be happening in Waukesha. Please disregard any untimely information).
Sour Grapes – If we show up to a gathering without these, people are upset. We have become known as the sour grape family in a good way. It’s a very easy, and mostly healthy treat.
Fruit Pizzas – This was the first treat I made with my step-daughters, back when I had just met them. They come together really easy, and it allows everyone the chance to customize them as they like.
Peanut Butter Balls – I can’t take credit for this recipe, but I am so glad for my husband’s families’ obsession with these during the holidays. I don’t think a holiday season will ever go by that we don’t make these a few times.
Monkey Bread – Another memory with my step-daughters. Though it doesn’t always turn out the best (silly mistakes that I take credit for), this is so delicious.
Cake Mix Cookies – Soft baked cookies that come together so quick and easy.
Cake Pops- My step-daughters have an unhealthy relationship with Starbucks, like all teenagers do. So we decided to make a copycat from the java king.
Shamrock Shakes – So easy and with simple swaps, can be made in a variety of flavors.
S’mores – It’s not summer in Wisconsin if you don’t have marshmallow stuck all over your hands or face at a bonfire. But we take it up a level and make other great treats by the fire.
Peanut Butter Dip -My husband is a March Madness fanatic. If I wanted to see him at all during a two week span in March, I needed to watch the games as well. And I have come to appreciate how hard those college athletes work. But of course, I can’t watch a sport without a great snack.
Not only does baking and cooking give you a happy belly, but it also gives you great memories with your kids. I can remember so many already with my family and I hope they are cherishing them as much as I am.
Hi! I’m Sarah, 38, and have lived in Waukesha for over 10 years. My husband has two tweenage daughters, Violet and Samantha, and they live with us half the time. We also have my son Cameron, just turned one, who is my whole world. We have a rescue pup, Letty, who is an Alabama Designer dog–an Australian Sheperd/Catahoula/who-knows-what-else mix. She keeps us on our toes, wanting food and attention all the time. Being a new mom to Cameron and an insta-mom to the girls brings joys and challenges, but I am soaking in every minute because kids are only kids for so long. I love Waukesha and have my own blog about my experiences in the area. When I’m not out and about in the city, I’m enjoying time with my friends grilling out, drinking wine, and playing games—Uno is one of our faves. Or I’m in my kitchen trying new recipes or recreating ones I have had at local restaurants to share on my Sundays with Sarah // FoodFunWaukesha Facebook // Instagram // Blog