Tag Archives: cooking

10 Easy Meals Your Daughter Can Cook

My kids are growing up. It’s such a bittersweet realization. Bunny and Fuzz have really shot up and changed their looks in recent years.

I sometimes struggle with an awkward mix of pride and tears when I look at them, a feeling of maternal pride and thankfulness for the sweet young ladies that I see developing and at the same time, a welling up of a mother’s tears that her babies—her first ones—are no more.

I’m definitely getting the hang of smiling and crying simultaneously. It can be done.

Hubs and I are wanting to do our utmost to raise mature and responsible young people. Young adults who are hard workers, honest, intelligent, prepared, and above all else, love God with all of their heart.

All of these are vital, but did you happen to see that one little word up there? The “p” word? Yes, prepared.

We are working on preparing them with not only the skills that are necessary to succeed in life, but also with the tasks that are fundamental to life itself. The bare bones of living.

In the instance of today’s post, it’s called eating.

Both of our older girls are now getting quite the list of things that they can make on their own. They love cooking and baking in the kitchen, and I have enjoyed working with them as they mastered each culinary skill (cracking eggs isn’t as easy as it may look). Many, sweet memories have been made at our kitchen counter and it certainly makes this mama heart smile as they dish up their “own” creations at dinner time. And to be bluntly honest, I’m also enjoying the occasional evening off.

10 Easy Meals Your Daughter Can Cook

Here’s a list of meals that your daughters (and sons!) should be able to cook. This list is made up of meals that are free of knives and boiling water. Sure, my girls are learning these skills and are certainly capable of making some of them, such as spaghetti. However, the following meals are ones that I don’t need to worry about being on hand constantly and am free to come and go from the kitchen during the process. The girls can make these meals completely on their own from start to finish.

Note: These are simply an assortment of simple meal ideas that would be great for little beginners in your kitchen. I have included the basic steps for each meal to demonstrate the simplicity of the meals, please keep in mind that this is not a list of recipes. I may eventually do a post on each of these meals some day. For now, this is a post to help inspire you as a parent to begin preparing your older children for the road ahead. I hope that it will inspire you to either create your own list of simple favorite meals to pass to the next generation or even to build off  of my own. Enjoy.


1. Scrambled Eggs and Bacon

Cracking eggs. From the time that they were just little tots standing on a kitchen chair by my side, my kids have always been fascinated by the cracking of eggs. Well, they have since found out that it is not as easy as it looks. Once this skill is mastered, scrambled eggs is a breeze. Fuzz, my eight year old, can make them just as good as I can. We bake our bacon on parchment paper in the oven. (and it typically doesn’t require flipping over.) If you wish, you could have them call for you to remove the bacon from the oven for them. (if you are worried about grease) The bacon takes longer than the eggs, so this is a perfect dinner to begin teaching them about timing your dishes so that the entire meal is hot and finished at the same time.

2. Pancakes

Pancakes require very few ingredients and are easy to make in a pinch. All of my kids love them, so we have them for dinner occasionally (we try to make enough for leftovers for breakfast the next morning too). Flipping the pancakes can be challenging at first, but they will get the hang of it quickly.

3. Baked Potatoes

These are so easy and filling. Simply scrub, pierce with a fork, rub with some sea salt, wrap in foil and bake. Even though I may sometimes remove the potatoes with a potholder, an oven mitt is easier—especially for them. This is great meal to have them prepare with any leftover bacon from breakfast or or to even top with crockpot chili. Or if you’d prefer, steamed broccoli is delicious as a side to complete this as a meatless meal.


4. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

A little butter and organic cheese taste wonderful on toasted whole wheat bread. The hardest part, like the pancakes, will be the flipping of the sandwich for them, but as my girls have learned, practice does help. As far as the tomato soup goes, simply dump in pot and heat only until warm. (No danger with handling boiling liquids here.)

5. Crockpot Chili

Chili in the crockpot is a no brainer and such an easy meal for beginners. We use ground venison in the place of ground beef for our recipes. These are frozen into one pound packs which makes it easy for my girls to know how much meat they need. They simply drop the meat into the crockpot to brown for an hour or two and then mash the cooked ground meat to break and crumble it up. Then it’s just a matter of adding the remaining chili ingredients, stirring and letting the crockpot do it’s magic.

teaching young girls to cook

6. Meatloaf

Have them set out the meat to fully thaw (or if you are in a pinch, the microwave does work…we refrain from using it if we can). Combine all ingredients for your favorite meatloaf recipe and have them mix well. If you don’t mind, have them wash and rinse their hands thoroughly and mix the meatloaf mixture with their hands before shaping into a loaf or miniloaves. (Obviously teach them to wash their hands thoroughly AFTER this technique as well BEFORE touching anything). Bake as instructed.

7. Tacos

Simply brown ground beef in pan (venison doesn’t need draining as it is very lean…so no grease worries) and 1/8 cup of our homemade taco seasoning with some water. Turn heat to low while they bake the shells for a few minutes in the oven and set out desired toppings. Tomatoes can be avoided if you have a “no knife” rule for right now and lettuce can be washed and torn or both veggies can be left off of the menu. Simple, easy and safe is the motto for new cooks.

8. Pepperoni Rolls

This is not the healthiest meal on the planet, but it does taste great. Set out a one pound loaf of frozen bread dough. As your dough is thawing, the butter and seasoning mixture can be prepared. Roll out the dough and brush with butter. Spread with pepperoni slices and sprinkle with cheese. Roll as a jelly roll. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Brush top with a bit more butter and bake. This is so quick and easy (and it freezes beautifully).

9. Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Chicken

Wow. This is certainly a family favorite. Wrap chicken with bacon and bake. When both the bacon and chicken are nearly done (show them how to check to see if meat is done), top with BBQ sauce and even a bit of shredded cheese if you’d like. Bake just a few minutes more.

This is my all time favorite BBQ recipe.

10. Beans and Cornbread

Does this ever bring back memories of my childhood! We would occasionally feast on beans and cornbread doused with a generous squirt of ketchup. Believe it or not, I actually looked forward to my slice of sweet cornbread with a heaping spoon of pinto beans poured over it. While my mom typically prepped from dried beans, warming up canned lentils of your choice may be easier or perhaps grabbing a bag of precooked beans from the freezer would be a can free (and boil free) option for your young cooks. Quickly mix up a ban of cornbread and bake at the same time that the beans are heating and you are all set. This is another meatless, yet nutritious option to incorporate into your menu rotation.


There you have it. A simple list of 10 easy meals your daughter can cook.

And if all else fails and Mom needs a helping hand or is sick, PB & J sandwiches or cold cereal works well in a pinch. Both of these quick meals tend to be HUGE hits around our house, at least where the kids are concerned.

10 Easy Meals Your Daughter Can Cook

Raising older children? Are you doing anything to help prepare them for the future? It’s not always something that we like to think about. Young adulthood comes before we know it.



A Decent Sort of Fellow

I’ve told you before that I absolutely love potatoes and so does my man.

That makes us a good match, right? Fellow starch fans.

Russet potatoes are my absolute favorite, but I don’t mind the others. Truly I don’t. Gold, red, and white are really just as delicious.

Yes, the early 1870s was a good time in American history. Not only was the devastating Civil War over, but the russet potato was developed in Massachusetts. It would become the leading potato crop for the United States, P.E.I. and New Brunswick, Canada. It would also be a tremendous economical discovery for both countries.

I, for one, am thankful for its discovery. =)

baked potato soup

A couple weeks ago, I was given several enormous baked potatoes that were left over from our ladies Bible study. This was under the assumption that I had a good use for three and a half leftover potatoes. Did I ever! I had tried the most delicious recipe a few weeks before that required baked potatoes. Possessing those foil clad delicacies made my heart extremely happy. I may have gone humming and skipping out the door.

Upon arriving home, I made the mistake of telling Hubs that I had them and nearly lost one to his potato loving appetite. Shameful, I know. I withheld food, potatoes no less, from a hungry man. I am despicable.

He forgave me a few days later.

I made a huge pot of this wonderful, starchy goodness: Baked Potato Soup.

baked potato soup

Perhaps you’ve already made this recipe, or one similar, before, but I had not.

I was in love.

It was creamy, bursting with flavor, and deliciously filling.

I found the original recipe here.

30 Minute Baked Potato Soup

Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Heather @ Thrifty Stories.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Creamy and hearty baked potato soup flavored with green onions, sharp cheese, bacon and sour cream. Perfect way to use up those leftover potatoes.
  • 12 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 cups milk
  • 4 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed (I’ve made it both ways with and without the peel)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded cheese (I used sharp)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet until browned. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
  2. While bacon is browning, melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in cubed potatoes and green onions. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Add bacon, cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Stir constantly until the cheese melts.

I love being able to take leftovers and create an entirely new, delicious meal. Using leftover baked potatoes is not only extremely frugal but also makes prep time a snap.

The green onions make the dish, in my opinion. However, I love onions in most dishes. They bring just the right amount of flavor without overpowering the potato. Perfection at its finest.

baked potato soup

The crumbled bacon made Fuzz satisfied. The girl loves meat. If you are serving a hot breakfast, she’ll request and happily devour bacon, ham, and sausage. She’s been known to snitch the last piece of venison steak as well. A more carnivorous child you have never met.

baked potato soup

The bacon, cheese, green onions, and sour cream do truly make the dish taste like a baked potato. A liquid baked potato on a spoon. Mmmm.

Yes, one bite and all was forgiven.

baked potato soup


My friend, Winnie, pretty much pegged my husband with this quote:

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”600px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]

“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)[/dropshadowbox]


And that, my friends, is my hubs.

Anyone else LOVE potatoes? Have you been eating soup like it’s going out of style? What do you cook for comfort? Or for peace offerings? Share and make my day. I love to hear from you. If you’d like a simple potato soup recipe, try this one.

Thanks for reading.

Slow Cooker Split Pea & Ham Soup

I am putting my Christmas present to good use. I love my crock pots. Anything that cooks my meals without needing me nearby checking and stirring it often is a winner in my book.

Those of you that follow me on facebook may remember the status where I shared that we were having glazed ham with homemade mac n cheese for dinner. Later that weekend, we had ham and cheese sliders for dinner as well as ham and eggs for breakfast. We had just about had all of the ham that we could handle, so I stuck the rest of the ham in the freezer.

slow cooker split pea and ham soup

I remembered my split pea and ham soup crock pot recipe earlier this week and thought that it would be something different to enjoy on a cold evening. Who knows? The kids may actually appreciate something out of the ordinary in their soup bowls.

And they absolutely did.

We ate every drop of the soup in the crock pot.  We all enjoyed seconds and some requested thirds…only the pot was empty by then. *sigh*

Fuzz has already requested it for dinner again.

This soup is very rich and hearty, filled with a number of different veggies, chicken broth, rice, and spices. The flavor is absolutely delicious. We were nearly salivating as we smelled it cooking all day long. Tantalizing, I tell you. Your taste buds are more than ready by dinner time.  =)

slow cooker split pea and ham soup

Slow Cooker Split Pea & Ham Soup

Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Heather @ Thrifty Stories
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8
A rich and hearty soup that is packed with delicious veggies, spices, rice and of course, ham. However, if desired, smoked turkey sausage can be substituted for the ham. Either way, this recipe will not disappoint.
  • 2 c. cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 c. dry split peas
  • 1 c. chopped onion (I used one whole small to medium-sized onion.)
  • 1 c. shredded organic carrot
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly snipped parsley ( I used dried parsley)
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 4 c. organic chicken broth (I used one 32 oz. carton, it was just a tad more than 4 cups)
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 c. quick-cooking rice (I made 1 cup of regular rice on the stove and dumped it in….using what you have is my motto!)
  1. Combine ham, peas, onion, carrot, parsley, and pepper in slow cooker. Pour chicken broth and water over everything.
  2. Cover; cook on low-heat for 8-10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4-5 hours. Stir in rice. Cover; let stand 5 minutes or until rice is tender. Serve.

slow cooker split pea and ham soup

I cooked mine for 8 hours and it was just perfect. (The crock pot that I used is one that has  four buttons: 4 hrs. and 6 hrs [high settings] and 8 hrs. and 10 hrs. [low settings]. It is not one with a dial for low, high, and warm.) Just a little extra info for those that may be interested. I know that crock pots can sometimes cook differently.

What have you been slow cooking lately?  Soup? Dessert?  Believe it or not, I’ve never attempted a sweet dish in my beloved crock pot. That’s about to change though.  I’ll keep you posted.  Share what you enjoy cooking.  I’d love to hear.

Thanks for reading.






Join in tomorrow as we continue with out S.O.S. journey.  Get ready to work. =)

S. O. S.  {Saturday Organization Series}


Easy {Crock Pot} White Chili

Brrrrr.  I don’t know about where you live, but here on the ol’ NC homestead, I’m just about frozen solid. It’s been bitter cold and windy.

In my book, however, soup is the perfect remedy to ward off a chill. This is a recipe that we have been enjoying for years now and the entire family loves it.  The other day I had Hubs drop an entire bag of chicken breasts into the crock pot for me.  Once it was cooked, I shredded/cubed all of the meat and divided it into two bowls.  I used half of it to make the Southwestern Chicken Wraps and oh my, I had forgotten how good they were. The girls loved them.

Yesterday I used the rest of the cubed chicken to make white chili.  Have you ever had it before? Deliciousness.

easy {crock pot} white chili

Again the girls gobbled it up.  I’m thrilled to have two more recipes that they will happily eat of their own accord. We mothers like that, don’t we?  Life-specifically meal times- becomes so much easier.

Here’s the recipe.

Easy {Crock Pot} White Chili

Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Heather @ Thrifty Stories.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
A scrumptious alternative to traditional and tomato based chili, this mild soup is rich with veggies, chunks of chicken, and a slight kick from spices. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips, if desired.
  • 3 15-oz. cans great northern beans, pinto, or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 c. chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped red, green, and/or yellow sweet pepper
  • 2 jalapeno chili peppers, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • sharp shredded cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • tortilla chips (optional)
  1. Combine the drained beans, chicken, onion, sweet pepper, jalapeno peppers, garlic, cumin, salt and oregano. Stir in chicken broth.
  2. Cover; cook on low for about 8-10 hours or on high for about 4-5 hours.
  3. Serve soup into bowls. Top with cheese, sour cream and/or tortilla chips, if desired.


easy {crock pot} white chili

This was so incredibly simple especially since the chicken had already been cooked and cubed the day before. This stuff is good.  Really. We all wanted the leftovers for lunch today.  Tears would have been shed, but I slowly handed the last bowl to my husband. That was true love in action, I tell you. Just wait until you taste this stuff.

After serving three bowls to Hubs, Bunny, and Fuzz, I poured the last of the broth out of the pan over leftover cooked rice (from the chicken wraps).  It was actually a rather yummy and filling concoction not to mention it finished up leftovers from the fridge.  I love it when that happens.

easy {crock pot} white chili

However instead of leftover white rice, we usually enjoy white chili with a bag of tortilla chips.  We have been known to set our spoons down and simply eat our entire bowls as a dip with said chips. Then we slurp up all the broth-when no ones looking. Or listening.

Add a dollop of sour cream? *sigh*

It’s perfection.

easy {crock pot} white chili

So tell me, what do you serve on cold days?  Soup?  Wrap up in a blanket and have pizza delivered? Please share. I’d love to know. I need new recipes for this cold spell.  =)

Thanks for reading.