Cook!

Unless there’s a particularly compelling show on television, each time Icsdvertbanner1.jpg begin my dinner preparations in the kitchen, I hear the pitter patter of little feet as four-year-old Kyle comes in to ask, “Can I help you?” He doesn’t even wait for an answer as he heads over to pull the step stool up to the kitchen island.

Having the kids help me in the kitchen is fun for them, and it’s a character-builder for me. I have to slow down and remain calm, and be willing to take a little more time to clean up the bigger mess that it creates. It’s absolutely worth it. In the short run it encourages them to try new food, because they see where it comes from, but in the long run maybe I will be able to kick back and watch my favorite television show while my kids are cooking my dinner.

Just last night, my nine-and-a-half year old daughter told me that she would like to cook more dinners (by herself) this summer. I told her that she could, but she had to plan ahead, and pick out some recipes so that we could shop and be prepared. Children’s cookbooks are great, because they have recipes that can be prepared with a minimum amount of adult supervision with great pictures so that she knows what it’s supposed to look like.

If she’s armed with a good step-by-step cookbook, the right ingredients, and a willing Mommy standing by, she does a pretty good job of putting a meal together.

Yum-O: The Family Cookbook is Rachael Ray’s newest cookbook. This book has so many positive featuryumo.jpges:

  • As Rachael Ray says in the introduction, one goal of the book is to “make eating healthier as a family easier, more affordable, and fun.” I tested out a recipe for Penne-Wise Pumpkin Pasta which uses canned pumpkin and whole grain pasta. My family didn’t love it, but they ate it, and it was an easy and healthy recipe. I might tweak it and try it again soon.
  • Each recipe has a sidebar which guides you towards how “The Itty-Bitties” can help (by beating eggs, squeezing spinach dry, mixing dry ingredients etc.), which can encourage you to let even the youngest of children join you preparing dinner.
  • One section is devoted to “rollover dinners” which allow you to cook once and eat twice (or more) with some quick variations.
  • Other sections are devoted to breakfasts and lunches and snacks, which are helpful in trying to break out of the same old menus that could be replaced with better alternatives.

Would you like to win one of 5 copies of Yum-O: The Family Cookbook to help your family get in some fun and extra nutrition in the kitchen?

Spread the word on your own blog (or email your friends), and then leave a comment on this post. We’ll post all of the winners for the Creative Summer Days event on June 24.

Comments

  1. says

    Rachel Ray just happens to be one of our favorite people to watch. The girls go crazy when I turn her on. It’s because of her, that I’ve been letting the girls help a little more, in the kitchen.

  2. says

    You are on the right track when it comes to teaching your children to navigate the kitchen. All of my children help out in the kitchen and my oldest two can prepare meals.

    Patience and perseverence builds memories now and reaps benefits later on.

    Please include me in the drawing.

  3. Heather N says

    This would be awesome to win. One of my kids is anemic and it would be great to have a new cookbook to use to try to get him to eat new things …

  4. says

    I’ve been really working on learning to cook more things this past year. My daughter is always under foot and wanting to help. This would be perfect!

    Oh…and your button is in my sidebar. :)

  5. Lachelle says

    I’ve told my friends that I would love to win this cookbook! I’m a big fan of getting kids involved with everything I do in the kitchen.

  6. says

    This is something that I know I need to improve in as mom. My boys really love to help but I have been so hesitant to allow them to help me much in the kitchen. Just reading your post was an “aha” for me. I’m like – oh yeah, they could squeeze out the spinach. Never thought of something like that.

    I wrote a post and will put the button in my sidebar but the button isn’t working right now.

    Thank you for always providing such excellent ideas and resources!

  7. Sierra Rendon says

    I’ve never had one of her books before, so I’d love to get one and give it a try! Thanks for the opportunity!

  8. Mommy Bee says

    This would be great! We are in need of some new recipes; we keep eating the SAME things over and over and over again.

  9. says

    Oh I love Rachael Ray and My 8 year old daughter is into cooking as well so this would be great! I have alos bloged about it and put your button in my sidebar! Thanks

  10. Jenn Johnson says

    I’d love this cookbook! Her show is great, and I love her ideas for simplifying and letting the kids help!

  11. says

    I’d love to win this cookbook. This entire event is a great idea since I’m already scrambling to think up ways to entertain the kids. And summer has only begun…

    Thanks! :)

  12. molly palmer says

    i remember the lazy saturdays my father spent with me and me sister cooking something. i remember thinking he actually let me do that when i got the chance to crack an egg. it would be nice to be able to have the children in my life help me cook and get the same joy from it i did. thanks for the chance

  13. Jennifer Barnett says

    I don’t have this Rachael book yet. Her recipes are simple and delicious. Thanks for the chance.

    I have spread the word about your blog!

  14. JenPerkins says

    My kids (ages 3 and 4) love cooking, but it would be great to expand their repertoire beyond green eggs and ham 😉

  15. Darcy says

    I enjoy the recipes Rachael has on her show and in her books. I would love to add this book to my cookbook collection. Thansk for the goveaway!

  16. says

    This sounds like a neat family cookbook. Rachael Ray really does have great, practical recipes. My ‘itty bitty’ toddler isn’t quite at the helper stage, but she does her best and she loves mixing it up with her little baking set while Mama’s cookin’!

  17. Demetra says

    It’s my nieces birthday today and whenever we are together she always wants to bake or cook something with me. I love to cook myself and cooking with her is a lot of fun – count me in!!!!!

  18. Charlotte Winters says

    I’m not exactly sure what a Yum O is, but I am certain it’s NEVEr been said about something I cooked. Please enter me in your giveaway as I need all the help I can get! thanks.

  19. says

    Love Rachel Ray! Me and the kiddos watch her show on Food network and then try and make some of the food she does. I have one of her cookbooks, and love it! Spreading the word now!

  20. Amanda says

    Oooooo! I love Rachael and would love to win this! I emailed all of my friends and told them about this site. :)

  21. says

    Rachel Ray is my fave on the Food Network and I have many of her cookbooks. This cookbook would be great to use with the kids though and I don’t have any family cookbooks. Thanks for a super fun give-a-way!

  22. says

    Everyone else wants one of these cookbooks and I do too! I was just thinking of preparing a recipe I saw her make last week on her show. Yum!

  23. says

    I’m so thankful I found your website! I’ll put this up on my blog. I have a 13 and 10 year old daughter who are in the kitchen already and, a three year old son who loves to help me cook. And my one year old son is following in his footsteps. God bless you and thank you for this blog!

  24. Tanya Moyer says

    I really enjoy Rachael Ray,yet I don’t have any of her cookbooks. I’d love to win this! Great giveaway – thanks for offering it!
    ~Tanya
    the4moyers(at)msn(dot)com

  25. says

    Just wanted to say I really enjoyed reading your blog today! You had so much great information and the layout was awesome! I hope you will stop by and visit my blog soon! Our blog is Frugal WAHMs Talk Radio we are a Podcasting show that has live shows every Tuesday and Thursdays at 10:30 am! We are always looking for guestspeakers too if you are ever intersted!
    http://frugalwahmstalkradio.com
    Thanks so much have a great week!
    Angie

  26. says

    I agree that getting a toddler or child to help in the kitchen at a young age will help them later on in life. I love Rachael Ray and am a big fan and would love this book.

    Thanks!

  27. says

    Ya know, if I could fit all six of my kids in the kitchen at once it might be fun to try some of these recipes. Or would that be too many chefs in the kitchen?
    Still I need some ideas – The spagetti thing is getting old.

  28. says

    I am always looking for easy recipes that my kids will think are “Yum-O” ! Sometimes it’s hard to get them to eat anything except noodles! :)

  29. Cindi says

    Rachel Ray is such a bundle of energy. Sometimes, o her show, she talks so quickly that I can’t stay up with her! She has wonderful cookbooks and I like the fact that this one is for family meals and eating healthier with less cost. Please enter me in your wonderful contest. I always appreciate it! Many thanks, Cindi

  30. Maureen says

    Sounds like a great book to check out and winning it here would be the perfect opportunity to do so :)

    Thanks,
    Maureen

  31. says

    I am not great in the kitchen which leads to many PB&J sandwiches – I would love to win! Rachel Ray makes yummy looking food!

    (Your button is in my sidebar)

  32. Deborah R says

    I’m letting my friends know about this contest; if one of them wins, maybe s/he’ll invite me over for dinner!

  33. says

    I just saw this book advertised in my book club catalog (along with all the other books I’d love to read, but can’t find the time). This would be perfect for getting my 3 and 5 year old involved in the kitchen so hopefully they’d eat someting at dinner time.

  34. says

    ooh – that would be great for us as I always struggle with dinner…thanks for the great giveaway…I’ll have my button up momentarily!

  35. Monique Rizzo says

    My daughter and I both love Rachael Ray (She is only 6) and she goes around saying YUM-O all the time!

  36. Brandlyn says

    I am a huge fan of Rachel Ray, she is always smiling and just so excited about whipping up new and cool recipes.

  37. Morgan T. says

    I would love to win this! My daughters (ages 5 & 6) have really begun to take an interest in cooking. We always watch RR and since they love to be in the kitchen with me, this would be something we could really, really use!

    Thanx for the awesome contest!!!

  38. April says

    Not only do I LOVE Rachael Ray, but my DAUGHTER loves her, too! How great would this cook-book be for the both of us?! Thanks!

  39. Nikki Barger says

    I dig the Rachel Ray!
    I have yet to be disappointed yet.
    These are the only recipes I cook,
    ’cause I need all the help I can get!

  40. j621d says

    What could be better than putting together a healthy, great tasting meal in less than 30 minutes? Winning a Rachel Ray cookbook!

  41. OlyveOyl says

    HELP!!! I need HELP cooking and I am CERTAIN that Rachael Ray can teach me something simple yet delicious!

  42. Darcey says

    I would love to win this book. I am always looking for more easy, kids friendly recipes and a bonus, ideas to have the kids help. Yea!

  43. Aaron Bretveld says

    Rachael Ray has a great show, though I doubt I’d ever be able to finish the meals she cooks in 30 minutes.

  44. Nadia says

    ok, we LOVE RR!! the kids love to watch food on TV lol. we are constantly trying to come up with new things to cook so this would be great to win!

  45. joahsmom says

    Love Rachel Ray and her shows. My son loves to be in the kitchen with me. This cookbook would give me some great ideas.

  46. says

    My three year old daughter loves Rachel Ray and so do I! We also love to cook together so I’d just love to win this one. I will post about it on my blog!

  47. Beth Kuligowski says

    would love to win a copy of this–sounds like it would be helpful for involving the little ones! thanks for the chance to win! -beth

  48. diana says

    I’d like to win this book. I need recipes my teen son can do easily.

    This quote is funny…I tested out a recipe for Penne-Wise Pumpkin Pasta which uses canned pumpkin and whole grain pasta. My family didn’t love it, but they ate it, and it was an easy and healthy recipe. I might tweak it and try it again soon.

    I make up my own recipes, and sometimes they don’t come out the way you would think. I tried to do a pumpkin lasagna using canned pumpkin and lasagna noodles. My family didn’t love it either, but they did finish it. My kids will taste anything, as long as I don’t try pumpkin lasagna again.

  49. Lisa Myers says

    Great idea! My 11-year-old daughter loves to cook and it would be fun to help her plan things she could cook over the Summer. Love Rachael Ray

  50. says

    This looks like a great cookbook! Just love Rachael Ray! Watch her shows as often as possible and my kids love her, too! They are helping out more and more in the kitchen. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  51. says

    My daughter’s nickname is actually Chef-O because she loves to cook! We enjoy watching Rachel’s 30-minute-meals show and would love to win this cookbook! Thanks!

  52. says

    Love love love RAchel Ray and as her fellow italian sista I need this cookbook. Well really I need it because I have 3 kids and meals that can be ready in 30 minutes or less is perfect. I dont’ have time to cook in the evenings if it takes more than 30 minutes and my children living on hotdogs is not a good idea LOL

  53. Susan Crammond says

    Please enter me for this cookbook. I’m really looking for new recipes that my VERY picky eater will eat, and that are fast and easy to make. I’m weary of my regular meals…..

  54. kerri says

    me and the girls love rachel ray we watch her everymorning my girls just like to watch her cook she is great

  55. amanda h. says

    This would be a wonderful book to win! I absolutely love Rachel Ray and her daytime talk show is one of my favorite shows!

  56. Lisa says

    I love watching Rachel Ray on Food Network. My husband is always wanting me to try something that she is fixing. with this I could actually do that.

  57. says

    OK-both of my girls (ages 3 and 6) will sit and watch Rachel Ray with me! And BOTH are ALWAYS in the kitchen wanting to help. They’ll sit and watch the bread maker for 20 minutes! Yes, mine have been cracking eggs and mixing batters for years now! We would LOVE a chance at this book!

  58. Kimberly says

    30-Minute Meals is my favorite cooking show and Rachel Ray is my favorite television chef! I would love to have her cookbook!

  59. Steve Scott says

    It is going to be a long summer because mom is already complaining about the fact that the boys are complaining. Thanks

  60. Aimee says

    Sounds Great! I enjoy Rachel Ray but have never tried one of her cookbooks. Thanks for the chance to win one!

  61. Michelle M. says

    Forwarded this link to my sisters… They love to cook and watch the Food Network (esp. Rachel) as much as I do!!! :)

  62. Ginnie says

    I don’t have a blog, but my four year old granddaughter loves Rachel Ray so this would be great for us. She says she’s going to be a chef when she grows up and she’ll stop whatever she’s doing to watch cooking shows!

  63. Jennifer Harriman says

    We could totally use this. My kids wont eat anything except mac and cheese or pizza!! Im at my wits end trying to get them to eat!! (not to mention husband doesnt eat anything worthwhile either!)

  64. Tonia Franklin says

    Love you and your cooking show, I watch every week i would love to have your cookbook. Thank you

  65. lindsey says

    I really like RR. She is one of the only celebrity chefs that acknowledge the presence of vegetarians in the world. Her magazine often has substitutions you can make.

  66. Kasey says

    I love Rachael Ray. She’s got some awesome recipes too and my husband has enjoyed those that I’ve made. It would be wonderful to win one of her cookbooks

  67. says

    Cooking with my kids is something I love as an ideal… but in practice, I really struggle with some control issues. I’m always hoping to find more easy recipes, and the way this book is laid out sounds great for me! I’ve blogged about it now, so here’s hoping some luck comes my way!

  68. Sandra says

    I would love to win a copy of this! I too, stuggle with kitchen control issues and would love to give this a try.

    owatz (at) telus (dot) net

  69. Becca says

    My stay-at-home Mom always had me help her in the kitchen. I was 14 (and the oldest of 5 kids) when she went back to work. I got a “job” making menus and grocery list and preparing dinner for the family several nights each week. It was adventageous for both of us, and I felt a lot more prepared to take care of myself when I went away to college.

  70. Nikki Evans says

    I love her recipes! It would be great to win a cookbook full of them! THanks for the contest and the chance to win!

  71. says

    Rachael is my kitchen hero. The recipes on her show are usually a big hit in my house and I have a feeling the ones in this book would be no different. :)

  72. says

    My daughter just turned 4 and she loves Rachel Ray. She got an easy bake oven for her birthday (along with her own cooking utinsils and apron) and calls it her Rachel Ray oven! She loves to help me in the kitchen and this would be perfect! Thanks for the chance (she thanks you too~)!

  73. Amy W says

    We love Rachel Ray and would love another one of her cookbooks!! Woo hoo! Great contest! chrisandamyward at comcast dot net

  74. Elizabeth M. says

    I really never cared for Rachael Ray until I actually sat down and started watching her talk show. I paid attention to the types of things she cooked and I was shocked to find that eighty percent of what she made was appealing to me. Now I’m a fan. Thanks for the chance to win one of her cookbooks!

  75. Sharon R says

    I would love to win this. We have other Rachael Ray cookbooks. My kids love to cook from her just for kids cookbook. They would love to have new recipes to try. I have emailed all my friends and they are hoping they can win too.

  76. Angie P. says

    The kids and I intend to do a lot of cooking together this summer, so a new cookbook would be perfect.

  77. judy brittle says

    i am a truly picky eater and i have to say that i just love her recipes. just good eats and i say yummy.please include me in this wonderful giveaway. rachael ray is the best.

  78. Jennifer McLaughlin says

    I love Rachel Ray!I am not a big reader but when it comes to cook books I can’t get enough.Thank you for the contest.

  79. Michelle L. says

    Yum-O looks Yummy! My kids love cooking together as a family. This would be a great addition to our collection.

  80. Allison says

    She’s the best! Only she could give us hundreds of recipes that take only minutes and taste great!

  81. Terri Fisher says

    This cookbook looks wonderful! I would love to win this and use it with my kids this summer!

    tfisher83 AT myexcel DOT com

  82. Tamara Bennington says

    We just love Rachael Ray in this house. It would bring my two children and I closer together while cooking an evening meal. Thank-you for the wonderful contest.

  83. Mia J. says

    I love her books and recipes and would like some ideas to help get my daughter involved in cooking with me.

  84. Elizabeth says

    Nothing says lovin’ like cooking with your kids!!!

    Thank you for the chance to win this AWESOME cookbook!!

    Rachel Ray rules— I love me some EVOO!!! 😉

  85. Marsha says

    My daughter loves to help cook also. At 7 y/o she has become quite the pancake/french toast turned on the griddle.

  86. Angie Vincent says

    I love nearly every recipe of Rachel Ray’s that I have tried. I would love to win a free cookbook.

  87. Catherine KingChuparkoff says

    Great cookbook, she also has a great kids section on her website to encourage little ones to try new foods…

  88. Michelle H. says

    I really like Rachel Ray’s recipes. I have 3 of her cookbooks and her dishes have never failed to please my family.

  89. Sarah Stern says

    I have to admit, Rachael Ray drives me crazy, but every one of her recipes that I’ve tried has turned out great.

  90. L McLendon says

    Her recipes are easy enough to actually follow unlike lots of other tv personalities!

    Thanks for the chance.

  91. tangie c says

    Would love to have a cookbook that is geared for families, so that I might get some new ideas on things to cook that all of my kids will like! Some nights my husband and I feel like short order cooks! Rachel Ray is fun and has great recipes so that makes it even better!

  92. Tammy Darling says

    My kids love to help me cook. Measuring & following directions are great skills for them to learn. Cooking together also helps to stengthen our relationship. Thanks for the contest.

  93. says

    I am so hoping a book like this will finally convince my son that he’ll truly benefit from learning to cook (as opposed to assuming mom will make everything forever!)

  94. Becky Grayson says

    I am always looking for ideas to keep the grandkids busy when they come over. This is such a great way to get them involved!

    I am emailing my friends to let them know about the book.

    Thanks for the contest.

  95. Nicole Price says

    I love to watch Rachel Ray. I don’t have any of her cookbooks yet. I’d love to win. Enter me too please.

  96. Catherine copeland says

    big rachel ray fan here. i love to cook and I love watching shows that rejoice in the art of the meal

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