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July 05, 2017

Cooking with Emma | Lemon Thyme Chicken, Green Beans & Mashed Potatoes

Emma and I were at Williams-Sonoma a couple of weeks ago when she spotted the American Girl Cooking cookbook.  She was convinced she needed it.  It was the first week of summer, so I thought the little investment might help us fill some of the summer evening dinners with something other than burgers and caprese salads.

It probably comes to no surprise to all of you that Emma and I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen together.  She knows a lot of recipes and has her "specialties" that she's in charge of, like making marinades, dressings, chopping soft things (like mushrooms and cherry tomatoes) and of course baking.  

While I would never want to force her to love my passions, she seems to be interested in making and doing as much as I am.  It is our goal for her to be capable of helping herself and others, and these kitchen skills will go along way for her.  I think parents can get caught up in making sure their kids are very competent at many different swimming strokes, soccer skills, ballet positions and gymnastic tricks, but forget about life skills like being capable of making their own breakfast, lunch, or bed!  Sorry, off my soapbox.  I'll continue : )

She had her heart set on making the Rosemary Roast Chicken with Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans.

Like her mother, she does not like to follow a recipe to a "T."  She decided to omit the grain mustard from the chicken and almonds from the green beans.

We also changed it from Lemon Rosemary Chicken to Lemon Thyme Chicken when we discovered our rosemary had been uprooted and shriveled up.

A little lesson in being resourceful instead of running (back) to the store : )  Thyme it is.

I try to let her do as mush as possible all by herself.  Here she is using the tongs to squeeze the juice out of a lemon.  A little thing she learned on YouTube, she told me.  (insert eye roll emoji)

We used frozen green beans that were already blanched and just needed sautéing in butter and tossed with balsamic.  Pretty good, actually!

I find that if I put the heat on very low in the middle burner, it is far enough away so she can't hurt herself, but she can still reach it.  I cut and boiled the potatoes (on the back burner), but everything else was up to her -

Including setting the table, which is something she is always in charge of.

 Very proud!

My Roasted Lemon & Thyme Chicken (recipe here)

Mashed Potatoes!

A black and white close-up so time can stand still, just for a moment.


  1. Thank you for sharing Emma's cooking talents. This post was precious!

  2. How wonderful! I couldn't agree with you more about teaching our children life skills. One of my daughters loved the American Girl cookbook and the Little House cookbook. She used to help me in the kitchen while wearing her Laura Ingalls pioneer dress and bonnet, with a floral apron tied around her waist. Now that she's 15, she spends more time looking at ideas on Pinterest and watching tutorials on YouTube and Instagram, but she still loves baking cupcakes. Your pictures are beautiful and will make great memories.

  3. What a precious post! I love your soapbox! It's just truth. Teach them life skills and that our family is a team. Sweet memories are made enjoying the simple things in life together.

  4. This is so sweet! And I enjoy hearing your views on family life and creating happiness in your home - definitely a lifelong skill that will serve Emma well. I truly think children who participate in the everyday running of a home feel needed and valued.

  5. That is one of my soapboxes too! So many well-educated people these days, but they can't feed themselves. A friend conveyed the story of an 18-yr. old friend of her daughter who had never even made her life! How can that be? We need to seriously rethink and re-teach the value of home and homemaking to the next generation. Blogs like yours are a step in the right direction! High five!

  6. Great parenting.

  7. Nancy O3:56 PM

    This was just the sweetest post ever. Your daughter is lovely and growing so fast! I agree with you about teaching children life skills - it will do them well in years to come.

  8. Emma's the best!

  9. I so enjoyed reading how you raise your little one, especially the part of too many activities taking over real life skills. She did an amazing job I can tell!


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