I love recipe books and over the years I have bought various recipe books with the kids in mind – not so much recipe books written for kids, but books that included the type of food that each of my kids were interested in cooking. Each time I have done this, I have noticed an increase is their interest in cooking. As the girls started cooking more they started collecting their recipes and making their own recipe book, they also made a recipe book for one of their brothers as a Birthday or Christmas gift. But generally speaking the recipes they were using were all over the place; some in their file, some in my file, some in my books, and some online.
With the recent change in our cooking roster, where we are intentionally increasing their recipe repertoire I thought it would be a good time to be more intentional about creating their own recipe collection. One of the things they want to be able to do is know that they can cook, and know what they can cook. They want to take ownership in the kitchen – I can understand this, and I understand that having them simply as ‘my cook’s helper’ limited this stepping up in responsibility. I really could have done this a while back, as they have been competent cooks for a while.
Recently I’ve been slowly creating an online digital recipe book for myself using the app Pepperplate. Pepperplate has both an online version and an app for mobile devices which means you can access your recipes from anywhere. You can store your recipes, create a weekly menu and a shopping list (which is an aspect I haven’t fully developed yet). I have looked into a few different recipe collection resources and I liked this one the best as it was not connected to a specific website or publication, though you can import from a long list of online recipe collections.
I opened a Pepperplate account for each of them and sent them the details – it is now their account to do with as they will – and I think they’ve changed their passwords to something they’ll remember.
Mind you, the kids could have set this up for themselves. It is an easy process and if you are looking for a real life project for your kids, this could be it. Consider: It is a safe online environment, it has real life application, it is a real practice for typing skills (presuming they can touch type and not search-and-peck), they will be working with links and images and general familiarisation with online technologies – which will be the same skills used in a variety of other digital technology applications.
I used to create a weekly menu, but now I create one for the month since the kids are repeating their chosen recipes over a month block. Some of my kids like to choose their own recipes and some where happy for me to choose so we work that out together. I collect the months’ worth of recipes, type them up in my Pepperplate account and then forward them to the kids via a link. They will need to accept the link for it to be imported into their Pepperplate account. I only forward the recipe that is relevant to each child so that they know that what is in their digital book, they have cooked before.
As their cooking repertoire grows, so too will their digital recipe book. Each of my children were excited (in their own way!) about this idea. They felt it added to their ownership of cooking the evening meals and being of the younger generation, it made sense to them, for it to be a digital cook-book.
Note: This is not a promotion of Pepperplate per se, as there is no reward for me to do so, but rather presenting an idea for you to consider: digital recipe books for your kids. There are many such apps and software that you may find to do the job. Read a review here Food Replublic