Is It Giada De Laurentiis, Rachel Ray or Paula Deen?

by Sherry Riter in Alyssa,Brittany,Family,Lessons of Life,Love,Memory

bacon wrapped chicken with chili powder
Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Chili Powder
green beans country style with garlic
Country Style Green Beans with Garlic
french whole grain bread with roasted garlic
Whole Grain French Bread with Roasted Garlic
stuffed tomatoes with spinach plus
Stuffed Tomatoes with Spinach, Mozzarella and secret ingredients

Do you think that Giada De Laurentiis, Rachel Ray, or Paula Deen fixed our dinner tonight? It looks and tastes like a professional lavished us with fine dining. Before I tell you who cooked, I need to tell you a little story…

My sister and niece lived with me from the time Brittany was a little over one until she was twelve years old, so we had many wonderful days spent together doing fun things. When Alyssa came along, I felt like I had two children and our home was always filled with the laughter of children.

One of the things that we should do for our children is to teach them to cook. There are many benefits to having children actively learn to cook with us:

  • Children learn about nutrition and healthy eating.
  • Provides creative family time and bonding.
  • Helps promote the feeling that they are an integral and productive part of the family.
  • Increases their self-esteem.
  • When the children grow up, they can take care of themselves and their families.
  • Children tend to be more apt to eat what they cook.
  • They learn how to follow directions.
  • Preserves family heritage by passing down family recipes.
  • Increase math and science skills.

It may take longer and be messier to have our children cook with us, but they are worth the investment of our time. That is why we had children! I cooked with Brittany and Alyssa while they were tiny and we had a great time.

Brittany with pie crust dough helping me make apple pies.
Brittany rolling pie crust
Brittany wondering what to do with the crumbs.
Brittany wondering what to do with the crumbs
Brittany putting her touches on the pie crust.
Brittany putting her touches on the pie crust
Alyssa received a toy kitchen for her birthday.
Alyssa received a toy kitchen for her birthday
The next picture finishes the story nicely.Two beautiful little girls.
Fingernails painted.
Aprons donned.
Big smiles of happiness.
Mixing and cooking chocolate chip cookies.
Priceless memories filled with love and true joy.

Alyssa and Brittany cooking

Now Brittany is twenty-one and Alyssa is sixteen. Did any of our cooking together have a lasting effect? Remember those pictures of the delicious food I had for dinner tonight? It wasn’t a professional cook who prepared such a gorgeous and delicious meal.

It was Alyssa’s skill. Thank you Alyssa. It was not only beautiful, but totally delicious and I appreciate your effort at providing such a fantastic meal. I’m a very blessed mother to have you as my daughter.


You can teach a student
a lesson for a day;

but if you can teach him
to learn by creating curiosity,

he will continue
the learning process
as long as he lives.

~Clay P. Bedford~

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mammatalk September 8, 2009 at 4:45 am

This made me smile! :+)


2 Steph Jordan September 8, 2009 at 6:44 am

Again I say it… You are Amazing!


3 thais. September 8, 2009 at 8:43 am

Hi there! Found your blog on a friend's site and really enjoyed reading it. come and visit me too:


4 Diana September 8, 2009 at 11:06 am

That was such a great story. The meal looks SOOO good.


5 Tammy Howard September 8, 2009 at 11:54 am

That did indeed look delicious – you are a lucky momma! And the pics of the girls were adorable…


6 bluecottonmemory September 8, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I'm pulling for Paula Dean–I start teaching my boys to cook with boxed brownies when they're in the 3rd grade. We move to made from scratch cakes in the 6th grade. In the 6th grade, my oldest could make a better homemade lemon meringue pie than I could! He's married now and loves cooking:)
I love your pictures! What a great picture of the redhead riter's red head daughter!


7 Lisa September 8, 2009 at 1:24 pm


I was going to guess a collaboration of all three. Kids learn so much in the kitchen-so much more than food. They learn everything from math and science to love and relationships.

Great job!
@ All That and a Box of Rocks


8 S.E. Sward September 8, 2009 at 4:38 pm

Thanks for the reminder that I should bring Darling Daughter into the kitchen with me more often!


9 PictureGirl September 8, 2009 at 5:51 pm

What wonderful memories for you and the girls. I bet they will always have a special connection.

That food looks so good, you'll post recipes, right?


10 Mrs. Fish aka Two Fish September 8, 2009 at 9:10 pm

How awesome. What a great repayment to have your children come back and make dinner for you as they grow up. Definitely warms the heart and reminds you that you did a great job as a parent. Happy Tuesday.



11 Jane In The Jungle September 9, 2009 at 2:06 am

Amen sister!!! My 2 older boys are pros in the kitchen and on the grill. In fact, my oldest smoked a beef brisket for Labor Day dinner last night and then today, my middle son was canning jalapenos he grew in his garden…yes you read that right, canning!!!!!!


12 accidentally, kle September 9, 2009 at 8:56 am

what a truly beautiful post. loved all the pictures, everyone is so lovely! 🙂


13 Erin M. September 14, 2009 at 2:35 pm

The end of this post brought me to tears. I cook with my girls sometimes, and need to do it more. I hope I am instilling these kinds of values in them…

On another note, I made a Giada turkey meatloaf recently that's to DIE for—it's wrapped in pancetta and parchment paper. MmMMMm!!!

My piddly blog pales in comparison (I like alliteration, too–see?) to yours, but…I hope to learn from blogesses like you.


Leave a Comment

"How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment
when we realize we have discovered a friend."

~William E. Rothschild~

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I respond back to all comments.


Previous post:

Next post: