What’s for Dinner?

Goldfish do not make a meal, even though my kids might beg to differ.

We joke with people the reason we had so many kids is so I could assign each one a night in the kitchen.

I’m starting to think that was a serious reason.

In our house, we all pitch in. It’s just what we do. Even better that 4-H is teaching my children how to cook, the importance of nutrition and how to cultivate valuable culinary skills. I believe we call that winner winner chicken dinner.

Last week, we hosted the county food show and our club had an outstanding showing. In all, 16 kids competed from our club and 9 of them brought home first place (out of an available 9 slots). As the project leader for food-nutrition, it’s possible I’m a wee bit proud of their efforts. Every single one of them! If you could see how much confidence they gained, the fears they overcame, the pride they displayed in learning? It was all quite fabulous.

My children, in particular, learned some valuable skills.

Clare learned that a grater can be dangerous. Anna-Laura learned she needs zero help cooking (true story). John Paul learned that he needs to read the recipe. And, Will? He learned the art of patience. His recipe took a total of six hours – rising and baking time – to prepare. Let’s just say we both practiced some deep breathing.

All four Whitaker’s took first place and while I would like to say it’s because of their stellar teacher {ahem}, I’m pretty sure it’s because they really dove in and studied hard. Let’s see those award-winning dishes, shall we?

The theme was “picnic perfect” and participants were encouraged to choose something that would be the perfect picnic food. The catch? It has to be age appropriate (skill-wise), healthy and inexpensive.

Clare chose Classic Pimiento Cheese. I must say, I’m not a huge fan of the pimiento, but Clare’s? It has me believing. Yum. O.

clare, blog_4226

clare, blog_4227

Anna-Laura whipped up a mean batch of Apple-Cheddar Bread. It has pecans and apples and cheddar cheese and bacon. I’ll just stop there. She did this 100% on her own. New family favorite.

anna-laura, blog_4224

anna-laura, blog_4228

John Paul wasn’t so sure about these Spinach-Feta Scones, but after he made the first round he was a believer. They just so happen to be Gianna’s favorite, too.john paul, blog_4221

john paul, blog_4220

Not to be left out, Will’s Harvest Grape Focaccia Bread is just fantastic. It tastes just as good as it looks. Back in the day, I won State 4-H Food Show with a similar recipe. We’re hoping it’s his golden ticket, too.

will, blog_4222

will, blog_4223

And, for fun, the county office held a Spooky Desserts contest. They can’t take these treats to any other competition (not like it matters, because they disappeared lightening fast!) but they do get to enjoy bragging rights. The girls worked SO hard on these cut cookies, decorated with royal icing. I almost hated to eat them. Dee-licious. I think Bridget would be proud. They used her recipes!

clare, anna-laura, blog_4232

Study hard, Whitakers! The district food show is coming up in December. It’s just too bad there’s no internet taste test available.

Looking for the recipes? Head on over to my Pinterest board!


  1. Nicole on October 28, 2015 at 8:51 am

    You may need to share recipes – these look delicious!

    • Kathryn on November 2, 2015 at 8:48 am

      They’re all linked on my Pinterest page. Happy cooking!

  2. Brie'n Miller on October 28, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Good Morning Kathryn! While this comment doesn’t pertain to your blog post per say, I read this article this morning and thought of you and your sweet bling that I have enjoyed from all the way up in Seattle 🙂

    • Kathryn on November 2, 2015 at 8:48 am

      Isn’t that such a great story? Thank you so much for thinking to send it to me.

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