Baking/Cooking with the Twins- Family Tradition

by Courtney El-Ghoul
My grandmother had these aprons made for the girls:)

If you know me personally or you have been following me on Instagram it’s probably no secret that a go-to activity for the twins and I is baking/cooking:).

I started including them whenever I was baking when they were around two years old. I know, that seems early! Ha. We took baby steps. We have come a long way in the “me not losing my cool” department. Haha, I am not going to lie, it was quite messy and frustrating for me when they were small. But, they love it and have gotten so much better. Truth be told – I am a neat freak. So if you are like me in that regard just take deep breaths and remember, it’s supposed to be fun! You can deal with the mess later. No surprises here, of course, but baked goods are our favorite! Give us all the cookies, muffins, and cupcakes! Who doesn’t love a sweet treat right!? Last year, the girl’s teachers would be like… “Look, Courtney. We love all your delicious goodies, but we have to be able to fit in our clothes for the rest of the year!” HAHA – Oops.

Cooking and Baking During The Holidays

During the holiday season, the cooking and baking really ramps up! We never miss an opportunity to decorate sugar cookies at Christmas time or whip up a delicious pumpkin treat in the Fall. Now that we have gone gluten-free/dairy-free for Nahla – it has been a game-changer in us stepping up our baking game. I don’t want her to miss out on all the yummy treats. I am so happy to be finding so many delicious alternatives that we all enjoy. I never want Nahla to feel like being GF/DF is a bad thing, so we are embracing it together as a family, and now that lifestyle is how we bake & cook together.

Favorite Baking Recipes

One of my favorites resources for finding new recipes is minimalistbaker.com. I love love her recipes! They are super easy, minimal ingredients, and she has so many GF/DF options to choose from. The girls and I are big fans of the 10 minute chocolate truffles and the no bake peanut butter cookies. Oh-My-Gosh… Soooo good! These are great starter recipes if you are just getting started baking with kiddos. They are super easy to involve the girls. They can help me pour the ingredients in, mix, and help roll them into balls. Of course, they also love tasting the glaze that is meant for dipping! Another huge plus is there isn’t a ton of extra clean up involved. Ava & Khalil are also big fans of the Vegan mac & cheese. Who would have thought picky Ava would eat that!? Not me! Another recent favorite is balancewithb.com chocolate peanut butter (or other nut butter substitute) frozen banana bites. I am not even kidding these are so yummy! We had so much fun making them, and they are a perfect late-night snack. I pair it with a glass of red wine, boom, perfect evening. 

Tips for Baking With Kids

  • Easy recipes (less is more when it comes to ingredients)
  • Colored spatulas, and colored mixing bowls – the girls always like picking what color bowl they will use, and I love that they can’t fight over whos is whos. 
  • Recipes including dipping or sprinkling something on top. They love this, and it doesn’t need to be done perfectly for the recipe to succeed. 
  • Fun shaped muffin pans for holidays & fun cookie cutters… because, why not!? 
  • Relax, and maybe have a glass of wine ready for after to prepare yourself for the cleanup! 

Actually, now that they are older I insist they help me clean up if they want to enjoy their treat or bake next time… It’s a good life skill 🙂 

I know sometimes it is a lot easier to just… do it yourself. You know how to measure, you have more control over your mixing skills, and it takes less time. But, I try to imagine that these are the moments that they will remember forever. Maybe one day they will name no-bake peanut butter cookies with their kids and they will say “I used to make these with my mom when I was your age.” For me, that thought is enough to make the extra clean-up worth it. 

For all of you that bake with your kiddos, any favorite recipes or food blogs, specifically GF/DF?

I am so excited for the Holiday’s so I can start planning our treats:)

XO Courtney 

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