4 year old chili

27 Dec

Tonight’s dinner was 4-year-old chili.

Ok, so that’s a little misleading. The chili itself was not 4 years old. It was, however, made by my 4-year-old daughter.

That’s right. My 4-year-old daughter made dinner. And it was not in an Easy Bake oven! She made chili in our crockpot, using real and actual food like this:

The ingredients

I got the idea, and the recipe, from the cookbook Fix It and Forget It Kids’ Cookbook by Phillis Pellman Good:

The recipe

I did supervise and open the cans, but she put the ingredients in the crockpot and mixed them together:

Adding the black beans...

...and the diced tomatoes with chiles


...and the salsa


...and the taco seasoning.

Not pictured are the kidney beans and chick peas and the pinch of sugar.

She even put the chili into serving bowls when it was ready (after a wardrobe change and the loss of the bunny ears):

It was (surprisingly) quite a tasty recipe. Although a little runny (we didn’t add the ground beef since I don’t eat it), and more like a chili soup than a thick, hearty chili, it was still quite good. And my daughter was so proud of herself for making dinner. She could not stop talking about how she made it herself (she’s even talking about it now, as I write this). I think that’s really what made it taste so wonderful.

What was also nice about this recipe is that it was a meal my daughter could make on her own (for the most part), which helps to build the foundation for learning how to cook. I firmly believe that it’s never too early or too late to learn how to cook and this kind of recipe is a great start.

I also love that making the meal was quality time that we spent together.  And that was the special ingredient that tied it all together.


7 Responses to “4 year old chili”

  1. Cathy Kalina December 28, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    The ears have it!!
    What a great blog. . .keep it up!

  2. Sarah December 28, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    how fun! i remember cooking with my mom when i was little too… 🙂

    • theemptykitchen December 28, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

      that’s what i’m hoping for, sarah. i want her to not only learn to cook but to have good memories!

  3. Melissa E. December 28, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    That is awesome! I wonder how old my son will be before he can make me chili? (He’s two now.)

    I’m going to have to get ahold of a copy of that cookbook. Thanks for the idea.

    • theemptykitchen December 28, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

      you’re welcome! it’s a great cookbook. lots of good, easy and kid-friendly recipes.


  1. Chili seasoning straight from the pantry « The Empty Kitchen - February 9, 2011

    […] loves chili. I think it has something to do with the fact that she once helped make it and she gets to eat bread or chips along with it, but I’m not 100% sure about that. in an […]

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