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    Home Education

    Edible Handicrafts without the Sugar High

    March 4, 2015 by Brandy Vencel

    [dropcap]M[/dropcap]ystie has done it again. You all know I love her Simplified Dinners. I love that it taught me that cooking makes sense. I enjoy seeing patterns, and with cooking, I just wasn’t seeing it. Mystie’s approach to simplifying dinner totally changed that for me. Now, she’s created a similar product: Simplified Dinners for New Cooks.

    It was back during the original 31 Days of Charlotte Mason that I first realized that cooking could be a handicraft. It is, possibly, the perfect handicraft for a non-crafty mom such as myself.

    The one and only craft that I know how to do is decorate cakes, and I prefer to separate handicrafts from sugar highs. I told this to Mystie, and she presented me with my very own Simplified Dinners for New Cooks {hereafter SDNC} banner.

    Oh, yes.

    Edible Handicrafts without the Sugar High


    When Mystie sent me an advanced, early copy of SDNC, she asked if there was anything she could do to make it better. My response was if it would actually cook dinner for me, that would be great.

    Mystie reminded me that children who know how to cook can do exactly that!


    The way this works is that we teach our children some basic cooking skills first. Mystie has provided a list of thirteen basic {and I mean really basic} skills to teach, and once they know them, they can cook any recipe in the entire book.

    All by themselves.

    Well, she suggests supervising at first. Of course.

    The point is, this is a cookbook just for beginners, which makes it a perfect option for handicrafts.

    My 12- and 10-year-olds are slated to make cinnamon muffins this afternoon, actually. They are so excited to do this on their own!

    And now your kids can, too.

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  • Reply k hayes May 24, 2018 at 11:12 pm

    do you have a list of the table of contents available somewhere?

  • Reply Michelle R. March 14, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Would love a copy! My two oldest, 9 and 7, both love to cook : )

  • Reply Suzie March 8, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    I would love a copy of this!

  • Reply SarahD March 7, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Oh, this sounds like such a great approach for my cooking and baking loving girl who so dearly wants to master the kitchen.

  • Reply Gina March 7, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Oh! My daughters would just love the opportunity to cook dinner! It sounds like this book would help make that a possibility!

  • Reply Clare March 7, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Am a big Mystie fan – have Simplified Dinners, Paperless, and am working through her ecourse! Would love a copy of this new book too – have 4 (nearly 5) budding cooks so this looks perfect.

  • Reply Michelle March 6, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    This book looks fun!

  • Reply C Whitney March 6, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    My girls would really enjoy this!

  • Reply tammy March 6, 2015 at 9:20 am

    My ds is wanting to be in charge of his days. I see this could be used as a “curriculum” or plan to follow. Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Reply Becky A. March 6, 2015 at 5:59 am

    I’ve been looking for something just like this. My kids have been asking to cook all by themselves, and I think this would be the perfect tool!

  • Reply Leanne R Lee March 5, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Love this! Cooking is such an empowering skill to have. Thanks!

  • Reply Holly E March 5, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I would really love to teach my nephews how to cook and this would be perfect.

  • Reply Anne L. March 5, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    I would love to win this for my family. Cooking is something I am teaching them and I am always looking for simple meals for them to make.

  • Reply Jodi March 5, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    I would love some ideas on overcoming my control-freak nature to get my five-year-old involved in the kitchen. She’s always so eager to help!

  • Reply Lydia March 5, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    We are always running out of food. (and clean laundry….) I need to get my kids on board with cooking! This looks great!

  • Reply Heather March 5, 2015 at 10:03 am

    I have a 10 yr old who’s pretty proficient in the kitchen, but I’m finding that I don’t have as much time as I’d like to teach my younger kids to cook. This book would be a great help for me in that area!

  • Reply Hollie March 5, 2015 at 7:41 am

    I need to win because I am not any good at cooking, myself! I would love to have this and learn together with my two oldest daughters. 🙂

  • Reply Andrea March 5, 2015 at 7:23 am

    I am a control freak in the kitchen, I fail at incorporating handicrafts into our cm education and I am militant about sugar intake. Indeed this could work wonders for my kids beyond baking era in our kitchen! Oh and I love mystie.

  • Reply Lindsay K March 5, 2015 at 5:35 am

    With baby #7 due in three short months, I NEED my older ones to help out more in the kitchen. But, sometimes I’m kind of at a loss as to where to start. So this would be perfect for me! Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  • Reply Missy March 4, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    I really want this book because I am raising 3 boys who I hope will know their way around a kitchen enough to care for themselves, truly help their wives and make memories with their children like Christopher Perrin discusses with his Saturday morning waffles and opera. Plus, I have a newborn little girl and the more the older ones can help in the kitchen the more sanity mama has.

  • Reply SarahL March 4, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Oooh, my 8 and 10 year olds would be all over this. They keep wanting to cook dinner with me, but I don’t really know where to start with them.

  • Reply Virginia Lee March 4, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Because delegating one of my least favorite things to do (I mean teaching important life skills) is one of the perks of a mama’s job. Ha! =)

  • Reply Jeni G March 4, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    My 10yo daughter likes to make things in the kitchen. I think she sees it as experimentation. Some of her made up recipes have turned out well, and others have been difficult for me to eat. This book would let me set her free in the kitchen, and it would be so helpful for me to have someone to call upon to make dinner sometimes!

  • Reply Diana March 4, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Not only is it a fun handicraft but an important life skill. I would love to give my bigs some more cooking training to lead toward more independence and I would love to make something other than pancakes with my 4 yr old… Although flipping pancakes is such fun.

  • Reply Carol March 4, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I tend not to use cookbooks and teach my children as I go but I change ingredients every time I do it & it’s very frustrating for my children. It would be good to have a book they can use without me trying to explain how I do things.

  • Reply Sharon B March 4, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    While I have older children who are quite capable in the kitchen, I haven’t been as diligent with my younger ones. This would be a great resource to remind me to teach them.

  • Reply Jacque March 4, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    I, similar to you, only have one crafty talent to offer my boys: cooking. I would love to have this book so I would stop procrastinating on handicrafts!

  • Reply Sharon March 4, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I need to win this because my two boys, ages 9 & 10, are ALWAYS hungry. I am tired of trying to figure out what to make to fill them up. I am ready for them to figure it out themselves and make us dinner.

  • Reply Misty March 4, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    This looks awesome thanks!

  • Reply kama March 4, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Would love to win. I have 5 kids 6 and under. The oldest three are always asking to help!

  • Reply Cassie March 4, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    I was looking for something just like this a few years ago! My youngest would love it. He wants to cook, but needs some practice . . . . I don’t like cooking so I’m not good at teaching it!

  • Reply Julie March 4, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Great idea! Would love to have a copy!

  • Reply Jamie March 4, 2015 at 11:58 am

    I think that having someone who has already thought through what beginning recipes would be good for kids, would be ideal!

  • Reply Jamie March 4, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Sounds great! Would love to see this happening at my house someday!

  • Reply Olivia March 4, 2015 at 11:15 am

    I need this book for a couple of reasons.

    1. I have an 18 yo son who will probably move out soon and this book would probably be helpful to him.

    2. My dd 11 likes to cook, but I don’t really like her to “help” me … I prefer to work alone 🙂 so this book could help me teach her some things she could do on her own and feel more useful in our family.


  • Reply Heather March 4, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Both my kids love to be in the kitchen and I would love a systematic way to teach them!

  • Reply Amy Boone March 4, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I’ve been wanting to teach my son some cooking techniques, so this would be perfect!

  • Reply Celeste March 4, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Because teaching the big kids to cook is my summer project! Really, it is. High priority. 🙂

  • Reply Heather M March 4, 2015 at 9:55 am

    My oldest son, who is 8, just started making muffins and banana bread. It helps so much! I’d love to branch him out more. He’s got a lot of food allergies so knowing how to cook his own food is a must!

  • Reply Cyndy March 4, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I’d love to be able to use this with my 10 and 12 yro. kids for handicrafts. My daughter has been helping me and has learned to make several breakfasts already.

  • Reply Lisa Smith Potter March 4, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I would love to share this book with my 16 and 18 year old sons. I have used their high school years to teach them how to make a few of our family favorites but we are always looking for healthier ways to nourish ourselves! This sounds perfect! Thank you Mystie and Brandy for the giveaway!

  • Reply Kristi March 4, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I would love to win this! I subscribe to Mystie’s blog, too, and was excited to see her description of the forthcoming book over there. My boys are still very young, but my older one is very eager to help with more “grown-up” things like kitchen-related tasks, and I want to capitalize on that. 😉 I’d love to see the how-to on some recipes he can help out with, and later, do on his own!

    Thanks for holding the giveaway! 🙂

  • Reply Kansas Mom March 4, 2015 at 9:03 am

    This is a great idea! So many kid-friendly cookbooks are just a couple of sandwiches and then four sections of different desserts. I hate when my daughter wants to pull one out and cook.

  • Reply Ashley March 4, 2015 at 8:11 am

    This would be such a welcome addition to our family. My husband and son are on a kitchen learning experience together. It would be a great little nudge to get them in the right direction. Not that I don’t love grilled cheese! 😉

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 4, 2015 at 8:48 am

      Ha! 🙂

  • Reply Mystie March 4, 2015 at 7:03 am

    Ha! The cinnamon muffins have a funny backstory. I had my 9yo make them straight from a recipe I found online and watched where he wasn’t sure what to do and made alterations to the recipe when I put it into SDNC. The next week my 11yo made the recipe from SDNC – excited to do so because his brother’s had been so good. He tasted his and said, “Well, they’re good, but Jaeger’s were better. And Jaeger’s recipe said to put cinnamon and sugar on top and this one doesn’t.”

    “…Well, because I cut the amount of sugar in half and had you use whole wheat flour.” 😀

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 4, 2015 at 8:48 am

      I knew I liked that recipe. Less sugar is just fine with me. It means less six-year-old hyperactivity later!

  • Reply Karen @ The Simply Blog March 4, 2015 at 6:32 am

    What a great idea! And you’re right, it can be a handicraft. I’m not a very crafty person either, so you’re not alone. 🙂 Also, my teenage daughter likes to cook and is good at it too. My hubby is an excellent cook as well. It’s very nice having a teenager and a hubby that can cook! 🙂

  • Reply Julie W March 4, 2015 at 6:26 am

    I have a 9 year old son who is itching to be in the kitchen to help with dinner. A book like this would be great for him (and me)!

  • Reply renee March 4, 2015 at 6:02 am

    i need to win this because as of july i’ll have 3 kids under 3 years old!

  • Reply Victoria March 4, 2015 at 5:19 am

    I have a couple of beginner cooks that would benefit! I guess cooking is my handicraft, but I have a hard time communicating it to my kids — this might help.

  • Reply Cassie D March 4, 2015 at 4:58 am

    I need this nook because i stink at cooking and truly stink at teaching my daughter to cook. Much less to enjoy doing so. Maybe if i felt more confident myself, then maybe i would enjoy it more.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel March 4, 2015 at 8:46 am

      Oh, yes! The nice thing is that it is for *new* cooks…even if YOU are the new cook. 🙂

  • Reply Kristin March 4, 2015 at 1:53 am

    With ten young children, I could use more help in the kitchen!

    I would be so grateful for a copy!

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