Cooking, Easy Meals, Parenting
Comments 19

#CookTogether with Riverford

I love cooking.

It all started when I was a little girl, with me watching my mum cook all our meals from scratch.

My first memory of getting involved (and my mum was great at that, she always had the patience and the enthusiasm to have both my brother and myself “help” her out) was making dough balls on a winter’s day in my mum’s cosy, steamed up kitchen.

My love affair with food grew as the years flew by and I got to travel and see the world.

There is nothing I love more than a hot fondue after a day out and about in the snow, when in Switzerland. Or a fresh salad, full of earthly goodness and some Feta cheese, as a bonus, when dining out in Greece!

I had hoped, once I had children, that they will inherit my love for travelling and adventure.

My wish came true!

Emma is becoming a passionate and astute traveller who can charm the socks off a Turkish palace guard for a smile(and a picture!), who would excitedly exclaim “I want bougatsa!”, as soon as we land in Greece and who can withstand radical change of travelling plans better than any grown-up I know, and see the positives in it too!

But one thing I wish we could do better in is trying new things when it comes to food! There are always “safe” things we rely on when travelling (like chicken and pasta and loads of bread!) but I would love to see Emma tucking into a bowl of whatever is put in front of her, wherever we are in the world!

So, when this week, Riverford Organic Farms approached me about their latest(and very exciting!) #CookTogether campaign, I knew this could be our breakthrough to a new world of exciting tastes and culinary experiences!

 I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and told a very keen-to-cook-together-with-mummy Emma that we were going to make a Romanian recipe I used to love as a child!

Here is how we made the whole experience safe and fun for both of us:

1. Although you won’t see it in our pictures, as I forgot to photograph it, we used an IKEA children’s stool for Emma to reach the worktop.

forsiktig-children-s-stool-white__0179379_PE331769_S4The stools are sturdy, safe and make working in the kitchen with small children a pleasurable as well as very safe experience, as no-one is balancing on high chairs in close proximity of knives and hot stoves! As you can see, perfect height for Emma to work safely!


2. Before we started cooking, we reinforced hygiene rules Emma knows too well from school and from watching “I Can Cook” on CBeebies. We washed hands with plenty of soap and dried them thoroughly. Not worth risking a beautiful, passing down of life skills experience becoming a germ-swapping disaster, especially when cooking in hot climates like we did yesterday!

3. Planning is key, when it comes to cooking with small, enthusiastic children!

The recipe I chose to make with Emma, Romanian stuffed peppers, allowed her plenty of independent actions, which led to a very enjoyable first cooking experience and built her confidence immensely.

Here are some pictures showing Emma working like a pro :-):

– using the blender for the first time ever, to mince carrot and onion for the stuffing:

DSC_0384– washing the peppers I had removed the seeds and end from:

DSC_0388– stuffing the peppers herself, I was not allowed anywhere near, as this was her dish to make :-)!

DSC_03934. My last tip, which has more to do with us as grown-ups, used to make things happen quickly and efficiently, is to allow plenty of time and have a lot of patience with your budding little cook!

Enjoy the experience, even in the smallest of details, like allowing the children the last touches to “their” dish.

Emma insisted on creating a pattern with her peppers and although it would have saved me time, saying no and arranging them myself, quickly and randomly, I understood that allowing her to finish was communicating respect and passing her full ownership of the dish!

DSC_0397As she grows, we will use our cooking together experiences to learn about weights and quantities and volume and much more, but for a first time ever, I think we did great, what do you think?

Oh, before I forget, here are Emma’s peppers, ready to be devoured!

DSC_0401Why don’t you take the time to #cooktogether yourselves these coming weeks, while the kids are on school holidays?

Riverford has this great incentive for all of us wanting to get involved and will pick the best tips for cooking together with our children in a competition draw that could get you a self-catering family holiday in south Devon with the lovely Coast & Country Cottages, lunch or dinner for the whole family at the Riverford Field Kitchen restaurant on our farm, plus a Riverford welcome box and recipe boxes to enjoy during your stay!

Don’t be shy, just share your tips on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook under the hashtag #cooktogether and tagging @riverford.

Good luck and happy cooking times, building memories with your little ones!


  1. Looks like Emma did a fabulous job! My daughter and I love to cook together and she’s brilliant now- she made us spaghetti carbonara for tea tonight with minimal supervision from me – she’s 12!

  2. Cass@FrugalFamily says

    Aaaw well done Emma – I’d like to come for tea next time you’re cooking please x x

  3. Oh yummy, well done Emma. I really want to start my daughter young with cooking. As I have to admit that I’ve never really bothered much for cooking, it’s not that I can’t cook. More that I’ve never really enjoyed or had the time for it. Although my mother made our meals from scratch we were never really involved or invited to help and the most I made in cookery classes at school was rainbow rice and pizza. I would always use sauces from a jar rather than make my own. However I have started a diet recently that requires me to make sauces and meals completely from scratch and having lost around 1st in 7 weeks has inspired me and made me enjoy cooking so much more. This is something I now want to encourage my daughter to help with. I completely agree with your comment about Greek salad, it’s the best salad I’ve ever had but sadly trying to make it here in the UK just doesn’t taste the same. Another Greek favourite is dolmades.

    Do you have a recipe for the Romanian stuffed peppers please?

  4. Well done Emma what a fantastic looking dish – looks so much better than anything I could do – I am an awful cook! x

  5. Oooh that looks delicious. We are reviewing the Riverford box too – it looks amazing x

  6. What a lovely campaign. It’s great to pass these skills on.

    We get a weekly veg box, so I should make more of an effort to do this, especially over the holidays when I have more time.

  7. Great tips. I cook most days with the boys. It is part of our day that we all love and I want them to have the skills

  8. karaguppy2015 says

    We have a little helper funpod so the kids can help cook – looks like you both did a fabulous job

  9. I love cooking with my kids – tho they are keenest when we are making cakes! Currently on a mission with my eldest to teach her plenty of cheap meals to make for when she heads off to Uni in September.

  10. Michelle Twin Mum says

    Well done being patient and allowing yoru little girl to finish it all off, she did a fabulous job and I bet you had such fun together. Mich x

  11. londonbirdlucy says

    Great cooking Emma, I love stuffed Peppers too. I will get my sons to make this, they adore helping in the kitchen. Life skills are the best! Great post thank you

  12. An excellent campaign, I haven’t has stuffed peppers for years, I must make some soon!

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