Linda, Audrey, and Emma: Making Cooking into Family Time

“Try your hardest [in the kitchen].” – Audrey, 11

Linda Audrey and Emma: Heroes in the Kitchen via @cooksmarts
This next Heroes in the Kitchen post is truly a special one. Linda, Audrey, and Emma are our first family to be featured, and it looks like they’ve been having a lot of fun cooking together nightly. When Linda first reached out to me about Cook Smarts a few months ago, she was deciding between us and another meal planning service. I’m incredibly happy she chose us and is now having so much fun with her kids in the kitchen. Read not only her story but her daughters’ stories below (Thanks girls for participating!):

Name: Linda
Age: 49
City, State: Hayward, CA
Outside of the kitchen I: I do tech support for a living, play pool and read for fun.
I cook for: myself, my husband, and my two girls ages 8 and 11.
Being able to cook allows me to: have dinner at home as a family on weeknights, even though we have hectic schedules.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal: Brown Butter Pasta!

How did you learn to cook?

I learned to follow recipes as a child, baking with my mom. I’m learning to cook now.

What’s been your biggest kitchen challenge?

Planning meals that my entire family can enjoy – a husband with high standards, one vegetarian daughter who doesn’t like spicy food, and one carnivorous daughter who enjoys some spice.

How has your cooking routine changed recently?

It sounds ridiculous, but thorough prep work and tasting the food as I cook. I never did either of those things before, and cooking was stressful and often disappointing. Now it’s fun and the results are better! Additionally, the kids love Cook Smarts, and we all work together. After a meal, we talk about what we liked and what we might do differently next time.

What advice would you give to other moms (and kids) who want to be cooking more family dinners?

Show the kids the prep videos that are part of the meal plans and ask if they want to try it. The family time is priceless, and the skills and confidence they gain will serve them well into adulthood.

Name: Audrey
Age: 11
Outside of the kitchen I: I swim, read and do art.
I cook for: my family.
Being able to cook allows me to: have fun and make my own vegetarian options.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal: Tofu Curry

How did you learn to cook?

Recipes, books, and my mom.

What’s been your biggest kitchen challenge?

I’m afraid of getting burned.

What new skill or dish have you cooked that you’re most proud of?

Cupcakes and frosting from scratch

What advice would you give to other kids who want to learn to cook?

Try your hardest.

“Show the kids [Cook Smarts’] prep videos and ask if they want to try it. The family time is priceless, and the skills and confidence they gain will serve them well into adulthood.”

Name: Emma
Age: 8
Outside of the kitchen I: like to jumprope and use electronics.
I cook for: Audrey and Daddy.
Being able to cook allows me to: let my creative juices flow.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal: Brown Butter Pasta

How did you learn to cook?

Cook Smarts. {CS: Aww, thanks Emma, we’re so happy you’re learning to cook with us!}

What’s been your biggest kitchen challenge?

Working with a hot stove.

What advice would you give to other kids who want to learn to cook?

Have fun and try not to get hurt.


Linda, Audrey, and Emma, thanks for letting us be part of your new dinnertime routine. We’re excited to help the whole family learn how to cook and watch Audrey and Emma grow up to be amazing home cooks. Audrey and Emma, we hope neither of you ever get burned or hurt in the kitchen, but you both sound very brave and will surely bounce back!

Linda and Emma's Favorite Cook Smarts' Meal
Audrey's Favorite Cook Smarts Meal
To join Linda, Audrey, and Emma and cook meals like their favorite brown butter pasta and tofu curry, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!

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