Cooking with the kids: cinnamon rolls on a Saturday morning

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck.

Last Saturday morning my daughter Jillian and I found ourselves awake before the rest of the family.  Normally when I am awake early on a weekend morning it is because of the youngest member of our family, so it was nice for my oldest child and I to get to spend some one on one time together.

While the rest of the family slept, she and I decided to surprise them with homemade cinnamon rolls.

We let our new (to us, anyway) bread machine do the work of the kneading and rising.

[We made our cinnamon rolls using the Money Saving Mom’s bread machine cinnamon rolls recipe.  I substituted coconut oil and our flour was 3C all purpose with 1C wheat.]

As we waited, we sat at the table together, she sipping a glass of milk and me with my coffee, and we chatted about everything from For Better or For Worse comics (her current favorite comic) to whether or not she likes the new math program we’re using for homeschool.  She chattered, I listened, and we reconnected after a busy week.

It was a sweet, slow morning.  It was nice.

Later we rolled out the dough, spread on the filling, and cut the rolls before baking. I love that she is old enough to be a real help in the kitchen and I appreciate the extra pair of hands, not to mention her enthusiasm.

As the rolls were baking, the rest of the family began waking up and wandering into the kitchen.  Before long, the full on hustle and bustle of a weekend morning as a family of six was in effect.  Max and Lucy wanted to help and elected to spread the icing with some generous enthusiasm of their own.

When the family sat down to breakfast, I couldn’t help but notice Jillian’s beaming face as everyone was eating.  She was proud to have made something that everyone was enjoying.  It was a good morning.

It might have seemed like an ordinary morning to an outsider, but I know these are the moments to treasure.  Before I know it, the lanky ten year old in my kitchen is going to grow up into a young woman.  I’m going to blink and she’ll have a kitchen of her own.

As Natalie Merchant was crooning on my iPod recently, these are the days to remember.

We may just have to make Saturday morning cinnamon rolls a new mother-daughter tradition.  I know the three year old thinks so!

getting to eat together is one of the best parts

Other things we’ve been cooking and enjoying together:

  • during homeschool study of Turkey, we tried ayran, a yogurt drink
  • shrimp quesadillas (an eMeals recipe from their Clean Eating plan)*
  • easy Italian bread sticks, another bread machine recipe found on Money Saving Mom
  • raspberry bars, a recipe from The Whole Food Kitchen ecourse (which is over now, but you should mark on your calendars for next year when Heather offers it again.  It was very thorough and I learned a lot.)

Are you looking for some ideas for fun in the kitchen with younger children?  Corey of Teach Your Tot has some suggestions for a Cooking theme that might fit the bill.

What have you and your kids been cooking up in the kitchen? Have you discovered any new recipes?

*you can try eMeals’ new clean eating plan for a %10 discount with the coupon code CLEAN

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. What a wonderful experience for you and your daughter. I remember getting up with my mom (although, we were a family of 3 with my brother), and sitting and talking in the morning. Those are some of my fondest memories of growing up, helping her cook in the kitchen and being able to talk to her. I hope to start that with my own daughter as she gets older!
    Heather´s latest post: Short Break!

  2. Amanda Shaw says:

    What a beautiful post. I’m almost always woken up by my middle child, my three-year-old son; but once in a blue moon, it’s my five-year-old daughter who wakes up first, and I, too, savour those moments. Just twenty minutes or so in the morning calm, reconnecting with my oldest child, is priceless. Don’t even get me started on homeschooling…we still rush in the mornings to get our two oldest off to preschool. Perhaps that will change soon. :) In the meantime, posts like this put a smile of my face and a rush of similar memories in my head…and a start to my day *ALMOST* as nice as if I’d actually had those moments this morning!!

  3. Thanks Kara for the link up!!! I love this post…and you are right…these are the days to remember! :-)

  4. I’m just trying to get to grips with sourdough at the moment. Actually I’d better liven up my starter ready for the weekend later!
    Mamacook´s latest post: Mini Quiches for babies and toddlers

  5. OH, so true. It is always messier to cook with kids, and I wonder if it is worth it, until I see the joy it gives them to create something for all of us to eat. Now cinnamon rolls may be our next selection!
    Steph´s latest post: Getting back in the groove


  1. […] loved Kara’s recent post about Cinnamon rolls on a Saturday morning with her sweet daughter, Jillian. She demonstrated perfectly how baking together was a valuable […]

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