If I can get my act together, I love baking cookies when the girls have friends over. It’s relatively time-consuming so pre-empts untold numbers of I’m-bored, I’m-hungry, So-and-so’s-being-mean declarations — which I still have a really hard time with, eight years into this parenting thing.
The key is to have all the ingredients laid out before they step into the kitchen so they feel like little Food Network stars stepping onto their set, mis-en-place ready to go.
Recently I made Smitten Kitchen’s Oatmeal Raisin (a total keeper — bookmark it) but replaced the raisins with dried cherries. Huge hit.