Matthew has always been very interested in what I'm doing in the kitchen -- wanting to help measure and stir things and such. Before the holidays, I had him pick out a recipe out of a children's cookbook I had on hand, and he choose a beef vegetable soup of all things. He actually chopped up the vegetables, and was very proud of his soup.
For Christmas, he received a Paula Deen children's cookbook, so on Thursday I told him to pick out a recipe from one of his books and we'd cook together on Saturday. He choose the Chicken Pot Pie from the Paula Deen book, and wrote out his own shopping list for our trip to the grocery store on Friday. On Saturday afternoon, he made his pot pie. He started by cooking the chicken in water on the stove, letting it cool, pulling the skin and bones off the meat, and chopping up the chicken (I helped with that part). We even made our own white sauce, using some of the broth from cooking the chicken, and it was delicious! And of course, being a Paula Deen recipe, the sauce was made with butter and whole milk. Not too figure friendly, but I was good the rest of the day, so it was okay! The whole thing came together quite nicely, and was very tasty. The only complaint he had at the dinner table was "too many vegetables." (The recipe called for 2 cans of mixed vegetables, but I prefer the fresher taste of frozen, so I kind of guessed on how many veggies to put in. I thought it was perfect!)
It's a nice time together in the kitchen, is a learning experience, gives Matthew something to do besides the Wii (ha ha), and gives him a sense of accomplishment. Plus it's true that he eats better if he helps do the cooking. So it looks like this will become a regular thing for us -- I'd like to see us cook together at least once a week.