Cooking with Fun

Offering cooking and gardening classes for kids & adults. Learn where real food comes from and how to cook it.

Cooking with Fun offers families cooking lessons, hands-on and garden-to-table, as well as gardening lessons so they can grow the food and cook their harvest.

Cooking with Fun's cover photo

Check this out! Kids Baking Championship Birthday Party today where 7 tweens made 7 vanilla cakes ALL FROM SCRATCH. They measured the dry and wet ingredients, creamed the butter and sugar, baked their cakes, made vanilla buttercream by hand, and finally decorated their cakes. Halfway through the competition, I gave them an oddball ingredient to incorporate into their dessert... good 'ol fermented sauerkraut made by our local Number 1 Sons. Got some fun reactions from the kids but that didn't stop them from making the most beautiful delicious cakes. Fun party for sure! Happy Birthday J!

The young chefs learned how to make bread today. Things got a "little" sticky at the beginning, but they managed to create good eats. Keep practicing kiddos!

Valentines Greeting

Happy Valentine's Day, from all of us at Cooking with Fun!

Cooking with Fun's cover photo

Wishing you all a new year FULL of good health, love, family, and friends. Happy 2019! xox

Check out Daniela Williams, Cucinamore.

Friends, a local chef and friend, Daniela Williams, was selected as one of the top 10 finalist chefs of Loudoun County. Please consider voting for her to help her win the 2019 Best of Loudoun contest. Click on the link, answer five questions, and vote for her! Daniela is an incredibly talented personal chef. She brings people together to celebrate friendship and food, and helps create memorable experiences. Her votes are well deserved. Thank you for voting! Happy Holidays! Cast your vote for your favorite people, places, businesses, and events in Loudoun County!

Such a FUN cooking class at IndED Academies These kids made an all-butter crust FROM SCRATCH and shaped it to make ultra delicious blueberry handpies. SOOOOO proud of them!!! They are so talented and LOVE cooking!!

Good fun making blueberry hand pies in our Cooking With Fun Fall baking class!

Good Morning Friends. If you're around Loudoun Station this morning 9AM- 1PM, check out the Grand Opening of the Loudoun Station Farmers Market. I'm excited that one of my favorite local & family-owned farms will be there, Honey Brook Farms. I rely on them for my weekly supply of milk, meat, eggs, etc. They even sell organic veggies. They raise their animals with the highest standards and respect. And I can't say enough about the family. They are so attentive, kind, and care deeply about feeding local families good food. Hopefully you can make it this morning and support our local farms.

Location: Loudoun Station, Central Station Dr, Ashburn, VA 20147

The teen chefs made the most beautiful, well executed, and delicious dishes during their cooking challenge at IndED Academies. Chef Daniela from Cucinamore, LLC - Italian Cooking Parties and Peter Howard from the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce both judged the challenge. The kids shopped for their ingredients, prepared the dish in the allotted time, presented their dish to the judges, and hoped for high scores. They were each beaming with pride! Here is a fun write-up on the challenge.

This is why I love teaching kids how to cook. Just look at this little chef's expression, as she looks at the dish she made. She feels accomplished, empowered, and excited. ❤️❤️❤️

Making authentic tortilla from scratch is all about technique, and this young chef nailed it on his first try. He made the dough, rolled it out, and cooked it just right. The tortilla puffed up! He also made chicken and steak fajita filling with peppers and onions, including a delicious lime-cumin marinade. The fajitas were a huge success and he was beaming with pride. So proud of him!! Email me at [email protected] to schedule a private Fajita-making workshop for your kids and their friends!

The little wee chefs learned how to make guacamole from scratch. One of the moms was thrilled that her very picky 3 year old ate the entire dish. Hooray for trying new foods!

Made by the hands of an 11 year old: farm-fresh egg salad with homemade lemon-shallow mayonnaise. This dish is anything but trivial. The young chefs learned how to perfectly cook hard-boiled eggs. They then made their own mayonnaise - that's 10 minutes of hand-whisking an egg yolk and a steady stream of oil. Their hard work paid off. They successfully created an emulsion and made a pudding-like mayo. Good enough to eat with a spoon! Finally, they brought their dish together by making this restaurant-quality egg salad. Topped with cayenne pepper, the presentation was just as beautiful as the flavors. The young chefs at IndED Academies did great day. So proud!!

No matter where you live in this world, one thing is for certain... good food brings family and friends together. So to all the families I have met over the years and to the ones I have yet to meet, wishing you a "delicious" new year. Happy 2018! xox

Free cooking demos at 11AM, Noon, and 1PM at the Health, Wellness, and Family Fun Day tomorrow (Oct 7). Location: StoneSprings Hospital Parking Lot, 24440 StoneSprings Blvd, Dulles. See you there!

The young chefs are cooking outside this week, thanks to this beautiful weather. They are learning to knead bread in this photo. They hear the chatter of cicada, the sound of the waterfall, and from time to time, the neighbor's dogs barking. They see butterflies fluttering around, honeybees buzzing by on their way to the garden, and dragonflies heading to the pond. Once in a while, a bird speeds past... it's a hummingbird on its way to the honeysuckle plant. Cooking surrounded by nature... makes for a perfect week, don't you think!!!

Cooking camp starts tomorrow and the Swallowtail Caterpillar is ready for showtime. Lots of veggies are ready for the young chefs to harvest and cook with but I'm sure the Swallowtail will steal the show and get loads of attention.

Exciting news! Wild Salmon season started YESTERDAY! You'll be seeing a lot more Alaskan Wild King and Wild Sockeye at the grocery stores. The price will be high at first but it will drop soon after. Wild King Salmon is my favorite because it's so rich and buttery but you can't go wrong with any salmon that is wild-caught as they are all l-o-a-d-e-d with Omega 3 - brain-happy nutrients. Last week, the young chefs made pan-seared salmon. Easy and quick. Sear your salmon a few minutes on each side and you're done. Dinner is served! That's faster (and more nutritious) than fast food anywhere :)

TRIVIA! Look who's visiting the garden today! Actually, she and her siblings were born here on my carrot patch. She is just a baby and will soon shed her skin to take on her adult form - a bright red insect loved by all kids. Gardeners love these babies because they are ferocious predators and will protect the plants from the invasive aphid bugs. What am I?

Kids Are Cooking!

The young teens made wild pan-seared salmon dressed with strawberry salsa and a side of roasted asparagus. They each made their own and learned about salmon and the difference between wild, farm-raised, and organic. They learned through hands-on how to sear successfully to get that delicious brown crust as well as how to flavor asparagus to bring out the best flavor. They will each make it for their moms on Mothers Day. Very special. We had loads of fun and I can't wait for next week's class for more dinner fun. My friend Dawn took this impromptu live video at the end of class (Thanks Dawn!). A photo of the dish made by one of the young chefs is in the comments.

Never Mind the Kids: What's Mom & Dad Eating Today? Healthy Lunch Ideas - Eat Well Love Long

Hey Moms and Dads! A friend of mine who shares recipes, ideas, and tips for healthy families on her Eat Well Love Long blog just put together a great write-up on what moms and dads eat for lunch. We can all use some healthy lunch ideas. Check it out! It's a fun read! Now that the kids' lunchboxes are packed, how about some healthy lunch ideas for you? Take a look at these 20 real lunches from real parents.

Cooking Live at LiveWell Festival at OneLoudoun

Had the privilege of meeting so many great people at the OneLoudoun LiveWell festival on Saturday. Thank you to all who came out in the rain. A heartfelt thank you to my friends who brought tons of energy and made my booth a grand success. Thank you to my sister Pat, my husband Mel, Dawn Crawley, Cyndi Anderson, Carol Williams-Nichelson with Tiffany, Jodie Lin with Logan, Anna Vasquez with Mia, Jesse, and Lucas. A big thank you to Dawn for taking this impromptu video!!

Live Well Loudoun Festival

Bring your family to the Live Well Festival at OneLoudoun THIS Saturday where you'll find so many amazing local businesses focused on healthy living. I'll be running live demos all day on healthy cooking. I'll also have lots of raffles, kids activities, and fun fun fun! Look for my booth! Would love to see you!

We're only one week out!! We have your whole day planned out! You could register for 10:30 Soldierfit Sterling bootcamp, 11:00 Mindful Breath with Five Stones Healing Arts & Wellness Center, New Flavors Cooking with Fun demo and then Zumba with The Fitness Equation at 3:45!

Cooking with Fun's cover photo

This hard-working young chef and her friends enjoyed making honey-sweetened thumbprint cookies, with oats and coconut. They topped it with raspberry jam made from scratch. They enjoyed every single bite! :)

Ramps are at the markets! A sure sign of spring! One Loudoun & Leesburg winter markets are open! sat 9-12

Wild ramps are available at the Leesburg Farmers Market this weekend. Woohoo! I'm nuts about ramps and you should be too. Here are the top 3 reasons why: #3: Spring is here. Cue the ramps! Mother Nature is officially announcing Spring. Finally! #2: Ramp season means adventure - they grow wild in the woods. You can forage for them or visit the Farmers Market this weekend. #1: Ramps can be added to any dish. Absolutely any dish. Even butter. This newsletter has a recipe on how to make ramp butter. And while you're reading the newsletter, don't forget to check out my article on educating kids about food! Hope you can make it this weekend for some ramps!

Come to my free cooking demos on April 22 at One Loudoun - Live Well Loudoun Festival where you'll also find 11 wellness-themed areas, free classes and demos, great food and drinks, and lots of local shops - all in one place! Come out and find #theonethingyouneed! Too register in advance for activities, go to

Wishing young chef Logan a Happy Birthday!!! We cooked up a storm at her birthday party. She made garlicky guacamole and pita chips, delicious quesadilla with pico de gallo, and a decadent chocolate cake. Everything turned out perfectly! It was a memorable birthday for her and her BFF.

Make some noise young chefs!! This week these kids at a local school prepared ultra delicious chocolate cakes from scratch. Check out this fun video.

The Young Chefs made chocolate pasta! That rich, intense smell of chocolate permeated the kitchen. Oh so goooooooodddddd!!!

Sending a shout out to Young Chef Talia who made these delicious looking heart-shaped muffins today. She practiced making them in cooking class, and then did it at home ALL BY HERSELF. We may just see her on the cooking channel someday. Go Talia!

Help win $25,000 for this business - VOTE in The American Small Business Championship

Please keep voting for me today. I really need your help achieving my goal of supporting Title 1 Schools. You can vote 10 times every hour. Thank you! VOTE for Cooking With Fun LLC to be a Small Business Champion #BizChampion. Grand Prize is $25,000 each for three businesses, courtesy of Sam's Club and SCORE. Businesses can win a $1,000 Sam's Club gift card, small business Championship Networking and Training, and lots of national publicity. Thank...

Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Muffins, made by a "very proud" 10 year old in cooking class. Absolutely perfect in every way! The young chefs learned just how easy it is to make their own GF flour too!

Several young chefs making Chocolate Lava Cakes at a cooking birthday party. Their hard work was rewarded with a generous flow of gooey decadent chocolate and delicious bite after bite. When making lava cakes, always use the highest quality chocolate you can find since the main ingredient in these little cakes is chocolate.

Don't miss out on this! If you like, comment, or share this post, you'll be entered to win a basket of goodies from the Farmers Market. Love the Farmers Market and all the farmers!

What will you purchase for your Valentine at the farmers market?
Like, share, and comment on this post and we will enter you for a basket of farmers market goodies to be picked up Saturday, Feb. 18 in Leesburg. Your name will be entered for each action you take. Like, share, and comment!

On April 22, Cooking with Fun will be hosting several live cooking demos, all FREE to you, at the Live Well Loudoun Inaugural Festival located at One Loudoun. The cooking demos are being crafted this week so now is a perfect time to offer topic suggestions. I'm including fun and healthy breakfast for kids, healthy and after school snacks, and packing a fresh lunch. If you have other suggestions - perhaps a dish for adults, a cooking technique, or a topic about food and health - please comment or PM. I'll do my best to incorporate them. Thanks much!

Help win $25,000 for this business - VOTE in The American Small Business Championship

Cooking with Fun is looking to expand its programs to Title 1 schools. Please vote for me here and help Cooking with Fun expand its programs. Just click on the blue Vote button 10 times (they allow 10 votes per person per hour). I really appreciate it and am excited about bringing healthy cooking to underserved schools. VOTE for Cooking With Fun LLC to be a Small Business Champion #BizChampion. Grand Prize is $25,000 each for three businesses, courtesy of Sam's Club and SCORE. Businesses can win a $1,000 Sam's Club gift card, small business Championship Networking and Training, and lots of national publicity. Thank...

February cooking workshops are listed on the website (kids & adults). This month, the main ingredient is chocolate - antioxidant-rich dark, artisan, & nibs - to celebrate love and friendship :) It's rare that an entire month of cooking is dedicated to chocolate so check out the classes and sign up right away. Scroll down the home page and find a workshop for you and your kids.

Sending a shout out to teen chef Natalie who is celebrating her 13th birthday tomorrow! Check out the delicious meal that she and her 4 friends made yesterday at her cooking birthday party. All from scratch! Appetizer, entree, AND dessert. They had a blast! There was even a cake smash at the end. Big smiles and fun laughter! Are you or your kids interested in a cooking birthday party? [email protected]

Happy New Year to all! Hope your 2017 is filled with passion for love, life, and good food. One of our family goals is to heal and seal our gut. We're starting today and I'm feeling determined (and nervous). What are you starting new in 2017?

The young chefs are making this awesome-tasting super fun quiche using homemade puff pastry. It has all the elements that we love - healthy veggies that parents appreciate (artichoke hearts and spinach) and a crunchy buttery cheesy base that kids love. It's soooooo delicious. I wish facebook could upload the buttery aroma, the savory taste, and the crunchy sound when biting into it. Yum!

Sweet Potato Biscuits, made by elementary school kids. The young chefs didn't really think the gooey floury mess in their bowls and hands would turn into anything edible. But the mess did come together and their biscuits did bake perfectly. Lots of smiles when these came out of the oven. Bon Appetit!

Look at all those buttery flaky layers! That's a sign of a successful puff pastry and I nailed it. Puff pastry is simple to make but requires some muscle work. I'm really psyched about tomorrow's teen cooking class. The teen chefs will be using homemade puff pastry to make a satisfying savory dish. We may even sneak in a dessert. That's the beauty of puff pastry - you can use it in so many creative ways. In this photo, I made a s'more and my boys enjoyed every flaky crunchy homemade bite. If you want your child to get creative in the kitchen, give them puff pastry. :)

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