Episode 43: Essential Recipes That Kids (and All of Us) Should Know How to Cook


In talking to MS, RD, and cookbook author, Katie Morford, about her book Prep: The Essential College Cookbook, we realized that it's more than a quintessential collection of recipes that kids should know how to make before leaving home. It's a fantastic, simple guide for any beginner home cook, regardless of age. In this episode, we talk about the basic kitchen skills we all need to master and the recipes that help us master them well.

The Key to Kitchen Empowerment

Start Simple, Make It Delicious, Cook It Again, Repeat Until Confident

If you were to happen upon the new book, Prep: The Essential College Cookbook, by our friend Katie Morford, you might assume that it’s for teens and folks in their twenties and not for you. As it turns out, you’d be wrong: It’s for all of the above, and even kids, too, if you ask us.

As we flipped through Prep, it quickly became apparent that Katie wrote this book for beginner home cooks to master 10 essential kitchen lessons, key knife skills, and the handful of recipes you’ll want to eat — and feed others — over and over. (And over!)

In that way, it’s brilliant for kids who are just leaving home and starting to cook for themselves, but you know what? It’s also great if you’re struggling to cook more now that you have to feed kids on the daily. And if want to hand your partner who never cooks a cookbook from which they can actually master a family dinner — and give you a break. And even if you just want a new resource of crazy simple and totally delicious recipes to save your weeknights.

In this episode, Stacie and Katie go over the most important things every home cook should master (hint: we’re home cooks, so we’re not talking about mother sauces), how you can build your own cooking confidence and also boost it in others, and go through some recipes that Katie considers the new basics for home cooks today.

Think: Cheeseburgers with Awesome Sauce (pictured above), Cheesy Parmesan Polenta, Quinoa with Pesto, a killer Breakfast Burrito, Mix-in-the Pan Applesauce Cake, and of course, One-Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet For Inexperienced Cooks

More Than Avocado Toast


RUN, do not walk, to buy Prep: The Essential College Cookbook by Katie Morford. If you know a graduate this season, it’s a must-gift — just be sure to get your own copy too. Trust us that it will come in handy to you now and also as your kids start to experiment in the kitchen. Or when you starting nudging them to!

About Our Guest: Katie Morford

Our Favorite Kind of Dietician: One Who Loves Food

Katie Morford and her teen daughter who helped curate the recipes for her cookbook Prep: The Essential College Cookbook | Photo by Erin Scott for Roost Books | featured at Didn't I Just Feed You, a food podcast for parents

Katie Sullivan Morford, MS, RD, is a freelance food and nutrition writer with more than 20 years of professional writing experience. She has been published in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Real Simple, and Family Circle, among many others.

Katie is the author of Rise & Shine and Best Lunch Box Ever, and she writes the popular food blog Mom’s Kitchen Handbook. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook as @momskitchenhandbook.



All the details will be in our Listeners’ Group. Join now!


One-Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

A Recipe EVERYONE Should Have

One-Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Prep: The Essential College Cookbook by Katie Morford | featured on Didn't I Just Feed You, a food podcast for parents

Our conversation with Katie got us thinking about the essential recipes every home cook should know how to make.

While all of our lists surely differ, there’s one thing Stacie, Meghan, and Katie are all willing to bet on: chocolate chip cookies make the cut.

Here’s Katie’s recipe for One-Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookies from Prep: The Essential College Cookbook.

Make one batch, and we know you’ll be ready to buy the book — if you haven’t been convinced already!



½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature (see note)

2⁄3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

1⁄3 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1½ cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

Nonstick cooking spray for greasing the baking sheets.

 KEY EQUIPMENT: large bowl, electric mixer, 2 large baking sheets, spatula

1. Preheat oven to 325°F

2. Put the butter, brown sugar, and sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to mix them together until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth, another minute. Add the flour. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt evenly over the ingredients in the bowl. Mix on low until smooth and combined, about 30 seconds. Add chocolate chips and beat just until mixed into the dough, 5 to 10 seconds more.

 3. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Use a small spoon to scoop up enough dough so that it’s about 1½ inches in diameter when rolled into a ball. Roll 12 balls between your palms and space them evenly over a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough on the second baking sheet. You should have enough dough to make 24 cookies.

4. Bake until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown and they no longer look raw across the top, about 10 to 12 minutes. Pull them from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to lift them from the baking sheets.

 Store in a jar or cookie tin for up to 4 days.

From Prep by Katie Sullivan Morford © 2019 Katie Sullivan Morford. Photographs © 2019 Alanna Taylor-Tobin. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.

Follow us on Social

See What We’re Cooking!

Want to keep up with us between episodes? Follow us on Instagram where we share what we’re cooking in our kitchens, along with tips, and recipes too.

Find Meghan at @meghan_splawn and Stacie at @staciebillis And of course, together, we are @didntijustfeedyou.

If Facebook is more your speed, we’re there too! You can find us as @didntijustfeedyou. And if you’re a listener who knows the answer to the secret question (hint: it’s in this episode), be sure to join our Listeners’ Group too.

This week, we want to know:


The Mom Hour, a podcast for moms by moms with practical tips, judgement-free advice, and real stories of how they’ve handled parenting challenges | featured at Didn't I Just Feed You, a food podcast for parents

Your Next Listen

A Spotlight on Some of Our Favorite Podcasts for Parents

If you’re always looking for something to listen to after hearing us gab, check out one of our favorite podcasts, The Mom Hour.

Between them, hosts Sarah and Meghan have EIGHT kids from little to grown and are in different stages of life in different parts of the country. Together, they offer a wide lens on this whole motherhood thing.

Every week, they share practical tips, judgement-free advice, and real stories of how they’ve handled parenting challenging, from potty training to finding time for genuine self care.

They’re not experts, but parents who’ve been there. They’re not perfect, but they’re real. And we think they’re hella funny too.

Trust us, you’ll never want to miss an episode, so subscribe right now wherever you get your favorite podcasts.