Thursday, July 5, 2012

Helpers in the Kitchen {It's Never too Early!}

One of my all time favorite recipes for a quick dinner is Ranch Chicken Taco Salad!  My friend Janice gave me the recipe around 10 years ago, and it is still a family favorite!  I'll post the recipe at the end ~ it's sure to become one of your family favorites too!

One area that I've never been very good at is letting little ones help in the kitchen!  I posted about this very topic here.

Lately, I've been trying to be better and have found that while it may take me a bit longer, the peace during prep time is actually more enjoyable as The Littles relish in some real responsibility and Mama time!

For little Claire, at 18 months old, helping in the kitchen means pulling up a chair to the counter and just being by Mama's side!  Of course this means she becomes the little food sneaker tester, but she's learning the joy of working together!

For Isabelle, at 8, it means learning to use real kitchen utensils and being safe!

Look at how intent her concentration is!

And of course the infamous Salad Spinner makes helping Mama just plain fun!

And now for the recipe!  Get those kiddos in the kitchen and make some tonight!

Ranch Chicken Taco Salad

1-2 Chicken Breasts {Chopped in bite size pieces}
2Tbs. Oil
2Tbs. Chili Powder or Taco Seasoning
1 Head Lettuce {Chopped}
1/4 Cup Ranch Dressing {I've used Sour Cream in a pinch}
1/4 Cup Salsa
1 Cup Shredded Cheese
Tortilla Chips {Crushed}
Any other "fun" extras you have on hand...beans, avocado, olives, mango, etc.

Cook chicken pieces in oil and chili powder or taco seasoning.  While the chicken cools,  in a large bowl, mix together lettuce, cheese, crushed tortilla chips {saving some to sprinkle on top} and any extras. Add chicken.  Mix ranch dressing and salsa, and pour over entire salad.  Mix well!  Sprinkle remaining tortilla chips on top!  Enjoy!

I'd guess this serves 4!  For our family of 10, I use about 3 heads of lettuce, 3 large chicken breasts, and about 2 cups cheese.  I also increase the dressing measurements by 1/2 cup each!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!


  1. Mmm! We'll be trying this! Your daughter's "cheesy" grin is priceless! :-)

    1. Oh Jacinda...I missed an opportunity to add a line about her "cheesy" grin! And usually I'm so punny! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I am a Girl Scout leader and when we take the girls camping we give everyone jobs to help. I was surprised one time when cooking dinner I had a girl who needed a job and I just had her slice a stick of butter to give her something to do. Half way through she said to me with a huge smile, "this is the first time I have ever cooked or cut anything!" She was in 4th grade. I came home and told her mom that I think she needs to let her daughter help a little more in the kitchen. Sometimes we forget as moms that it might be quick if we do it all ourselves but there are life skills our kids need to practice in a safe place. - Elizabeth Rogers