Cooking With...Littlejem


Littlejem's 15-month-old son, Daniel

CafeMom Littlejem is in the "Cooking With..." hot seat this week! This mom to 15-month-old Daniel is cooking up a storm on her blog, Recipes to the Test!


CM: Tell me about your family. How many kids do you have and what are their ages?

My name is Jennifer, and I have been married to Eric since 2002. We are in our 30s and live in Atlanta. I have used CafeMom since 2007 when I was pregnant.

littlejem family

Littlejem and her family

Before we had our first child, we compiled a database of recipes on our home computer from magazines, Web sites, newspapers, etc. We currently have more than 50,000 recipes there, so I can find a recipe for anything! Yes, we are nerds!

I have one son, Daniel, who is 15 months old. Before Daniel was born, we liked to cook pretty extensive gourmet-type meals, but we are now trying to cook quicker, family-friendly recipes that everyone will eat.

What is Daniel's favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Daniel likes date nut bread, berries, or bananas and yogurt.

What is Daniel's favorite thing to eat for lunch?

Daniel has hit a phase of being picky about eating and throwing food, so we give him whatever he will eat at the moment. He seems to like chicken and green beans the best.

What is his favorite thing to eat for dinner?

Same as above. I try to get him to eat a milk, protein, veggie, and fruit at lunch and dinner.

What is one thing you can make better than everyone else?

Cookies. I have been told they taste like a pro cooks sometimes. I like to try new recipes all the time though and experiment with them, so sometimes I do get the botched cookie recipe.

If you could eat one food every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?


What is the last birthday party you had for Daniel and what was the theme?

We just ate at my in-laws for Daniel's birthday. Nothing fancy, but he did have a cupcake.

How did you learn how to cook?

My mother always shooed me out of the kitchen, so I had to teach myself how to cook. I started during late high school/early college. My husband also taught himself to cook, and he is sometimes a better cook than me! We joke that he could be a chef if he wanted, but he says he likes to cook for fun. So do I.

Do you have a favorite cookbook?

I don't personally have a favorite cookbook because I am very picky.  My husband, however, swears by Joy of Cooking. He has the early edition and the revised edition.

If you could meet one celebrity chef who would it be?

Well, I haven't had cable since 1997, so the only time I get to watch Food Network is when I visit home; I don't really know the names of many famous chefs, so I would opt to meet Rachael Ray (a cook) instead.

fish and chips

Fish and Chips from Rachel Ray

What is your blog about and why did you start it?

I recently started a blog called Recipes to the Test! I recount the recipes I am trying on a daily basis, whether they worked, what substitutions I made, etc. I will occasionally be talking about meal planning and food budgeting as well. We spend more than some people on groceries ($80/week for 3), but it really is not a lot of money considering how much food in Atlanta costs.

indian recipe

Indian recipe from Rachel Ray

I can be found on, and I also have a Facebook fan page called Recipes to the Test! where you can make suggestions for the blog or ask questions.

(I would also like to promote my CM group about sleep disorders—the link is in my signature)

What are your tricks and tips for not going over your grocery budget?

Recently in my blog (2/14) I talked about these ways we are trying to save:

  • Buy less meat and cheese—more vegetarian meals.
  • Buy in bulk and divide the cost over the number of weeks it will last.
  • Get the Sunday paper for coupons (which I have yet to remember to take to the store).
  • Buy all veggies and fruit at a low-cost farmers market.

Don't miss the previous "Cooking With..." features on CafeMom:

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