But there is an argument to be made for cooking without the children. Here are my top 5 reasons to wait until after the kids are asleep.
5. There's no fighting over who does what job.
In our house, the children don't always want to help with the cooking. Face it. Some cooking is boring and not within the skill set of your average preschooler. My children are not really interested in flopping raw meat around in a pan; nor are they really able to be safe around a hot skillet. However, pull out the measuring cups and spoons, a bowl, and a big wooden spoon for mixing up some brownies, and everybody wants a turn to scoop and dump. When 5 children want to split 7 jobs up equally, problems arise, words are exchanged, tantrums thrown, and nobody has fun.
4. There are fewer distractions, so you're less likely to mess up.
When small children are asking questions, making suggestions, and "helping" in countless other ways, sometimes a teaspoon of salt is left out, and an eggshell might find it's way in. It's bad enough to forget whether or not you've added the vanilla, but completely disastrous to accidentally add 1 Tbsp. of baking powder three separate times.
3. There's more counter space.
In our kitchen, the youngest helpers always demand to be "up counter." Translated, that means, "I want to be up on the counter where I can stick my hands in the cookie dough and stir the flour and drop eggs at will." Not only is the counter now occupied by diapered bottoms, but I also must move anything that can spill out of reach. That leaves me with approximately 1 square inch to do all the work.
2. It'll get done more quickly.
Without bickering and distractions, those yummy baked goods will be gracing your countertops so much more quickly than if you'd had many hands working with you.
And the most important reason to tuck your tots into bed before you tie on your apron. . .