My kids love to cook. My 10 year old daughter will read a cookbook like it's a novel. My 13 year old son is grandly insulted when his scout troop cooks hot dogs for a meal instead of making a goulash from scratch and a desert from scratch (no canned goods allowed). My seven year old daughter begs to help in the kitchen and recently found a shish-ka-bob recipe that turned out to be quite a hit with the whole family.
Today my son was in charge of dinner. We needed a crock pot meal because this is one of those days where we will be out of the house until 6:00 so we need a meal that is ready when we walk in the door so we aren't tempted to eat out instead. :-) Ben had found a recipe he wanted to try and I had purchased all the ingredients, but when the time came to put it all together, he couldn't find the recipe. Having cooked dozens of similar dishes before, he decided to just "wing it" and went through the cupboard sniffing all the spices to decide what would taste good. I was very impressed with how grown up he seemed - cooking dinner without a map, just doing what he thought would work. He even put all the spices back up when he was finished and cleaned the counter (which is a reflection on my stellar parenting, thank you very much).
A little while later he came bopping into the room where I was working and said, "Hey Mom! Watch this! I can unbutton my jeans just using my stomach muscles!" With a mighty grunt, he bore down with his belly until the button on his jeans popped open. "Keep working on that, babe," I told him. "That's a skill that will take you far in life."