A Bellingham Foodie Blog Restaurant Reviews Bellingham Washington 98225

March 15, 2009

Children Cook & Eat

Filed under: Bellingham local,local,Pacific Northwest — Tags: — Bellinghamster @ 6:50 pm

I have another 2 favorite cookbooks. I know I said in a previous post I only need two cookbooks, but these I wanted.

I bought The Kid’s Cookbook by Williams Sonoma for two reasons: I couldn’t cook rice and I had a child (gasp). I figured, if a 9 year old could use this cookbook, so could I.

Williams Sonoma is to me what Cinderella’s castle is to my daughter, so I knew it would be perfect. All the recipes are simple and delicious and easily adaptable to our preferences. It’s a toss up between the big blueberry muffins and the chockfull-of-chips cookies as to which we’ve made the most. My oldest son has been requesting the big blueberry muffins as his birthday treat since he could reason. He still requests them for his birthday and he’s a teenager! And nothing needs to sell a chockfull-of-chips cookie; it sells itself. In fact, the page in the book has flour and sugar pasted on it that I’m brushing off as I type.

All my children have helped me cook and bake most of the recipes. And yes, the ones older than 9 have used the cookbook all by themselves (I want to shout that, but I don’t want to scare you with all the caps).

The cookbook is divided into breakfast & lunch, snacks, main courses & side dishes and desserts. It has a preface simply explaining how to: follow a recipe, mise en place (meez ahn plahs) ‘have all ingredients measured and ready to use as the recipe directs’, how to measure, shapes and sizes to slice, testing pasta – you get the gist. I flipped through the pages and realized we had made all the recipes at one time or another. Now that’s a GOOD cookbook. Do you have a cookbook at home where you have made ALL the recipes? Hmm?

I bought Food Adventures by Elisabeth Luard & Frances Boswell after reading an article in Mothering magazine. It claims to introduce you and your child to flavors from around the world. You have me sold! All the food I grew up with was ethnic. But, then again, all foods and the way they are prepared can trace to an ethnic origin. Oh, they all vie for who did it ‘first’, but that’s like the argument about the chicken and the egg. Elisabeth Luard has won a jillion awards for her cookbooks and regularly contributes to The Oldie. Frances Boswell made her name at Martha Stewart Living and is the food director of Real Simple. Need I say more? They are a MIL and DIL* who wanted to create a cookbook with recipes considered a regular meal to a kid in their own corner of the world. I thought the idea too cool and so did my children. Of course, their favorite meal is palacsinta (‘cs’ pronounced ‘ch’) or crepes, thanks to their Hungarian-American grandmother. And this recipe is found in the book, also.

The book is divided according to a child’s age and ability to eat foods, and tricks for enticing the ever-changing personality of a child to EAT something besides ice cream. For instance, a 6 month old has no teeth and eats mushy food and loves to play with their food. Whereas, a 7 year old can easily manage falafel and would prefer it in a take-out box or seated in the restaurant enjoying the ambiance. There are recipes from every continent with anecdotes and beautiful pictures. It is a functioning coffee table book. Perfect.

* MIL = mother-in-law DIL = daughter-in-law

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