Favorite Cookbooks, Classic and Contemporary: a KidsOutAndAbout Resource
by Kathleen McCormack
If there's one thing that's on the mind of every parent every day, it's "What's for dinner?" More than wanting to provide a nutritious meal for your family, you're desperate to get them all gathered around the family table. We've heard how important it is to share a family meal, but perhaps you didn't realize just HOW important. The Family Dinner Project reports, "Recent studies link regular family dinners with many behaviors that parents pray for: lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy and depression, as well as higher grade-point averages and self-esteem. Studies also indicate that dinner conversation is a more potent vocabulary-booster than reading, and the stories told around the kitchen table help our children build resilience. The icing on the cake is that regular family meals also lower the rates of obesity and eating disorders in children and adolescents."
Allow your trusted team of moms and grandmas at KidsOutAndAbout to offer our favorite cookbooks for family meals. Find the team member who best matches your cooking style to see what she recommends for chefs like you!
© 2014, KidsOutAndAbout.com
The Geek Approach
Publisher Deb Ross likes the theory behind cooking, or the math and chemistry behind cooking, or, preferably, both. That's why, when she has time to cook, she loves Cooks Illustrated magazine. A side benefit of understanding the science of each recipe is that it makes the strategies applicable beyond that meal. For her kids, she likes books that they can use on their own, without her help. Eat Your Math Homework and Let's Cook! do that well, especially Let's Cook. And whose inner geek isn't tickled by the Little House Cookbook?
Eat Your Math Homework: Recipes for Hungry Mindsby Ann MacCullum
This collection of yummy recipes and fun math facts is sure to tempt taste buds and make you hungry for more. Explore patterns in nature while you chomp on Fibonacci Stack Sticks. Amaze your friends with delicious Variable Pizza Pi! Wash down your geometry assignment with some Milk and Tangram Cookies.
The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Storiesby Barbara M. Walker
More than 100 recipes introduce the foods and cooking of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s pioneer childhood, chronicled in her classic Little House books
Let's Cook: A Book for Kids Who Love to Cookby Back Pack Books
Easy to Use Step-By-Step Recipes with Wipe Clean Pages
The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook: 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America's Most Trusted Cooking Magazine
The Classic Approach
June, the erst-while food blogger disdains most things out of a package and almost every crock-pot recipe. Pie crust is easy to make from scratch, don't be fooled by the evil food companies who will try to sell you inferior pastry. My dinner strategy is to use the best ingredients I can find and cook them simply. Pasta doesn't have to mean spaghetti and red sauce; Marcella Hazan has countless tasty ways to turn pasta into a quick and tasty meal. Just about any vegetable can be sauteed with garlic and tossed with pasta and cheese for a quick dinner. Risotto only takes about 30 minutes and has endless variations. I often cut up whatever veggies are around and roast them in the oven with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs or spices. Cumin, thyme, and rosemary are family favorites. While the veggies are roasting, I'll figure out the rest. Quick, fresh, and homemade, that's my mantra.
Boy Meets Grillby Bobby Flay
As the star of the popular Food Network programs Boy Meets Grill, BBQ with Bobby Flay, and Iron Chef America, Bobby Flay helped turn the art of backyard barbecuing into more than a favorite summer pastime; he elevated it to the level of a national obsession.
Boy Gets Grillby Bobby Flay
The question isn't "Can I grill this?" but "Is there a reason not to grill this?" Usually the answer is "Go ahead and try it!" Throughout, Bobby gets more and more out of the grill, making life easier and encouraging everyone to think big, have fun, and get their hands dirty.
Joy of Cookingby Irma S. Rombauer
For the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Joy of Cooking, Joy comes full circle in a revision based on the 1975 edition which restores the voice of the original authors; focuses on American home cooking, not chef cuisine; and restores many beloved recipes lost in the most recent revision
Essentials of Classic Italian Cookingby Marcella Hazan
As Roy Andries de Groot wrote, “Marcella’s book is the most authentic guide to Italian food ever written in the U.S. Where other authors failed, Marcella has brilliantly succeeded in capturing (and conveying to the reader on every page) the feel, the aromatic scent, the subtle nuances of fresh country flavors and, above all, the easy uncomplication of Italian food prepared in the Italian style.”
Mastering the Art of French Cookingby Julia Child
This is the classic cookbook, in its entirety—all 524 recipes. “Anyone can cook in the French manner anywhere,” wrote Mesdames Beck, Bertholle, and Child, “with the right instruction.” And here is the book that, for more than forty years, has been teaching Americans how.
Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Homeby Ina Garten
Whether shared in a cozy French bistro or in your own home, the romance and enduring appeal of French country cooking is irrefutable. Here is the book that helps you bring that spirit, those evocative dishes, into your own home.
The Quick and Easy Approach
Houston Editor Stacy Curtis needs down and dirty, quick and easy recipes. As a single mom, she doesn't usually have time for complicated recipes. Plus, dinner needs to be simple as her teens often cook for themselves. It's appealing to add an ingredient or two to soup and have a casserole (Campbells Soup Mix & Match Recipes). You can make just about anything with Bisquick! And of course, The Dinner Doctor uses any canned, frozen, boxed, bagged, or ready-made deli food to make great meals. I'm all about the frozen and boxed foods aisle in the grocery store. We definitely visit the fresh veggie section too - we just don't prep much. Raw veggies with dip is our go-to green, plus our salad-in-a-jar concept.
The Dinner Doctorby Anne Byrn
A marriage of the fast and fantastic, The Dinner Doctor proves that it's possible to cook meals for your family that taste great—and require little time, preparation, or hassle.
Get three cookbooks for the price of one. The Campbell's 3 Books in 1: 4 Ingredients or Less, Casseroles and One-Dish Meals, Slow Cooker Recipespresents different options for meal preparation. If you are running short on time, choose a recipe from the 4 Ingredients or Less section or the Casseroles and One-Dish Meals section. If you want to start dinner before you leave home for the day, refer to the Slow Cooker Recipes section.
Betty Crocker Ultimate Bisquick Cookbook
The Biggest and Best Bisquick Cookbook Ever! If you love the convenience and great taste of food made with Bisquick, you'll love this book! It's jam-packed with 300 delicious Bisquick recipes-280 that have never before appeared in a Bisquick book, plus some of the all-time favorites and back-of-the-box standbys. Inside, you'll find lots of terrific ideas for breakfasts, dinners, desserts and more. You also get tips on perfecting Bisquick favorites like pancakes, muffins and biscuits as well as a brief history of Bisquick over the decades. With more than double the number of recipes found in any other Bisquick cookbook along with over 100 tempting color photographs, this is truly the Ultimate Bisquick Cookbook!
The Historic Approach
Albany editor Katie Beltramo has a masters in history, and her choices reflect a persistent desire to remember lost time. The Joy of Cooking, part of America's culinary canon, serves as her basic textbook,and she appreciates the cast of Friends and Miss Piggy not least for their surprisingly tasty recipe collections, but also as homages to beloved pop culture moments. 366 Healthful Ways to Eat Your Leafy Greens is a memento of her first CSA membership, while McCall's Cooking School taught her to make the chocolate mousse and chocolate cake that have served every Beltramo birthday in recent memory. And the Szlasa Family Cookbook, packed with family recipes, photos, and anecdotes, is the history dissertation that she never got around to writing.
McCall's Cooking School
Step by step directions for mistake proof recipes.
In the Kitchen With Miss Piggy: Fabulous Recipes from My Famous Celebrity Friendsby Moi
That fabulous Muppet, Miss Piggy, and 54 of her celebrity friends cook up a witty and wonderful cookbook. The recipes and the humor are to die for.
366 Healthful Ways to Cook Your Leafy Greensby Linda Romanelli Leahy
This delightful cookbook, with more than 350 flavorful recipes, teaches you innovative ways to prepare more than thirty leafy greens - from collards to escarole to radicchio to bok choy - that bring a wealth of vitamins and minerals to your table.
Cooking with FRIENDSby Amy Lyles Wilson
Even if you and your friends don't hang out at a neighborhood coffee house, Cooking with Friends will inspire you with hundreds of excellent culinary ideas for practically every occasion in your life. There are comfort foods for when "it hasn't been your day, your week, you month, or even your year" - perfect food for imperfect times.
The Maternal Approach
Data entry staffer Mindy Mangan's approach to cooking is to throw something together with whatever happens to be on hand. If it doesn't taste good, it doesn't get made again. If it does taste good, it doesn't get made the same way twice. Her favorite cookbook would be "Where's Mom Now That I Need Her". It was a much used resource when she was first out on her own after college. Not only is it filled with easy to make/follow recipes, it contains helpful hints from medical to household. One of her favorite gifts for young people heading out on their own.
Applehood and Motherpieby Junior League of Rochester
The Genesee Valley yields a rich harvest of produce; the most well known is the upstate apple in its many varieties. In Applehood and Motherpie, there are many recipes that feature the apple to its fullest potential, in all types of cookery.
Where's Mom Now That I Need Her: Surviving Away From Homeby Betty Rae Frandsen
This books is full of hints about nutrition, grocery shopping, laundry and clothing care, first aid, recipes for quick, easy meals, and lots more.
The More-Is-More Approach
Managing editor, Kathleen, does not believe in following recipes; instead, she places more emphasis on what she can eliminate from the fridge and cupboard rather than what is actually supposed to be in the pot. She would rather dump in the rest of the can of whatever than have to put a little bit away in Tupperware. She rarely makes the same recipe twice - life's too short - though her husband claims they're forever eating variations on stir fry and tacos. She's been a vegetarian for 13 years but is adept at modifying anything to make it meatless. Though she prefers the "whatever's in the pantry" style of cooking, she has great respect for her heroes in the kitchen: Mr. Alton Brown and any judge or competitor on Top Chef.
The Ultimate Soup Bibleby Anne Sheasby
This lavishly illustrated volume is the ultimate guide to soup-making, with mouthwatering recipes from around the world. A mixture of traditional classics and exciting new ideas, there is something for every taste, diet and occasion, from hearty one-pot meals to elegant entertaining.
Good Eatsby Alton Brown
Alton Brown is a foodie phenomenon: a great cook, a very funny guy, and—underneath it all—a science geek who’s as interested in the chemistry of cooking as he is in eating. (Well, almost.) Here, finally, are the books that Brown’s legion of fans have been salivating for—two volumes that together will provide an unexpurgated record of his long-running, award-winning Food Network TV series, Good Eats.