94: Cookbooks for Younger Kids

Whether this is a gift idea for a kid who loves to be in the kitchen or if you plan to incorporate your junior chefs in the holiday baking and cooking, here is a selection of top cookbooks to delight the kid chef in your life!

Twist It Up: More Than 60 Delicious Recipes from an Inspiring Young Chef

cookInspiration resides in the kitchen for eleven-year-old Jack Witherspoon. And for good reason. When Jack was going through incredibly tough times battling leukemia for the second time he sought solace in the Food Network and decided his dream was to become a chef. Before long, Jack was creating his own recipes, cooking for cancer fundraisers, and even coining his own culinary catchphrase ( Twist it up! ) to characterize his individual spin on comfort food favorites like French toast, pesto pizza, shepherd’s pie, meat loaf, cupcakes, and more. Clear, step-by-step instructions and sumptuous photographs will encourage cooks of all ages to whip up delicious recipes and make mouthwatering memories in the kitchen.

Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cook Book

kidscookbhgWritten and designed to appeal to kids ages 5 to 12, this all-new edition of the Better Homes and Gardens New Junior CookBook features 65 brand-new recipes that are simple to make and a blast to eat. Each recipe includes a photo of the dish and unique and lively illustrations of characters that tell a story to complement the dish.

All the recipes here are easy-to-follow and packed with helpful hints and fun ways for kids to put their own spin on them. With lots of easy-to-understand nutrition information, it’s a great way to teach kids about healthy eating while getting them interested in cooking.

  • 65 recipes include hearty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners as well as healthy snacks and treats
  • Fun, engaging, full-color illustrations bring each recipe to life and grab kids’ attention
  • Special features cover cooking basics, kitchen safety, menu planning, basic nutrition information, and guidance on reading and understanding food labels

Teach your kids how to eat right and help out in the kitchen with the Better Homes and Gardens New Junior CookBook. It’s the perfect way to make it rewarding for the whole family.

The Cookbook for Kids (Williams-Sonoma): Great Recipes for Kids Who Love to Cook

kidscookws

Packed with more than 60 yummy recipes for easy-to-make treats, from crepes and cookies to fish tacos and nachos, Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Kids makes cooking loads of fun! This book features gorgeous photography and colorful illustrations in a fun, uncomplicated book that kids and parents are sure to love. Kids will love dishes like cinnamon-swirl French toast for breakfast, or granola bars for after-school snacks. Lots of colorful illustrations and fun facts ensure they will have a blast whipping up their own creations in the kitchen. Delicious and simple, the recipes inspire creativity while teaching the basics of healthy eating and giving kids skills they can use throughout their lives.

Curious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set

knivesEvery chef needs a knife!

  • Our Curious Chef 3-Piece Nylon Knife Set is a superb collection of flawless kitchen knives for young ones to engage beginning cooking
  • Set includes 1 small, 1 medium, and 1 large nylon knife all with serrated cutting edges, blunt tips; ergonomic handles; and soft touch button grips
  • Appropriate for young gastronomic apprentices ages 5 and up | Dishwasher safe
  • Rigorously tested and conformed to protection requirements of ASTM F963 and CPSIA lead and phthalate limits – and is also BPA free. YAY!
  • Curious Chef is the first complete line of actual cooking tools designed specifically for kids to encourage culinary learning, bonding, and confidence
  • Set includes 1 small, 1 medium and 1 large nylon knife
  • Knives feature serrated cutting edge with blunt tip; ergonomic handle for small hands; soft touch button grips
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Appropriate for children ages 5+
  • Conforms to safety requirements of ASTM F963 and CPSIA lead and phthalate limits; BPA free

98: Christmas Cookie Overview

Do you bake the same cookies every year? In preparation for the big cookie baking season ahead, take some time today and look through your cookbooks for recipes you’ve always wanted to try. This is the time to get those out and do a test run. You don’t want to wait until the week you need 12 dozen cookies for the cookie swap! You need an opportunity to tweak it and make sure it’s going to work for you. Here are ten of my favorite holiday cookies:

  1. Snickerdoodles
  2. Shortbread
  3. Thumbprints
  4. Bourbon Balls
  5. Rum Balls
  6. Buckeyes
  7. Haystacks
  8. Gingerbread
  9. Lemon Snowflakes
  10. Turkish Delight (this is a 4-pack from Amazon, and my favorite brand!!! Authentic and delicious!)

Make a note of all of the cookies you want to try, print them out or copy them, and put them in a 3-ring notebook inside page protectors. This is a cheap and easy way to make your own personalized cookbook. For even more fun, you can make up your own cover page, or decorate the notebook as you like! Enjoy!

32: Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

Everyone loves sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top, especially kids! This Thanksgiving, whip up a batch and get in the spirit of the holidays! Here are a few recipes and tips to get you started!

IMPORTANT: Do not have any distractions while the marshmallows are toasting under the broiler! Pay attention to the browning process. If they burn, just scrape them off and try again! We’ve all done it!

Yummy photo courtesy of Kathryn Rotondo. Thanks!

42: Birthday Cake for Jesus

Rhonda, a fellow elf, sent in a favorite family tradition:

“Every year on Christmas eve, we bake a birthday cake for Jesus.  We light some candles and sing Happy Birthday.  We have decided his favorite cake is probably chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.”

My daughter thinks this is a great idea! Kids love birthday parties and it’s a great way to add another Jesus-focused element into your Christmas celebration.

Photo courtesy of Tim Notari.

50: Day Fifty Checkup

Today, let’s take some time to check our progress. How are you doing with the first 50 days of preparation for Christmas? Do you know where you’re spending Christmas this year, or are you playing host/ess? Menu? Guests?

Have you scheduled a family portrait sitting and selected/ordered Christmas cards?

Are you handmaking gifts this year? Knitting projects? Soap? Exploding cards?

Have you tried at least one new cookie recipe? Please say that you have! Everyone loves cookies!

Make your lists and check them twice! Put them all in one place: a notebook/planner or PDA/smartphone. Stay on top of it this year and don’t be caught by surprise a month from now.

Photo courtesy of Adam Smith

54: Easy Suppers for Busy Times

Christmas can be a hectic, overscheduled time of year. One very easy way to keep your family healthy and sane is to have a simple family dinner together as often as possible. This is made even easier by cooking in a slow cooker or picking up a prepared rotisserie chicken from your local market or Sam’s Club (my favorite for under $5!)

Family dinner guru Leanne Ely has some wonderful menu plans for slow cookers (crockpots) and rotisserie chickens at her website SavingDinner.com.

Her recipes are fantastic and are sure to please even the pickiest eaters in your family! Give them a try!

Photo courtesy of mercedesfromtheeighties.

55: Experiment with Fondant

Fondant is a wonderful thing. A versatile confection used in everything from cake decorating to homemade candies, you can make fondant at home and experiment with using it for your special occasion sweets. I’ve made fondant mints that used peppermint extract and pressed them into candy molds. They were a big hit!

You can shape fondant just as you would marzipan. It makes great edible decorations for any dessert tablescape! You are only limited by your imagination. If your kids can make things out of playdoh, they can have fun with fondant! Tell us about your own experiments in the comments section! Have fun!

Brilliant cake and photo courtesy of Karen Armstrong and Manassas Cakery

57: Get Creative with Knitting Hats

I’ve been trying to find the perfect hat to knit to convince other people to knit for fun, and I think I’ve found it! Who can resist this baby hat? For the experienced knitter, this could be an afternoon project. In fact, most knitted hat projects can be made in a day or two. They make wonderful gifts and kids love them.

If you get totally hooked on knitting hats, you can knit a few for charity. Here’s a list to get you started:

Knitting for Charity

Head Huggerspattern list

Free knitting hat patterns

I’ve knit several hats for cancer patients in my life, and it’s been the single most rewarding thing about knitting. The care, love, and prayers that fill each hat you knit is special for the recipient and the giver. A hand-knit hat is a treasure! Get out those needles and get knitting!

Fabulous knitting and photo courtesy of Robin Zebrowski.