Books on cooking basics:
- Ball, Ann – Catholic Traditions in Cooking – Our Sunday Visitor (Huntington, Indiana) 1993. With Ball’s usual thoroughness, this book gives great ideas for celebrating the liturgical year through treats and traditional foods. This is a classic!
- Cunningham, Marion – Cooking with Children: 15 Lessons for Children, Age 7 and Up, Who Really Want to Learn to Cook – Alfred A. Knopf (New York). 1995. This is great for really teaching kids how to cook … and once they know how, why and when, they can start getting creative with their cooking. Cunningham covers all the basics – how to cook rice, how to grate – while explaining the proper way to do these things. Definitely a book everyone should have on their shelves (especially if you have kids heading to college who never learned to fend for themselves!).
- Davis, Tina – Look and Cook: A Cookbook for Children – Henry N. Abrams (New York). 2004 With a very cool retro feel, this cookbook is a great starting point for culinary artists. The recipes are traditional “comfort” food-type dishes but with such clear explanations of each step, that the adventurous could easily veer off and create unique "family comfort food.” The spiral binding is a nice touch for easy use in the kitchen. There is an excellent overview of kitchen tools and directions for things like measuring and chopping.
- Fryer, Jane Eayre – The Mary Frances Cook Book: Adventures Among the Kitchen People – Applewood Books. 2002. I love the Mary Frances books. This one continues the adventures of a little girl who learns the secrets of the kitchen from the tools themselves. While it is a fun read and has great information, it is not so much a cookbook as a kitchen reference.
- Kenda, Margaret & Williams, Phyllis S. – Cooking Wizardry for Kids: Learn About Food … While Making Tasty Things to Eat – Barrons (Hauppauge, NY). This book is exactly what those who want to nurture creativity through food need to read! Not only does the book explain why, how, and when with all things “food”, it has great (and whimsical) recipes to test the facts. Definitely worth having on your shelf.
- Yolen, Jane & Stemple, Heidi E.Y. – Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters – Crocodile Books (Northampton, MA). 2006. I love this book – a combination of great stories (told by a master) and fun recipes inspired by the stories. The creativity shown here – with recipes inspired by stories – will have your kids creating their own links! And the illustrations are really fun, too!