One of the things your family can do this summer is to cook together. Be adventuresome and try some new foods! Here are lots of cookbooks to get you started.
There is a lot to love about a cookbook in which each recipe has only 3 ingredients. I love to cook but I steer away from recipes with a long list of ingredients. I found lots of recipes here to try out. This book includes a bit of everything: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and deserts.
This is an amazing book! Look at the cover - what do you see? NOT really a pair of flip-flops - those are baked potato slices with green beans! Clever, huh? There are all sorts of other neat recipes: Pretzel Butterflies, Monster Head Potatoes, Sushi Cupcakes, Monkey Pops and lots of others.
Are you into sandwiches? I am, but I get bored with the same old choices. This cookbook has lots of new ideas. You're bound to find ones you like.
The recipes in this cookbook have clear photographs of each step. They include snacks, meals, desserts and treats. I particularly like how the table of contents includes pictures of every recipe included. In the end, there is a picture glossary of cooking terms and techniques.
Sam Stern is a British high school student who is really into cooking. He presents cooking tips and recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, snacks and parties. He even has tips for eating well to be ready for big exams. This isn’t a beginner book but the recipes aren’t complicated. The photo illustrations are clear and lively. (Note: Sam Stern isn't a high school student anymore, but he's still into cooking.)
This book is described as having recipes for kids and by kids. It has a nice layout with easy-to-wipe-off pages and a spiral binding so it lays flat when you open it. It's organized by seasons, plus it has vegetarian and snacks sections. The photo illustrations are really nice. It's linked to the Spatulatta website.
COOKBOOKS BASED ON BOOKS
Are you a Boxcar Children fan? Then this is a perfect cookbook for you! Each dish is one mentioned in the books. Before a recipe starts, there is a quote from whatever book the dish is found. There are drinks, breads, breakfast, sandwiches, main dishes, campfire cooking and lots of other types of foods.
This is NOT a cookbook for young kids – the recipes definitely need adult supervision. But it IS delightful and would be good for creating outrageous food that families can enjoy eating together. I enjoyed reading through the recipes and I especially enjoyed the illustrations.
Addy’s Cook Book: a Peek at Dining in the Past with Meals You Can Cook Today by Rebecca Sample Bernstein
This is from The American Girls Collection. Addy’s Cook Book ties in with the books about Addy and her mother, who escaped from slavery in the 1860s. Fans of the Addy books and fans of history in general will enjoy the information and history included. This is part of an American Girls Cookbook series.
COOKBOOKS THAT ARE PART OF A SERIES
A Pirate Cookbook by Sarah L. Schuette
This is a terrific cookbook for beginning cooks. The recipes are simple and the photo illustrations are clear. The recipes aren’t all that original but look quite tasty. Each has a fun pirate tie-in (a celery and tuna snack is called Sea Swords). Other titles in the series:
An Astronaut Cookbook
A Monster Cookbook
A Princess Cookbook
This cookbook has recipes from 11 countries (Turkey, Egypt, Australia…). Each recipe is clearly written but several will need a fair amount of adult help. Other titles in the series:
Easy Lunches from Around the World
Easy Main Dishes from Around the World
Easy Snacks from Around the World
Easy Vegetarian Foods from Around the World
These recipes are rated as easy (smoothies), intermediate (microwave scrambled eggs) or advanced (granola). Many of them will need some adult assistance but all seem like foods that a kid or adult would enjoy eating. The directions are clearly written and illustrated. Other titles in the series:
Chocolate Chill-Out Cake and Other Yummy Desserts
Holy Guacamole! and Other Scrumptious Snacks
Indoor S’mores and Other Tasty Treats for Special Occasions
Keep on Rollin’ Meatballs and Other Delicious Dinners
Chocolate Chill-Out Cake and Other Yummy Desserts
Walk-Around Tacos and Other Likeable Lunches
This book has great ideas for downright creepy-looking food: Severed Finger Pizza, Eyeball Spaghetti, Bloody Hand Punch… Who thinks up this stuff! These recipes would be perfect for a Halloween party… Other titles in the series:
Cool Cake and Cupcake Food Art
Cool Fruit and Veggie Food Art
Cool Holiday Food Art
Cool Sandwich Food Art
Cool Snack Food Art
This cookbook has only 8 recipes but several of them have variations that help you come up with more. They are clearly written and use only a few ingredients. I’m looking forward to trying the No-Bake Energy Bars. Other titles in the series:
Cool Cuisine for Super Sleepovers
Cool Lunches to Make & Take
Cool Meals to Start Your Wheels
Cool Pizza to Make and Bake
Cool Foods for Fun Fiestas
Vegetarian Cooking Around the World by Alison Behnke
This is an excellent cookbook for kids who have some experience with cooking. It starts with information about vegetarianism around the world and gives some cooking introduction tips. The recipes cover breads, main dishes, desserts and holiday food. If you are looking to learn about new foods, this is a good book to check out. The other books in the series (there are 24) cover cooking from specific countries. Some of the titles include:
Cooking the Caribbean Way
Cooking the French Way
Cooking the Japanese Way
Cooking the Norwegian Way
Cooking the West African Way
Artful Snacks by Marilyn LaPenta [sorry, no link available]
This cookbook has some good looking recipes. I’m looking forward to trying the Quick Peanut Butter Bars – no cooking! Other titles in the series:
Way Cool Drinks
This cookbook has simple recipes and clear pictures in the directions. Other titles in the series:
Make and Eat: Bread and Pizzas
Make and Eat: Cookies and Cakes
Make and Eat: Vegetarian Food
I hope these books inspire you to cook this summer. Why not try out some recipes and write about your cooking adventures in the Comments Box?