Cooking with Kids Around the World

September 13 is National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day! Sometimes it can be hard to let go and let your little ones have free range anywhere, much less the kitchen where there are sharp knives, fire, and other dangerous items. The Aurora Public Library District has plenty of physical and digital copies of books to get your kids cooking with minimal supervision on your part!

Studies have shown that letting your kids help you out in the kitchen will make them more likely to eat what you put in front of them, including vegetables! So, if you do find yourself in the Library, here are some books you can check out for your kids to help make dishes from around the world:

If your family loves eating out but hates the bill afterward, try these cookbooks with your favorite ethnic recipes that you and your little chef can make right at home:

 

If you can’t stop in the library, be sure to check out a kid-friendly cookbook from OverDrive. You can prop your iPad, tablet, or smartphone up and cook straight from there! Let us know what you make!

Happy Eating! And Reading!

For the love of reading…and eating!!

 

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Our minds need enrichment, and I feed mine every time I pick up a book. But lately, I’ve been able to build up more than my mind with my book selections. My latest craze has been choosing different book series’ dealing with food. My selections have been providing entertaining stories with the added benefit of quite an array of new recipes and dishes to try. Who knew that an enjoyable fiction title would also increase my cooking repertoire!

My most recent obsession has been the Seasons of the Heart series by Charlotte Hubbard, set in the Amish river town of Willow Ridge, Missouri. The Sweet Seasons Bakery Café, run by Miriam Lantz with her twin daughters, Rachel and Rhonda, is at the center of this light romance series. At the end of each title are recipes for the tasty treats served up at the Amish cafe. Cinnamon rolls are my favorite treat and there is a recipe for the rolls Miriam serves her customers, made with a boxed cake mix starter!

                               

If mysteries are more to your taste, why not try the “cozy” crime series by Joanne Fluke, featuring Hannah Swenson. Hannah returns to her hometown of Lake Eden, MN after her father’s death, opens a bakery/cafe, the Cookie Jar, and soon becomes an amateur detective sleuthing out murders. Of course, delectable dessert recipes are a welcome addition to each title.

                        

Another author, Diane Mott Davidson, is known for the humor, quirky characters, and small town feeling of her cozy culinary mysteries. Caterer Goldy Bear is a smart heroine, whose ability to juggle her work and personal life (as well as murder investigations) makes her very appealing to readers. Using the process of cooking as a counterpoint, Davidson sets up a clever mystery and leaves clues.

                            

If you’re more interested in looking for recipes, without reading a whole book, we even have cookbook collections from many authors. The Cozy Cookbook serves up mouth-watering appetizers, entrees, and desserts from some of the most popular names in crime solving.

The Lake Eden Cookbook collects recipes, some previously published in the author’s mystery series starring Hannah Swensen, and includes a story, interspersed throughout the recipes, of the annual holiday cookie exchange in Lake Eden.

Miriam’s Cookbook by Carrie Bender is a collection of recipes interspersed with quotes from her books in the Miriam’s Journal and Whispering Brook Series. Here you find food for the body and soul.

I hope you find a great recipe that you’d like to try from one of the many “books that cook!”

July is National Grilling Month and You’re Already Hungry

You read right: National. Grilling. Month.

It’s only fitting that this month-long celebration falls in the same month as July 4th, a time for fireworks,  s’mores, and grilled meat. While July 4th is already behind us, our grills are still burning and the sun is still shining. It’s summer, and that’s the only excuse you need to grill.

We all know the feeling: a sunny evening, warm breeze, back patio, food on the grill. Food is important to culture in so many ways, but grilled food is a part of the dictionary definition of summer (OKAY- maybe not, but you get my point).

I mean, JUST LOOK AT THAT MEAT BEING GRILLED. It’s screaming summer deliciousness.

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Not into meat? No worries, grilled veggies are equally as important in the formula for a perfect summer. Mm-mm-MM!

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Even though grilling is such a summer staple, grilling as we know it has barely been around for 60 years. In fact, the first Weber grill was designed and built in 1952. This design included features that we are familiar with now: a base for charcoal,  a grate for food, and a dome shaped lid to contain as well as release heat (science is cool!).

In the 1960s the Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company redesigned the grill to use gas instead of charcoal.  In no time at all this style of grilling was in the backyard of every American suburban home. This style of grilling was far superior to the open-fire style at the time, faster than charcoal, and it changed the way we consume food forever.

Celebrate National Grilling Month by throwing your favorite summer meal on the grill and sharing with friends and family. What do you plan on grilling this month? Start the conversation by commenting below!