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Showing posts with label Baking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baking. Show all posts

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Kids in the Holiday Kitchen

Children 8 to 12 years old will enjoy making, with a little adult help, all the treats in Kids in the Holiday Kitchen. This children’s cookbook, which also includes crafts, begins with tips and safety guidelines, followed by four sections. The first three sections of Kids in the Holiday Kitchen emphasize recipes for meals, snacks, and sweets while the fourth section provides directions for crafts related to such winter holidays as Christmas and Hanukkah.

The authors of Kids in the Holiday Kitchen, Jessica Strand, the author of numerous cookbooks, and Tammy Massman-Johnson, a pastry chef, provide recipes with more flair (and seasoning) than many children’s cookbooks. Each recipe begins with a paragraph about where the recipe comes from and includes tips about making it.
Some of the mealtime recipes I found particularly appealing are Toast Time: Stuffed French Toast, Kriss Kringles: Chicken Fritters with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce, Long Life Noodles: Sesame Noodles with Shredded Cucumber, and Lots of Latkes: Potato Pancakes with Homemade Applesauce.

The recipes for snacks, which the authors describe as “some healthy, some sinful (but always delicious)” include: Sugarplum Lollies: Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallows with Assorted Toppings, Sleigh Rider Cider: Apple-Raspberry Spiced Cider, and New Year’s Nuggets: Chocolate-Caramel Popcorn. I would have been happy to sample any of the sweets, particularly Reindeer Prints: Butter Cookies with Colored Sugar, Santa’s Steamer: Minty Hot Chocolate, Christmas Buddies: Gingerbread People, and Mrs. Claus’s Peppermint Wonders: Chocolate-Mint Brownies.

Kids in the Holiday Kitchen: The Holiday Crafts
The crafts section of the children’s cookbook has directions for fourteen crafts and full-page color photographs of eight of them. The projects include a twig photo frame, a beaded box for gift cookies, decorated soap, handmade greeting cards, a 3-D curled paper star, pom-pom animals, and colorful beeswax candles that, depending on the color selected, can be used for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa.

Using Kids in the Holiday Kitchen for Special Activities
If your children want to have a holiday baking and crafts party, you can use the ideas and recipes in the book to plan your party. Before the party, you and your children can make party refreshments using several of the recipes in the book.
If your guests are baking holiday goodies to take home as gifts for their own families or families in need, you might want to have the craft activity be the beaded box so they'll have something festive in which to put the treats.

Kids in the Holiday Kitchen: My Recommendation
While I particularly recommend Kids in the Holiday Kitchen for children 8 to 12 years old, I also think it can be enjoyed by interested younger and older children also. The book is well-organized and well-designed. The quality of the photography by James Baigrie is excellent. My only regret is that there are photographs for only some, not all, of the recipes and crafts. Unlike some children’s cookbooks, the recipes in Kids in the Holiday Kitchen will appeal to both children and adults, a big plus.

Other Recommended Cookbooks for Kids
Kids of all ages seem to get a big kick out of the Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook, which features recipes related to Dr. Seuss books. Older kids and teens who are Harry Potter fans will enjoy trying some of the recipes in The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. See my annotated list of children's cookbooks for more recommendations.

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