Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Time to start writing my first cookbook!

It has been a wild couple of years for me but I am ready to start writing my first cookbook. I have been going over all of my recipes and have decided to get them tested and evaluated by my friends and anyone willing to try them. I worked on 3 different cookbooks published by The Junior League in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, CA and Milwaukee, WI and the most valuable rule I learned was to have every recipe tested by 3 people. This helps to determine if the recipe is easy to follow and Comes out tasting the same each time. I also want to know which ones are the favorites. I am trying to start with kid friendly ideas that change kids views on vegetables and that help families to eat healthier. I want to encourage everyone to bring kids into to kitchen and families back to the table to break bread together. When kids help prepare meals they are more likely to enjoy them. I often try things out alone and start with getting my kids to like dishes with those awful green things slipped in. Once they acquire the taste for it I try to get them to help prepare those dishes. I have cooked for school hot lunches and lots of kids parties or family gatherings and so many things are easy to make from scratch and taste so much better than packaged foods. The best example I can give is macaroni and cheese. Just think about how you can vary the favors by using different cheeses or adding things like bacon bits, vegetables in tiny bits or topping it with sliced tomatoes and bread crumbs to spruce it up for a party. I have found that kids will eat lots of things they said they hated if a bunch of their friends are eating it and like it. Good old fashioned peer pressure works. They also might try something new if they can dissect what they don't like from it and give their own evaluation to you. I am hopping to get my kids to test these recipes for me. After all my youngest and pickiest eater is 17 now and started requesting recipes he missed. When I was about 10 I had a favorite meal my mom made and suddenly stopped making it. My mom was not the best of cooks but she made these great individual crock dinners with pork chops and gravy over egg noodles. When I asked her why she stopped making them she told me my older brother didn't like them. My answer to my kids was to try to reinvent things they didn't like and offer choices to go with those things or serve them tiny portions of that item along with something I knew they liked a lot. The older they get the less picky they become. Look for my recipes when I post them and let me know how they were. I will most likely post one or two recipes from each book section. I also would love to know what types of recipes people are looking for.