Cooking With the Kids: “The Essential New York Times Cookbook”

Two things my family loves: food and books. Seriously, we love both. (There are other things we love, too. One being COFFEE. Good coffee! Adults only! 🙂 🙂 )

Early on, we had our kids trying a variety of different foods. Before they were four years old, they had traveled around the world (UK, Africa and Costa Rica). We wanted to make sure they would eat what they were served, wherever we were, in order to respect our hosts and develop a pallet for new tastes, textures and flavors.

From the time they were a toddlers, we began letting them help us in the kitchen. Small tasks, such as banging a wooden spoon on their highchair, have graduated to larger tasks, such as setting the table, helping to plan our weekly menu, or assisting in preparing the meal (age appropriate tasks, or course). Although I can’t prove it, I think this has helped them to become “semi-adventurous eaters”.

From an early age, Jon and I began reading to our kids. Actually, while pregnant with both kids, I read to them. (And, being a musician, had them listening to Mozart. Remember the Mozart Effect?) Although Jamison is just now learning to read, each of us has our own collection of books; some that we have read over and over, and others that are waiting to be read.  We make frequent trips to bookstores, as well as to our local library.

Over the summer, I made a solo trip to the library, which doesn’t happen too often. Meandering through the cookbook aisle, I stumbled across a book, which I found intriguing. A non-fiction book, which not only included recipes, but chronicled the courtship of Amanda Hesser, a food writer for The New York Times and writer Tad Friend, who is Mr. Latte. I checked the book out and literally could not put it down. It was a great summer read for me, an avid reader and “foodie.” I even tried a few of the recipes, which were DELISH!

Recently, I was listening to The Meal Makeover Moms podcast, Cooking with the Moms,” in which the author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century was being interviewed. (Click HERE for the podcast link, or find them on iTunes.) The author was none other than Amanda Hesser. Amanda has spent the last six years testing and re-testing 1000s of recipes. As well as giving birth to twins, who taste-tested many of the recipes, graduating from purees to table food.

Immediately, I knew I must obtain this cookbook. Not only did it contain 1000s of recipes, but it was a a “chronicle of American culinary history.”

Already, I love it. As soon as it arrived at my doorstep, I opened the package. Then, along with Jadon and Jamison, plopped on the couch, dreaming of which recipes we’d try. Jadon, my son, was given first choice. He selected Stir Fried Chicken with Creamed Corn. Although, he loves creamed corn, I was a bit hesitant to make the dish, but did. It was delicious. The entire family gave it two thumbs up.

According to an article written in 2002 in the New York Times this dish, “sok mei yook lup faan — which translates roughly as corn with small pieces of meat and rice,” is only served in homes. It is not considered “restaurant-quality food”. (You can read the entire article HERE.) Well, fancy enough for a restaurant, or not, my family LOVED the dish, and requested it be made again! And SOON!

Afterwards, we decided that each week one of the kids would select a recipe from The Essential New York Times Cookbook to cook with me; then, we’d review it on the blog. Most likely, the review will be posted on Sunday evenings. As I can, I’ll post the recipe link and/or an article associated with the recipe, along with a few pictures of us creating and the final product.

Beginning Sunday, January 9th, join us for “Cooking with the Kids,” a new blog posting, here at Food. Fun. Family.

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3 responses to “Cooking With the Kids: “The Essential New York Times Cookbook”

  1. Thanks for your post — I look forward to your “Cooking with the Kids” series!

  2. I’ve made the Sweet Potato Casserole in Amanda’s cookbook and it’s fabulous! Next time you have a crowd over for dinner I highly recommend it. Perfect for the holidays! Happy New Year!

  3. Pingback: Menu Plan Monday: January 3-9 « Food. Fun. Family.

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