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Kids Book Review – United Tastes of America by Gabrielle Langholtz

UNITED TASTES OF AMERICA:
AN ATLAS OF FOOD FACTS
& RECIPES FROM EVERY STATE!
Written by Gabrielle Langholtz
Drawings by Jenny Bowers
Photos by DL Acken
(Phaidon; $29.95, Ages 7-10)

United Tastes of America bk cvr

 

Take a road trip with the United Tastes of America: An Atlas of Food Facts & Recipes from Every State! by Gabrielle Langholtz, a gorgeous cookbook for ages seven and up. Regional recipes are listed in alphabetical order by state (Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC, are included). Each location begins with two pages of fun facts surrounded by vibrant art; a full-color photo and clearly explained recipe follows. Because we had freshly picked blueberries, we tried Maine’s Blueberry Muffins recipe. It was delicious, and a good base recipe for swapping in other kinds of fruit.

 

United Tastes of America int spread pgs 144-145

United Tastes of America, An Atlas of Food Facts & Recipes from Every State! by Gabrielle Langholtz, Phaidon; Eating in New York, drawings by Jenny Bowers (pages 144-145)

 

United Tastes of America interior photo pgs 146-147

United Tastes of America, An Atlas of Food Facts & Recipes from Every State! by Gabrielle Langholtz, Phaidon; New York: Quick-Pickled Cucumbers, drawing by Jenny Bowers, photo by DL Acken (pages 146-147)

 

It’s fun to look up the dish from your state—California is Cobb Salad—or explore new places. I really liked the US Virgin Islands entries featuring information about Dumb Bread, Jerk Chicken, Rødgrød, Fungi (not a fungi!), and Goat Water (a hearty stew made of goat meat, pawpaw, bread fruit, and Scotch bonnet peppers). The diversity of our country is wonderful: Green Jell-O Salad (Utah), Oven-Fried Chicken (Kentucky), Norwegian Meatballs (South Dakota), Jambalaya (Louisiana), Chicken Bánh Mì (DC). While expanding your culinary skills, you’ll also learn something about that region’s history, geography, and people.

 

United Tastes of America interior spread pgs 192-193

United Tastes of America, An Atlas of Food Facts & Recipes from Every State! by Gabrielle Langholtz, Phaidon; Eating in Texas, drawings by Jenny Bowers (pages 192-193)

 

United Tastes of America interior photo pgs 194-195

United Tastes of America, An Atlas of Food Facts & Recipes from Every State! by Gabrielle Langholtz, Phaidon; Texas: Potato, Egg and Bacon Breakfast, drawing by Jenny Bowers, photo by DL Acken (pages 194-195)

 

The recipes are indexed by level of difficulty as well as in a standard index where you can search for ingredient (potato), cooking term (braising), or meal category (desserts, snacks). This handsome book would be an ideal gift for your foodie relatives and friends who live in other countries, or a lovely addition to your cookbook collection.

I agree with author Gabrielle Langholtz that, “Food is one of the best ways to learn about a place—its harvests, its history, and its people.” Langholtz was the award-winning editor of Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn, the head of special projects and publicity at the NYC Greenmarket, and authored The New Greenmarket Cookbook (2014), and Phaidon’s America: The Cookbook (2017). She lives in Pennsylvania (state recipe, Soft Pretzels). Take this book on tour with you the next time you travel!

Jenny Bowers
DL Acken

 

 

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BAKING WITH KIDS by Leah Brooks

BAKING WITH KIDS
by Leah Brooks with Photography by Scott Peterson
(Quarry Books, $22.99, Ages 4 and up).

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My daughter and I were thrilled to get our “oven mitts” on BAKING WITH KIDS, the latest recipe and instruction book from Leah Brooks, founder of Young Urban Modern Chefs (Y.U.M. Chefs), a San Francisco cooking school for kids. Brooks’ well-organized kitchen guide is filled with tempting baking ideas and countless helpful tips. Lushly illustrated with full color, drool-worthy photographs, this book will send families rushing to the cupboard to collect bowls, pans and ingredients!

Although one might choose to dive right into the recipes, Brooks wisely offers an opening chapter on kitchen safety for kids. If you have not cooked with young people before, there are great ideas on how to teach safety around knives and sharp objects, proper use of oven and stovetop, and the importance of cleaning up as you work. Baking tools are defined in the next chapter, followed by tips on terms and techniques such as zesting, creaming and kneading.

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Strawberry Hand Pies photo courtesy of Cathy Ballou Mealey, ©2015.

Recipes are grouped into breakfast (muffins and scones), breads and snacks (pretzels and crackers), desserts (pie crust and cake), and party perennials such as pizza, cookies, and cupcakes. My daughter selected the recipe for Mini Strawberry Hand Pies, and assembled the necessary ingredients and equipment independently. She was able to follow the simple, step-by-step directions on her own for all the steps, even declaring that “macerating” was her new favorite food preparation technique! The pies were tasty little treats that smelled heavenly and had a rich, buttery crust.

BAKING WITH KIDS makes it so simple and fun to create in the kitchen that you had best stock up on supplies at the grocery store in advance. We give it two spoons up for delicious family treats made with love!

– Reviewed by Cathy Ballou Mealey and Grace Mealey

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Easy Drop Biscuits from Baking With Kids by Leah Brooks with Photography by Scott Peterson, Quarry Books, ©2014.

EASY DROP BISCUITS RECIPE
Light and flaky, these biscuits are delicious as part of an elaborate breakfast feast or with simple cherry preserves (see Cherry Frosting, page xx). These biscuits are quick to prepare and because they are drop biscuits, they clean up in a cinch as well!

Yield: 8-10 biscuits

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups (180 g) all-purpose flour

½ cup (60 g) white whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon (12 g) baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick (½ cup, or 112 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup (235 ml) whole milk

Tools needed:

measuring cups and spoons

liquid measuring cup

medium bowl

baking sheet

parchment paper

whisk

bench scraper

wooden spoon or spatula

Instructions:

1 Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2 In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Gently toss the butter with the flour until all the butter cubes are completely coated.

3 Using a pastry cutter, 2 butter knives, or your fingertips, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of peas, being careful not to overmix. Chill in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.

for smaller hands
Watch children as they mix because kids like to squeeze the dough between their fingers, warming it and potentially overmixing. This will result in tough and dense biscuits.

4 Add the milk and stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.

5 Using two spoons, scoop about a ¼-cup (60 g) of dough into mounds onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden.

Where Obtained:  We reviewed a promotional copy of BAKING WITH KIDS from the publisher and received no compensation. The opinions expressed here are our own.

 

 

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Someone’s in the kitchen and cooking!

51rrzm19w1l_sl500_aa240_I have been using Molly Katzen’s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest Cookbook since I got married, some 21 years ago. Naturally I was delighted to be able to review her latest cookbook, Honest Pretzels: And 64 Other Amazing Recipes for Kids Who Love to Cook now in paperback. What a great name for a cookbook for kids, huh? And the cover is darling! Molly does her own cheerful illustrations, and I love them! She starts her book with two special messages: one to kids and one to the parents and then gets into basic cooking techniques and safety issues.How does a Giant Baked Pancake Puff sound for breakfast? Or a Grilled Cheese and Broccoli Sandwich for lunch? All the recipes you’ll find in here are vegetarian and are nutritious and delicious. Mysterious Dipping Sauce for Vegetables and Tofu caught my attention, as did Peanut Butter Do Dads and Purple Passion Power Shakes. Yum!

What makes this 178-page book perfect for kids to use is the fact that the author simplifies the cooking/baking process by breaking each recipe down into steps with basic illustrations. Before the recipes are listed, she also writes a beautiful introduction to the dish, explaining what the food is and why it tastes so good. Honest Pretzels is a beautiful cookbook that teaches kids the basics of cooking healthy vegetarian dishes and how to have fun while doing it. What a great gift for the child in your life.

Ready for more mouthwatering recipes?

51jmp7xycl_sl500_aa240_The Junior League has published over 200 popular cookbooks since 1940. Their latest, In the Kitchen with Kids: Every Day Recipes & Activities for Healthy Living, is an essential cookbook that was published to not only get children interested in cooking, but to teach them all about healthy eating. I love the fact that, although cooking or baking these recipes requires adult assistance, this book was written for children.

Beautiful illustrations, easy to follow recipes and complete nutritional information ensure that this cookbook will not just sit on the shelf. The recipes look delicious, and are essentially foods that children love, prepared in creative, healthy and appealing ways. How do Never-Fail Banana Muffins or a Make-a-Meal Sunrise Smoothie sound for breakfast? What about a Bunny Salad or Gobble-Up Turkey Burgers for a power lunch? And Porcupine Meatballs or Meat Loaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato and Carrot Icing for Supper? There are some beautiful desserts too, like Strawberry Yogurt Pops and Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon-Sugar Crisps.

In the back of the book you’ll find a food pyramid and nutritional guidelines that teach children about healthy eating in a most easy to understand way. If kids can learn to cook their own delicious food from an early age, they’ll be more likely to make healthy choices for life. In the Kitchen with Kids is a perfect way to get them started.

Debbie Glade is the author, illustrator and voice talent of the award-winning children’s picture book The Travel Adventures of Lilly P Badilly: Costa Rica, published by Smart Poodle Publishing. She visits South Florida schools with her reading, writing and geography programs. For years, Debbie was a travel writer for luxury cruise lines. She writes parenting articles for various websites and is the Geography Awareness Editor for WanderingEducators.com. She blogs daily at smartpoodlepublishing.com.

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