I've been wanting to include my children more often in the kitchen. My oldest daughter can follow a recipe rather well. She just needs a little more practice.
But when I give her a recipe, I find myself saying, "I would use less sugar than listed. And replace half the white flour with whole wheat..." and so on. No wonder my daughter got discouraged in the kitchen when her mom can't follow a recipe as directed. Even Ed, who is quite handy in the kitchen, complains that he can't cook anymore because he doesn't know where my recipes are and how I've changed them.
And of course, we all love to see photos of what we are cooking. My children love the cookbooks with pictures. My five-year-old begged me to bring home a children's cookbook she found at the library with all sorts of fun photos of sugar-laden, sprinkle-coated delicacies.
So I was super excited when of the Home Joys' readers, Amanda Stoltzfus, contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I would review her new cookbook, Good and Healthy Cooking.
"Healthy cooking" can mean different things to different people. If "healthy" to you means splenda, margarine, and low-fat yogurt - then this cookbook is not for you. Amanda cooks with freshly ground whole wheat flour, natural sugars, and raw milk. The recipes in this cookbook contain no white flour, no white sugar, and no hydrogenated oils. If you wondered, like me, what she used for sweeteners, these recipes call for Sucanet, maple syrup, honey, or (rarely) stevia. And of course you can, like me adapt. Don't tell Amanda but I used plain ordinary brown sugar in the recipes that she called for Sucanet. I'm just not to the point of all natural sweeteners yet! Baby steps.
Amanda is a mom and knows how children (and grownups) love photos. Every single recipe in Good and Healthy Cooking was professionally photographed. At least one photo is included for each recipe.
Ed looked through the book and mentioned that the recipes call for normal ingredients, nothing exotic. The recipes are simply written and often included variations to make the recipe more versatile. Throughout the book Amanda shares her cooking tips. I especially appreciated her thoughts on "Idealism and Reality." Spiral bound and printed on sturdy paper, this is a book that I look forward to using in the years to come.
I've been trying some of these recipes the last weeks and so far we've enjoyed them all. (Well, my family did say they liked my sourdough waffles better but maybe they were just trying to make me feel good.) I stuck with the breakfast section first, maybe because I've lacked inspiration for breakfast recently. My daughter was pleased to make both the granola and grapenuts. The pancakes were delicious.
Then I had my two oldest children choose a recipe or two from Good and Healthy Cooking to make an evening meal. My son stirred up BBQ meatballs and scalloped potatoes which were both deemed a success. My daughter chose the tortilla lasagna and breadsticks - recipes that are going onto our family favorite list. Right now I'm enjoying the smell of the Creamy White Chicken Chili for tonight's supper.
I haven't even got to the dessert section yet, though there are some promising recipes such as the no bake peanut butter pie or chocolate cherry cheesecake. I know Ed has eyed up the chocolate shoo-fly pie recipe. Maybe I'll save that for his birthday next month.
You can see more at the Good and Healthy Cooking website. You can also order your own cookbook there (and notice there is a special until December 15 - free postage when you buy two cookbooks.) The cookbook is also available in ebook format.
Now for the great news. Amanda gave me TWO (2) copies to share with you!
Write a comment sharing which cookbook you reach for most often and I'll enter you in the giveaway.
Want a second chance to win? I don't normally do this but if you share this giveaway on Facebook and link back here, I'll let you leave a second comment.
Remember to give your email address so I can contact you.
This giveaway will be open until next Monday, December 8, 2014. Giveaway is open to US residents. Winner chosen by Random.org.