Books and Cooks

In addition to our DVD viewing habits, we've been reading quite a bit. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows arrived yesterday. Bug got first dibs and is a few chapters in, but wavering between wanting to be outside enjoying the summer and holing up to read. Hopefully we'll finish before book group on the 1st.

I also picked up Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making by James Peterson from the library. I will definitely be buying my own copy. It will be a great complement to Culinary Artistry, my other must-have cooking guide. The kids have been taking turns cooking dinner (or occasionally a weekend breakfast) at least once a week this summer. It's been great fun to see their culinary styles emerge.

Peanut is a recipe follower and planner, relying on Rachael Ray's Cooking Rocks: 30-Minutes Meals for Kids cookbook almost exclusively. It's a kid-friendly book with recipes organized by age-groups, spiral-bound so it lays flat on the counter, and filled with tips on technique coupled with lots of encouraging words. For breakfast this morning, Peanut made Monte Cristo and Elvis French Toast Sammies. Yum. For dessert tonight she made another recipe from Cooking Rocks called Fuji Apples and Peanutbuttery Caramel Dip (although she used Gala apples rather than Fuji). Super, super yummy. We agreed that the dip would also make a great ice cream topper.

Bug seems to take after me with his disdain for following recipes. In fact, I don't think he's used single recipe all summer. He has surprising skill, combining ingredients with little to no guidance. Unlike me, he actually writes down his own recipes if he deems them worthy, so that he can make them again. Some of his hits so far have been lettuce wraps with Asian ginger sauce, tropical smoothies, and fusilli with sautéed zucchini alongside roasted red pepper and tomato soup. This last dish was inspired by our viewing of Ratatouille (loved it!) earlier that afternoon.

Now, if I could just get them to feed their three betta fish...