Recently I received a couple of Learn to Cook cookbooks from DK Canada, geared specifically to tweens and teens. When I first got them, I flipped through them and was impressed at the variety of recipes in each book and the layouts. The cookbooks are bright and colourful, and incredibly visually appealing.
Both How to Cook: Delicious dishes perfect for teen cooks and Cook it: Learn to cook 100 easy recipes are perfect cookbooks for tweens. They offer basic cooking information, techniques and tips as well as a nice mix of recipes that will appeal to most older kids. The recipes are broken down into easy to follow steps, with photos and illustrations of not just the finished result, but of the preparation steps as well – something that is very helpful for anyone learning to cook.
March Break provided the perfect opportunity to put the cookbooks to the test. I gave them to my daughter and asked her to pick out a few recipes to try. Other than suggesting that she pick at least one dinner recipe, I didn’t set any other restrictions. I wanted this to be a fun experience that would hopefully get her interested in doing more cooking and/or baking.
After my daughter started looking at the cookbooks she immediately found several recipes that she wanted to try. I had her make me a list of the ingredients we didn’t have that she would need, and purchased them on our next grocery shopping trip.
The first recipe she tried was a recipe for crepes from the How to Cook cookbook. We make pancakes quite often at home, but for some reason I had never tried making crepes. They turned out to be very easy to make (I helped her with flipping the first couple). My daughter declared them a great success, which I think gave her the confidence to try some more recipes. (Of course it didn’t hurt that she had doctored them up with sliced bananas, whipped cream and chocolate sauce!)
Later in the day, she had a friend over and they picked out a couple of cookie recipes to bake, including macarons (again something I have never made). This recipe was in the How to Cook cookbook. Once again, the girls gave the recipe their own twist by filling them with Nutella.
For dinner, they decided to make Mashed Potato Pies (aka Shepherd’s Pie) from the Cook It cookbook. They made a couple of individual serving size ones for themselves and a large one for the rest of us. We all enjoyed it (especially me, since I didn’t have to make dinner!)
The best thing was that since all of the recipes were very straight forward and easy to follow, everything turned out well and the girls were having fun cooking and baking. This inspired them to keep trying other recipes, and we now have a list of quite a few other ones to try.
Some of the other recipes the girls made include:
1. Blueberry, orange and strawberry smoothie (from Cook It)
2. Blueberry meringue dessert (from How to Cook)
3. Meringue cookies (from How to Cook)
4. Frozen yogurt (from Cook It)
Despite the fact that I don’t use cookbooks nearly as much as I used to, (the internet is a wonderful tool) I would not hesitate to recommend either of these cookbooks to anyone wanting to get their kids interested in cooking or give them some new recipes to try. These cookbooks are a wonderful resource for inexperienced cooks and I’m sure my daughter will be using hers quite a bit over the next while. These would make a great gift for any tween – boy or girl!
How to Cook retails for $19.99 and Cook It‘s regular price is $21.99. For a limited time, you can save 30% off either of these books when you purchase them online through DK Canada’s March Break Boutique.
Disclosure: I received free copies of both cookbooks from DK Canada for review purposes. All opinions expressed are completely my own. This post contains affiliate links.
About Kathy Sima
Kathy is a blogger and freelance writer and mom of two teens who gave up her career as a financial advisor when her son was diagnosed with autism at age 3. When it comes to parenting, Kathy truly believes there is strength in numbers and knows that sharing stories and strategies with other parents has helped keep her sane (so far!)