Spring and summer are upon us and we are talking about something we all love here - food! I had a delightful meeting with Lauren Stein, author of the cookbook - Fresh Made Simple - over a hot cup of coffee this winter. Her daughter Abigail inspired the book, and while it’s not a kids’ cookbook, it offers the perfect opportunity to involve kids in the kitchen and make meals together as recipes are easy and kid-friendly.
I love the simplicity and elegance of this beautifully illustrated cookbook. If you are a visual person like I am, “Look >> Cook >> Savor” kind of cooking is right up my alley. Each recipe is illustrated with fresh ingredients and the desired quantities to make a simple, no-fuss meal. “A beautiful reminder that we don’t need much to enjoy food. A handful of ingredients and a pretty picture will do.”
Stuffed, stacked, spread or scrambled, there are tons of recipes to enjoy! From Leek Corn Egg Bake to Cashew Butter and Raspberry Spinach Parfait, you’ll keep your taste buds guessing. I especially like that some recipes are quite versatile and can be enjoyed at any meal, while others make for great snacks. Once you have fresh ingredients on hand, the book offers a lot of mix and match potential to throw in extra spices, add meats, and really just cater to your individual palate.
The recipe illustrations by Katie Eberts are catchy and self explanatory. It speaks to adults and kids alike. Both my daughters, Neve and Ona (ages 5.5 and 4), are drawn to the illustrations and have been looking forward to trying out a few recipes with me.
Earlier this week after school pick-up and before evening classes, we had a small window of time ideal for a midday pick-me-up snack. We decided to try Strawberries with Ricotta & Balsamic Drizzle. The girls took turns slicing the strawberries, scooping the ricotta, and mixing it all up. We added a little sugar to satisfy our sweet tooths - it was so perfect! My older devoured it and the younger, despite being picky, was a much more willing eater since she was involved in the entire process, and finished her bowl. Neve could also read and look at the picture and follow the steps.
Ona always likes to drag her stool and stand next to me in the kitchen, however, this was the first time both girls actively participated in the process (besides helping bake cookies!). I can totally see us doing this more often from now on.
The book is truly inspiring me to enjoy summer’s luscious bounty, create meaningful experiences cooking together as a family, and turn fresh into simple and delicious. I can’t wait for our summer picnics!
Hope you are as excited about the book as I am! Check it out on Amazon.