The extra downtime for our kids over the summer means that we, the parents, get to use them in the name of furthering their education. Every summer, we make them plan a menu for one night a week. They help with the shopping and estimate how much it will cost (even if we are still the ones paying the bill). And then – my favorite part – they cook and clean up afterwards! It’s pure bliss to have some of that responsibility of what to cook lifted off my shoulders, and they get to learn valuable skills. That’s how I rationalize it, anyway.
I recently brought home some new cookbooks – which were met with a few groans – but it wasn’t long before I was hearing, “Hey, this looks good!” I’m really looking forward to the crustless tomato-ricotta pie in “Gluten-Free: Easy & Delicious Recipes for Every Meal.” Fresh tomatoes from the farmers market and eggs from our backyard chickens should make it incredible! And the flourless chocolate hazelnut cake? Yum!
I haven’t heard any firm commitments yet to any of the recipes in “The Love & Lemons Cookbook: An Apple-to-zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking,” but I think I love this cookbook. It’s very pretty and may end up having to be a purchase. Every recipe tells whether it is vegan or gluten-free, and most seem to be adaptable if needed. I’m not certain I’m quite ready to try the dark chocolate avocado mousse, but if the kids are willing to make it, I will be brave enough to eat it. I will be voting for the grilled peach salad with toasted pistachios or the cucumber, basil and watermelon salad!
How can you go wrong with a cookbook titled “Endless Summer Cookbook“? This is another stunningly beautiful cookbook. The fish tacos with creamy chipotle sauce and pico de gallo look wonderful! We never imagined that we would like fish tacos, but after trying some a few years ago, we love them. The hoisin ginger pork chops look great, too.
I also brought home “The Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook: Remarkable Recipes from a Chicago Legend.” I really want to try the lemon cheesecake tart with blueberries, but the honey almond pistachio ricotta cheesecake looks wonderful, too! And now I’m really hungry.
I have been very impressed with what these kids have been able to make all by themselves. They have ventured into Korean, Indian, Chinese and Italian foods, as well as good old homemade barbecue. Some of my favorite summer recipes have been discovered this way! Not everything they have tried has been a keeper, but topping our list of favorites is the chilled berry soup from Mollie Katzen’s “Moosewood Cookbook.” My son has become the cheesecake chef of the family, even managing to alter recipes to fit his sister’s gluten-free diet. I think my personal favorite was the mandarin orange cheesecake from “The Cheesecake Bible,” but the kids would probably say that their favorite was the triple-chocolate cheesecake.
What a delicious summer! Please don’t let school start back up too soon!