Thanks to my friend, Christina, I'm completely devoted to Family Fun magazine. I started subscribing to it back when my oldest child was too little to enjoy any of the crafty/cooking/game ideas in the magazine. Now that my kids are big and perfect for the articles in there, I find that I can retrieve some of what I've read over the many years of subscribing and not feel completely inept. I use the website on a regular basis and read the magazine cover to cover when it comes. I have a standing present from my husband to re-subscribe it for me so I don't even have to worry about it. You complete me, Family Fun.
A couple of years ago, the magazine came out with their latest cookbook, Family Fun's Cooking with Kids. Christina and I speculated together on if we thought it might be the same as the Let's Cook section and one of my most favorite things to read in the whole magazine. I've been cutting out that section and putting it in a binder for years. It shows parents how to teach their kids to cook different foods, and we're not talking about hot dogs and macaroni or English muffin pizzas. Some of the recipes they've had since I've been a subscriber have been apple pie, carrot cake, omelets, turkey pot pie, bagels, pineapple upside-down cake, potato pierogi, brownies, chili and foccacia bread. They have step by step instructions and pictures with suggestions for what the kids can do themselves. I love this because most of the time I need that much detail to try a new recipe and knowing that I can teach it to my kids while I cook is a big incentive to try something new. I find that it is approachable enough for my almost-four-year-old to help out and interesting enough for my older kids.
I put the cookbook on my Amazon wishlist and promptly forgot about it. Fast forward a few years and I found myself staring at it on the discount book rack at Borders when I was hunting for something entirely different. At $8, I couldn't resist and bought it with barely opening it. I knew it would be a winner and you know what? It was. It doesn't have the detailed instructions for every recipe, but it does have it for some. So far we've tried the black bean soup (delicious and even my pickiest eater loves it) and the lemon squares (oh my!) and my five-year-old pulls it out and reads it like a novel. She's dying to try out every recipe in the dessert section, but she's five so that's no surprise.
I'm proud of myself for having gotten it for such a deal, but I still would have been happy paying full price and gotten use out of it for the last few years. Now, if you'll excuse me, the Thanksgiving issue is waiting for me and I'm positive there are ideas that involve pumpkins.