6 Cookbooks for Mother’s Day (or, Cookbooks I Keep Using)

Since it’s almost May, here are six cookbooks for Mother’s Day gifts (or any occasion), worth buying for someone you love. These are the six cookbooks I legitimately keep coming back to, time and time again, organized by the moms who’d like them.

Guide guide: cookbooks for Mother's Day

When you read a story, you experience someone else’s view; likewise, when you read a cookbook, you get outside your own kitchen habits. Cookbooks expand the way we approach food. They give us new recipes and make preparing another meal more fun. They’re often pretty and inspiring and outside of the worlds in which we live. So, with that in mind, cookbooks make great gifts. For Mother’s Day, a birthday or just because, here are my six favorites and why I keep using them.Read More

11 Kids’ Books about Food to Inspire You to the Kitchen

This roundup of 11 kids’ books about food is part of a series of articles on cooking with kids. Reading kids’ books about food with a child you love is a great way to inspire cooking projects and provide a roadmap for spending time in the kitchen together. With that in mind, here are 11 books worth exploring. If you have your own story or experience to share on the topic of cooking with kids, contact me here.

kids' books about food

As recently explored in the post, “5 Reasons to Bake Pretzels with Walter the Baker,” there are so many reasons to cook with kids, from growing life skills to educating about healthy choices. But pair this activity with books about food relating to your cooking projects, and it’s doubly valuable.

That’s because, according to Casey Byrne, Reading Recovery teacher at Glenview Elementary School in Nashville, when it comes to literacy, the more exposure you give a child to books, the better. Read More

How to Make Breaded Cauliflower, Baked Not Fried

This is the fifth and final part of a Cook the Cookbook series featuring Margaret Rudkin’s The Pepperidge Farm Cookbook, published in 1963. Also in this series: Intro, Venison Vegetable Soup, Will the Best Pie Crust Please Stand Up?, Pepperidge Farm Bread and Healthy Pumpkin Muffins for Toddlers or Anyone.

baked breaded cauliflower

After she’d majored in math, raised a family on a farm and become the head of household name Pepperidge Farm, Margaret Rudkin traveled to Ireland. She went with her husband, Henry, to “do some salmon fishing” and find an ancestor’s burial site, but, while there, she ended up buying an old family house on 150 acres. Considering this is the same couple who, newly married, up and bought New England acreage to experience “a real country life”–not too surprising.

“The old place had never been spoiled,” she writes. “We were told [it] was going to be sold. What did we do? One guess!”Read More

Healthy Pumpkin Muffins for Toddlers or Anyone

This is part four in a Cook the Cookbook series featuring Margaret Rudkin’s The Pepperidge Farm Cookbook, published in 1963. Also in this series: Intro, Venison Vegetable Soup, Will the Best Pie Crust Please Stand Up? and Pepperidge Farm bread.

healthy pumpkin muffins for toddlers or anyone

At first glance, the fourth chapter of Rudkin’s book strikes me as the strangest, departing from the linear storyline of her life to feature her interest in old cookbooks. As if to explain, she writes that she developed this interest while in the food business. In fact, knowing her hobby, on the twentieth anniversary of Pepperidge Farm, her employees surprised her with a copy of the world’s first printed cookbook, with a scroll signed by each one. Read More

Pepperidge Farm: The Bread That Launched a Business

This is part three in a Cook the Cookbook series featuring Margaret Rudkin’s The Pepperidge Farm Cookbook, published in 1963. Also in this series: Intro, Venison Vegetable Soup and Will the Best Pie Crust Please Stand Up?.

Homemade white bread from Pepperidge Farm's Margaret Rudkin

Like most middle-class American children of the ‘80s and ‘90s, I grew up on goldfish crackers, Milano cookies and other foods branded with that famous red banner displaying the Pepperidge Farm name. When choosing a recipe from this third section of Rudkin’s book, however, dubbed “Pepperidge Farm,” I decide to go basic. If bread could grab her doctor’s attention, launch Rudkin’s foray into the food business and be the impetus for a business now known around the world, perhaps it will appeal to me, too. Read More

Will the Best Pie Crust Recipe Please Stand Up?

This is part two in a Cook the Cookbook series featuring Margaret Rudkin’s The Pepperidge Farm Cookbook, published in 1963. Read the intro to this cookbook’s series here and part one here.

pie crust made with butter and coconut oil

Before Margaret Rudkin wrote the world’s first cookbook to land on the New York Times Bestseller list, she was a mathematics and finance major who joined the working world and met the man she’d marry, Henry, at a job. They wed in 1923, three years before they’d, “to live a real country life,” buy 125 acres of land in Connecticut and name it Pepperidge Farm.Read More

Venison Vegetable Soup

This is part one in a Cook the Cookbook series featuring Margaret Rudkin’s The Pepperidge Farm Cookbook, published in 1963. Read the intro to this cookbook’s series here.

venison vegetable soup

“Soup was a great favorite in our house, for we were a large family of children, and soup and bread and butter could be counted on to fill us up.” Margaret Rudkin

Beef and Vegetable Soup is The Pepperidge Farm Cookbook‘s first recipe, in the chapter dubbed Childhood, just after a narration of Rudkin’s formative years of life. It’s a recipe that originated with her grandmother, who lived along with Rudkin’s family in their New York brownstone, and a recipe that was beloved enough to become Rudkin’s meal of choice for her birthday each year. It features ingredients I can’t say I’ve ever found in my shopping cart–such as a shin of beef and a large veal knuckle–and says it will serve six to eight. Read More

Eating My Way through Margaret Rudkin’s Life

Experimenting with The Pepperidge Farm Cookbook, one recipe at a time

the pepperidge farm cookbook

Margaret Rudkin has been planning my meals lately–and why not? When the late Pepperidge Farm founder was my age, she, too, was a mother of small children. She developed an interest in healthy cooking out of necessity, as did I (she, to help her son’s allergies; I, to alleviate symptoms of a digestive disease). She wrote a cookbook; so did I. She wondered why she had ever agreed to write that cookbook; anyone who knew me in 2013 knows I said the same. Read More