My Favorite Children’s Cookbook

Kids Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual by Klutz

Growing up, my most-loved cookbook was from Klutz publishing: Kids Cooking, A Very Slightly Messy Manual. It came with a set of colorful (and indestructible)  measuring spoons. I remember using the cookbook to learn how to make scrambled eggs and salads — the basics, usually with a twist. I grew up helping my mother and grandmother cook and bake. It was watching them coupled with the accessibility of Kids Cooking that inspired my love of working in the kitchen. Part of what made this particular cookbook invaluable was that it was written for kids to teach them how to make a meal with limited supervision. In a format that was fun and easy to understand, it did just that.

Did you have a favorite cookbook as a kid? If so, what’s the name of it?

Photo credit: Messi Kids on Ebay.


M&M Cookies

I will be spending today and tomorrow baking and decorating cookies — gifts I’ll be giving to family and friends this holiday season. I’m making several different types of cookies, but the M&M cookies are my favorite. My mom made them for me as a special treat during my childhood. They’re relatively easy to make and don’t take much time. Hopefully you’ll like them as much as I do!

-1/2 c. Crisco
-1/2 c. brown sugar
-1/4 c. granulated sugar
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon water
-1 egg
-1c. + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-3/4 cup M&Ms

-Use an electric mixer to blend Crisco and sugars.
-When Crisco and sugars are throughly combined, beat in vanilla extract, water, and egg.
-In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt.
-Gradually add the flour/baking soda/salt mixture into the sugar/egg mixture. Mix well.
-Stir in M&Ms.
-Drop cookie dough from teaspoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
-Bake at 375F for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown.


Quiche, anyone?

Quite a few years ago, the museum in my little hometown published a cookbook of local, old-timey recipes which I discovered in my parent’s kitchen after I graduated from college. And moved back in with them since I didn’t have any money. And I started cooking a lot to keep myself occupied and everyone fed. But, I digress.

I discovered a recipe for crab quiche in the local cookbook and modified it. I always find it filling and I also happen to think it makes for great leftovers. Also, it’s Dungeness crab season here on the west coast. Also known as my favorite time of year. So while I’m biding my time between now and the next cold cracked crab feed, I thought I’d share my favorite quiche recipe.

Prep time: 15 – 30 minutes

Bake time: 30 – 45 minutes


  • 9 inch pie crust (Pillsbury or other pre-made crust is ok)
  • 1/4lb. mushrooms, sliced (white or cremini work well)
  • minced onion (feel free to use as much or little as you’d like – I normally use ~1/4 cup of white onions or shallots)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cans crabmeat, flaked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, shredded


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Press pie crust into round, 9 1/2 inch pie plate. I use this one.
  • Make sure to drain all of the water out of the cans of crab. Leaving it moist means your quiche will taste fishy (and not so tasty!).
  • In a sauce pan, sauté garlic and mushrooms in butter, then add onion, crabmeat, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • Mix well-beaten eggs and cream.
  • Add egg and cream mixture to the sautéed ingredients. Mix in half of the Swiss cheese.
  • Pour mixture into the pie plate and top with the remainder of the Swiss cheese.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until set.
  • Let quiche cool for 5 minutes or so until you cut into it and serve.


  • If you’re worried about burning the crust, cover it with tinfoil before you put it in the oven. Remove the tinfoil about 5 – 10 minutes before the quiche is finished.
  • Don’t like Swiss cheese? Try something different like mozzarella or parmesan.