• Monique Gaddy

Fantastic Food

Updated: Apr 13


Food, My Favorite Topic

The holidays are fast approaching and I don't know about all of you, but one of my favorite parts about the holidays is all the fantastic food. Cooking is such a great life skill and is so versatile - it can be taught early and utilized for life. I know I have always

been so grateful for my mother, she taught me how to cook when I was young. Some recipes are easy to make, while others are more complicated. And for those who are brave or wanting a challenge, there is also food that is outside of our comfort zone, whatever that may mean to you and your family (I know in my household we absolutely love Thai food, and we try to incorporate elements and flavors from Thai cuisine into our every day cooking).


Baby, Toddler, and Kid

Baby and toddler cookbooks offer an array of recipes to help introduce your young one to different foods in a safe way while also providing healthy options. The Baby and Toddler Cookbook by Karen Ansel, MS, RD, and Charity Ferreira, lays out a meal plan from 6 months to 3 years.

I am almost positive that when I was a kid that we cooked recipes from this same book- and as I was hunting down cookbooks to show off it brought back a lot of fun memories!


The Little House Cookbook by Barbara M. Walker features 100 recipes of classic pioneer food, as well as highlights some of the customs pioneers used to feed the family. A fun book to experiment with everyone in the house.


Is your child really enjoying cooking and you're running out of recipes? The Young Chef by Mark Ainsworth talks about measuring, cooking techniques, flavor pairing, and gives out other handy tips throughout the book. Get them into the cooking process and having fun.


Teens, Thriving, and Tamales

"Written by teens, for teens," The Green Teen Cookbook, edited by Laurane Marchive and Pam McElroy, is a cookbook to help teens navigate the world of green cooking. There is so much to learn about this process that it can be daunting for anyone who is interested in becoming more environmentally aware, and this book is a great start. Showcasing an array of recipes, explore this project as a family and reap the benefits.


According to Mareya Ibrahim, there are eight essential strategies to making sure that you eat well, in a way that works for you, and that you won't hate 3 weeks down the road. Eat Like You Give a Fork is a funny, yet informative book about all the ways that we have approached food, and her advice on how to approach it so that we eat well and are satisfied with the choices.


Who doesn't love tamales? I love them so much that I actually probably should not have even looked at this book while working...now they are all I can think about! From materials to salsas, Tamales by Daniel Hoyer, has everything you need to get started on the tamale process.


New and Classics

Exploring some of the more exotic dishes, I picked out two on Asian cuisine, one that has been out since 2013, and one that is on our New Book Shelf (located right next to the Reference Desk). Everyday Thai Cooking showcases some of the classic dishes from Thai cuisine - family dishes that are quick and easy. This cookbook is easy to follow and has beautiful photographs for each dish.


From Kimchi to Bulgogi, an array of seafood dishes, to your ever-evolving street foods,

Maangchi's Big Book of Korean Cooking is full of

fantastic recipes, all dedicated to her children.

Maangchi is the owner of the top online destination for Korean cooking and she has over 3 million subscribers on YouTube.


Going back to the classics, I chose an Ina Garten cookbook for those who are wanting to come back to some Barefoot Contessa classics. Providing pro- tips for almost each recipe, Ina reminds us that variety and great cooking does not have to be terribly complicated.


Another pick from the New Books shelf, Umami Bomb by Raquel Pelzel, features vegetarian recipes that are filled with flavor. According to the cookbook, Cambridge English Dictionary describes Umami as:"a strong taste that is not sweet, sour, salty, or bitter and that is often referred to as 'the fifth taste.'" This small cookbook features recipes that are great for snacks, dessert, meals, sides, and a small section that includes seafood.


More to Explore!

Listed in this blog are some of the books you can check out at the Caldwell Public Library that have an array of options. While I have just chosen a few, there are plenty of options for food books at your library here or at others within Treasure Valley. Come in and ask your librarians for more help on locating books. Don't forget that there are also a ton of cooking videos and our online recipe collection - AtoZ World Foods - that you can also use to get into the spirit of cooking!



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