Cook with Books: Recipe Roundup!

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Cook with Books Round-Up

Over the past year we’ve shared lots of recipe ideas to go along with some of your favorite stories.  This month we’re focusing on books that have recipes in them already and that have units to go along with them (for FREE!) at Homeschool Share.

cranberry christmasIf you’ve enjoyed Cranberry Thanksgiving, you should definitely try Cranberry Christmas!  The residents of Cranberryport want to go ice skating, but Cyrus Grape claims the skating pond is his and won’t allow it.  It’s up to Mr. Whiskers to try to save the day for the town’s children!  This book includes a recipe for Maggie’s delicious cranberry cookies.

a song for lenaIn A Song for Lena, Lena helps her grandmother make strudel (the recipe is included) and hears a story from her grandmother’s childhood.  A wandering musician asks for some bread, but the family gives him some of their strudel instead, and the musician repays the kindness with a tune on his violin.  This same scene is repeated year after year, until one year when the musician no longer comes.  This is a sweet story of kindness you will love to share with your children.

thunder cake Thunder Cake is also a story of a grandmother and granddaughter cooking.  In this book, there is a rapidly approaching thunderstorm which frightens the young girl.  To take her mind off her worries, her grandmother has her help gather the ingredients to make a cake.

cook a doodle dooCook-a-Doodle-Doo! is a funny book that tells the story of Rooster, the great-grandson of the Little Red Hen.  When he remembers that his famous great-grandma is also a cookbook author, Rooster and his friends decide to make her delicious strawberry shortcake.  Each of the animals adds his own special something to the cooking process and you’re sure to enjoy the results!

goody o'grumpityIf you’re looking for a good historical recipe, Goody O’Grumpity is a wonderful book to share with your kids.  In this simple story, Goody O’Grumpity, a Pilgrim woman, bakes a cake that has everyone in town waiting to try a piece.  Your children may be surprised at the difference between cakes now and then, but no matter how different the outcome, they will love the story and the memories.

Hopefully this will give you a start on planning some fun learning experiences for the new year!  I’m so excited about some of the great things we have cooking up for Cook with Books in the coming months!  Happy cooking and reading!

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Cook with Books: Let’s Go Home

CWB Lets Go Home

Usually when I share a book for Cook with Books, the recipe is directly related to the story, but this month I’m going to get a little nostalgic with you all since the holidays are coming up!  One of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read is Let’s Go Home, written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin.  This sweet book tells about all the things that make a house a home, no matter the kind of house it is.

“But no matter the kind of house, it is the living inside that makes it wonderful, what happens in each room that makes it marvelous.  It is what the house means to those who live there.”

One of my most favorite places as a child was my grandparents’ house.  It wasn’t big or fancy and you often couldn’t get TV reception without an awkward dance with the rabbit ears, but it was a wonderful place.  So many delicious meals were shared there as we all filled the tables every holiday–and many other days as well.  In honor of that home and my grandmother, who was an amazing cook, I’m sharing her pumpkin pie recipe with you.  Of all the mouthwatering dishes she made, this was my favorite, and every time I taste it I’m back in her kitchen.

jengma{Me and my grandma in her living room on my first Christmas.}

ingredientsThis time of year I try to have pumpkin on hand since there are so many yummy Pinterest ideas that use it, but I usually don’t have Milnot.  Most of the other ingredients are in my pantry year round!

crustsFirst, get your crusts ready.  Here’s where I make a confession.  My grandma made almost everything from scratch.  I do not.  I have learned the hard way that I cannot top a ready-made pie crust, at least not without a lot more time to practice.  If you’re a great pie crust-maker, you have my admiration.  If not, there’s no shame in unrolling the premade crusts!

eggsStart with your eggs and beat them well before adding the other ingredients.

sugarsYou’ll need both white and brown sugar.

milnotAdd your Milnot…

pumpkinAnd your pumpkin!

mixMix it all well!

cinnamonPour the batter into two pie shells and sprinkle cinnamon on top before baking.

yummyAnd there you have my favorite recipe that makes me think of home!

Here’s the complete recipe!


  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups Milnot
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 15 oz. can of pumpkin
  • cinnamon


  1. Beat eggs together
  2. Mix in all other ingredients except the cinnamon
  3. Pour into two pie crusts and sprinkle cinnamon on top
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, then reduce to 350 degrees and cook for about 20 more minutes.  When you have a soft spot in the middle about the size of a half dollar, it’s done.
  5. Let it set a bit after removing from the oven before cutting it.

Whatever special recipes you have in your family, this is a great time of year to share those with your children and Let’s Go Home is the perfect story to go along!

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Cook with Books: Apples to Oregon

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cook with books apples to oregon

September is a great time to learn about apples, and Apples to Oregon is a fun book that tells how some of the first fruit trees in the west made the journey.  This is a book that is enjoyable for all ages and if you want to take the learning deeper, we even have a free unit study available at Homeschool Share!

IngredientsI’ve got a yummy apple cake recipe to share with you this month!  This is actually more like a bread, but it’s still delicious!  Best of all, most of the ingredients are things you probably already have on hand.

Chopped applesStart by chopping your apples.  I usually use Jonathan apples, and I use my food chopper to dice them up small.

SugarThen pour the sugar over the apples and stir well.

MixAdd in the rest of the ingredients (see below for all the details!) and mix them together well.

Mixed upIt should end up looking like this!  Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and pop it in the oven.  It won’t take long for your kitchen to start smelling really good!  If you want to save some for another time, you can freeze the batter and then defrost and cook it later.

Finished LoafThe finished product!  So yummy!

Here’s the complete recipe:


  • 2 cups chopped raw apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour


  1. Chop apples and sprinkle sugar over them.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients until well blended.
  3. Bake in a greased loaf pan for one hour at 350 degrees.

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Cook With Books: Five Little Monkeys

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Five Little Monkeys Cooking Fun
Five Little Monkeys is such a fun story to share with your kids, and it’s even better if you have some Monkey Bread to go along with it!  This is a super easy recipe that’s great for a snack or for breakfast.

2You just need a few ingredients–most of which you probably already have!


Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and mix well.

4Cut the cinnamon rolls into smaller pieces.  I usually cut them into thirds one direction and in half the other way, but it’s up to you how large or small you want the pieces.

5Coat the cinnamon roll pieces in the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.

6Put half of the coated cinnamon roll pieces into a greased Bundt pan.  Melt half a stick of butter and pour over the pieces and if you want, add chopped pecans.  My kids don’t like nuts, so I only put it on one side.  Then add the rest of the cinnamon rolls and repeat the butter and nuts.  Pop it in the oven and you’ll have a delicious treat in no time!

Here’s the complete recipe:


  • 3 cans of cinnamon rolls
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)


  1. Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together.
  3. Cut up cinnamon rolls and coat in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  4. Place half of the cinnamon rolls in the Bundt pan.
  5. Pour half a stick of melted butter over the rolls and top with pecans.
  6. Place remaining cinnamon rolls in the pan and top with butter and pecans.
  7. Bake at 325-350 degrees (I usually set my oven at 335) for about 30 minutes.

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Cook with Books: The Great Brain

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cook with books great britain

One of my son’s favorite books series we read this year was John D. Fitzgerald’s The Great Brain series, which chronicles the adventures of young J.D. Fitzgerald and his older brothers, Sweyn and Tom–also known as The Great Brain.  Growing up in Utah in the late 1890s, The Great Brain always has a scheme and his plans are definitely entertaining to read about!   The Fitzgerald boys always look forward to Sunday, because it “was the day of the week when we made ice cream, and everybody helped.”  Fitzgerald describes all the work they had to do in great detail, which may be a surprise to kids who are used to choosing from numerous flavors of ice cream in the freezer aisle!  For this book, we made ice cream in a bag, and while it’s not quite as much work as they go through in the book, you definitely work hard enough to burn some of those calories!

Ice Cream Delicious!

IngredientsYou just need a few ingredients to make this yummy treat!

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • egg substitute equivalent to one egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

mixingPut all of your ingredients together in a quart sized freezer bag.  Seal the top (and then double check it so you don’t lose all of your ingredients!) and then knead the bag gently to mix everything together.

ShakePut the quart sized freezer bag inside a gallon sized freezer bag and add ice and rock salt.  Seal it, and then start shaking.

Still shakingShake until you think surely it’s ready.  It’s not.  Shake some more.  Maybe move outside and shake some while you’re there.

Tired of shakingJust when you think you can’t shake any more, you’ll realize your ice cream is getting thick!

FinishedAll that hard work will pay off and you will have a delicious treat–and be glad that you weren’t born 100 years ago!

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Cook with Books: America the Beautiful: Together We Stand

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America the Beautiful

With Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day all so close together, this is a great time of year for a patriotic book like America the Beautiful: Together We Stand.  This book is a unique combination of the lyrics of “America the Beautiful” with illustrations by some of the best children’s book illustrators and quotes by a variety of presidents.  Pair it with a patriotic dessert, and you’ve got a great way to spend a summer afternoon!

America the Beautiful

2We decided to make a pound cake with whipped cream and fruit!

4Make your pound cake (see directions below) and once it has cooled, slice it up and cover the bottom of your dish.

5Cover the cake with whipped cream.

6Then you can use fruit (we used blueberries and strawberries) to make your cake into a flag!

Here’s a simple recipe for a delicious pound cake!


  • 2 cups butter
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2/3 cups milk


  1. Grease three 8×4 inch loaf pans.
  2. Mix butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  4. Alternate flour and milk until everything is mixed in.
  5. Divide the batter into the three pans and bake at 350 degrees for about 55 minutes.


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