books for mom from quirk
When I told my husband I had a cookbook that teaches how to make homemade marshmallows, he asked, “Don’t we need some kind of special ingredient, like marshmallow root or something?” The author of Marshmallow Madness, Shauna Sever, said this is an issue she deals with frequently, even at airport security! While it’s true that the ancient Egyptians invented this delightful concoction using marshmallow root, now unflavored gelatin works perfectly for creating these fluffy treats. Most people just buy their marshmallow stash at the grocery store, but the author assures us that we can make them easily at home, and like pretty much anything homemade, they trump store bought every time. Plus, they are so gorgeous just to look at!
Marshmallow Madness has recipes for marshmallows made in candy molds for perfect shapes, ones with fruit purees (and pumpkin!), mini marshmallows, plus dessert recipes, too. Some of my favorites were the key lime pie (dipped in graham cracker crumbs) and the s’mores cupcakes (with toasted marshmallow topping). Of course, we had to try it out, so we embarked on making the vanilla marshmallows for our first try, with a Mexican cocoa coating, perfect for adding to Mexican hot chocolate which is a staple in our home. Everyone in the family was pretty excited to eat “homemade” marshmallows, and they turned out light, fluffy and really weren’t that hard to make after all! We can’t wait to try some other flavors!
Have you ever wished that your grandma had left you a book filled with her favorite tried and tested recipes? Little Old Lady Recipes, written by Meg Favreau, is like a family heirloom you never had. This little hard cover volume is full of wit and wisdom from ladies who have lived and learned. They have lots of sound (and fun) advice like, “To be bored is to be boring” and “When in doubt, take a covered dish.” I also really enjoyed the pictures of the sweet ladies in their own kitchens cooking up a batch of love and goodness.
All of the recipes in Little Old Lady Recipes are time tested and solid and will possibly bring back some treasured memories. There are ideas for every time of the day, from Blueberry Muffins and Applesauce for breakfast to Pound Cake and Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert. Little Old Lady Recipes would be a wonderful gift to anyone young or old that appreciates good old home cooking!
When I first had kids, I felt so clueless and I tried to read everything I could get my hands on, plus ask other parents people lots of questions. It’s kind of a cliche that in our culture to say that kids don’t come with a manual, so I sure appreciate that the folks at Quirk took that thought seriously and published Stuff Every Mom Should Know. It is written by the authors of the blog Rookie Moms, Heather Gibbs Flett and Whitney Moss, and has real world advice, not pithy or unhelpful ideas, but suggestions that I would definitely use, from the baby years up to teens.
They answer all kinds of questions, like how to take care of a baby on an airplane or how to rid a bedroom of monsters. They also give tips for things like what foods your teen should know how to cook or how to put a positive spin on what you say in front of your kids. For example, instead of saying, “Charlie’s mom is an idiot”, you could say, “I don’t agree with Charlie’s mom’s choices”. I can really relate to having to stop myself and trying to say things in a way that would set a good example and I appreciate their hints. What I also found in reading through Stuff Every Mom Should Know, is that the principles of what they are getting at really shine through and not just the specific practices. That is a help to me to know what to do in any situation, even those not listed in the book.
How to Con Your Kid is written by two New York Times best selling authors, David Borgenicht and James Grace, and while they use the word “con”, I prefer to call it “reasoning” – lol. The authors tell us that kids really don’t understand a lot of pertinent things and we are required to teach them and not just expect them to know by osmosis. I think that’s why kids have parents and aren’t just on their own when young like animals, because they do need those couple of decades to learn from the parents how they are supposed to live in this world.
How to Con Your Kid has thirty five common situations arranged in sections about grooming, getting ready, behavior, household, and mealtime and bedtime. Issues are presented that parents may struggle with their children over, and then continues with suggestions to avoid the problem in the first place by laying the groundwork, and goes on to give ideas for cons and short cons (when you are out of time), as well as what to do if the kids are on to you. They also add frequent games and songs into the mix. The ideas range from getting to kids to talk quietly to helping with the chores, with ideas for teeth brushing and lots more in addition. I love the advice in How to Con Your Kid, it is creative, well founded and respectful to children, while at the same time, helps me to know how to set a good example of reasoning and maturely handling circumstances, in order for them to go as smoothly as possible.