Two sisters walk into a kitchen … And months later comes this charming, and very informative, book: 20 Recipes Kids Should Know.

Esme Washburn, age 12, is the producer of the recipes and the text. Her older sister, Calista, 17, is the photographer.

I grew up in the 50s and 60s so my kid food overlaps with what is here. Kinda. I did eat Mac and Cheese, but not the deeply rich Creamiest Mac and Cheese you find here. I never ate Black Bean Soup, but there is one here complete with 1 chipotle chile in adobo. The world has changed!

And, for the better.

The Banana Bread here is anything but bland because it has chocolate chips, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts. Yes, those are termed “optional” but they are an option you want to incorporate.

The Amazing Mashed Potatoes are. How could they not be with cream cheese, heavy cream, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Other recipes include:

  • Classic Cheese Omelet
  • Heavenly Hummus
  • Crispiest Breaded Chicken
  • Popovers that Pop!
  • Crispy Roasted Vegetables [just olive oil and salt and pepper]

That breaded chicken uses panko breadcrumbs. In Oregon in the 1950s, I don’t think we had panko.

This is a lovely book, surely one you can give to your child or niece or nephew. It will give them a head start on their culinary careers. Or maybe just let them cook for you one night!

One note: kids prepared this book and I think you will want to double check the metric measurements. The English-style using cups and teaspoons are fine. For the Best Chocolate Cake Ever!, an actual cup of cocoa powder weighs far less than 240 grams specified. Enjoy the book. Just double check.