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General Cookbook for an 11 year old

I'd like to buy a cookbook for an 11 yr old, she loves food, I was thinking of How to Cook Everything - but not sure...I think for sure it needs lots of pictures.

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  1. This one is awesome. Beautifully done and comic-book like photo sequences (very step-by-step):


    6 Replies
    1. re: ferret

      My niece loved that cookbook, ferret.

      When my son was younger he enjoyed the cookbooks by Alton Brown. http://altonbrown.com/books/

      1. re: HillJ

        Phaidon, the publisher of What to Cook also put out Ferran Adria's books including this one which had a similar step-by-step photo layout:


        And it's decidedly un-molecular gastronomy (it includes a potato chip omelet). If you click on the photo links they have sample pages.

      2. re: ferret

        What to Cook How.... Looks great! I love Phaidon books - but it's out of print and I don't have time to order it - so need to find one that Barnes and Noble might carry.

        1. re: harryharry

          Jane Hornby has a "Fresh & Easy" version of the book that's still in print.

            1. re: HillJ

              HillJ's link is for a used version that would need to be ordered, but my local BN has it in stock - hope your's does as well.

        2. No pictures, but Fannie Farmer sure got me off on the right foot.

          1. How much food prep has she done, and what is the food environment around her?

            1. I got this book for my 11 year old - he enjoys cooking and eating so although the book is aimed at teens, a younger cook with some experience can easily enjoy it.


              1. My first degree from college was as a Home Economist.

                American Home Economics Association puts out a small book-
                Food Preparation.


                It gives the basics plus recipes

                1. How about a classic-- the red plaid covered Better Homes & Gardens?
                  It's "real food" and written in a fairly direct manner.

                  There is also a Step-by-Step:

                    1. I've been buying my 12 year old cookbooks for the last couple of years. She likes to bake & got Pie in the Sky for Christmas. It's a cookbook written for high altitude baking (we live at 7200 feet).

                      Recently she has been reading my cookbooks. Two of my favorite are Twenty & Ratio both by Michael Ruhlman. I would give them to every home cook I know.

                      When my nieces were getting into cooking, I bought them subscriptions to magazines like Taste of Home, Cooks Illustrated, Gourmet. & Food & Wine.

                      I tend to stay away from "kids" cookbooks, but that's just because my kids have been cooking with me since they were little.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jcattles

                        I agree, beginner books (of nearly every age) are better reads than books aimed specifically at children/teens/college kids. Mostly because the recipes tend to run, run of the mill and more in line with what an adult would be teaching ie burgers, pizza, sandwiches.

                        As long as the language used is straight forward, a beginner cookbook is helpful to use as a guide. Visuals like photos, illustrations, before & after shots make learning fun.

                      2. One book that doesn't have pictures but is really cool is Michael Ruhlman's "The Elements of Cooking." (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...). It's like a glossary of ingredients and techniques. It's really awesome.

                        Another great source could be the America's Test Kitchen series. There are color photographs of every dish and there is an introductory paragraph that explains why a recipes works. I have this one and it's great - http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Americ...

                        1. My wife thinks this one is the way to go since her daughter learned from it many years ago.

                          1. When my brother moved out of the house, I got him Food Network's "How To Boil Water" and he enjoyed it. It has tons of pictures and provides a good amount of food information. It's an easy starter cookbook.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Hobbert

                              Wow, your brother moved out of the house when he was 11? :-)

                            2. How to Cook Without a Book: Recipes and Techniques Every Cook Should Know by Heart by Pam Anderson.

                              1. http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Childre...

                                I used this to help my son understand cooking and learn how when he was young. I've not seen any better.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jmckee

                                  Thank you for this great suggestion. My granddaughter who will be seven in June just asked for a cookbook. Nana just ordered it brand new for $11.34 including shipping from one of Amazon's links. Will make her and her mom matching aprons. Perfect gift!

                                2. My son is 11 and the ones he uses the most are

                                  Joy of Cooking

                                  The orginal 30 minute meals-rachel ray

                                  Better Homes and Gardens Kids cook book

                                  Ina Garten Back to Basics and Foolproof

                                  1. The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. It is a very good first cookbook.