Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat by Megan and Jill Carle; pub date May 1, 2004; ISBN 97815800858474
The Carle sisters created a fantastic cookbook for teens because they were teens when they wrote it. One is vegetarian, the other an omnivore, so there’s something for everyone. The recipes are grouped by ‘normal’ headings (Breakfast, Snacks), and I like that they have a “Dinner for One” section as well as a “Family Meals” collection.
Because they know any neophyte in the kitchen needs help, they provide vocabulary definitions, personal thoughts on each recipe — which I love in cookbooks — cooking and shopping tips, and even explain why some recipes may end up all kerwonky in their “Kitchen Disaster” callouts. Big plus: there are no esoteric or pricey ingredients, just things you’ll find at your corner grocery store or things already in the home pantry.
The recipes are well-written and, more importantly, are good. Anyone who reads through cookbook reviews or has worked their way through numerous cookbooks knows that this isn’t always the case. (I recall making a veggie lasagna years ago from a bestseller cookbook. When I was making the walnut sauce, I kept thinking, “this just doesn’t seem like it’s going to be good”, but I continued on. I should have listened to my gut, because even though it took an hour+ to prep the dish, not including baking time, we ended up calling out for pizza because the lasagna was just sooooo baaaaad.)
Highly recommended not only for teens, but for adults setting up housekeeping for the first time.