fried rice

Fried Rice and Ohana

Imag­ine a clus­ter of smil­ing keikis, (kids), sit­ting around a cal­abash filled with mouth-water­ing Hawaii local-style fried rice. Shar­ing deli­cious food from a cal­abash serv­ing bowl is a Hawaii tra­di­tion. As it does every­where around the world, not just in Hawaii, eat­ing meals togeth­er cre­ates com­mon bonds for every­one, chil­dren and adults alike, solid­i­fy­ing the feel­ing of ohana, or fam­i­ly.… more

Melanie Heuiser Hill

Cardamom Scones

I adore books that have food details. I like to know what the char­ac­ters are eat­ing. Even bet­ter, I like to know what they’re cook­ing and bak­ing. And if there’s a food or feast that plays a promi­nent role in the plot, I’m hooked. Turns out, these are the sorts of books I enjoy writ­ing, as well.… more

Connie Van Hoven

For the Love of Pickles

Know some pick­le crazy kids? I do! A favorite birth­day din­ner that my grand­kids request is Pick­le Pas­ta (recipe below) — not the cold pas­ta sal­ad vari­ety, mind you, but warm but­tery noo­dles dot­ted with briny pick­les. My daugh­ter cre­at­ed this sim­ple but oh-so-sat­is­­fy­ing dish dur­ing her col­lege days when the cup­boards were some­times near­ly bare.… more

Carrot Soup

Carrot Soup

Car­rots are most often served raw in our home due to our sons’ pref­er­ences. But five years ago at the library we found the book Car­rot Soup by John Segal.


An Autumn Salad from Karen Cushman

I must admit I’m more of a free-form cook. I don’t real­ly fol­low recipes but adapt them to what I have on hand or what my cre­ative juices are call­ing for. Usu­al­ly. The fol­low­ing recipe I love so much that I make it as sug­gest­ed except for the squash. I do love del­i­ca­ta. I don’t know where the recipe orig­i­nal­ly came from — I print­ed it out in 2009 — but I’m glad I found and kept it.… more

rice pudding

Lucy’s Easy Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding

Read­ing Ahead rec­om­mends McDuff Moves In, a pic­ture book about a res­cue dog’s search for a new fam­i­ly, writ­ten by Rose­mary Wells and illus­trat­ed by Susan Jef­fers (The Gryphon Press, 2019). This recipe is includ­ed in the book and fea­tured here with the per­mis­sion of the pub­lish­er.

beef chili

Cozy Reading Chili

We’ve been out­side enjoy­ing the sum­mer and fall weath­er, but now it’s time to set­tle in for a win­ter’s worth of read­ing. Enjoy this yum­my chili while you read.


Pumpkin Muffins

Author Melanie Heuis­er Hill believes that Gram, from her book Giant Pump­kin Suite, would be bak­ing these pump­kin muffins this month.

Woodcut frog by Claudia McGehee

Squashed Fly Cookies

My British mom was fond of mak­ing these for us as chil­dren. It is a cook­ie (or “bis­cuit” if you live in the UK!) she knows from her own child­hood. The moniker may sug­gest an unusu­al, rather dis­agree­able ingre­di­ent, but in real­i­ty, no insects were sac­ri­ficed for the dough!

Potato Latkes

Potato Latkes

One of the tra­di­tion­al foods served at Han­nukah cel­e­bra­tions, this recipe for Pota­to Latkes will have your nose twitch­ing and your mouth water­ing! Hap­py Han­nukah!


Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

We rec­om­mend giv­ing kids cook­books for the hol­i­days. Yumm. For kids who are inspired by rel­a­tives who cook, TV cook­ing shows, or their innate wish to make (and eat) good food, a cook­book will trav­el with them through­out life. (And it’s a sneaky way to encour­age read­ing and math!)

vinegar pie marthastewart.com marcus nilsson

Vinegar Pie

In hon­or of our Book­storm, Pre­sent­ing Buf­fa­lo Bill: the Man Who Invent­ed the Wild West, we dis­cov­ered that on the wag­on trail, when fresh apples weren’t avail­able, apple cider vine­gar made a tasty pie.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Inspired by our Book­storm fea­ture this month, Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger, there was a pot of stew bub­bling in many a hobo camp dur­ing the Great Depres­sion and many a hoo­te­nan­ny in the ’50s and 60s’. This quick-to-assem­ble ver­sion can stay in your slow cook­er until you’re ready to eat.