Monday, March 15, 2010

Delicious Fun… Learning on the Side…

Cooking Around the Calendar with Kids

by Amy Houts

What a delightful way to interact with your children, grandchildren or students!

Children love to mix, stir and pour with sand, dirt or water. Why not take this enjoyable play and divert it to the kitchen? Instead of mud pies you gain quality time as well as skills in social interaction, social studies, math and science. There’s also joy in producing something to share that is yummy!

Amy Houts, a prolific writer, imparts an abundance of ideas for children and their families, friends and care givers. She is adept in supplying clear instructions for children to be successful and yet, allow for creativity. The introduction includes hints for conserving water, energy and paper products, nutrition, working together, cooking terms and safety.

For each geographical region of the United States, there are recipes, activities, fun facts and history. You will find a variety of recipes to suit everyone’s taste such as breads, soups, main dishes, vegetables, deserts and beverages.

Featured delicacies highlight locally grown foods. For example, from the Pacific Coast Region you will discover recipes for Fruit Relish, Waikiki Meatballs and Applesauce Mix-in-the-Pan Cake. From the Appalachian Highlands, you will find Chicken ‘n Biscuit Dumplings, Scrambled Eggs with Virginia Ham and Pecan Bars.

Together you can shake up some homemade butter while singing the “Butter Song” or if you like, whip up your own peanut butter.

The type is large enough for beginning readers or aging eyes to appreciate. Simple drawings and interesting type add character to the pages.

Cooking Around the Country with Kids is an altogether delightful book for kids of all ages!

Amy Houts Bio:

I live in the rural northwest Missouri town of Maryville. I was born in New York, and have lived in several states including Maryland, Kansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. After staying home with my children for ten years, I went back to college and earned a degree in Library Science from Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville. I have worked as a children’s librarian, preschool teacher, and features writer for the local newspaper. Currently I am a freelance writer, as well as an instructor for approximately 75 students in a correspondence course on writing for children through the Institute of Children’s Literature. I am the author of 32 children’s books and two cookbooks. I work well on assignment with two assigned books upcoming.

I'm an avid reader. My mother has always called me a “dreamer” because of my active imagination. I began writing in high school, but didn’t think about writing as a career until years later. When my first-born daughter was a baby, I began to write while my daughter napped.

My interest in cooking began at an early age. I was encouraged to cook as a teenager and often made the family meals. After high school, my love of cooking and baking led me to attend the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. I worked in a restaurant for a year and especially enjoy baking for my family and friends, as well as writing about food. My third cookbook, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities , is out!

My husband, Steve, is a seventh grade science teacher, and I have two grown daughters. I spend my days mostly at home, writing and teaching with my adorable lab mix, Gina.

Check out Amy's web site at

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