Crafting Fun and Cooking Fun – Giveaway!

Today, I’d like to pick up where I left off on Tuesday in sharing my enthusiasm for Rae Grant’s  Crafting Fun and Cooking Fun books.

Here is more from my interview with Rae:

SK:  What has been the most rewarding part of creating these books?

Rae: There are so many new and interesting people I have met as a result of making these books. Becoming exposed to the huge craft and home based communities through the blog world has been nothing but fun and inspiring.

SK:  How does living in Manhattan inspire creative living for your family?  What limitations does city life pose for the creative family?

We are always able to walk or scoot everywhere and see and do so many things. Just the other day we were walking home from a museum and passed by a small church on a side street. We noticed these amazing carvings on the exterior and stopped to look at them and take photos (I still have to download them for my blog). Living in the city offers art experiences like that all the time.

On the other hand, I am an outdoor person by nature, so the quiet of the country is something that I miss a lot. Central Park has an oasis of land where we can go for walks or bike rides anytime, and the Hudson River is also a magnificent body of water that helps bring nature into the everyday here. There are also great farmers markets that offer local produce and flea markets for some great vintage thrifting.

Lately I’ve been getting the urge for a small farm lifestyle thanks to all those bloggers who post about their lives in the country. They are pulling on my heartstrings! But I think I will still probably call Manhattan home for the time being.

Thank you again, Rae, for taking time to share more about yourself and your books with the SK community!

My daughters and I have thoroughly enjoyed picking out timely and seasonal projects from the Crafting Fun book, but I have to confess that I have a particular affinity for Rae’s Cooking Fun book. Not only does she include recipes for dozens and dozens of classic American recipes for beverages, sandwiches, simple suppers, yummy desserts, and more, but she also devotes the first several pages of the book to carefully explaining all manner of cooking terms and equipment.

I think I have such fondness for this part of the book because it reminds me of my grandmother mentoring me in her kitchen. Rae writes in a way that is simple and easy-to-understand, but not at all patronizing or dumbed-down.  She shares “Kitchen Basics” for the beginning cook, including reminders such as

“Don’t hurry through the recipe.  Take your time, and stay organized as you work.  It’s more fun this way and cuts down on what I call “kitchen distress” (eggs rolling off the counter and flour spilling on the floor).”

Wise words for the cook, whether the cook is four or thirty-four!

The opening pages of Cooking Fun contain everything the beginning or intermediate cook needs to know – measuring equivalency charts, cooking terms, measurement instructions, even how to “reduce, reuse, and recycle” in the kitchen.  Throughout the book, Rae’s vintage-inspired illustrations guide and inspire both the novice and the master in the kitchen.

The recipes are – in a word – delightful. Charming titles (such as Can’t Sleep Hot Milk and Honey, Pigs in the Poke, Sunny Day Cheese Biscuits, and Rainy Day Rice Pudding) invite the preparation of beverages, snacks, and meals that rely on nutritious whole foods.  In fact, you probably already have most of the ingredients stocked in your kitchen!  Favorites from the book for our family include Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges, Easy Cheesy Broccoli Soup, Avocado Toast, and Everday Cupcakes.

Two other big hits in our home were the Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs:



and the Chocolate Sauce, which was particularly fun for my four-year old and makes for chocolate milk that is remarkably delicious:


Check out CookingFunForKids.Com and click on “Recipes to Try” for more examples of recipes included in this book.

These books come with my highest recommendation.  They would make a great gift or a wonderful addition to your own home’s library.  I’m excited to offer you the chance to win a copy of each of these books!

To enter this giveaway, simply share one favorite crafting or cooking experience from either you own childhood or one that you have enjoyed creating with your own children. Giveaway will run from October 8th until October 14th at 8 AM CST.  Winner will be notified by email.  Giveaway open to residents of US addresses only (with many apologies to international readers!)

(And how about one more chance to win this pair of books?  Jamie of Steady Mom is also running a giveaway of Cooking Fun and Crafting Fun that ends Friday, October 9th, at 8 PM EST. Click on over to Steady Mom for one more chance to win!)

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  1. My clearest memory of cooking as a child is making cream puffs with my grandmother. She was not given to lavish spreads or complicated recipes, but that day I had her & her kitchen to myself, and it was such a happy afternoon!

    I hope, I hope I HOPE I win!!!
    .-= Kirsten´s last blog ..We’re Missing A Season =-.

  2. We have a turkey-shaped cake mold. Every year at Thanksgiving we make a turkey cake and I mix up bowls and bowls of different colored frostings and I let my three-year-old be in charge of frosting and decorating. The first year I made just oranges and golds and browns and she got so mad at me – no purple, Mama? So now we have rainbow turkeys. As soon as the leaves began changing a couple of weeks ago she began asking for when it’s time for turkey cake.
    .-= Robin (noteverstill)´s last blog ..Like Daedalus and Icarus (almost) =-.

  3. My mom wasn’t much of a cook but I would go through the Betty crocker cookbook & try all sorts of yummy stuff. The fresh donuts were always popular.
    .-= Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker´s last blog ..WFMW – Brain Freeze =-.

  4. My childhood was filled with little projects like this – making costumes, trying out recipes in the kitchen – it’s hard to narrow it down to just one memory! I hope to pass that along to my children, and although my first is a bit young yet at 15 months, I think we’re off to a great start! In the past few weeks we’ve made homemade play clay and colored rice inspired by a post here to squish and run our fingers through!
    .-= Karey´s last blog ..What Matters Most =-.

  5. My clearest memory is making my first loaf of bread with my mom. I did all the mixing and kneading. There’s a picture of me, in pigtails sitting in front of my bread cooling on the rack. It was so much fun.

    My son is starting with cookies. He has made drop cookies (he’s good at squeezing the disher, so he says) and he is working on cut out cookies (we’ve had some heavily sprinkled cookies so far). He loves to cook and would really enjoy this sort of thing.
    .-= Beth´s last blog ..And on with the show . . . =-.

  6. My mom has a crafting gene that seems to have skipped my sister and I, but one of our favorites was playing with my dad’s shaving cream on the table or in bags. It was such a naughty-feeling pastime, making such a mess on the table or seeing food coloring work its way through the cream in a bag. Of course, I’ve since learned it’s an excellent way to get your kitchen table spotless!

  7. Monkey Bread!!! My mom and I would make it every Christmas morning. Gooey hands after dipping little lumps of dough in butter and cinnamon sugar…yum!

  8. My wonderful husband lets me sleep in every Saturday, and he and the kids make pancakes together. I’ve done other cooking projects with them (mini muffins are popular), but I think this tradition is something the kids will really remember.

  9. Just the other day, I got all emotional over sugar cookies.

    One of my clearest memories of my Grandma (and this is saying something because I probably only four at the time – she passed away when I was five) was making sugar cookies in her kitchen. After that, every year at Halloween, my brothers and I would cut sugar cookies with my mom and help her decorate them with homemade orange frosting. My mom still uses the 20+ year-old ingredient-splattered recipe card that says “Mom’s Sugar Cookies” (since it was her late mother’s recipe). A few years ago, I asked for the recipe and she wrote out the card, with the title of “Grandma’s Sugar Cookies”. And then, the other day, I finally got to continue my mom’s Halloween cookie tradition with my almost 3-yr. old boy, using his Great-Grandma’s recipe. As we cut out the various Halloween shapes, I felt a little like I was introducing him to my grandma. It was awesome.
    .-= Heather´s last blog .."Where’s My Burrito? Where’s My Burrito?"* =-.

  10. My kids and I love to make applesauce together. We just went apple picking last weekend and now have a huge batch of yummy homemade applesauce.

  11. Carrie Kearney says:

    I have fun memories of baking cookies with my mom and also making homemade gingerbread houses with my grandmother each year.

  12. My kids love to mix just about anything, but my son’s favorite is biscotti!

  13. For cooking, my favorite memory is of making banana bread with my mom–specifically the recipe from the Joy of Cooking.
    For crafts, it would be my mom teaching me to sew. I still have very fond memories of my custom Wonder Woman costume from kindergarten.
    .-= Gabriel´s last blog ..Really, I Was! =-.

  14. My best memories, really, are eating the dough and licking the bowl/beaters. I’ve let my kids do this on and off, but have been recently scared to death about food illnesses after watching Dr. Oz so, alas, I’ll have to pass on another tradition. On that happy note, I’d love to win and thanks for the giveaway!

  15. I just recently started cooking and baking with our 3-year-old daughter. She is so excited. On our first attempt, I decided One Bowl Brownies were the best option and so we did that. I let her crack an egg and it just exploded all around us, shooting her straight in the face and hair and she didn’t even flinch one second. Just picked up her spoon and started to stir it in. I love how she was enjoying herself so much, that she didn’t even care that she was messy (this is the kid that has to pause during finger painting to wipe the paint off her hands; it’s really finger painting towels more than paper…).

  16. I have so many fond memories of both crafting and cooking with my mom. I’m trying to pass those on to my son now. His favorite is making applesauce…but probably because he eats as much as we put away! And of course anything with chocolate. He is a boy after my own heart.
    .-= bdaiss´s last blog ..Almost a year ago. =-.

  17. Making and decorating cut out sugar cookies with my mom. It seems like we made 1000’s of them, but they disappeared within a few days. Ummmm??? Thanks for the giveaway!
    .-= Erin Long´s last blog ..Amelia reading =-.

  18. My favorite memory of a craft is making an embroidery outline of my daughter’s hand. I traced her hand and then transferred it with embroidery. My toddler daughter was excited about tracing her hand and she loved feeling the outline of her hand. My mother and mother-in-law loved them for Mother’s Day.

  19. There are many to list, but I’ll go with the year we made all our own Christmas tree ornaments. My parents still use them two decades later!

  20. my favorite memory is making a flip-calendar for my boyfriend (now my husband). each day had an inspirational quote picked just for him!

  21. I think that my favorite memories in the kitchen was when we would do all the special holiday baking. There were some recipes that only got made at Thanksgiving and Christmas time. Those were special moments in the kitchen with Mom and grandmothers.

    I also loved going to my Nana’s quilting circle with her. The ladies would sit me at the edge of the quilt they were working on and that is how I learned to hand quilt. They didn’t seem to care that my stitches weren’t perfect when learning!

  22. Bridget Stevens says:

    I have this picture of me when I was about 2 with an apron on in my great aunt’s kitchen. my mom said I used to call it “making baking” when I helped her. Now I have so many pictures and memories of my two older kiddos (4 and 2) standing next to me on a chair with thier little aprons on stirring mixing and helping me make cookies and everything good. I’m so glad I started letting them help me so young because now they get so excited to help pour and stir, and they want to get better at pouring liquids so they can “do it by themselves”. It so sweet and enjoyable!

  23. A few weeks ago, my two and a half year old son and I made herb batter bread. I pre-measured most of the ingredients, and he dumped and stirred. He was so excited when the bread started to rise (“it got bigger, mommy”) and watched through the oven window as it baked. Every time we go shopping and see the bread in the bakery, he comments “get bigger bread”. He may not remember this, but I sure will!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  24. My favorite cooking memory with my mom is a bit fuzzy, but it involved making caramel apples with green apples, popsicle sticks and round sheets of caramel. Definitely light on the actual cooking part, but I loved making and eating them!
    .-= Jenny Rebecca´s last blog ..a Parker post =-.

  25. When I was young, my mom used to make these elaborate birthday cakes for us and we always got to lick the extra batter from the bowl and eat the extra frosting when it was our birthday. I can’t wait to make cakes with my kids, too!

  26. I have vivid memories of wanting cookies on several occasions as a child. We never had store bought cookies in the house and I would try to make them from scratch., without a recipe. As an child, I did not know to look for a recipe and would take items out of the fridge that I thought sounded good and mix them together and bake. Thinking back now, I do not think my brother was a good choice as babysitter if I was allowed to operate the oven.

    It never ended well. Finally I learned to take bread, spread peanut butter on it and ball it up and pretend it was a cookie. That would hold me until I could get my mom to hook me up.

  27. I am trying hard to learn to craft as my 5 year old loves it! We do great with cooking but need to expand past desserts and playdough. But we are thinking of trying fried apples today after our trip to the orchard. Thanks for the giveaway.

  28. I have fond memories of making Christmas cookies every year with my mom. Rolled and pressed, sprinkled and frosted, it was always a joy to bake side by side with her.

  29. My favorite cooking memory with my own children would have to be making Resurrection Cookies with them the night before Easter. As we taped the oven shut (to “seal the tomb”) and told the kiddos it was time for bed, our 3yo Bug burst into tears, realizing that she had to wait until morning to try the cookies! You never saw a kiddo so eager to greet Easter morning the next day…
    .-= Diana (Ladybug Limited)´s last blog .."Any Which Wall" Review Up at Simple Kids =-.

  30. My best crafting memory was making little dolls and shoebox dollhouses with my grandmother. She had a huge collection of old thread spools, fabric scraps, buttons and all kinds of things to create furniture and decorate with. But the thing she had the most of was patience and creativity.

  31. my favorite memory is making pies with my grandmother. i still can’t get a crust to live up to hers. she always knew when the dough was perfect!

  32. Several years ago my husband began cooking pancakes for the family each Saturday. The recipe is always different and the kids always get to help. That grew into special bday pancakes shaped into the number that the child is turning. Yummy Fun!! 🙂

  33. Katherine C. says:

    I love to cook. My kids love to help me in the kitchen. The favorite thing we make is chocolate chip cookies. We use flax instead of eggs, and put in lots of oatmeal. They love to sneak some of the plain oatmeal and the dough.

  34. I loved making cookies with my mom when I was a kid.

  35. These books look like so much fun! We had a make and do book when I was growing up and I remember making all my Halloween costumes based on ideas from that book!

  36. My mom was wonderful about having us do family crafts, especially at Christmas. We did the traditional things like dying pasta for necklaces and cutting and pasting for ornaments, but we also sewed little purses, embroidered tea towels, fashioned clay bots and made paper craft jewelry. It was so fun – I looked forward to the Christmas season as much for the gifts as for the newest project. Thanks for offering this giveaway!

    .-= Celia´s last blog ..only milo + giveaway =-.

  37. I had Crafting Fun out from the library and it was filled with so many fun, seasonal ideas. I would love to own the books.

    I love baking and crafting with my girls (3 and 1) and we get together every week with friends and make crafts. One of the best projects was collecting leaves and dandelions and sticking them between pieces of contact paper. It was easy enough for preschoolers and they all turned out beautifully. They make great fall decorations hanging in the window.
    .-= LeAnna´s last blog ..Handmade Birthday #2 =-.

  38. When I was a child I remember helping my grandmother make snickerdoodle cookies many times. It was always such fun. When I got married, my grandmother gave me her own personal cookbook that she had filled with hundreds of her recipes that she always made. When my son wants to help me in the kitchen, I always pull out the cookbook and we make something from the book. My son’s favorite, of course, is the snickerdoodles.
    .-= Danetta´s last blog ..Microwave Steam Bag Kit giveaway =-.

  39. I remember me and my brother always cooking with my mom. In fact, we still on holidays. We were forever making cookies, thumbprint cookies being my favorite, and we would always cook together for Sunday dinner. I passed it on to my own kids who LOVE to help out in the kitchen. You never know when you’ll find us up to our elbows in flour!
    Thanks for the chance!!

  40. One of my fondest memories is when we would make a nativity scene out of pinecones every Christmas. My oldest is four this year so I think he will really be able to help more this year.

  41. I remember planning and cooking an entire Thanksgiving spread when I was 11 or 12 – quite the adventure… It was well-planned and beautiful, though, with my mom’s encouragement.

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    We posted about this at Winning Readings:
    .-= Winning Readings´s last blog ..Crafting Fun and Cooking Fun books =-.

  42. My son and I love to make bread together. He helps me mix the dough and then plays with a small amount while I knead. He likes it better than his regular playdough!

  43. I am currently making wonderful cooking memories with my almost 4 year old son, Asher! I am homeschooling him for preschool this year and each week we bake something. So far, we have made Apple Oat Bread, Butter Cookies, Cupcakes and Apple Butter (ok, that wasn’t baked, but made in a crockpot). We have been having so much fun and he and I both are developing a love for cooking!

  44. One of my favorite baking memories as a child was using my Mom’s vintage big yellow Pyrex bowl to make peanut butter cookies for everyone in our family. Even when I was about seven years old, I would get out the 1960’s era Betty Crocker cookbook (granted, it was in the 80’s) and follow the directions myself. I felt so grown up!
    .-= Angie @ Many Little Blessings´s last blog ..That’s One Sneaky Doctor We Have =-.

  45. My son who is 2 1/2 helps me when I bake. I love that he is learning what the different ingredients are and is helping to take part in something we can all enjoy after it is cooked.
    .-= Jessica Brammer´s last blog ..Get the Word Out: Owlhaven =-.

  46. Oh… chocolate cake! Here’s our recipe :
    Don’t include me in the prize draw as I’m from the UK!

  47. Betty Crocker was our muse when I was very young, baking cakes with my mother. A few years later my sister-in-law taught me to bake chocolate chip cookies and cool them on paper bags. Sweet memories, pun intended.

  48. I loved making ocean books with my kids last week. We got to try so many different craft projects with that.
    .-= Ticia´s last blog ..Hopefully I don’t break anything =-.

  49. I would love to win that book for my 4 grand daughters. How much fun they would have cooking with their Mom.

  50. My grandma lived overseas and we saw her every 2-3 years. Each time she taught me how to make these delicious oatmeal cookies, and then how to knit (my mom was too impatient to help me keep it up inbetween visits) while the cookies were baking. The squares we knit were brought to a lady who sewed them into blankets for the homeless.