Cookbook offers sophisticated ideas, recipes for family celebrations

By Kelly McPherson

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, April 30 2013 3:05 p.m. MDT

"CELEBRATE EVERY DAY: Recipes for Making the Most of Special Moments with Your Family," by Jaime Richardson, Skirt!, $24.95, 225 pages

In a world of fast food, loud cartoons filled with bathroom humor and endless soccer games, it might seem like a ridiculous idea to expect moms to take time to expose their children to the sophistication of Jane Austin, Mozart and Baguette Muffalettas. Jaime Richardson’s book, "Celebrate Every Day: Recipes for Making the Most of Special Moments with Your Family," boldly attempts to do just that.

Richardson, who blogs at www.sophistimom.com, has created a cookbook that is much more than a collection of recipes. It is a thoughtfully crafted collection of ways to incorporate finer culture into children’s lives.

The recipes are grouped together into seasonal celebrations complete with backgrounds on each recipe, ideas for a party, music and reading suggestions, and colorful pictures of Richardson’s children. Each of the 20 celebrations is a complete package ready for parents to copy, modify or use to inspire their own ideas.

The recipes included vary from extremely kid friendly homemade corn dogs to the more unfamiliar Chicken Coconut Korma. While Richardson acknowledges that it may be challenging to get many kids to try some of these recipes, she seems to have realized that success can often come in the way a new food is presented.

If there is a way to get a 6-year-old to eat Cabbage and Kale Minestrone, having it as part of a Candy Factory Celebration might just be it.

Richardson, originally from Boston, is a single mother of three children who feels that children today are missing some of the finer things that a more sophisticated culture can expose them to. She has set out to not only bring this to her own children, but to help other parents as well.

While she realizes that video games may win out over readings from "Little Women," she is determined to stuff sophistication into the nooks and crannies of her children’s lives.

Richardson currently resides in Utah, is part of Martha Stewart’s hand-picked blog network and was named one of Babble.com’s Top 100 Mommy Food Bloggers.

Fresh Peach French Toast Bread Pudding

The inspiration for this bread pudding comes from the Yardley Inn, a bed-and-breakfast in Manti, Utah.

Serves: 6

6 medium peaches, sliced and peeled

1/4 cup pure maple syrup, plus 2 tablespoons

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 eggs, well beaten

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

6 thick slices artisan bread

1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Raspberry Syrup (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread peaches out in a single layer in a medium casserole dish or a large pie plate. Combine 1/4 cup maple syrup, melted butter, cinnamon, and lemon juice in a small bowl and pour over peaches.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons maple syrup, milk, heavy cream, eggs, nutmeg, and extracts. Place bread slices in the mixture and press down so they soak up mixture.

Arrange soaked bread on top of the peaches. Pour as much remaining mixture over the bread as will fit in the dish without overflowing.

Place the dish on a baking sheet to catch any drips, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake for 20–25 minutes more, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Dust with powdered sugar, and serve with Raspberry Syrup.

Raspberry Syrup

Mix the ingredients together and serve, or place in a blender and strain through a fine-mesh sieve.

12 ounces frozen raspberries, defrosted

1⁄4 cup pure maple syrup

"Celebrate Every Day," by Jaime Richardson

If you go ...

What: "Celebrate Every Day" book launch and Jaime Richardson book signing

When: Saturday, May 4, 2 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Note: Spots in the signing line are reserved for those who buy their copy at The King's English.

Kelly McPherson is a health educator at the University of Utah, a cyclist and a mother of five. Email: mcpherson.kelly@gmail.com

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