Two years ago, Katie Workman pitched a cookbook idea to her editor that included “100 back pocket recipes that every mom could go to again and again.” She wrote a proposal, and the “The Mom 100 Cookbook” was born.
At the time, Workman was editing and developing her own website, Cookstr.com, which contains a vast collection of online cookbook recipes.
While reading many different cookbooks for Cookstr, she saw a missing niche in the cookbook world and wanted to offer a solution.
“I’m an enormous cookbook buff, but when you’re in mom mode, when your kid says I signed you up for the bake sale, you forgot you invited friends over for a weekend dinner. … I had not found a single book that collected everything that I was looking for in one place.”
She started collecting the recipes that she made at home daily for her kids, such as lasagna, tacos and brownies, and then worked them into how she wanted them to be. She also focused on “other food that I wish my kids were eating more of.”
Her attempt to analyze what kids really love to eat helped her develop her recipes. “Most of these are things that I’ve been making for a long time. I developed recipes thinking what flavors kids really like. My kids love balsamic vinaigrette, and I thought, ‘What if I took that flavor?’”
The result? A Flaky Fish With Balsamic Glaze recipe whose origins most parents can relate to: “I had some fish that was demanding to be cooked and a container of leftover balsamic vinaigrette in the fridge. Necessity is the mother of invention, but some nights motherhood is the necessity of invention, and any mom can prove that.”
An expert in dealing with picky eaters, Workman recommends a less-static approach to dinner. “I say, ‘OK, he doesn’t like that right now. But I don’t cement it into place.’” She recommends serving kids new food in small portions, about 4 or 5 tablespoon’s worth, to give them a fair chance at trying the food.
Workman also suggests that parents lead by example, eating the food in front of kids but not in an artificial way.
“One of the big kiss of death things to say is ‘I don’t think you’re going to like this, but try it,” Workman warns.
Her best suggestion is to get kids in the kitchen. Baking with them encourages mathematics, measuring and learning about leavening. ”Kids are much more likely to eat something that kids are making. … Kids feel proud of what they make- so give them credit.”
A testament to her recipes is that Workman’s kids, who she says can be picky eaters, have tried everything in the book. “They’re honest little people these children. It’s what they say, and in the end it’s what they eat.”