Kids Cook with Books – Thanksgiving Edition

When Kids Cook with Books was born last June, I made a list of books that we would read together for the rest of the calendar year.  Originally, I chose The Night Before Thanksgiving by Natasha Wing for November…for obvious reasons.  It’s a sweet rhyming story about a family preparing for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.   And I like it.

The Night Before Thanksgiving - November's Featured Book for Kids Cook with Books by What's Cooking with Kids

But a few months later, another book came across my radar – Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, by Dav Pilkey.  I knew the author immediately, because my son was a huge fan of the Captain Underpants books.  It’s about a group of children who go on a field trip to visit a turkey farm..and things don’t quite go as planned.  If you are familiar with Pilkey’s books, you won’t be surprised to find that this book is anything but traditional.  It appealed to me for many reasons, the biggest of which is that if focuses on compassion, rather than a “traditional” turkey dinner.

'Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving - another featured book for the Thanksgiving Edition of Kids Cook with Books

So – instead of picking just one featured book this month, we now have two!  Don’t feel any pressure to read them both.  Take a peek and see which one is available at your local library, or you can use the links provided here.

Join the Fun – Here’s How:

  1. Please leave a comment below, saying that you’re joining Kids Cook with Books this month.
  2. Get a copy of our featured books using the links above or from your local library.
  3. Read the book together…
  4. ….then bring the kids into the kitchen and cook our featured recipe together.
  5. I would LOVE for you to share your photos on Instagram using the hashtag: #KidsCookwithBooks and please tag me too (@whatscookingwithkids).  Or, if you aren’t an Instagram junkie, like I am, then I’d love for you to share them on Facebook.
  6. Tune in next month for December’s Kids Cook with Books.
  7. Psst – guess what?  The list of ALL 12 of the featured books for the 2017 Kids Cook with Books series will be coming soon in my Holiday Gift Guide.  Stay tuned!

Featured Recipe for Kids Cook with Books – Thanksgiving Edition

Cranberry Sauce with Dried Cherries
By Michelle Stern, What’s Cooking with Kids
Yield: 3 cups

3.5 cups cranberries (1 12 ounce bag)
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup shallots, finely chopped
2 Tbs red-wine vinegar
Zest and juice of one orange
2 tsp grated ginger, peeled
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

  1. Combine cranberries, cherries, shallots, vinegar, orange zest and juice, ginger and brown sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until cranberries pop.
  2. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally until cranberries release their juices, about 15 minutes.
  3. If the sauce becomes too thick, add water until the desired consistency is reached.
  4. Transfer to a bowl to cool.


  • Measure cranberries and cherries
  • Juice the orange
  • Use a spoon to scrape the peel from the ginger
  • Scoop the brown sugar and pack it into the measuring cup tightly.
  • Add the ingredients to the sauce pan

Special Notes:

  • You can substitute dried cranberries or raisins for the dried cherries in this recipe.
  • If you are nervous about your children being near a hot stove, you can add these ingredients to a slow cooker and cook them on low for up to 2 hours. Check every 30 minutes to be sure that the mixture doesn’t get too thick. If it does, add 1/2 cup of water at a time until it’s the consistency that you prefer.

2016 Kids Cook with Books, virtual reading and cooking club for kids

2016 Kids Cook with Books Schedule:

Summer Bonus Bundle

My Summer 2016 Kids Cook with Books Bonus Bundle is now available. It’s a super awesome bundle of extension activities for the June, July and August Kids Cook with Books series.  Not only are the original recipes included, but so are new recipe instructions with visual cues for pre-readers, kitchen science activities and more.  I can’t wait for you to use it with your kids!  It would also be perfect for after school programs or summer camps!

(This post includes affiliate links, which means that if you use them to purchase any of these products, the price stays the same for you, but I’ll get a teensy commission to help pay for the costs of running this site. I truly appreciate your support!)

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