ANN HERRICK Books for Kids & Teens

 Food For Thought



©2002-2010 Ann Herrick

Read more about Camper of the YearFind out what happens when Ellie has to spend the summer in a camp full of boys and competes for title of CAMPER OF THE YEAR!
  CAMPER OF THE YEAR, DiskUs Publishing, Young Adult category

   Food-Related EXCERPT:

      Alan set down a bowl of what looked like chunky dog food in gravy and a basket of something that resembled white hockey pucks.  Next came a bowl of what was probably once baked beans and a big metal pitcher.
       I reached for the pitcher.  I figured I couldn't go wrong with milk.
     "Enjoy the bug juice," said Alan, just before he headed back to the kitchen.
I ignored his dumb remark--until I poured a purple liquid from the pitcher into my glass.
     "They do call it bug juice," said Mrs. White.  "It's one of those powdered fruit drinks.  The boys here love it.  They'd have it for breakfast too, if they could."
    "Oh," I said.  I took a sip.  It tasted like swimming pool water.
    "Try a biscuit."  Mom  handed me the white hockey pucks.
      I took one and hoped for the best.  But it was as hard as it looked.
      The dog food stuff actually tasted okay as long as I didn’t look at it.  The baked beans, however, tasted like a mud-pie I tried once when I was four.  Without thinking, I drank some bug juice to wash away the taste of the baked beans.  I almost gagged.
       Maybe I could ran away back to Glenwood.  My friend Molly could hide me in her closet and sneak food to me all summer.  At this point, it was worth a try!
 ...For a yummier camp-related recipe, try my no-campfire-necessary version of S'mores:

©Ann Herrick

1 Box Graham Crackers
1 jar Marshmallow Crème
1 can Chocolate Fudge Frosting  

Break a graham cracker into quarters.  On one quarter, spread marshmallow crème.  On another, spread chocolate fudge frosting.  Put two sections together.  Enjoy!

CAMPER OF THE YEARr, DiskUs Publishing, Young Adult category

Read more about Beneath The SurfaceLariena won't go in the water, and she can't understand why the mysterious Adrian won't come out.  But eventually Adrian teaches Lariena to face her fears and not be afraid of what's Beneath The Surface, even when it's the scary unknown.
   BENEATH THE SURFACE, DiskUs Publishing, Quick Picks category

   Food-Related EXCERPT:

        I knew I was going to slip into my yellow bikini, pack a picnic lunch and go to the beach.  I tried to pretend it was the sun and sand that enticed me, not the  possibility of seeing Adrian again.  However, I grabbed the large plaid beach blanket, just in case I did run into him, just in case he accepted my invitation to sit on the beach and share my picnic lunch.  My  heart skipped with anticipation.  I had to admit I was entranced by the amused look in Adrian's green eyes
 ...What's a picnic without fried chicken?  Here's my favorite:


½ cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 2 ½  to 3 lb. broiler-fryer chicken, cut up

Combine bread crumbs, flour, paprika, salt and pepper in plastic bag.  Add chicken pieces and shake.  Heat shortening (1/4" deep in skillet) until a drop of water sizzles.  Brown one side, turn with tongs.  When lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes, reduce heat.  Cover tightly.  Cook until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.  Uncover last 10 minutes of cooking. 

BENEATH THE SURFACE, DiskUs Publishing, Quick Pics category

Read more about Shortcut To RomanceWith a little help from a class assignment, a sudden detour, and Jane Austen, Emily finds an unexpected romance with a most unlikely prospect.
   SHORTCUT TO ROMANCE, DiskUs Publishing, Quick Picks category

   Food-Related EXCERPT:

       Funny, I had no trouble making the actual card for Todd.  It was turning out great.  But I still hadn't thought of one word of text for it.  Oh, well.  I'd have all day Sunday.  Assuming it stopped snowing and I got home where I'd have time to myself.
       Finally, I was satisfied with my card.  Just as I was admiring my work, Mrs. Blair announced, "Lunch time!"
       Lucas must have been really concentrating on his card, because he jumped when his mother spoke.  I noticed that he tucked the card away in a book and placed the book on a shelf.  It was then I also noticed that the shelf was crammed with books, so many that they spilled out onto the floor.  Funny, but I hadn't pictured the Blairs as book people
       After a delicious lunch of home-made vegetable soup and home-made bread spread with home-made butter, Lucas turned to me and said, "I've got to head out to the barn and do some chores.  Would you like to come along?"
       "Sure," I said.  I'd finished my valentine for Todd and couldn't think of anything else I could do at the moment anyway.
 ...You won't need the home-made butter to enjoy this delicious bread:


3 cups sifted flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 ¼ cups milk
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs.  Mix flour, baking powder and salt.  Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk, until well blended.  Add caraways seeds and vanilla.  Pour into greased loaf pan and bake 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Cool at least 10 minutes before removing from pan.

SHORTCUT TO ROMANCE, DiskUs Publishing, Quick Pics category

The Chocolate DayRaymond discovers there IS something better than nothing to eat but chocolate for one whole day.

   Food-Related EXCERPT:

      Raymond woke up early Saturday morning.  He hurried out to the kitchen.  He couldn't wait to start eating chocolate.
      He had one glass of milk and two chocolate bars for breakfast. 
    Cynthia said it wasn't fair that he got to eat what he wanted all day. 
    But Raymond noticed that she had three waffles with lots of butter and syrup.  Raymond liked waffles, too.  But not as much as he liked chocolate.
 ...You  can find plenty of Delicious and Easy Chocolate Recipes Just For Kids in The Chocolate Day, so here's a recipe for the waffles Raymond didn't get to eat:


2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, well beaten
6 tablespoons melted butter

Pre-heat waffle iron.  Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt.  Combine buttermilk, eggs.  Add to flour mixture.  With mixer at high speed, beat until smooth; stir in butter.  When waffle iron is  ready, pour batter into center of lower half until it spreads about one inch from edges.  Gently bring down cover.  Cook as waffle-iron manufacturer suggests.  Do not raise cover during baking.  When waffle is done, lift cover, loosen waffle with fork.  Serve at once.  Reheat iron before pouring in more batter.  Makes six to eight waffles.


The Queen BeeAn updated retelling of the classic fairy tale about seeking fortune, breaking a spell and finding the real prince, with a switch of genders and themes about the value of education and being kind to animals.

   Food-Related EXCERPT:

        Farther along in their journey the siblings came upon a pond at the side of the road.  Several ducks swam in the sparkling water.
       "Yum," said Gloria.  "Those ducks would make a great dinner."
       "Maybe they have some eggs we could eat instead," Geoff suggested.
       "No, let's get the ducks."  Gloria tugged on Geoff's arm.
        Gloria and Geoff picked up several rocks.  They started throwing them at the ducks.
        Gwen stood in front of her sister and brother.  "Stop.  Leave the ducks alone.  I won't let you harm them."
       "Let's see you stop us," Gloria said.
       "Yes, try," said Geoff.
 ...For a more humane eating experience, have fun with:


Finely chopped nuts
Grated orange rind

Bake your favorite cupcakes.  Let cool.  Pour some honey onto a plate.  Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the honey.  Sprinkle with finely chopped nuts and grated orange rind.

The Queen Bee

Laurel has trouble handling her new authority as editor of the school yearbook, especially in regard to a new boy at school.  To complicate matters, her parents are driving her nuts with their frantic efforts to prepare themselves for their 25th high school reunion.  The book was originally published in German by Cora Verlag under the title, Ein Kuss Fur Jede Sommersprosse (A Kiss for Each Freckle).  
   An Adorable Couple,  Now in Paperback!  

   Food-Related EXCERPT:

Matt grabbed the blanket from the back seat.
      "Let's sit in that grassy area by the big maple tree," I suggested.
        We unloaded sandwiches, apples, cheese, nuts, cookies and a thermos of hot chocolate.  I sat cross-legged and started out nibbling delicately.  But the fresh air and great food spurred my appetite.  Soon I was practically wolfing down everything.
       "This is terrific," I said as I crunched an apple.
       "I'm glad it didn't rain today," said Matt.
       "Me too."  I noticed that the sun emphasized the golden color of Matt's curly hair.  "We wouldn't have been able to find many seniors outside if it rained like it did last night."
       "And we wouldn't have been able to sit and…enjoy the scenery," said Matt, as he polished off what must have been his seventh cookie.
       "Glad you like it here," I said.  It pleased me that he like the Mill Pond, since I thought it was a special place.
 ...You'll want to polish off several of these:

Lemon Sugar Cookies

1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Sift flour with salt and baking soda.  Cream margarine and sugar.  Add egg and grated lemon rind.   Beat well.  Beat in flour mixture a little at a time, then add 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Refrigerate ½ hour.  Heat oven to 350º.  Shape cookie dough into small balls.  Place two inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheet.  Dip bottom of small glass in sugar and press dough until quite thin.  Bake about 10 minutes or until light golden brown.

An Adorable Couple

Read more about The Real MeTrying to diet while tracking down recipes for the prom because you're the refreshment chairperson is a difficult task.  But it looks as if Mattie Mason will succeed due to the inspiration she receives from three boys:  Walt, her friend; George, her tormentor; and Kevin, her dream guy.
   THE REAL ME, DiskUs Publishing, Young Adult category

   Food-Related EXCERPT:

        I'm going to make this diet work.  And I'm not going to my own prom alone, either.  Once I'm thin, boys will notice me.  I know they will…
      "And now for dessert," Dad announced.  He pulled a bowl out of the refrigerator and spooned a white fluffy substance into the dessert dishes.
      "What is it?" I asked.   It looked like soap suds.  "I, ah, might not have time to eat it."
      "It's called Frozen Fluff.  I invented it myself.  You'll love it."
      "It's amazing what a person can do with just some gelatin, skim milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract."  Dad smiled proudly.
       I tasted a spoonful.  It bubbled on my tongue, but I managed an encouraging smile.
      A car horn sounded in the driveway.
      "That's Erwina.  I'll be home right after the game."  I stuck my dishes in the dishwasher, grabbed my coat and purse, and ran out to meet Erwina.
 ...You won't need to run away from this version of:

frozen Fluff

¾ teaspoon unflavored gelatin
1 ½ teaspoon cold water
Pinch salt
¼ cup skim milk
2 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons instant non-fat dry milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon lemon juice

Soften gelatin in 1 ½ teaspoon water.  Dissolve over hot water.  Add one tablespoon sugar, salt, milk, until dissolved.  Chill until thick as unbeaten egg whites.  Meanwhile, on 2 tablespoons water in medium-sized bowl, sprinkle non-fat dry milk.  Beat until mixture holds high peaks.  Gradually beat in 1 tablespoon sugar.  Add vanilla, lemon juice, and gelatin mixture.  Continue beating until mixture is stiff enough to soft peaks, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Makes 2 cups.  (This should be eaten within 3 to 4 hours.)

The Real Me, DiskUs Publishing, Young Adult category

Cathy discovers that it's not a good idea to pretend about her feelings when she volunteers to be an imitation girlfriend for a boy she really likes. 
   SUMMER REPLACEMENT, Hard Shell Word Factory, Young Adult category  

   Food-Related EXCERPT:

  "We're eating outside?"  I pictured the wind ruining in an instant what it had taken me twenty minutes to achieve with my hair.
        "Well, we can seat eight at the picnic table.  Besides we might want to go swimming.  Jason is already in his bathing suit."
        "I'm comfortable in this."  I headed off what I knew would be my mother's suggestion to change my clothes.  Instead I again changed the subject.  "I'll make some potato salad."  I always used my grandmother recipe, and it never failed to win compliments.  It wouldn't hurt to impress Dan in as many ways as I could.
        Once the potato salad was ready and Dad had lit the coals in the grill, I began to pace.  "When are the Stedmans coming over?" I asked my mother.  I tried to sound casual, as if it really didn't matter and that, in fact, I found the whole idea of a cookout mildly annoying.  That way my mother wouldn't wonder why I was so eager. 
 ...It won't take much practice to learn to make my mother's recipe of:

The World's greatest Potato Salad

2 large potatoes
3 tablespoons salad oil
3 tablespoons vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
2 sliced hard-boiled eggs
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup sliced celery

Peel and boil potatoes.  Dice (should yield about 2 cups).  Add 3 tablespoons salad oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 ½ teaspoons salt.  Toss lightly to mix, refrigerate.  To serve, add 2 sliced hard-boiled eggs, ¼ cup finely chopped onion, 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard, ¼ cup sliced celery, ½ cup mayonnaise.

SUMMER REPLACEMENT, Hard Shell Word Factory, Young Adult category

Read more about The Perfect GuyWhen 15-year-old Rebecca's mother marries Pres's father, Rebecca is thrilled that she'll be living in the same house with the guy of her dreams.  She thinks it's only a matter of time before Pres sees her as more than just a kid sister.  However, not everything goes according to Rebecca's plan, and she learns to face some surprising truths about herself, her friends and her new family.

   Food-Related EXCERPT:

       In the kitchen Pres and Gramma were still scurrying around setting the table.
       I sniffed.  "Your spaghetti smells delicious, Gramma.  But something's different."
     "That's Pres's doing," said Gramma.  "He added a few spices of his own--wouldn't tell me what--and fixed garlic bread.  You know, I was wondering if I wouldn't get bored cooking for a whole week while your folks are honeymooning, but Pres here is good in the kitchen.  He said he'd be glad to take over.  So all I have to do is make sure you two don't burn the house down or something."
       "Really, Gramma?"  I whispered so Pres couldn't hear.  "Pres likes to cook?   You know I feel the same way about cooking as you do."  Except for her spaghetti and an occasional cookie-baking spree, we both considered cooking a necessary evil.  But this would give Pres something in common with Mom.  She loved to cook.  It wouldn't hurt for me to find my way around the kitchen either, not with Pres there to lead the way.  And I guess I could learn to like garlic bread, if Pres was the chef.
 ..Twirl your fork around this perfect pasta:

The Perfect Guy's Spaghetti

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
½ cup chopped green pepper
1 #2 can tomato puree (2 ½ cups)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 ½ teaspoons seasoned salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon basil
¼ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ lb. spaghetti, cooked

Sauté garlic, onion, and green pepper in olive oil, about 5 minutes.  Add tomato puree, tomato sauce, seasoned salt, pepper, basil, thyme, oregano and Parmesan cheese.  Simmer 2 hours.   Serve over cooked spaghetti.

The Perfect Guy

Read more about How To Survive a VacationWhen Kristin, from New York City, visits her cousin Janelle in Oregon, she wonders how she'll survive in the wilderness.  Janelle wonders if the wilderness will survive Kristin's visit.  Meanwhile, Kristin also wonders if a big-city girl can ever get along with a "hick" from Oregon--named Bret.  How to Survive a Vacation was published in German by Cora Verlag with the title, Das Kann Ich Auch! (I Can Do That!)

   Food-Related EXCERPT:

       I ransacked a strawberry plant and discovered two  huge, red, ripe fragrant strawberries cowering under a leaf…I had to eat one.  The juicy taste was so delicious that I popped the second one in my mouth.
      After a while I noticed I had a pathetically empty bucket and a shamefully full stomach.  Also, it'd gotten hot and dusty out in the field.  Pellets of sweat  plummeted down my face.  I tried to wipe them off with the back of my hand, but all that did was make fine streaks of mud.
      Then I spotted two pairs of  feet up ahead of me.  I looked up at two guys with sandy colored hair.  They weren't bad looking.  But they weren't great enough looking to make me nervous either.
     "Scot, Bret, this is my cousin, Kristin Davis," Janelle said.  "She's visiting from New York."
      My knees hurt, my back hurt, and my fingers were stained red.  But I was Pretending To Enjoy My Vacation.  So I flashed a big smile.
     "Hello, Kristin," Bret said.  An easy smile crossed his face.  His big brown eyes shining out from below his slightly shaggy hair reminded me of Bambi.  "So you're from New York?" he asked, feigning horror.  "I'll bet  you're glad to be in Oregon."
            My irritation at his question was only slightly diluted by the amusement flickering in Bret's eyes.  "Why does everyone assume I'm so relieved to be out of New York and in Oregon?"
 ..Cool off with this enticing:

Mile-High Strawberry PIE

1 (10 oz.) package of frozen strawberries
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ready-made graham cracker crust
Fresh strawberries

Place defrosted strawberries, egg whites, lemon juice and salt in large bowl of electric mixer.  Beat at medium speed for 15 minutes, or until mixture is stiff and holds its shape.  Whip cream until stiff.  Add vanilla, then fold into strawberry mixture.  Pile lightly into graham cracker crust.   Freeze several hours or overnight.  To serve, garnish with fresh strawberries.

How To Survive A Vacation, Cora Verlag

©2002-2010 Ann Herrick