Cookbook Trends: Dressing up JELL-O and Cooking for Baby

Editing reviews for our January 2012 issue, I’ve come across two cookbook trends that are busting out. Kid food for grown-ups (JELL-O, gelatin, jellies‚ whatever you call them, they’re popular) and home-cooked meals for babies.

Hello, Jell-O! cover imageI’ve yet to know someone who specializes in making jelly desserts at home or to see a New York storefront, but the books are burgeoning, and many are based on blogs. Sam Bompas and Harry Parr’s Jellymongers, a UK import published this summer by Sterling, is beautiful and fun to read, but may be too advanced for some. In Jelly Shot Test Kitchen, Michelle Palm boozes up the jiggly dessert. Coming out next year is the Jello Mold Mistress of Brooklyn Victoria Belanger’s Hello, Jell-O!, an addition our reviewer praises for its broad coverage and wider appeal (review coming in the January issue).The Wholesome Baby Food Guide cover image

A more established trend that appears to be speeding up is homemade baby food cookbooks. In another blog-turned-book, Maggie Meade, whose gets about 1.2 million page views per month, drops The Wholesome Baby Food Guide in February 2012 (review coming in the January issue). Other recent publications include Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett’s The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook, Karin Knight and Tina Ruggerio’s The Best Homemade Baby Food on the Planet and Renée Elliott’s Healthy Eating for Your Baby & Toddler (both reviewed last December), and Karen Ansel and Charity Ferreira’s The Baby & Toddler Cookbook.

Anna Katterjohn About Anna Katterjohn

Anna Katterjohn ( is Managing Editor for the LJ Book Review and assigns books on performing arts, cooking, home economics, and crafts.