If you enjoyed the first two cookbooks in the Made Easy cookbook series, Passover Made Easy and Starters and Sides Made Easy, you’re in for a real treat today because I am reviewing the latest book in the series: Kids Cooking Made Easy!
Kids have been increasingly taking over the kitchen in recent years, and with amazing success (as evidenced by the wild success of MasterChef Junior). And now the hottest series in Kosher cooking has a brand new book geared at the younger set – just in time for Chanukah gifts for the wannabe young chef in your life!
Want to win a copy? Scroll past the recipe for a giveaway!
At a first glance:
As with the previous books in the series, authors Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek have put together an eye-catching and wonderfully laid out book full of fabulous ideas and delicious looking food! The book also has some brilliant features geared at the junior cooks, which I will elaborate on shortly.
Some features I liked:
This book really is all about kids. The food is kid friendly, the recipes are mostly quite easy, and the writing is clear and easy to follow. But the most important factor is the brilliant layout of the book. It cleverly provides the necessary information for young cooks to succeed with the recipe, while at the same time teaching them important kitchen skills. I can’t adequately describe just how smart the layout is, so I figured I would share a page of the book with you!
Every page contains the blue box – cooking school – which selects a term or technique from the recipe to expand on. As you see, the term is printed in the same color blue, which indicates that there’s an explanation of it. There are also icons throughout the recipe that are explained in greater detail on the side – with matching icons. It’s all very intuitive and easy to follow!
Aside from the clever layout, another visual element of the book that I loved was that every recipe has a full color picture. Now you know how much I appreciate pictures in all cookbooks, but I feel like for kids it’s vital for them to see what the end result will be – and this book definitely delivers! Not only does the book have a picture for every recipe, but it’s got a ton of step-by-step pictures to help kids with the more complicated recipes.
I also loved the tone of the book. You don’t feel like the authors are talking down to the reader at all. Rather you feel like they (the authors – both mommies) are guiding the reader and teaching the reader to navigate the kitchen.
Some recipes I can’t wait to try:
Thought a book full of kids recipes wouldn’t excite an adult? Think again! This book is chock full of recipes that had me salivating. Among them:
Teriyaki Beef Sticks – one of my favorite things to order at a Chinese restaurant – I am so going to make this – it looks really easy too!
Hot Dog Garlic Knots – such a clever idea! Two fun foods combined into a great party food.
Toasted Bow Tie Chips – the new favorite snack of anyone who likes the crunchy edges of the baked ziti pan (me!). Love that there are different flavor options!
Peanut Butter Pizzelle Cake – I love icebox cakes, and this peanut butter version looks totally sinful!
Who this cookbook is for:
This book is a must-buy for anyone who has kid(s) or teen(s) who are interested in cooking! It’s great to encourage their interest, and this one will be their prized first cookbook.
Also, because the book contains so many kid friendly options, the book is also a great option for anyone who regularly cooks for kids!
Who this cookbook isn’t for:
If you’re looking for sophisticated, “foodie” type recipes, this book is not the one for you.
Also, as with most cookbooks, anyone cooking for a specific diet such as gluten free will find that a lot of the recipes aren’t for you.
What I didn’t like about this cookbook:
Judging from the point of view that the book is geared at (as opposed to an adult who doesn’t cook for kids very often) this book is a real winner! My only real complaint about is is that it could have had a higher concentration of healthy recipes – except the kids might not have liked it as much, so I don’t know if that could have been changed.
If you aren’t cooking for kids, you might find that a lot of the recipes are pretty basic and simple – but again – that’s the nature of the book.
Lastly, because the book has recipes for sophisticated teens as well as young kids, there will be recipes that won’t work for whichever category your kid falls under. Again, this is because of the balance of the book, not really anything I would have changed, but it is something to be aware of.
This book is an amazing gift for any young chef or wannabe chef, that will help them hone their skills!
And now – homemade button candy! It’s a lot easier to make than it looks, tastes better than the store-bought variety – and is easily customizable to the color of your party!
Homemade Button Candy:
By Miriam Pascal, OvertimeCook.Com
Adapted from Kids Cooking Made Easy
4 cups confectioner’s sugar (1 lb box)
3 Tablespoons meringue powder
1/3 cup water
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine powdered sugar and meringue powder.
With the mixer at a low speed, add the water and stir until combined. Turn the mixer to a high speed and beat until stiff, about 5 minutes.
Remove the mixture from the bowl and separate into bowls for each color/flavor combination. (I did 3 bowls – pink/strawberry, orange/orange and yellow/lemon.) Stir in food coloring and about 1/2 teaspoon extract per bowl and stir to combine. Add a few drops of water, if needed, if the mixture is too thick.
Load each color into a piping bag and and pipe small dots onto strips of plain computer/copy paper. Leave to dry overnight.
For your chance to win a copy of Kids Cooking Made Easy:
Please note: Each entry requires its own comment!
Multiple entries in one comment will only be counted once! You can do any or all of the following:
Entry #1 – Leave a comment on this post telling me what is the first thing you remember cooking!
Entry #2 – Follow @OvertimeCook on twitter and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.
Entry # 3- Like Tales of an Overtime Cook on Facebook and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.
Entry # 4 – Follow @OvertimeCook on Pinterest and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.
Entry # 5 – Subscribe to OvertimeCook via email (link is on the right sidebar of the blog). and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.
Entry #6 – Follow Overtime Cook on Instagram and leave a comment on this post telling me that you did.
Note: if you already like/follow etc, that’s fine. Just leave a comment letting me know that!
Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 5th. A valid email address or twitter profile must be provided.
Prize can be shipped within the US and Canada.
Giveaway is sponsored by the publisher.
Disclaimer: I was sent a review copy of this book, and the authors are good friends and colleagues of mine. All opinions are my own. There are affiliate links within this post, which means that if you click the links here to buy the book you will help sponsor your favorite food blog!
Thanks for stopping by! Good luck with the contest – and make sure to check out my ultimate list of Hanukkah desserts! -Miriam PS – just a few days left to enter for your chance to win a kitchen-aid mixer! Details here.