Category: Cookbooks

Cooking for kids just got 150 recipes easier

Recently, my Michael Pollan-obsessed sigOth and I have had some conversations about stepping up our meal preparation game for the kids. So I’m pleased to have discovered two new cookbooks that seem primed to help us find some options that lie somewhere between spaghetti with butter sauce and hiding vegetables in the cupcakes. The Toddler Cafe: Fast, Easy and Fun Ways to Please Even the Pickiest Eaters is a wonderfully helpful resource from chef, mom, and Food Network stylist Jennifer Carden. 50 truly creative family-friendly recipes for all times of day range from the imaginative (PB&J French Toast) to...

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You’ll be wonton Handstand Kids’ Chinese Cookbook (Heh)

Fried chicken fingers and pink boneless spareribs are not real Chinese food, I tell the kids whenever we order take-out, and now I have the latest Handstand Kids’ Chinese Cookbook to back me up. The latest from Handstand Kids’ Italian Cookbook creator Yvette Garfield includes sturdy, colorful pages filled with recipes by professional chef Shanti Jade Greenspan, along with tidbits about the Chinese culture and cuisine, and the cutesy cartoon Handstand Kids who explain things in kid-language. All the tools and ingredients are laid out up front, which gave me a chance to buy things like spring roll wrappers...

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Take that, Magnolia Bakery.

Anyone with a kid over about 18 months knows that cupcakes are essentially crack for children. I could get my daughters to clean every room in the house with a toothbrush if they knew there were a cupcake in it for them at some point. (And, ahem, so would their mother). So when I saw that Chronicle Books came out with the Cupcake Kit recently, I jumped at a chance to check it out. Elinor Klivans has put together a fantastic little gift set here that any cupcake lover would be delighted to drool over. Er, own. It includes...

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Watch your back, Jacques Pepin

My kids have grown up knowing how important food is to me, so it’s not surprising that they are both fascinated by the kitchen. Children’s cookbooks are a frequent gift at birthday and holiday time, but I’m usually very disappointed in how so many of them dumb down of food for kids. We have cookbooks that are written in comic book format. We have cookbooks that feature only meals that look like something else (octopus-shaped hotdogs anyone?). We have cookbooks with dishes that have names so cutesy I feel like hurling. That’s why I was so pleased to find...

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Top Chef Comes to Your Kitchen. Yes, Sam Too.

Yesterday, both my kids’ daddy and my own daddy opened up their brand new copies of Top Chef: The Cookbook. Which is why I held this review until today. Publisher Chronicle Books always does an outstanding job with their titles and this canvas-covered tome is no exception. If your Wednesday nights are committed to Bravo, you’ll find the Top Chef cookbook most excellently captures all the fun, all the style, all the energy of the show – the cover is even wrapped in the same canvas as the chefs’ jackets. Between the covers you’ll be privy to great behind-the-scene...

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Cakes That Truly Take the Cake

Open Matthew Mead’s new Cakes for Kids cookbook and you’ll experience a combination of awe and complete intimidation. It’s as if my inner competimommy is saying Yes! We can make this! while my inner Peggy Bundy is like Are you freaking kidding me? 35 gorgeous technicolor photos demonstrate how flour, butter, eggs and sugar, in the right combos (and with the right decorating tools and probably with the right professional food stylist) can become a spectacular rainbow, grasshopper, candy-filled treasure chest or eye-popping beach ball. These recipes are not for the confectionarily-challeged; while the directions seem fairly clear and...

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The Reluctant Joy of Cooking

Despite my usual aversion to cutesy names, I have to concede that Domenica Catelli’s Mom-a-licious cookbook delivers deliciously on what its subtitle claims: Fresh, fast, family food. And what family doesn’t want fresh, fast food? The pictures are gorgeous, the recipes simple (and they even include tips for which parts the kids can do with you), and the result is a fabulous resource for the what-should-we-have-for-dinner blues that never leaves me wondering why a cookbook assumes I have capers on hand. Hint: I don’t. There are particularly good sections on baby food here, but even if you’re past the...

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A Cookbook For Moms, By Moms, So You Know There’s No Twinkie Casseroles in There

Last year’s Cookbook for Moms from our friends at MothersClick was such a resounding success, they did it again. The second volume includes more than 40 new recipes from more than 40 new contributors, all created and voted on by moms like us. Or at least moms like you; my contribution would be calling up for take-out. The forward comes courtesy of Sneaky Chef author Missy Chase Lepine, and  100% of the proceeds – as in all of them – go to the Boys and Girls Club of America. How very, very mom. –Liz...

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Of Cupcakes, Lactose, and World Domination

The first time I gave my daughter some yogurt, she projectile vomited all over the seat of our brand-new car. One of my first thoughts after learning about her allergy to milk was, "no double cheese pizza, chocolate chip ice cream, donuts, lasagna, EVER?!?!" She is seven now and still cannot have any of those foods, but I don’t want her to feel like she is missing anything because of this allergy. And so I discovered a cupcake cookbook that produced the most delicious little cakes of goodness that were also safe for my girl. The cupcakes are moist,...

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You’ll Eat It And You’ll Like It

If I told you a celebrity’s wife had yet another cookbook out, you’d roll your eyes, right? I admit I did when I heard that Jessica Seinfeld had just published Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food. But, damn her, it’s a great cookbook for parents. Seriously great. The premise isn’t a new one, but it’s a good one: Puree a few basic fruits and veggies and you can hide them in your kids favorite foods. We’re talking squash in mac n cheese, sweet potatoes in French Toast , even broccoli and carrots in cake....

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Cooking with the Bambinos

I’m not a cooking enthusiastic, but I do want to encourage my daughter to learn life skills. In other words, I hope she can expand her food prep repertoire beyond instant mac-and-cheese before she heads off to college. Unlike, ahem, her mother.

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Whatcha Got Cooking?

It’s no secret that cooking doesn’t usually inspire warm and fuzzy feelings in me. I’m especially hesitant to try new recipes – after all that effort, will it turn out well? Or will it end up dumped into a napkin when I turn my back and shoved into the nearest receptacle or willing household pet?

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