By: Jennifer Duff
Capital Cooking Contributor
I'm a hard person to please when it comes to cookbooks. It's because most of the time I find, that in a whole cookbook, I can only find a few recipes that I like. That, or the cookbook tries to do too much (really, how many recipes of lasagna does one need?) or pays too much homage to sponsors (like it matters what brand of shredded cheese you use..). But I have to say, I was impressed with Time's Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook. It had select recipes for different courses, fun tips and tricks in the margins (did you know that roughly 40 million pounds of green bean casserole are consumed in the US each Thanksgiving Day?), and rates each recipe in terms of level of difficulty for children. As an added bonus, it focuses on simple, healthy recipes that kids can make. But, you can only tell so much by flipping through a cookbook so I took it on a test drive.
I gave the cookbook to my 6 year old son, who is extremely picky. After perusing the recipes, he decided that he wanted to make the pizza and the popcorn balls (shocker). The "Globe-Trotter Pizza" was designed to be made with Canadian bacon and pineapple but my son wasn't having all that, so we stuck to basics with cheese and sauce. He could put together the entire recipe, which was a nice change from me having to make him dinner. And, he was excited to 'make his own dinner'!
Easy and simple, he and his little brother tasted his pizza creation as the final test.
Success! My son had his first foray into being a chef, and had lots of fun while the little one got to benefit from his hard work.
But one recipe does not make a cookbook. Over the course of the weekend, we made a few recipes from the cookbook including the chocolate chip waffles, breakfast burritos, and popcorn balls, adjusting each based on our preferences and what I had in the refrigerator. Each of the recipes had healthy ingredients, straight-forward preparation, and was delicious.
For an afternoon snack, I made the popcorn balls but altered the recipe since candy corn isn't that plentiful in the spring. It was a bit of a sticky mess (hence the "moderate" difficulty, I assume), but it actually came together in the end (using toffee instead of the candy corn) and was sweet and tasty.
Overall, this is a great kids cookbook and would be the perfect gift for any child interested in cooking or to a family with kids as a fun way to keep those kids busy! The layout was simple and easy to read, the recipes were clear and had nutritional information, and it included information for kids to learn where their food comes from. A great cookbook for families and kids alike, it can be purchased for $19.95 at www.timeforkids.com/cookbook.