Monday, December 15, 2008

Kids in the Holiday Kitchen by Jessica Strand & Tammy Massman-Johnson

Kids in the Holiday Kitchen: Making, Baking, Giving by Jessica Strang & Tammy Massman-Johnson
Geared Towards: Ages 4 and up
Published By: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0811861397

I have to be honest, this is a book I picked up off the library shelf purely for the cover. The bright holiday colors and photographs of some of the included recipes in their finished state promptly caught my attention. I wasn't even looking for a cookbook, but I went ahead and checked it out anyhow.

As the title suggests, this is a book related to recipes and craft ideas for kids to make, bake, and give. There are 4 sections as follows:
  1. Mealtime Magic
  2. Naughty and Nice Nibbles
  3. Sweet Somethings
  4. Happy Holiday Workshop

I think the overall layout of the book is good and alot of the ideas included are really cute. I was a little bit disappointed though because I guess I was thinking the recipes would be new and simple since it's a kids book, and many were not. Like one recipe, for instance, called for Gruyere cheese. What the heck?! I've never eve heard of that kind of cheese before. Maybe I live under a rock, but I'm pretty sure that's a little bit more than just your basic kid friendly recipe. This was for the Merry Macaroni, which is just a fancy homemade version of mac n' cheese. Granted, I'm sure it's one hundred times better than Kraft's Easy Mac, but that's besides the point. The recipe itself just seemed too fancy schmansy for my taste when considering the source, and honestly kids don't care about fancy. Any kid is going to be excited to be helping out in the kitchen, no matter what they're cooking. Regarding the end result, they're just going to care if the food looks and tastes good. Fun names like Rudolph's Red Sauce Pasta makes the dish sound more appealing, but really all it is fancy spaghetti. I can let my daughter help me make some regular spaghetti and give it a quick holiday name sprucing up on my own.

Other recipes were actually so simple I couldn't believe they'd even bothered to feature them, like the Snow Angel recipe. Again, a cute name, but all it was was a sunnyside up egg with a piece of toast. Oh, and they'd used a cookie cutter to cut an angel out of the middle of the toast. A cute name and a cute image, but not really something I needed a cook book to show me how to make. Know what I mean?

Let it not be thought though that I had nothing good to say about this book. It did have some questionable, in my opinion, recipes included, but there were also some really great ones too. I especially liked the recipe for the Chimney Cakes, Chocolate Truffles, and Latkes. They also had a super easy recipe for chocolate covered pretzel rods, which my 5 year old and I are actually going to be making for her teachers for Christmas.

If you're looking for a fun centerpiece idea to make with your child for the holidays you'll probably enjoy the Frosty and Friends recipe and the Winter Wonderland centerpiece recipe (though the latter is very indepth and appears time consuming). Or if you're looking for a somewhat last minute snack idea for your child to take to school you might consider the Holiday Ornament cupcakes which look absolutely adorable, but again probably require more effort than I'd be willing to put in myself.

It really was a nice book, and I think the good recipes weigh supreme. One could easily find hours of fun recipes to try duplicating with their child from flipping through Kids in the Holiday Kitchen.

OUR RATING: 4 hearts

No comments: