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Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs (America’s Test Kitchen) {review}

I was provided by the publisher with a copy of the following book to facilitate my review. As always, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Historically, cookbooks for kids have primarily relied on processed and packaged ingredients, in the interest of making recipes “easy.”  Unfortunately, that also means they’re usually unhealthy, and it isn’t easy to change that by substituting ingredients.  It has been really good to see, over the last year or two, an increasing number of “real” cookbooks entering the market with kids in mind — and The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefsfrom America’s Test Kitchen, is one of them.

Overview of The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

This is a nice hardcover book, with glossy full-color pages.  (You might need to use a book stand with it, though, because it doesn’t necessarily stay open very well on its own.)  Even the end papers are lovely, if a slightly odd choice because for a moment they make you think you splattered water on the book!

Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs end papers

The book includes recipes for breakfast, sides, beverages, entrees, and desserts, along with information about how to cook.

The recipes are designated by difficulty with a certain number of “chef’s hats.”  Icons also indicate whether a knife, microwave, stovetop, and/or oven is used.  This way younger chefs can, for instance, stick with 1-hat recipes that demand no knives or heat.

Introductory Information

The “getting started” section includes essential food safety information.  It also contains kid-friendly information about cooking basics, such as how to use a knife properly.

The Recipes

As I noted before, these are all “from scratch” recipes.  They are not entirely whole food-based; there are some uses of white flour, etc.  However, because they don’t use any prepackaged ingredients, those are fairly easy to substitute.  (It’s a lot easier to substitute “real” ingredients for white flour than baking mix or cream of mushroom soup!)

Each recipe is broken into sections.  The first section gives you information about the recipe.  The icons are at the top, just above the recipe name, which is followed by information like the number of servings and how long it takes.  Then there’s a list of ingredients and a list of equipment needed.

Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs - recipe intro

After that come the actual cooking instructions.

Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs - recipe instructions

Many recipes are also followed by a “make it your way” section that offers suggestions for variations.  These are good for helping Young Chefs learn what types of things can be changed around without messing up the recipe.

Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs - recipe variations

I would say this is probably best for kids around 8-12, although teens or adults could obviously use it, and younger kids who are comfortable in the kitchen can probably benefit, as well (‘though non-readers will obviously need help with that part!).  I like this as not merely a collection of recipes, but a “how to cook”-type book for kids.

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Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs (America’s Test Kitchen) {review} is a post from: Titus 2 Homemaker

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Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs (America’s Test Kitchen) {review}


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