Monday, October 06, 2008

Nonfiction Monday: Paula Deen's My First Cookbook

Deen, Paula. 2008. Paula Deen's My First Cookbook. (With Martha Nesbit. Illustrated by Susan Mitchell.)

I must admit to doing a little happy dance when this one arrived at my house. A cookbook written to introduce kids to the wonders of cooking? A cookbook that emphasizes cooking as a family event--parents and kids working side by side? Gotta love that!

After the necessary safety warnings, she opens with several pages of glossary--and an illustrated one at that. In simple--but correct--terms, the basics are explained. From baking to whisking, everything you'd need to know to make these recipes (and others as well.)

We then get explanations for how to measure, how to set the table, and how to behave with good manners.

Then comes the fun stuff. The recipes themselves. Arranged into sections for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks, desserts etc. The recipes range from simple to complex. Some require more adult supervision than others. But many are kid-friendly.

Each recipe is presented with text and illustrations. Each is divided into "what you'll need" and "what you'll do" sections. I thought the presentation was clear and concise.

If I were to have any reservations with this one, it is that a good many of the recipes aren't particularly written with good, healthy habits in mind. The recipes look great. Really great. And I'm sure they taste great too...but though probably less appealing for kids (and some adults) a few healthier options would have been great. (I'm not saying all the recipes are bad for you. And in moderation, most would be okay for most people. But the ones that jump out at me and say "try me, try me" are the ones that I don't need to be making in the first place.)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


SmilingSally said...

Paula is NOT famous for healthy cooking, but it sure tastes good. That having been said is the reason I look the way I look! (Groan)

Jill said...

That's my problem with so many of the kids' cookbooks out there, too. In the end we usually end up grabbing a healthier cookbook and cook together and have a lot of fun, which is the whole point! Still, I like the presentation on this one, and if it makes kids excited about cooking, that's great too.