We're in for a real treat today! Anne-Marie Nichols, who blogs about children's cooking and book activities at My Readable Feast, has reviewed the new kids' cookbook by Food Network Personality Paula Deen. This 176-page cookbook features children's recipes like Ants on a Log, French Toast, and much, much more. Read on to see whether Anne-Marie thinks this book is appropriate for your little chefs.
Paula Deen's My First Cookbook: A Classic Kid's Cookbook
By Anne-Marie Nichols
When I opened it for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Paula Deen's My First Cookbook wasn't just another kids' cookbook. It's printed on glossy paper that will stand up to sticky fingers, and spiral-bound with a thick cardboard cover. This cookbook is made to last, which is good because it will become a favorite in your kitchen.
Paula Deen's My First Cookbook is organized differently than most beginners' cookbooks. Usually, the recipes come first and the "how to" sections follow. But Paula sets the stage with the Safety First! and How to Measure sections clearly explaining how to be safe, and how to properly measure different types of ingredients. The Glossary carefully goes over kitchen terms in easy-to-understand language, and doesn't assume that beginning cooks know what terms like "chop" or "knead" mean. Each word is also beautifully illustrated - as is the rest of the book - by Susan Mitchell. (Susan blogs at It's a Whimsical Life.
I was very happy to see that there were sections on How to Set a Table, and Good Manners, too. With so many families eating dinner in the car nowadays, who knows where the knife and the fork are supposed to go?
Then there are the recipes. Paula Deen's My First Cookbook has the usual beginner's breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner recipes like Personal Pizzas and Frozen Bananas. However, the chapters on birthdays, cooking for your parents (love this), treats for the holidays, special drinks, and arts and crafts recipes are what make Paula Deen's My First Cookbook stand out. It's like having several books in one.
When writing the cookbook, Paula had two young helpers. Knowing this, I'm
not worried that the recipes will be too hard for eight and five-year-old.
Here's a sample:
What you'll need:
Medium sharp knife
2 small plates
1 red or green apple, washed
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 slices of mild cheddar cheese
What you'll do:
1. Ask an adult helper to slice the apple into 4 circles.
2. Spread the tops of 2 apple slices with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter each.
3. Put a slice of cheese on top of the peanut butter.
4. Top with another slice of apple for the top of the sandwich. Put each sandwich on a plate and serve right away.
If you have a future celebrity chef in your kitchen, get their culinary
career properly started with Paula Deen's My First Cookbook. It's available
online or at your favorite bookstore.
Anne-Marie Nichols blogs about children's cooking and book activities at My