Books,  Recipes

Cookbook Review: 20 Recipes Kids Should Know

I must confess, while I’m always happy to see book mail, my equally bookish daughter is tickled when books aimed at her demographic land at my front door. When I received my copy of 20 Recipes Kids Should Know from the authors’ publicists for review*, she quickly snatched it up and was marking recipes she’d like us to try together. *As always, all opinions are my own; this post also includes affiliate links.

More on 20 Recipes Kids Should Know

Cookbook Review: 20 Recipes Kids Should Know20 Recipes Kids Should Know by Esme Washburn
Published by Prestel Verlag GmbH & Company KG. on April 2, 2019
Pages: 52
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The perfect book for children, this fun and engaging cookbook is written and photographed by a pair of young sisters for budding chefs.

Whether they're helping stir cake batter or producing their own YouTube cooking channel, kids of all ages are getting increasingly busy in the kitchen. This cookbook features twenty classic recipes that are fun, healthy, adaptable, and easy to prepare. From banana bread and the perfect grilled cheese to breaded chicken and apple pie, each recipe is written in a clear, accessible style that young cooks of every level will be able to follow. The author is a young chef whose love of cooking developed from her own family's food traditions like baking popovers with her grandmother and Sunday-night pizza making. By teaching kids basic recipes that can be adapted in endless ways, this book is the perfect launching pad to finding their way around the kitchen--or launching their own cooking careers.


The Review

20 Recipes Kids Should Know is a large format cookbook laden with pretty, full-color photos, colorful headings and clear, easy-to-follow steps.

12-year-old author/chef Esme Washburn has broken down the recipes into the categories of Breakfast, Lunch, Appetizers, Mains, Sides, Desserts, and More. (The “More” category has two for bread – popovers and a basic bread recipe.) Each category has 3-4 kid-friendly recipes; the Breakfast category, for example, contains recipes for pancakes (done two ways), banana bread and an omelet.

Each recipe has a full-page photograph of the completed dish, and I love that they were all taken by the author’s 17-year-old sister, Calista Washburn. She also includes some step-by-step shots, such as those for the homemade pasta, which are particularly helpful. We also found the introduction quite helpful, as it includes measure equivalents, safety tips, and a glossary of cooking terms – just what every new cook needs!

The photo accompanying Esme’s Ultimate Banana Bread was drool-inducing. As we conveniently had several well-overripe bananas meant for the freezer for smoothies, my daughter asked if we could give it a try. The recipe was easy to follow and the results were wonderful. (We added dark chocolate pieces per the optional instructions in the book. SO good.) She took half the loaf to a sleepover that evening and it was a hit.

This is a great book for kids showing an interest in learning to cook, and I do agree that these recipes are great basics that would set any child up with some basic skills that would serve them well later. Admittedly, I initially scoffed at a recipe for grilled cheese, but when the photo sparked a craving for the same in my teen and he rather struggled with how to prepare it (where have I gone wrong), the need for such basic recipes didn’t sound so silly.

This book would make for a fun birthday gift along with a child-sized apron! You can click here to grab your own copy from Amazon.

I’m off to sneak another piece of banana bread before it’s all gone!

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