Sunday, October 10, 2010

Review: Ready, Steady, Spaghetti

Summary: Recipes for "little food" such as after-school snacks, breakfast, soups, and sammies go a long way in Broadhurst's clever Ready, Steady, Spaghetti.

Broadhurst makes cooking with kids easy and entertaining. Kids will fill up on fun and food with cool and exciting recipes like Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs, Stir-Fried Chinese Vegetables, Moo Juice, Lemon Butterfly Cakes, Fairy Wands, Martian Cookies, Chocolate-Cherry Spiders, and more. She even makes preparing (and eating) vegetables a treat.

And the excitement doesn't stop there. There's also a party food section that will have kids celebrating.

This is a kid's cookbook that will score with the big kids.
  • Feeds the imagination.Ready, Steady, Spaghetti's vibrant design and 300 color photographs will draw both kids and adults into the kitchen. Cute and affordable, Ready, Steady, Spaghetti will show kids how it's done in the kitchen with easy-to-follow recipes and step-by-step photos.
  • Includes 130 kid-friendly recipes from starters to not-too-serious main dishes.
  • Sections include: Little Food, Dinner Time, Eat Your Greens, Sticky Treats, Let's Party, and more. -- Andrew McMeel Publishing, LLC
One of the small thrills I have in life is discovering a new cookbook. And I have to give the publisher Andrew McMeel some credit because they seem to publish one great cookbook after another. The latest one that has really caught my eye is READY, STEADY, SPAGHETTI: COOKING FOR KIDS AND WITH KIDS by Lucy Broadhurst. READY, STEADY, SPAGHETTI is a  pretty big cookbook filled with loads of kid-friendly recipes.

READY, STEADY, SPAGHETTI is geared towards children (both in the types of recipes as well as the instructions), but evidently, I have a child's taste in food because I just loved this cookbook. One of the main reasons is that this cookbook is chock full of gorgeous color photographs. And I mean chock full of pictures -- at least one per page spread. There are actually pictures of every recipe which certainly warms my heart because I enjoy looking at cookbooks as much as actually using them. Most of the recipes are easy enough for kids to prepare with a little help from an adult which also means that they are easy enough for me!

This cookbook is not only filled with tons of recipes, but it also has some great ideas about how to keep the kitchen a safe and clean environment -- which seems to be something that kids constantly need to have reinforced. The cookbook is set up in six chapters -- Little Food; Dinner Time; Eat Your Greens; Sticky Treats; Cookies, Cakes and Sweets; and Let's Party. The directions are extremely easy-to-follow (perfect for kids and reluctant cooks) and there are even some step-by-step photographs.

I thought that there was an excellent mix of recipes in this book from simple (and standard) recipes like french toast, scrambled eggs, smoothies, and pizza. However, there were also some unique ones (or at least unique for my picky family) like chicken noodle omelet, tuna enchiladas, and bubble and squeak (a veggie and egg dish.) Here are two samples of the types of recipes in this book: fairy wands and spaghetti with chicken meatballs. I found that there were a lot of recipes that could potentially be hits in my house, especially from the dessert and party chapters; and I even think there were quite a few recipes that I could adjust to suit Booking Son's food allergies.

One recipe that I can see using as a regular stand-by in our house is the Quick Pasta with Tomato Sauce. It's super quick and easy and ideal for those busy nights when we have lots of activities.

Quick Pasta with Tomato Sauce
Serves 4

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) canned chopped tomatoes
1 pound penne
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the garlic, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir through. Reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until reduced.

2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender. Drain and return to the saucepan.

3. Add the cooked tomatoes to the pasta and stir through. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

I just think READY, STEADY, SPAGHETTI is a fun cookbook for children (and their parents) and I highly recommend it. I think it would make a fantastic gift along with a cute apron and some kitchen tools for a child in your life.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of this fun cookbook.

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Sandy Nawrot said...

I think the key to any good cookbook is pictures! I'm going to see if my library has this. Cooking for my kids is always a challenge. They are SO damn picky, and the two of them are picky about different things also.

Beth F said...

I live the sound of this one. When kids help in the kitchen, they are more inclined to want to eat the food.

bermudaonion said...

Hey, I'm all about easy recipes, so I bet this would be right up my alley too!

caite said...

btw, i love it.
sounds like a nice little cookbook

Alyce said...

I've seen kids cookbooks before that contain recipes that just completely turn me off. This one doesn't sound so bad.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Those fairy wands look like such a cute idea - and so easy! I might have to look for this cookbook for my niece!