When you look through kids’ cookbooks, you tend to see a lot of the same recipes over and over again, like macaroni and cheese, chicken strips and chocolate chip cookies. You’ll also see lots of dishes that have silly names and have cartoon-ish illustrations to go along with them. These books are fun and appealing – but I tend to think that kids are just as likely to see a beautiful food photo and want to make that dish, as they are to see a cartoon illustation and get the same inspiration. Wiliams-Sonoma’s The Kid’s Cookbook is set up more like a “real” cookbook. The silly names are kept to a minimum and there are gorgeous photos of tasty-looking dishes, as well as of the kids making them, to go with each recipe.
The recipes are straightforward and easy to follow, but aren’t dumbed down to the point where flavor is sacrificed. These are real recipes that make real dishes. They are written so that kids can easily make them on their own. Some are more involved than others, but children of any age should be able to find recipes that they can do on their own in here. And younger kids can easily make even the more complex recipes (which are still not difficult, but might involve multiple steps) with a little adult intervention. Recipes include all meals, from breakfast to dessert, and include dishes like Banana Pancakes, Macaroni and Cheese, Apple Pie and Chocolate Mousse.
The book has a great introductory section and is very good about listing all the tools needed for every recipe. Kids, especially older kids who have some kitchen experience, will be able to make the recipes easily, but the book also provides a great introduction to the kitchen for cooks who are just starting out.