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Publishers WeeklyBusy cooks with a houseful of hungry kids will appreciate this selection of 20 themed dinners from author Berman's (Little Black Book of Coffee, Little Black Book of Hors d'Oeuvres), emphasizing fun and family togetherness. Each menu-with titles like Silly Hat Night, Home on the Range, Under the Sea-consists of a handful of complementary dishes (Chuck Wagon Chicken Fried Steak, Chicken A La King in a Pastry Crown) that lean heavily toward kid-friendly favorites. Still, there's enough variety to keep things interesting and challenge adventurous eaters: roe or caviar dressing for a salad on Dress-Up Night, or a Vegsicle Salad, in which lettuce and frozen mixed vegetables are served with a vinaigrette. Parents will appreciate the crafts that accompany each menu-including antique treasure maps, magic wands and homemade placemats-to keep little hands busy while the adults focus on dinner. Most dishes are to-the-point and fairly easy to replicate, though a few, such as Berman's elaborate Castle Cupcakes and Under the Sea Shadowboxes may take a more time. Still, this is a fun and imaginative collection parents and kids should enjoy together.
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