Part of the "Kids Dish" series which includes desserts, snacks, dinners, lunches, Italian dishes, Middle Eastern dishes, Mexican dishes and special occasion recipes, this picture book cookbook introduces Chinese recipes. Grouped by difficulty level based on the skills and time required as well as the number of ingredients and tools needed, these recipes require adult supervision and help. Each book starts off with a food pyramid, then Notes to Kids from the author, then Notes to Adults, Special Tips and Glossary, Metric Conversion Chart, and Kitchen Tools section with lots of graphics and illustrations that would make this series extremely accessible and attractive for older students who are not top-notch readers. The recipes each include number of servings, how long the process takes, a quick one-sentence note about the recipe's relationship to the culture as well as ingredients list, tools, and numbered pictured steps. It all makes the recipes look really easy, but for the most part they are from-scratch and somewhat challenging, at least to me, admittedly the world's worst cook. Recipes in the Easy chapter include Poppin' Peppery Hummus; Couscous; Perfect Party Pita Chips; Super-Sweet Hamentaschen, Coconut Nibbles; Chlada Fakya (no help with pronunciation given); On-the-go-Schwarmas. The Intermediate section has No Prob Kabobs and Super-colossal Falafel; Advanced recipes include Tasty Tabbouleh, Scrumptious Salad; Baba Ghanouj; and Baklava. Each volume is indexed by category, main ingredients, as well as preparation time. Food Facts and other sidebars (at the bottom of the pages) add interesting amplification to recipes. While the publisher fact sheet indicated that there is abooklist, I did not find one. Reading level is fairly easy, but the recipes are all somewhat challenging in my opinion for the publisher recommended age level (grades one to three). Maybe in some parallel universe, second graders can make Baklava from scratch, but not in my world. At the end of the index is a mention of www.facthound.com as the portal to safe internet sites related to this book, the only one of which was myfoodpyramid.gov. Never having tackled any from-scratch Middle Eastern dishes other than couscous out of a box, this one will remain on my "high challenge" cookbook shelf for the days when I can deal with a steep learning curve. Reviewer: Gwynne Spencer
New York-based Nick Fauchald is the author of numerous children books. He helped create the magazine Every Day with Rachael Ray and has been an editor at Food & Wine and Wine Spectator magazines. Nick attended the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan and has worked with some of the world's best chefs. However, he still thinks kids are the most fun to cook with.
Ronnie Rooney is a native of Massachusetts and has a great affinity for the sight, sound, and smell of the Atlantic Ocean. Though she currently resides in sunny Georgia, she hopes to settler in her beloved New England after traveling overseas. Ronnie was recently married and quickly added Roxie, a pound-puppy, to her new family. Ronnie has dedicated herself to creating art since she was a very young girl and she has no plans to slow down.