29 September 2018

Weekend Cooking: The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America's Test Kitchen

Review of The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America's Test KitchenDo you love America's Test Kitchen (ATK) as much as I do? If you haven't yet tried their books and recipes, you're missing out big time on a trusted recipe source.

Why am I a fan? Because they test, test, test every recipe, offer hints and tips, and tell you exactly why you need to use that ingredient or that technique.

I learned to cook at my mother's and grandmothers' elbows, though I did take home ec in high school and experimented like crazy once I got my first apartment. I didn't use cookbooks geared to children because the recipes were so dumb. Every dish was a little too cutesy for me or was totally unappealing.

 Modern kids' cookbooks often have the same failings. So when I learned that ATK was coming out with a cookbook for children, I just had to take a look. Enter The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, Oct. 16).

Where was this cookbook when I was young? Or when I was in high school? I love this book! First of all, the recipes were tested by 750 middle schoolers, mostly in their home kitchens. These real kids made the dishes and gave honest feedback--the good and the bad. If a recipe was too hard or the flavors weren't there, ATK tweaked until they got it right in the eyes (and stomachs) of their young chefs.

Review of The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America's Test KitchenI so appreciate the general style of this book. The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs makes no assumptions about previous skills and knowledge, but at the same time ATK respects its audience. In fact, this cookbook is perfect for any new cook of any age.

Front of the book: The early chapters contain a ton of useful information, such as how to use the book, how to read a recipe, and what cooking terms mean (chopping, dicing). Young cooks will also find explanations of equipment and techniques and safety tips, all presented in fun fonts and bright colors.

Back of the book: At the back of The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs, interested cooks will find nutritional data for each recipe, metric and weight conversion charts, and information on healthy eating (such as how to make good food choices).

The recipes: Of course, what most of you really want to know about is the recipes. Thank you, thank you, thank you, ATK. The cookbook is all about real food, not cute food or simplistic dishes or things no one really eats. These are familiar foods (some with new twists) that any chef would be proud to serve to friends after school or to present to the family table. Here are some examples

  • Breakfast: granola bars; avocado toast with eggs; waffles
  • Snacks: homemade salsa, quesadillas
  • Soups & sandwiches: wraps, homemade veggie burgers
  • Dinners: pasta, meatballs, pork chops, stir-fry, chili
  • Baking and grains: brownies, biscuits, quinoa with herbs
  • Sides: unique salads, Mexican street corn
Review of The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America's Test KitchenEach recipe is rated for difficulty, has an accompanying photo, and clear directions, including estimated preparation and cooking times. Many recipes include variations (called "Make It Your Way"), illustrated guides to techniques, serving tips, and reviews from the young chef recipe testers.

Recommendation: I can't say enough great things about American Test Kitchen's The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs. If you have an interested young chef in your house or if you're a twenty-something who hasn't a clue what to do in the kitchen, this is the book for you. It truly is the book I wish I had when I was a kid. (Review eGalley provided by the publisher)

Note on the scans: The photos and recipe scan come from uncorrected proofs and are used here in the context of a review. All rights remain with the copyright holder (ATK, Sourcebooks).

The following recipe was scanned from The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs. I thought a scan would give you a better feel for the cookbook than if I had typed it out. Click the image to enlarge, so you can read the text. (Remember this is from uncorrected proof.)

Review of The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America's Test Kitchen
Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

NOTE: Mr. Linky sometimes is mean and will give you an error message. He's usually wrong and your link went through just fine the first time. Grrrr.


rhapsodyinbooks 9/29/18, 6:05 AM  

I absolutely need this book, although I am very far from being a kid or even a twenty something! But I love cookbooks that don't assume you know anything. That would be my case! Also, I think cookbooks for young people tend to have more "real" food as you say, rather than stuff no one in my house would ever eat. Thanks for posting!

gluten Free A_Z Blog 9/29/18, 7:56 AM  

I'm always on the lookout for books for my grandkids who love to cook . This sounds like a winner and perhaps a holiday gift.. thanks Beth

bermudaonion 9/29/18, 8:25 AM  

I know what you mean about kids' cookbooks - they're usually for things you don't need a recipe for. I like the fact that this cookbook respects its audience. I'm far from young and still think I'd like it.

Jackie McGuinness 9/29/18, 10:06 AM  

That does sound like a good cookbook!

Mae Travels 9/29/18, 10:20 AM  

Kids have a lot more options than they used to! This book looks good for bookish kids or young adults, but I know that some kids also watch the cute, speedy Youtube videos that show speeded-up prep of flashy dishes, and others watch a variety of cooking shows (probably even ATK)! Sadly, there are kids now that just won't touch a book even though they are bright and curious. Maybe this one would turn them around.

best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Claudia 9/29/18, 10:45 AM  

A great book for my grand-kids, and in plenty of time for Christmas too! They both enjoy cooking.

Deb in Hawaii 9/29/18, 12:23 PM  

What a great book for kids, teens or anyone starting out! I love that it doesn't talk down but looks bright, colorful and fun too. I will definitely take a closer look for gifts. Thanks for sharing.

Vicki 9/29/18, 1:26 PM  

This sounds like a great cookbook choice to introduce children to cooking.

Heidenkind 9/30/18, 11:32 PM  

When I was little I had a Home & Gardens “kids” cookbook from the ‘50s and you are right, the recipes were legit bizarre or just dumb. Like grilled cheese. But I did learn how to set a table from it

Thanks for stopping by. I read all comments and may respond here, via e-mail, or on your blog. I visit everyone who comments, but not necessarily right away.

I cannot turn off word verification, but if you are logged into Blogger you can ignore the captcha. I have set posts older than 14 days to be on moderation. I can no longer accept anonymous comments. I'm so sorry if this means you have to register or if you have trouble commenting.


All content and photos (except where noted) copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads 2008-2020. All rights reserved.



To The Blogger Guide, Blogger Buster, Tips Blogger, Our Blogger Templates, BlogU, and Exploding Boy for the code for customizing my blog. To Old Book Illustrations for my ID photo. To SEO for meta-tag analysis. To Blogger Widgets for the avatars in my comments and sidebar gadgets. To Review of the Web for more gadgets. To SuziQ from Whimpulsive for help with my comments section. To Cool Tricks N Tips for my Google +1 button.

Quick Linker



  © Blogger template Coozie by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP