May 2012 Cookbook Reviews

I’m always on the lookout for new cookbooks and luckily the Toronto Public Library is privy to an excellent selection.  It’s nice to investigate and test out a book before making an investment – so without further ado, here are a couple of reviews:

Best Recipes Ever

Best Recipes Ever is a co-production of the CBC & Canadian Living and is featured on CBC daily at 3 pm.  The host, Kary Osmond, is your everyday girl just looking to get a delicious (and somewhat healthy) meal on your plate.  What I like about both the show and the book is that you can make some seriously tasty meals that will impress your taste buds and your guests.  I tried about a handful of recipes from this book including; after school granola bars, stuffed ricotta-parmasean-mozzarella cheese pasta shells, and sweet and sour chicken stir fry and they didn’t disappoint.  My only concern with the recipes is that the sodium and fat content are on the high side, however, there are usually creative ways of revising the ingredients to make healthier choices.  This book gets 3 our of 5 stars!

Hungry Girl 300 Under 300

This book written by Lisa Lillien is aimed at helping those looking to watch their calories make healthy and filling meals – all under 300 calories per serving.  There were some seriously creative recipes in here sure to delight like Lasagna Cupcakes, Rockin’ Red Velvet Pancakes, Cheesy Squashtaki, and Naked Chicken Parm.  Overall, I thought this book did an excellent job at showing how food can be healthy AND tasty.  Where it fell short, in my opinion, was the overuse of synthetic sweeteners (almost every breakfast recipe had zero calorie sweetener included) but as with Best Recipes Ever, a creative cook can always modify the ingredients for a more wholesome end product.  3 out of 5 stars!

Kids Kitchen:  Good Food Made Easy

I had such high hopes for this book!  Written by Mitchell Beazley and Amanda Grant, Kids Kitchen is geared towards young chefs who want to have fun in the kitchen while learning key cooking skills.  Unfortunately, the recipes included ingredients that picky pallets wouldn’t touch (like flounder and lamb chops?!).  Having a little experience working with kids in a kitchen environment, the recipe must be simple and easy to construct  – anything over 7 ingredients is tough for most kids to follow.  The recipes in Kids Kitchen were lengthy and too complex to complete without heavy parental supervision.  From what I have observed, kids enjoy cooking when it’s hands on and low stress which cannot be achieved with this book.  1 out of 5 stars.




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