Customer Reviews: Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids
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VINE VOICEon November 4, 2004
I love this book! My kids love this book, and my husband loves the results. I have four little boys, 10, 8, 5 and seven months. Obviously the baby is too young to help out just yet, but the older three couldn't wait to get home and pick out a recipe from the respective chapters in the book. ( 4-6, 7-11 and 12 and up) They have each made a meal from the book and we not only had a healthy and tasty meal to eat, but we had a blast making it.

We also have Emeril's books and a few Cooking with Mickey books. In Emeril's books the one thing I have noticed is the amount of time it can take to make some of the recipes. On a Saturday, I would think nothing of preparing a four course meal that takes three or four hours, but my kids don't have the patience for that yet. The Mickey books, although they are some of my favorites, are rather complex. Rachel Ray's book is simple and yet fun for the beginning cook. The results while not immediate, are tasty and don't require a lot of patience to reproduce.

If you have kids and they show ANY interest at all in cooking or just helping you out...I highly recommend this book.
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on October 26, 2004
Makes cooking with kids really enjoyable!!! I bought this cookbook for my six year old daughter as soon as it came out. We both love it!!! Mostly, we have been making the recipes in the 7-12 section, but all sections contain recipes that will appeal to everyone's palate. I have been planning one Cooking Rocks dinner into my weekly menu, and that is my daughter's night to cook (with my help, of course). Last night she and her 7 year old friend made the Mexican Rice bowl dinner- they had alot of fun and ate a HUGE amount- probably because THEY made it, or as Rachael says, they had a sense of ownership of it.

(One tip though- as with any cookbook, you may want to cut back on some of the butter, oil and salt used in some of the recipes. A few of them are a little salty or oily for my taste)

This book provides a good foundation in cooking and healthy eating in the future. It teaches the basic methods in cooking, and introduces your child to different fresh herbs and healthy veggies, such as cilantro and arugula. In a world where many young adults don't know how to cook, Rachael does our kids a big service by teaching them how to cook restaurant-quality meals at home.

The spiral-bound format makes it easy to use, and you can't beat the price!
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on February 4, 2005
OK, so I'll admit it, I can be a little overprotective. Were my kids ever shocked when I announced that THEY were making dinner. My daughters (5 & 7) had a great time, and were very proud of their meal. They are looking forward to trying more, and my oldest has made a grocery list for all the recipes she wants to make.

One thing, I can't imagine anyone eating the portion sizes as they are listed. My kids made the "Pasta and Trees" in the 4-6 section. It calls for 1lb of pasta and says it makes 4 servings. We cut it down to 1/2 lb., and had more than enough for 2 adults and 3 kids (7, 5, & 2). Use common sense, but if you use the amounts listed for pasta, be prepared to have leftovers.
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on February 27, 2006
I like Rachel's books and cooking; I use many of them. However, i bought the Kids book in hopes of encouraging my girls to cook. First off, their are too many treats and sweets -- not what I was looking for. Additionally, there were no photos of the end products -- which is what makes a good cookbook. Seeing rachel pour corn flakes on a child's head may be cute, but doesn't help the youngster "see" what the end product is.
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VINE VOICEon April 12, 2006
I own 30 minute recipes, more 30 minute recipes and this book. It WAS intended to be for my son (who is an avid reader and loves Rachael Ray's cooking show). Instead, it's our whole family's favorite Rachael Ray cookbook. I don't even use the other ones. She incorporates humor and stories and great pictures along with *real* recipes that families will eat together. I have to say her 5 minute fudge is now MY 5 minute fudge. I detested trying to make fudge before (anyone have fudge that wouldn't *set*?) and this is great! I would recommend this cookbook to anyone. You don't need to have kids either:)
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on February 24, 2006
This cookbook has amazing recipes that are fun for kids & parents! It is split up in sections according to kids' ages. I only have 2 complaints:

1. There are no pictures of the finished product to see what it should look like.

2. Some of the recipes need more detail. Use marshmallows, okay, which size??? Just little things like that so you then have to experiment.
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on October 8, 2005
I bought this for my Grandaughter's 5th birthday. I just had to look through it before I gave it to her and I loved it. She called me so excited when she received it and told me all the things she was planning to cook with her Mom. She has since called me back to tell me how everything turned out...what a hit with us all! Her mother is thrilled since she is taking an interest in helping with dinner..even the clean up! So far they have loved everything they tried and they have made a list of things they want to try. My nephew has requested a copy of his own for his birthday and I think I'll have to order a copy for myself. What a great cookbook for kids and their families! Spend some time together and learn some new skills..even practice some reading and math..but don't tell them about that part!
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on April 7, 2007
I don't think Rachael Ray has kids and it shows - alot of these recipes are for things most kids won't eat OR things that are not very good for them, lots of fat, sugar, processed food etc. The book is cute-looking but has not been very useful in cooking with my kids. There are other better kids cookbooks out there or even cookbooks for adults with easier, healthier recipes. Also - no pictures of the food, just Rachael and kids - my kids really like to see what a dish will look like - it makes them want to cook the recipe.
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Kids love to cook. It's a natural. They always want to do things that adults do and combine that with food and it's one thing my kids always want to help with. Rachael Ray is the perfect person to write a book on cooking for kids. She has such a child-like enthusiasm for cooking, she seems like a big kid at heart.

This book is sectioned by age giving tips and recipes for each developing age group. And the tips are for parents as well as the kids. Of course, first and foremost these receipes are simple AND fun to prepare. They are things that all kids can do to help.

The section for the very young present very simple ideas with an emphasis on safety and fun, while the chapters for older kids get progressively more detailed and complex. Hey if you can get them to help prepare dinner, why not? They sure aren't volunteering to clean their rooms.

Fun and well-written!
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on December 28, 2005
This book is great in its concept and layout. The book is sectioned into age groups, the recipes have cute names and it encourages cooking as a great way to bond with your child. That part of the book is wonderful. I have used other Rachel Ray books with no problems and everything turns out fine.However,it seems the measurements are off on a few recipes in this book. For the "Chicken Toes" (cute title, a spin on Chicken Fingers) there doesn't seem to be enough coating mix to cover the chicken. In the "Candy Sushi" (great idea, easy to make) recipe, it seems to call for too much rice cereal and not enough marshmellow coating. We also made the cheese fries and it produced way too much cheese sauce. I would still recommend this book as a good 1st cookbook for kids, just watch the amounts and be ready to make adjustments accordingly.
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