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VINE VOICEon October 26, 1999
I am responsible for feeding four males daily (one of whom is my husband), all of whom are such picky eaters that I come close to pounding my head with the cast-iron Le Creuset cookware I bought before I had children. However, these are mighty fine recipes, most of which will get eaten around these parts if I'm not hiding chopped broccoli in them. In addition, Ann reminds us in the nicest possible way that in this world, being a picky eater is sheer luxury, and then rolls up her sleeves and gets to it. As in her previous (and also highly recommended, by me) cookbooks, Beat This! and Beat That!, Ann admits freely that there is a time and a place in the kitchen for time-saving convenience foods, cleverly disguised. And if that argument goes over with me--when I lived in Berkeley, I used to grind my own flour, for God's sake--it should to you, too. The Roz Chast illustrations are a treat. The holidays are coming, so buy this book for anyone who can boil water. I'll be watching.
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on December 14, 1999
This book is not just for kids! I have made several recipes and they were great! The cloud fruit dip was recent party hit--with adults! The caramel apple bread pudding ,eggnog and fudgies were all excellent. It is also very funny and the illustrations are a riot.
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on August 30, 2000
There are a few words that come to mind when describing this book . Words like "wonderful", "witty", and "must have". All the recipes in this book are incredibly scrumptious. My usually finicky-about-food kids have always had thirds whenever I cook from this book. But kids certainley aren't the only ones who will enjoy these recipes. Anyone who has a kitchen and access to food will LOVE this book. Kudos to Roz Chast for her lovely illustrations.
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on February 27, 2000
I would really like to recommend One Bite Won't Kill You by Ann Hodgman. It is a GREAT cookbook for picky eaters. It is not so much that the recipes are great (though they are) as her attitude when writing it. It really perks up your day to know that someone is writing a cookbook and really seems to GET kids.
She has fun recipes with real kid friendly ingredients such as Tater Tot Surprise and Nonthreating Cheese Fondue, but she also writes in a way that will get most parents smiling even with the food battle getting ready to come:
Nonthreating Cheese Fondue "...The fondue concept is so perfect for children -- it's so nice and violent, stabbing something with a fork and drowning it in a vat--that poisoning the cheese with wine is lunacy. But this recipe wouldn't dream of doing anything silly like this. This recipe LIKES children."
It is not a fancy cookbook. But it is a cookbook that has food with ingredients that you can find, are likely in your house anyway and isn't all preachy and nasty about the foods your kid SHOULD be eating. And the foods taste good. And my kids eat them. Also her essay in the back "Why None of This Matters" is really great too.
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on December 22, 2005
I own over 200 cookbooks, and cook regularly from 2 or 3. This is one of them. Why? Well, first off, everything I've tried has been Delicious(!). Almost too tasty for kids. ;) I just finished making the Mud Puddle Cake and it is very yummy (probably won't last the night in our house)... even though there are no eggs or butter in the cake. (Rare in this book!) For those who comment on the unhealthiness of the recipes, if your family's alternative is take-out than these probably are more healthful. You can also tweak some of them to make them slightly more virtuous. The oven fried chicken was incredible... and I was able to 1/2 the butter content with no issues. Cinnamon Twisties can be made with low-fat cream cheese and nobody will be the wiser. The beef stew is fab as is.

Even if you don't like to cook, the book is terribly entertaining to read.

I use this more than "Beat This" and "Beat That" probably because of how it is organized. Much easier to go through a bunch of breakfast dishes than fish them out from an alphabetical list of all recipes.
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on August 25, 2000
I loved this book. First I laughed, then I made two of the recipes for my kids (aged 3 and 6) which they both *loved*. Then I laughed some more. Then I made the bread recipe, which was so good that I no longer bake in my bread machine anymore -- I make the dough from her recipe in it, then bake it in the oven. This has evolved into a Saturday ritual in my house. (Oh, and the drawings by Roz Chast are alone worth the price of admission.)
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on September 2, 2000
I loved the title and the topic and bought this at (gasp) a bookstore. My kids aren't as fussy as they once were but it was great to have kid-friendly recipes. The author is appropriately sheepish about when the recipes get a little less than gourmet, but its supposed to be about family eating. The teriyaki, the deli chicken variations, the multiple incarnations of chicken have all worked for my family (meat and potatoes male, 16 year old vegetarian and 10 year old picky eater). Don't get turned off by the ingredients and miss a real find. I'm giving it to my sister, whose kids are 2 and 5 and really, really need it. Remember, its not about high nutrition. Its about family eating.
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on April 19, 2006
Yes, when I bought this cookbook years ago, I was the picky eater, not my kids. I was also a fearful cook in the kitchen, not feeling at all confident I could cook something that didn't involve the car and a drive through window.

Like another reviewer said, this is one of the few cookbooks I actually use. I don't have 200 cookbooks...just a few dozen now. And this is the one I most often use.

We tried Paul's Pot Roast last night and everyone except my 4 year old daughter loved it. My 13 year old, who has gone on record to say that the Honey Baked Curry Chicken is Not His Favorite, raved about the pot roast and said we could eat it every night. Which is good because we had enough left over to eat for the next three nights. I'm going to freeze the abundant leftover sauce to flavor some of the chuck and round steaks we have frozen, for some future dinner.

My 13 year old probably doesn't like the Honey Baked Curry Chicken because it is my flat out favorite, and I make it at least once a month, usually with increasing amounts of curry. Paired with Basmati rice, it's heaven. I don't like leftovers, but with the curry chicken, I always make more than we can eat. I shred the leftovers in my foodprocessor, mix with mayo and more curry to make a delicious chicken curry spread. On a nice firm bread, it makes the best sandwiches. I usually make it for baby showers, teas, and the like and always get requests for the recipe.

This is one of my most favorite cookbooks. Most of the recipes I've tried have been very good, and generally, all of them have been easy to make. The humor, tastiness of the recipes and ease of cooking made this the book that helped me feel confident in the kitchen. Thanks Ann!!
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on April 18, 2001
This book is great. I received it as a gift and just sat there reading it for 2 hours. I love the essays and anecdotes and the cartoons, of course. Then I started making the recipes and the ones I've tried are great. They're easy enough that my kids can help, which makes them more likely to try them, and they taste good. Plus her attitude really helps me relax about the whole business. As she says, we shouldn't stress over what we're feeding our kids when people everywhere stress over being able to feed them at all. I wish she was my neighbor!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon February 24, 2003
My favorite part of the book was the funny commentary about the challenges of trying to feed a picky eater healthy food. I actually was laughing out loud while reading some of it. My intentions to feed my children healthy food have been a problem since they turned one year old! I am ashamed to admit my kids live on water, chicken nuggets, bread, and minimal fruit and vegetables.
I was disappointed that there was no nutritional content for the recipes. I was curious about that because many recipes are laden with (what I consider lots of) dairy! There seems to be an over-reliance on recipes that contain butter (in large amounts), cream cheese, shredded cheese, or sour cream. For example the puffy pancake contains 2 Tablespoons of butter per serving. The Oven Fried Chicken also has 2 Tablespoons of butter per serving. There are many recipes with a lot of butter and/or other dairy products. It seems to me that the success of most of these recipes lies in that most children love to eat cheese and other dairy products, so it is added to almost everything.
Many of the recipes are more appealing to me than my children. Because my children have dairy and soy allergies, unfortunately, most of these recipes cannot be converted for their use! (Many substitutes for cow milk products cannot be baked, for example.) If your children have dairy allergies or sensitivities or if you are looking for foods with a lower fat content, this may not be the book for you. If your kids love cheese and dairy products and are at all open to trying new foods, you probably will have more success with this cookbook than I did!
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