Customer Reviews: Ready, Steady, Spaghetti: Cooking For Kids and With Kids
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on May 18, 2009
I love the idea of this book. My kids are 2 1/2 (so likely young for the target audience) but love cooking so I want to get them more involved. I really appreciate the photos, particularly the recipes that have photos of multiple steps, kind of like the kids' version of I like the variety of recipes, both in terms of types of food (e.g., dinner vs. dessert) and the variety of cultures represented. On the negative side, there are occasional inaccuracies (e.g., pumpkin soup has butternut squash, not pumpkin, as an ingredient). There also sometimes could be more detail, particularly for children (e.g., sometimes it doesn't say what level heat to use on the stove).

I've now made 4 recipes. Vegetarian chili was a hit. Grown ups and kids all loved it. Chicken and leek risotto was our least favorite. I loved it in theory, but it had very little flavor. I might try it again with 3 or 4 (instead of 1) leeks and more seasoning. Tofu with greens and noddles was also rather bland (and my kids love tofu). The biggest hit was jam thumbprints. The recipe was super simple and tasty. But more important, it was really fun for the kids to make. There was measuring, pouring, mixing, rolling dough, making the thumbprints, and adding the jam, and of course, eating cookies. Ours looked nowhere near as pretty as the photo, but no one cared!
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on March 30, 2009
This beautiful cookbook is not only appealing to the eyes, but to the stomach as well! Ready, Steady, Spaghetti is a lovely cookbook that made me want to share it with all of my friends. We actually sat down at the dining room table and planned which recipes we wanted to try first. The bright pictures and step-by-step directions were very attractive to the reader.
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on March 25, 2009
This is going to be a two part review. First I will review it and then I will ask my daughter for comments on the book to get a kid's perspective.

The first thing I noticed about this book was that it is total eye-candy. The photographs and layout are really beautiful! I like that the dishes have simple flavors combined in a sophisticated way. They appeal to children and also encourage them to expand their food horizons instead of taste-talking down to them. We have only made a few of the dishes, but we really want to try them ALL! It has been fun cooking with my children and the instructions are so clear and easy to follow that they can make some if the dishes with minimal assistance from me! We LOVE this book!

"I think this is a really good book. The recipes make good food and I love cooking them. The name of the book is silly and fun. I would like to have friends over and cook this food for them. I know they will love it!"
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on March 11, 2009
This is a cookbook geared to the tastes of children, most definitely. This is evident by the abundance of desert recipes, if nothing else (87 pages out of 179 pages of recipes) but nonetheless, I am glad I have it in my cooking arsenal.

There are also plenty of "recipes" that perhaps don't actually require a list of ingredients or directions on how to complete the dish (see: Scrambled Eggs and Quick Pasta with Tomato Sauce) but it is a good book to get kids interested in cooking on a more sophisticated scale. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous; every recipe has at least one photo of the finished project (some come with pictures of various steps in the process, too). And the recipes range from the safe smoothies to the more adventerous Tuna Enchiladas.

All said and done, this is a cookbook to have on hand in order to pull reluctant kids into the kitchen, helping to entice them with the pictures of smoothies and desserts. Perhaps you can even get them to choose one of the veggie recipes. I'm glad I have it on hand, as the recipes seem easy and tasty, and hopefully the pictures of other kids eating might make mine want to try it, too.
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on March 24, 2009
This is a big, bright, colorful book with enticing photographs of each dish. Some recipes include step-by-step photos to help beginning cooks understand the instructions.
There are lots of recipes for the kinds of food our family likes to eat: soups, smoothies, dips, veggies, stir fry, pizza and pasta. Some have a different twist, such as tuna enchiladas or chicken noodle omelet. I'm pleased with the fresh, healthy ingredients for most of the recipes.
My son found the party section appealing. It includes recipes with fun names like "foaming crater", "cactus juice", and "swamp mud". He is ready to make the pirate face cookies. I'm eager to use this cookbook with my children.
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on March 14, 2009
From the cover alone you can already tell that Ready, Steady, Spaghetti is not going to be filled with boring recipes "made cute" and "kid friendly" - it looks like it will be filled with actual deliciousness. It's classily designed & when I open it I'm expecting food just as classy. It turns out I'm right to think so, because that's exactly what I find.

Other things I learned from the cover? Snacks for "hungry after-school hoards", means to "impress the family", and "wicked party food" - check, check and check.

As I mentioned previously, the book is wonderfully designed. Everything is printed on beautiful paper that is a perfect combination of glossy & matte; there are huge, beautifully shot & styled photographs; lovely illustrations interspersed throughout; and the table of contents & chapter openings are just joys to behold as well. The designer also tied everything together with these "food splat"-ish images found in the background and borders of the entire book. It's one of those cookbooks you want to leave laying around the kitchen, or on an easy-access shelf so visitors can pick it up and flip through the pages & appreciate its loveliness.

On to the food. Visually - every recipe is accompanied by a picture (always a good thing) & everything looks delicious: even things made up of ingredients I usually wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. That's saying something.

Lucy Broadhurst writes in an amiable, easy-to-understand style that makes following the recipes a piece of cake - both for adults, and older chef-children. And for younger non-readers? Many of the steps in the cooking process are easy enough that a cook of any age could take part. The recipes range from simple old-standbys that every child should have in their cooking arsenal (French toast, guacamole, lasagna, chocolate cake, scrambled eggs) to more interesting and out of the ordinary dishes (fresh spring rolls, chicken noodle omelet, sweet chile chicken & noodles, leek & cheese frittata, swamp mud).

My favorites were the sticky chicken drumsticks, corn fritters, fresh fruit slushy, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, crisp-battered fish & wedges, chocolate-honeycomb mousse, upside-down banana cake, and dark chocolate banana bites.
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on March 18, 2009
What this book is:

A beautifully photographed and laid-out cookbook, chock-full of recipes that kids will love to eat.
A wonderful cookbook for a parent with moderate cooking skills to use with their child/children to introduce them to the joys of cooking.

What this book is not:

A child's first cookbook.
A cookbook for a novice young cook to use alone.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading through the recipes in this cookbook, and am looking forward to trying them with my team of young sous-chefs (5 and 10 years old). This book includes recipes for things I've been making for years, only in slightly simpler variations, which will save time and steps. Aside from a few oddly-named recipes (a recipe entitled 'pumpkin soup' which contains no pumpkin, a leek and cheese tart with zucchini as the primary ingredient, and a decidedly non-traditional 'bubble and squeak') I thought all the recipes were well thought through and presented. The photography is amazing.

The only thing this book is missing is a brief introductory section where cooking terms are defined and presented and cooking tools are depicted.

This cookbook is definitely a good addition to my shelf.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 21, 2011
This book is packed with exciting cooking ideas for kids and their families, with three hundred gorgeous color photographs! It has six chapters, each with lots of great suggestions that would be ideal to get children and their loved ones into the kitchen to cook.

The first chapter is about Little Foods and has ideas like the sesame seed topped Ham and Corn mini muffins and other fun finger foods. Next is Dinnertime, with suggestions for meals from all over the world, from Fish and Chips to Fried Rice to Lasagna. I was happy to see the recipes in Eat Your Greens section as I'm always looking for ways to incorporate more veggies into my family's diet. The Sticky Treats area has lots of yummy creations that kids would love, like the Lemon Cheesecakes or Upside Down Banana Cakes. Rocky Road fudge and Lemon Butterfly Cakes are a couple of the child-friendly favorites in the Cookies, Cakes, and Sweets chapter.

All kinds of creative recipes fill the Let's Party section, like the Zebra Sandwiches which have four layers of white bread each filled with Nutella or the teeny little Caramel Popcorn Balls nestled in a paper cone. There's fairy wands, pirates, martians, teddy bears, and more to make parties extra memorable.

Ready, Steady, Spaghetti is a lovely book that will inspire children to learn more about the wonderful world of cooking!
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on March 21, 2009
I received this book from the Early Reviewer's List at Librarything :) Although I am not a particularly great cook, this book offers me amazing recipes that take no time at all to create. It is also easy and fun for kids to create using these simple recipes. I don't know if all children will like everything in the book (it's more gourmet), but it will definitely be a hit at parties. I especially like the Corn Fritters (page 33), the Pork and Chive Dumplings (page 61), the Baked Apple (page 106), the Caramel Popcorn Balls (page 164), and the Poison Potion (page 187).
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on March 14, 2009
Ready, Steady, Spaghetti: Cooking for kids and with kids is visually appealing, clear and concise and full of interesting recipes to make for and with your child. Although some of the recipes seemed geared FOR kids the majority of the recipes can be accomplished with your child.

The photographs were so appealing that even my children enjoyed selecting recipes for us to try. OF course I had to encourage them to select from the front of the book more than the back (desserts).

A must for anyone with a picky eater or looking to add variety to their child's diet.
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