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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Honest Pretzels: And 64 Other Amazing Recipes for Cooks Ages 8 & Up
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$13.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on April 13, 2013
Great sense of what kids can and can not do. Wonderful recipes! I will use it as a guide for classes that I teach.
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on July 28, 2014
Great book for kids and adults. My daughter cooked from it starting in 2nd grade. I still use the recipes because they are yum.
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on January 17, 2013
Was a Christmas gift for an eleven year old and she made something the very next day and loved it!
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on February 15, 2015
Kids not excited by it.
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on December 17, 2016
I'm a teacher of children aged 8-10 years old, and we are collectively very picky about the cookbooks we choose to use in the classroom.

For this age group, the recipes can't be too easy or "babyish" -- not just a smoothie or a sandwich, which my would-be chefs already mastered years ago. But they also can't be so complicated that a group cannot complete them with minimal adult supervision, within a timeframe that suits a child's more limited attention span. (I tend to budget double the time it'd take me to make it on my own, when cooking with children...and even the most mature kids begin dropping like flies around the 90 minute mark.)

There needs to be enough text to thoroughly explain steps and terms adult cooks might take for granted (which also helps if the adult helpers themselves aren't 100% confident cooks, which is common!). But the text can't be so complex that it overshoots its intended audience by a few grade levels (so many books these days, particularly celebrity-written tomes, are pitched at small children in their tone and illustrations, but are written on an 8th grade reading level, guaranteeing they'll gather dust).

Needless to say, it's incredibly tough to find cookbooks for kids that meet my teacher criteria. Mollie Katzen's book (as well as her other titles for kids, like Pretend Soup) sets the standard for the type of books I look for in my classroom, and I wish there were more authors like her. She's road-tested every recipe with the target audience; included a wide range of recipes suitable for every course of the meal; and included sections for grown-ups as well as sections for kids for the perfect combination of clarity and simplicity. (I've even taken a page from her playbook when writing my own curriculum and recipes for other educators interested in using food in the classroom.)

I return to these recipes over and over again, and gladly use them with my students. If I were Goldilocks, Katzen's cookbooks for kids would be my definition of "just right!"
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on November 2, 2015
Really liking this cookbook! My vegetarian 8 and 11 year olds have been able to prepare several dishes completely on their own following the directions. Each recipe is laid our step-by-step, from picking out ingredients, prepping the ingredients, choosing the proper tools, using correct measurements, to preparation and cooking/baking.

Most of the things they've made from here have been very tasty, all are palatable and give kids a sense of accomplishment in the kitchen! I've even made one of the pasta dishes! :)

It is heavy enough to lay flat with a little pressure on the spine.

My only complaint about the book is that there are no photographs of the finished dishes, only illustrations.
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on August 22, 2005
I've long been a fan of Mollie Katzen's cookbooks: she is so very user-friendly and clear in her writing. My most battered (so to speak) cookbook is Still Life with Menu. So Rowan (my ex's little boy, who is my "best friend," as he tells people) turned eight last week or so. He's been my cooking buddy since he was big enough to stand on a chair next to my stove (age two). He thinks I am the best cook in the world (and I'm not going to correct him).

The recipes are in these categories:

* Breakfast Specials: 10 recipes including Giant Baked Pancake Puff, Scrambled Eggs, and Corn Muffins

* Soups, Sandwiches, and Salads for Lunch and Dinner: 15 recipes including Tomato Soup with Crispy Croutons, Egg Salad and Cucumber Sandwich, and Tossed Green Salad with Two Dressings--Ranch and Apple Juice Vinaigrette

* Main and Side Dishes: Helping with Dinner for Real: 12 recipes including Lasagna, Torn Tortilla Casserola (aka Chilaquila Casserole from Still Life with Menu, I bet), and Carnival Baked Potatoes with Mild Red Pepper Sauce

* Desserts and a Few Baked Things: 12 recipes including Dinner Rolls, Cinnamon Swirl Sticky Buns, and Made-in-the-Pan Chocolate Cake

* Snacks and a Few Special Drinks: 18 recipes including Hip Bean Dip, Crunchy Zucchini Circles, Icy Strawberry Slush, and Frozen Fruit Pops

Every recipe has an illustrated diagram of steps, which include things to ask an adult to do (those things appear at the beginning of the recipe, where she explains it, as well as in the step-by-step diagram, in bold). The writing is typical Mollie: Don't be afraid of the dry mustard in the recipe. Even if you don't like the kind of mustard that some people like to put on sandwiches and hot dogs, you'll find that this mustard is not too spicy. It gives this cheese extra flavor boost, and the whole thign will taste really good because of it. (A couple of kids said, "Eeuuu-mustard!" when we tested the recipe, but they loved the result.)

Many recipes also have some kid quotes on the intro page: "I like how the vegetables are strapped down by the melted cheese." -Sam (on the "Grilled Cheese and Broccoli Sandwich").

She tells them everything, from equipment to ingredients to little tricks to food history. Rowan is happy and proud to own such a wonderful book.
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on August 3, 2004
This book does everything right: healthy, clear recipes with authentic ingredients. Each recipe has an introduction that explains the concepts (such as "Fried rice is basically stir-fried vegetables with cooked rice added"). I love the thought of a child learning how to make tortilla chips out of tortillas. Also, I love the thought of children mastering important basic recipes -- whether it's macaroni and cheese or scrambled eggs or banana bread. And there are lots of practical, creative-yet-simple lunch ideas -- grilled cheese and broccoli sandwich, for example, or macaroni minnestrone. All the things that other kid-cookbooks do wrong, this one does right.
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on April 30, 2012
I have been using Molly Katzen's The Enchanted Broccoli Forest Cookbook since I got married, some 24 years ago. Naturally I was delighted to be able to review her latest cookbook, Honest Pretzels: And 64 Other Amazing Recipes for Kids Who Love to Cook now in paperback. What a great name for a cookbook for kids, huh? And the cover is darling! Molly does her own cheerful illustrations, and I love them! She starts her book with two special messages: one to kids and one to the parents and then gets into basic cooking techniques and safety issues.How does a Giant Baked Pancake Puff sound for breakfast? Or a Grilled Cheese and Broccoli Sandwich for lunch? All the recipes you'll find in here are vegetarian and are nutritious and delicious. Mysterious Dipping Sauce for Vegetables and Tofu caught my attention, as did Peanut Butter Do Dads and Purple Passion Power Shakes. Yum!

What makes this 178-page book perfect for kids to use is the fact that the author simplifies the cooking/baking process by breaking each recipe down into steps with basic illustrations. Before the recipes are listed, she also writes a beautiful introduction to the dish, explaining what the food is and why it tastes so good. Honest Pretzels is a beautiful cookbook that teaches kids the basics of cooking healthy vegetarian dishes and how to have fun while doing it. What a great gift for the child in your life.
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HALL OF FAMEon August 25, 2003
It was pretty frustrating looking for a kids' cookbook for my nephew. After looking at a few, I had seen about eight recipes for peanut butter on celery, and not a lot else.
Then I found this book. I agree with its premise, that children are not all idiots. This is the only book I found treats the young reader with respect. It's about real food, the kind that has a place at the supper table.
My nephew knew the difference, too. We made a few of the recipes, and had to scold his mother for eating too many of the cupcakes.
Most telling, his grandparents visited the week after I gave him the book. He insisted on making breakfast for them - pancakes from this book - by himself. They were impressed, and so was I when I heard about it. Not bad for age 7.
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