Monday, February 25, 2008

Come on in My Kitchen: Win a Copy of Annabel Karmel's delicious Toddler Cookbook

It is easier for me to envision a cookbook for toddlers and maybe even one using toddlers as an ingredient than it is to imagine a guide to cooking with toddlers.

When DK offered to send me a review copy of Annabel Karmel's new Toddler Cookbook, I had a sneaking suspicion it was one of those "toddler" books truly geared for age 5 and up. I am rarely so pleased to be proven wrong.

Although not every step of every recipe is toddler-friendly, I readily found recipes that 2.5 year-old Ranger and I could work on together. Not only that, they were recipes we might actually enjoy eating.

While some recipes include meat (chicken satay skewers, lettuce boats with chicken, salmon fishcakes, and chicken dippers), vegetarians won't feel excluded (pita pizzas, corn quesadillas, cherry tomato sauce, and mini Caesar salad with homemade croutons). There are also 10 snack, drink, and dessert recipes.

The book is well-illustrated with great photographs showing kids enacting EACH STEP of the recipe. Clear bowls prevent obstructions and everyone's hand seems magically out of the way throughout. Ranger loved seeing kids cooking, and the photos helped him see himself in the unfamiliar role of cook.

The strong visuals gave me courage to tackle meringues for Valentine's Day (while Ranger was taking a nap). I was tempted to stop there and proclaim the recipes easy and delicious, but deep in my heart I knew only a toddler-tested recipe would do.

Tonight we made mini banana muffins. The author calls for whole wheat flour which is a pleasant departure from stereotypical kid fare. Ranger and Jim were the mixmasters. They mashed a banana (which Ranger seemed to feel kind of guilty about), mixed ingredients, and then (drumroll, please) sifted in the dry ingredients. It turns out that while Ranger likes mixing, he loves sifting with my old school rotary sifter (which I need to upgrade to one without a loose handle). If we get homebound by another ice storm, I am breaking out all the flour and sugar and setting up a toddler-powered home grist mill.

We all had a great time, and I'm starting to realize how toddler Ranger can participate in the kitchen activity without risk of injury or meltdown. And the muffins, well...
even extraordinarily picky Ranger couldn't keep his hands off them.

Which is how I feel about the Toddler Cookbook (list price $10.99, $8.79 at Amazon).

Thanks to the kind folks at DK, five Baby Toolkit readers (with U.S. addresses only) will win copies of the delicious Toddler Cookbook. To enter this random drawing, email
babytoolkitcontests(at) with the subject: Toddler Cookbook. Entries will be accepted through 11:59 PM CDT, 3/9/2008.

General disclaimers regarding contests on Baby Toolkit: we'll do our best but we can't guarantee the same efforts from the postal system. If a prize item were to be lost in the lost in the mail, we would take it as a message from a higher power that the situation was simply not meant to be (no compensation or replacement will be issued). One entry per household. We will use a random integer generator at to determine a winner. Jim, Adrienne, their parents, and Ranger are not eligible for this contest. We respect your privacy and will not use your personal information for any purpose beyond determining a winner and sending prizes.

Good luck, we really think you're going to love this great book!

***This is the independent opinion of the geek family at Baby Toolkit, (c) 2008. We accepted a free review copy of the book, but under no obligation. We wouldn't write about it if we didn't like; we regularly decline reviews. We receive no compensation from DK or its affiliates for this review (though they are supplying and shipping the contest prizes). We do like DK as their travel books (including Rough Guide) and Eyewitness books have been household favorites as long as we've been a household.


Anonymous said...

My 2.5 year old loves to "help" in the kitchen so this sounds wonderful!!


my daughter would love this cookbook

Anonymous said...

I have a copy of one of Annabel Karmel's other books, First Meals, and have used it extensively. While I don't always have the time to make each meal as cute as she does I have taken cues from her to do just that. I have highly recommended First Meals to other parents many times and warmly encourage you to take a look at it. It covers meals and snacks for children 6 months to 7 years.

Anonymous said...

Cooking with kids can be a lot of fun. This sounds like a great book!

I've used the kits from Sassafras for baking pizza and cupcakes. They also have a lot of really cool gadgets that are kid friendly, including children's baking toools, kids oven mitts, and lots more stuff. Some of them are very cute.

I got mine at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but they have a website too--

Definitely worth checking out.

masonsgranny59 said...

ty !!4 a great contest!!!

jenny said...

i would like to win this maybe it would help i have a pickey eater