Cookbook Review: New Favorites for New Cooks by Carolyn Federman

Note: I received a digital advance reader copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I've been so excited to write my review of this cookbook in advance of its publication this week. It is everything I would have wanted in a cookbook as a kid. It's fun, eye-catching, delicious, and gourmet. It demystifies cooking for newbies but doesn't talk down to them. And for someone who is relatively new to cooking (as in I didn't learn how to cook until the end of college), there were quite a few recipes in here that I bookmarked to make myself, even though I'm not a kid!

It's clear from even a cursory glimpse of this book that Carolyn Federman knows how to select, adapt, and write recipes for kids. There's sweet potato fries and chocolate lava cakes. But there's also things a lot of kids might not have tried before, like hummus and pesto. The pesto, by the way, is presented in a slightly more grown-up grilled cheese, with mozzarella and actual chiffonade of basil. Yum! Not only are the recipes things that kids would actually eat, but they're also relatively nutritious too. They're definitely not the gut-buster, grease bombs that kid's meals usually are.

The best part for me is the little tutorials with photos that are sprinkled throughout the book that break down the skills involved in the recipes into clear steps. They're just occasional enough to make the book feel like more than just a technique book. Another plus--there's a gorgeous color photo for every recipe in the book, which got me excited to get in the kitchen and cook every new recipe I came across.

Everything from the font to the recipe key (there are little icons at the top of every recipe that indicate whether knives or stoves are involved) says "fun and approachable", and I can see this book appealing to both children and parents alike. This is a very well-thought-out book from beginning to end, and it would make an excellent gift for both children and newer adult cooks. I have friends who only ever eat out but aspire to more, and they will love the unintimidating approach to cooking that this book provides. Thanks to Carolyn Federman for putting together a wonderful beginner cookbook!

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

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