Goodies & Gadgets: Cooking Italian with Kids

Feeding Your Family logoMamma mia, there are a lot of silly cookbooks for kids out there these days! Most of them revolve around goofy concepts like making smiley faces out of broccoli and zucchini, as if kids won’t notice a hated vegetable just because it’s in the shape of a smile. For those opposed to this approach, a book like Cooking Italian with Kids by Liz Franklin (Ryland Peters & Small, 2008, $19.95) may feel refreshing and inviting. Instead of lowering the bar and suggesting that nachos and variations on pizza are the only foods kids might like, Franklin takes the other tack.

She has assembled a lovely collection of simple, appealing, grown-up recipes inspired by the Italian way. The catch: These recipes are directed at children, and beautiful photos by Lisa Linder show an assortment of kids at work making and enjoying the dishes in the book.

Cooking Italian with KidsMy pickiest eater allowed that the Abbruzze-style Lamb Skewers and the Little Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwiches looked good, although when I made the sandwiches, he declined a taste. That was OK; my less picky eater and I devoured them, and plan to try them with other sorts of fillings. We have firm plans to try the Summer Berry Tart (made with a layer of melted chocolate, a thick layer of sweetened mascarpone and a tumble of gorgeous berries on top) when berries come into season, along with nearly every other dessert in the book. How about those Fried Chocolate Sandwiches? And the Chocolate Salami? The Almond Cake? All right then, we’ve got to get to work.

Buon appetito!

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