By: Susie Fishbein
Publisher: Mesorah Publications Ltd.
Publication Date: October 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: October 28, 2010
If you’ve ever had a kitchen full of teens crowding your kitchen wanting to bake or cook, you’ll certainly be wowed by this cookbook. One of the things that was immediately apparent to me was the wide variety of recipes to suit every palate. For example, there was a fabulous recipe for peanut butter and banana French toast, but also one for a Tex-Mex salad. It isn’t always easy to find a cookbook that will please so many people, but this one will. This is a book that you can purchase as an introduction to cooking for your ‘tween or give it as a gift for people of all generations.
Perhaps you are worried about purchasing a cookbook when you have someone in your household with special dietary needs. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you see colorful arrows directly to the left of each recipe indicating which group of people will not only be able to prepare the recipe, but also eat it. Each category is well defined in the front of the book, giving the young cook enough information to be able to cook for friends with special needs. The recipes, which are well represented in each category include “signs” for these groups:
Vegetarian: “V” This letter means that the recipe is set up for a lacto-ovo vegetarian . If you see this sign and don’t eat eggs or dairy products you may need to adapt or avoid the recipe. For example, if you are vegan or vegetarian and don’t “do” dairy, you can substitute the recommended Richwhip or a similar product when you whip up a Cappuccino Mousse.
Gluten-free: “GF” If there is a recipe that is gluten-free you need to make sure the ingredients you purchase are gluten-free. For example, for recipes that call for soy sauce you’ll want to get something like Tamari which is gluten-free. Some of the other ingredients, “like pasta, teriyaki, hoisin sauce, and others are available gluten-free but may be harder to find.” If you can find them, you will be able to make many other recipes in this book.
Dairy-Free: “DF” There are several dairy-free recipes, including several in the dessert section. One suggestion is that you need to make sure “you use the parve version of a recipe. If you see a product in the store marked “kosher parve” is it totally dairy-free and has not come into contact with either meat or dairy when it was processed. This is also very helpful for vegans and vegetarians.
Nut-free: “NF” This cookbook makes it very clear that “nut allergies have become increasingly common” and indicates the need to do some careful label reading. Many foods state that they have been processed in a factory that also deals with nut products. A few examples of NF products include Red Velvet Cupcakes, Peach-Apricot Cobbler, and Sticky Orange Herb-Roasted Chicken.
In the front of the book are suggestions for preparation, setting up, cleaning up, shopping, planning menus, equipment needed, and additional notes of “safe food habits.” Each recipe is accompanied by a mouth-watering photograph of the finished product. Basic categories include starters, munchies, soups, salads, poultry, meats, fish, pasta, dairy, side dishes, desserts, and some very nice suggestions as to how to create a party using some of these recipes. There are now seven cookbooks in “The Kosher by Design” series. There are more than nine-hundred recipes and soon an index of them will go up on the Kosher by Design Website as a free download.
Quill says: This nutritious and delicious variety of recipes is geared toward the younger set, but in my estimation this is not just your average cookbook . . . it’s way above average, a cookbook that anyone would love to have!