Kitchen Playdates

[ 2 ] September 30, 2008 |

Great Cookbooks for Families
Reviewed by Katy Killilea

Playdates ChronicleThe title of Kitchen Playdates is misleading–it sounds like it’s going to be cute ideas for cooking and playing with kids in the kitchen. No. This smart book acknowledges that adults like to get together to eat great food, have some drinks, and that they like to do this (gasp) even in the presence of children.

These are recipes for adults that take kids into account. Each is purportedly simple enough to make with kids underfoot and includes notes on how to put interested kids to work. But what makes this book really different from the gazillion other simple, stylish, beautifully photographed cookbooks is the ingenious ideas for kid-oriented activities. They will delight children and could even keep them out of earshot while the adults discuss important matters of the world today, or how Mr. X is recovering from his vasectomy.

The activities are loosely related to the recipes, but they can be done anytime. For example, the “Spice Treasure Playdate” has kids “paint” using inexpensive bulk spices and glue (the author warns readers, “Just avoid cayenne”). She also suggests providing kids with small jars and letting them make spice blends in the style of sand art (wherein layers of different colors are visible through the glass). Fun, pretty, and an olfactory education as well. And much easier to clean up than glitter.

Kitchen Playdates
By Lauren Bank Deen
2007 Chronicle Books

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Category: books / stories, food + recipes

Anisa Raoof

about the author ()

Anisa Raoof is the publisher of She combines being a mom with her experience as an artist, designer, psych researcher and former co-director of the Providence Craft Show to create the go-to spot for families in Rhode Island and beyond. She loves using social media to connect parents with family-related businesses and services and promoting ways for parents to engage offline with their kids. Anisa believes in the power of working together and loves to find ways to collaborate with others. An online enthusiast, still likes to unplug often by reading books and magazines, drawing, learning to knit, making pop-up books with her two sons and listening to records with her husband.

Comments (2)

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  1. Laurel says:

    Oh this sounds like a fun one! Maybe the food could then be used to cheer up poor Mr. X!

  2. Maria says:

    oooh this one sounds good too!

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