Great Cookbooks for Families
Reviewed by Katy Killilea
The Spatulatta Cookbook by Isabella and Olivia Gerasole is based on the award-winning website launched by the 11- and 9-year-old Gerasole sisters, who love to eat and cook. Liv and Belle’s collection of recipes proves their motto that “Cooking is cool.”
These are recipes for kids to make; they’re written by kids, for kids. Many of the recipes are as much about playing or crafting as they are about cooking (imagine what fun you’ll have sculpting mashed potatoes into ghosts who live in a meatloaf graveyard!). For straitlaced junior chefs who might balk at a hot dog that looks like a pet dog, there are recipes for many classics like pesto, barbecue sauce, and blueberry pie.
Usually this kind of premise veers toward the cheesy and precious, with kids who are appallingly show-biz-y. Not Liv and Belle. Part Rachel Ray and part pre-teen Juno, they demonstrate recipes in their aprons and ponytails, matter-of-factly separating eggs in their small cupped hands.
Every recipe is illustrated with photographs of the preparation process and the finished product. Each recipe also includes a list of what equipment is needed, even little things like a can opener. Dishes are organized by season with additional chapters for snacks and vegetarian options. The book has a hard cover and a spiral binding. All of these features make it easy to use and a pleasure to look through.
1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans
Â¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled
veggies, chips, and crackers for serving
1. Open the can of beans with the can opener.
2. Pour the beans* into the bowl of the food processor, then add the olive oil and garlic. Process until the mixture is smooth.
3. Have an adult remove the blade in the food processor. Now, use the rubber spatula to scrape the mixture into the serving bowl. Serve with your favorite veggies, chips, or crackers. Yum!
*A note from Katy: I thought they may have accidentally left out an instruction to rinse and drain the beans before processing them, but I trusted the recipe and it tasted great with the bean liquid included. If canned bean liquid grosses you out, you can drain and rinse your beans, but you’ll need to add a bit of water to give the mixture the proper smooth consistency.
The Spatulatta Cookbook by Isabella Gerasole and Olivia Gerasole
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