We got this cookbook for our eight year old for Christmas.  Till today, we had only used the pizza recipe and we mainly took the lazy route and bought pre-made pizza dough.  That did not test the quality of the book too much.  Today, we embarked on a two-hour extravaganza and made gnocchi with tomato sauce and an orange cake.  We used canned tomatoes but, apart from that shortcut, we made everything else from scratch. It was a huge success.

The gnocchi tasted totally authentic.  It was really fun to make them, much easier than fresh egg pasta.  The potato and flour combination has the same consistency as play dough.  You roll it into a thin sausage and chop it into gnocchi.  It’s perfect for all age groups.  I think we had a first all family cooking epiphany with the four-year old to the four+ year olds working together like a fairly well-oiled machine.  Gnocchi cook really quickly and you have to scoop them out as soon as they float to the top.  We made enough to freeze half of them for a future dinner.

I don’t really bake so the orange cake was a total revelation.  It’s quite sophisticated.  In fact, there is nothing “childish” about the gnocchi or the cake.  That’s the genius of this cookbook.  It’s not at all patronizing.  The gnocchi aren’t cut into dinosaur shapes to make them go down more easily!  They have chosen some of the easier recipes with less sophisticated knife skills.  They have thought of ways to explain the cutting and chopping so it can be done safely – the eight year old did all the peeling and chopping.  The food is excellent and you get to hang out with your kids and actually cook.  What could be better? This cookbook is a keeper.  We’ve marked all the recipes we’re going to try.  I’m looking forward to the hazelnut cake.