My favorite gift so far – Rachel Ray Yum-o Family Cookbook

Yum-O Family Cookbook

Lots of people bag on Rachel Ray (my anti-hero Tony Bourdain included) but I think she has done something that advanced the cause of eating well and bringing family into the kitchen more than most with her “30 Minute Meals” show on FoodTV and her cookbooks. She has shown people that making really tasty home made food doesn’t have to be an “hours of sweating over a hot stove” production.

As a father of 2 (and my 7 yo daughter is my kitchen shadow) I am stoked to have pulled Yum-o! The Family Cookbook out of my stocking yesterday. This book doesn’t get too complex with the flavors and keeps the recipes kid-friendly both in terms of palate and in terms of technique, while encouraging some culinary adventure by incorporating some Asian and Italian flavors and some interesting twists on American favorites.

I made the PB-J Extreme Sandwich (a traditional  toasted PBJ + honey, banana, turkey bacon and cinnamon)  for my daughter’s brunch this am and it was a big success. I threw a little twist on it omitting the thinly sliced banana (didn’t have any) and using some awesome Cinnabon Cinnamon Bread instead of the whole wheat bread it called for and Molly was stoked.

I think it’s soooo important to get our kids into the kitchen with us as early as we can and have them help us with age-appropriate tasks.   It encourages a healthy respect for food and eating and it really does get them to try more varied types of food – after all – if they help make it, they want to try it.

If you have kids and are struggling with the “same old same old” recipes and want to get your kids involved – pick up a copy today.