Author: Lynette Rohrer Shirk

Illustrator: Azadeh Houshyar
Publisher: Zest Books LLC
ISBN: 978-0-9772660-6-7

“If you’re a mom, you know that cooking with your child can be tricky. You want to spend time with her while you’re making meals and teach her the tools of the trade – but you also want to keep her safe, be productive, and not end up with splashes of tomato sauce on the walls or egg yolks running across your kitchen floor,” Lynette Rohrer Shirk writes on the back jacket of her book, The Mother Daughter Cookbook: Recipes to Nourish Relationships.

At one hundred and twenty-eight pages, this paperback targets mothers who want to bond with their young five-to-twelve year old children, specifically daughters although sons may be interested. Written by a professional chef, it contains twenty-four simple to more complex food recipes. Although there are no photographs, illustrator Azadeh Houshyar’s sophomoric pink, gray, and black designs cover the pages. 

After an introduction of the author’s love of cooking and safety tips to teach a child, five chapters of recipes are followed by a section on how to create a scrapbook and an alphabetized index. Four to five recipes are given in the chapters titled Birthday Bashes, Fancy Food and Party Perfections, Sassy Lassie Lunches, Kitchen Road-Trippin’, and Holiday Heritage.

The beginning of each chapter includes a one-page summary or history with tips, facts, and notes highlighted throughout the corresponding recipes. Separated into two tasks, usually the mother’s steps are on the left side of the page and the daughter’s is on the right side, showing how to work together to create a food item. 

Examples of recipes in each chapter list Bunny Carrot Cake, Eggs in a Frame, Candied Bacon, Plaid Onion Tart, Butterscotch Food, Tex-Mex Corn Canoes, Baked Alaska Brownies, Heart-y Holiday Pinwheels, and Winter Holidays Pecan Snowballs.

From the simple Honey Lavender Butter which requires dried lavender, cheesecloth, and twine to the complex Hawaiian Pineapple-Ham Kabobs using bamboo skewers, white long grain rice, sesame oil, and fresh garlic, many recipes need special store-bought items. 

With an obvious love for cooking and teaching young children the fine art, Shirk’s book would be most beneficial for other chefs that want to pass on tasty recipes and tricks in the kitchen. Without any completed photographs to visualize, the book fails to grab many potential cooks looking for projects to do with young ones.

Zest Books LLC furnished a complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.

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