Burton’s colorful cookbook debut dishes up delectable recipes for beginners and old hands alike.
Inspired by her Polish heritage, her life in Wisconsin, and her world travels, the author offers a lovely collection that includes a little of everything—from somewhat sinful munchies like “Cheese Soup with Chips and Pretzel Dumplings” to healthier fare such as “Apricot Cherry Muesli,” a yogurt topper made with wheat germ. This isn’t a typical mac-and-cheese-for-teens cookbook, as many of the more than 200 recipes in this volume are culinary delights, including, for example, “Lemony Orzo With Hazelnuts.” It begins with two baking sections featuring breads and desserts, and later entries showcase a wide array of hearty food choices, such as gravy, meats, pastas, salads, soups, and seafood. Some user-friendly recipes—including the festive “Candied Mixed Nuts”—can be created in a moderate amount of time, and some more advanced dishes, such as “Layered Vegetable Custard,” are time-consuming and challenging, especially for beginning chefs. Family favorites, such as Burton’s traditional Polish-American “Easter Soup,” take center stage, but other dishes from around the world, such as pad thai, are also included. The easy-to-understand instructions include relatively accessible ingredients that readers can purchase at local grocery stores or farmers markets. The conversational, numbered steps are well-spaced and simple to follow. However, adults may want to supervise younger chefs when frying is involved, and novices may need help zesting oranges or scalding milk. Upbeat color photos and illustrations of teenagers in the kitchen adorn the text, as do color images of several dishes. It’s not entirely clear what makes this specifically a teen cookbook and not an adult one; recipes such as “Zesty Salmon Mousse Tarts,” for example, seem geared for older palates (raw red onions are recommended as a garnish but aren’t required). Nevertheless, parents and teens can cook together, making memories and creative family meals with this lively collection.
A fun, easy-to-use kitchen addition.