Jonathan Jackson, himself a teenager, has put together a collection of simple, non-time-consuming recipes without instant ingredients or gooey gimmicks. Fresh ingredients are emphasized repeatedly: ""Try to avoid buying frozen vegetables. If you had a plate of a frozen vegetable and another plate of that same vegetable fresh, you would be amazed at the difference."" (Later: ""You have probably noticed that a two-tone car looks very nice. The same effect can be achieved with vegetables."") His introductory remarks for each section, which do tend to go on, include quotes that range from Philoxenes of Cythera to James Beard, from the notably unmemorable to the come-again (e.g., Brillat-Savarin's ""A dessert without cheese is like a beautiful woman with one eye""). Jonathan has clearly read a lot about food and cooking and has tested what he has read, though he doesn't always seem to understand the procedures he advises on (specifically, what makes cooked rice sticky and gummy). More seriously, the temperature and timing of some chicken recipes seems erratic: Marinated chicken parts might be overcooked if baked 90 minutes at 450Â°, and, conversely, breasts fried until golden brown might not be done through--kids should be advised to check in both cases. But such lapses occur in the most professional of cookbooks; and overall these recipes are sound if unadventuresome, and probably just what the average young beginner will feel comfortable cooking and eating. The book's format has an unappealing low-budget look, but the many photos of Jonathan at work in the kitchen are fine.