Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Utah Book Month Share!

Young Chefs: Cooking Skills and Recipes for Kids
By Christina Dymock

As a part of the Utah Book Month, I get to Spotlight another Utah author and her book, and I’m very excited about it. The author is Christina Dymock and the book is called, “Young Chefs: Cooking Skills and Recipes for Kids”.  As I was perusing her site and the sample pages of her book, it really took me back to helping my own kids learn how to cook.

Those of you who’ve been following the Black Pot here for any length of time know that I haven’t been cooking very long.  Only about 7-8 years.  Which means that when I started, Brendon, my oldest, was only about 9.

Right from the beginning, he was wanting to help me, and he and I cooked together a lot.  My other son, Jacob, has Cerebral Palsy, and so he is often there with me as I cook, but his direct, hands-on involvement isn’t so much as Brendon’s.

Unfortunately, Brendon’s culinary education has been pretty haphazard, as has been my own.  We didn’t really have a well-outlined “curriculum” to help us learn.  This book would have really come in handy that way.  Brendon turned to the world of “Chopped” and “Iron Chef” to learn his techniques.  He and his friends would randomly pull “secret ingredients” from the pantry, give them to each other and challenge them to see who could make the tastiest dish from them.  I was, sadly, often the judge.

But then, there were other hits, like his Dutch oven Creme Brulee, complete with the torch, and the time I came home from a hard day of work to a fully scratch-made apple pie.

I guess, in the kitchen, as in life, there will always be hits and misses.  I just think that with a well-ordered book like this one, with chapters nicely spelled out for main dishes, sides, desserts, breakfasts, and others, with many ideas and pages that teach real skills, there would probably be a lot more hits than misses.

My son loved to experiment with smoothies.  His banana grape mint smoothie is legendary at our house.  Here’s one of Christina’s:

Sunshine Juice
Serves 6


1 Cup milk
1 Cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 Cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 Cup sugar
1 Cup ice

What You Do:

1 - Put the milk, water, vanilla, orange juice concentrate, sugar and ice in the blender.
2 - Put the lid on tight.
3 - Blend on Low for 1 minute or until the ice is chopped up.
4 - Pour into cups and serve.

Now, seriously, what kid wouldn’t love drinking this and saying, “I made it!”

Mark has discovered a love of Dutch Oven Cooking. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his MoBoy blog.


  1. This is such a lovely spotlight combined with personal experience. My daughter is three, and she already loves to help in the kitchen.

  2. Great review. I wish I'd had Christina's book when my own kids were little!

  3. Fantastic review; it gives me a good reason to add this to my collection. Thanks!



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