Book Review & Competition : Real Food Kids Will Love by Annabel Karmel *

Where do I start? I just passed on my two Annabel Karmel baby recipe books due to my kids having outgrown them, so when we got this book to review I was so pleased. Firstly this isn’t a baby food recipe book – this is a recipe book for the whole family. Which to me is exactly what I want. We sit down as a family at least five times a week, so having a variety of recipes is important to our household, as very often they get bored of eating the same foods (although we do love a few regular ones, like spaghetti bolognese and chicken noodle soup!). The book is called ‘Real Food Kids Will Love, with over 100 simple and delicious recipes for toddlers and up’. Karmel’s ethos is really similar to how I feel about feeding my family. In the introduction of the book, she promotes the importance of eating together as a family and not just cooking food your kids will love, but cooking food for that the whole family can eat. I have tried to do this with my three children and I am happy to say that apart from the odd treat night of hot dog and chips, my children eat pretty much everything that is put in front of them. Karmel also understands how much a mother sometimes needs to juggle with family life work life and house hold chores, so her recipes have been developed with this in mind. I also love how the book encourages you to involve your children in the making of the food, which is something my eldest and youngest are particularly fond of (my eldest boy aka middle child likes to eat what they make but isn’t interested in being involved!)
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The book is set out in chapters starting with family favourites, which is where I chose my first recipe, Butter Chicken with Yellow Rice, (read on to find out more about the recipes mentioned in this paragraph). Some of the other recipes in this section include Pot Roast Chicken, Fish Pie Two Ways and Meatloaf with quick tomato sauce, which are all things I would love to cook mid week or my family.
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The second chapter Meat Free and Vegan. I found this section really interesting. I cook at least twice a week vegetation (to the dissatisfaction of my husband!), however, I just think its costly to eat meat all the time, so some of the recipes in here really enticed me. I love the fact that Karmel has created a few recipes for veggie burgers (such as ‘my favourite vegan burgers’ and ‘cauliflower, broccoli and sage burgers’), which makes it feel more substantial when cutting out meat if you have an alternative that fills the plate and can be accompanied by the same types of sides you perhaps would put alongside a meat dish. Also great for families that follow this type of diet, as so often its hard to find recipes that are perhaps tasty and filling.
The next chapter was a real treat to find – 15 minute meals – now, I just don’t know who wouldn’t find it handy to have a range of 15 minute meals like this. My favourite find from this section was a butternut squash carbonara, which I can’t wait to try, but there was also sea bass with cherry tomato sauce and buttermilk pancakes – which we did try as we love to have a treat breakfast on a Sunday (see further in the post).
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Chapter 4 is health fast food, this is another good selection of recipes which are likely to satisfy any craving for a takeaway that you might have. It has recipes like Sweet and Sour Chicken, Finger Licking Chicken Wings and Crispy Baked Cod and Sweet Potato Chips (this would go down a treat in our house).
Chapter 5 is Lunchbox & Playdate snacks, this section is great to keep your kids lunches interesting and also a good one for nice after school snacks. The Carrot Cake Balls look great and can be kept in the fridge for 5 days so would do as a snack for the whole week. I suspect these recipes would also be good for a kids party with ideas like a vegetable train! Chapter 5 is where I chose my third recipe to try from, in the Desserts & Sweets, my youngest loves nak’d raw fruit bars – but they can be costly however, in the book they have a cheat alternative, called No sugar chocolate orange energy bars. You will see what he thought of them later!
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The final chapter is Holiday Cooking With Kids, and one of the recipes that I know my whole family will love in this is the Dough Ball Christmas Wreath. I can’t see it being one we save for Christmas as it might just have to be a summer wreath, other recipes include, Fruit Flower Pots and Skeleton Ginger Bread Men! All of which I can’t wait to try. I have to say that the whole book as so many recipes that seem easy to follow, and tasty!
This leads me to my first look at my chosen three recipes from the book.
 
Butter Chicken with Yellow Rice
The recipe was really straight forward and easy to follow. With this one you could be put off by the ingredients list but there isn’t anything you can’t pick up at your local supermarket, although it might be one that does need a little preparation, prior to making. There are a fair few spices in this one too, so you have to make sure your store cupboard is full of the ingredients needed. Luckily the only thing I had run out of was cumin – but I managed to get it the same day locally so it was fine (phew!!). All the ingredients for this are cooked in one pan – I lightly browned the chicken before cooking everything else and set it aside on a plate so I could carry on with the rest. So all I really had to do was follow the steps to cook the ingredients in the order directed but just throw it all in one and then re-add the chicken and let it all cook through. While that was happening I had time to cook the rice. All in all it took a total of 30 minutes to cook everything, and it was so flavoursome, all the spices were perfect and one of the most surprising additions to the recipe was the Mango Chutney, which I thought might make it taste sweet, but it just seems to add depth to the dish. It really tasted like something you would buy! My only addition to this recipe, was that I wanted to have some veg to accompany it, so I cooked up some broccoli storks, which worked really well. All in all this is something I would definitely cook again and all the family cleared their plates! Thats always a plus!

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The Best Buttermilk Pancakes

For these I wanted to test how easy they would be for my 9 year old to make and whether we could do it in 15 minutes – as it was from the 15 minute meal chapter. The recipe itself was easy and we managed to have everything mixed with 9 minutes left for cooking. We chose to make slightly smaller pancakes, which overall did take slightly longer to make then 15 minutes in total. However, we had made 4 of our smaller ones within the allocated time (but still had mixture left over), so if would be interesting to see if the other 15 minute meals truly are 15 minutes – I suspect they will be! We all had different toppings, my daughter had hazelnut spread, I had peaches and yogurt, my youngest boy had plain! and my eldest boy, had his all time favourite, lemon and sugar. The pancakes were in-between an american fluffy pancake and a standard thin british pancake. The buttermilk added a nice texture. However, I actually didn’t have any buttermilk in, but you can make it – its basically a cup of milk with three-four tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar, leave it for 20 minutes and voila! Hope this helps! Overall I loved the fact the the timings worked but I still prefer thicker pancakes, but the kids loved them and want to make them again, so out house was split on this one.

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No sugar chocolate orange energy bars

I had all the ingredients for this in my store cupboard and I love dried fruit, so I thought this would be a good one to try. My little chopper did struggle a little to finley chop all the ingredients down but I suspect this is just due to the fact its not that big, I imagine in a standard size food processor it would be really quick to do. Saying that it still only took about 5 minutes to blend together another couple of minutes to roll and then 1 hour in the fridge. I have to say I was really surprised at how indulgent these tasted – I actually felt as though I was having a little chocolate truffle not some dried fruit and nuts! I absolutely love them and will be making them again. They are so quick to do and whether its the shape that fools you into thinking its a chocolate I don’t know – but I don’t care its tastes great. My only critique with this recipe is there is no indication on the size of mixture you need to scoop to make the balls. I guessed but someone who likes to have a recipe just so might find this a little annoying. There are a few other recipes like this in the book, which now I have tried these, think I might have a go at.

PS I made these while the kids were at school, and I am not sure I want to share them. But I am pretty sure they will love them too!

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What we thought 
 
Overall the book has a huge amount of recipes and a very broad variety, as mentioned before including vegan, desserts and everyday recipes. I think that the book would be a great addition to a household that is looking for easy recipes that would fill up a months worth of day to day family cooking. This certainly would do more than that and would also quite easily suit someone who already cooks (which I can vouch for myself, as I found plenty of recipes I had never tried before and slight variations of ones I use all the time, (which is always good as sometimes you find a better version).
My only issue is that many of the recipes need a lot of ingredients that you perhaps don’t have in your store cupboard and therefore might need a bit of foresight to put together as, you might need to go and get – some examples of these ingredients are parmesan cheese (which is sometimes expensive so I don’t always stock it), pomegranate, fresh herbs (I very often used dried, but I know you get a slightly different taste with fresh), rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar – again I tend you have vinegar for salad dressing, so similar to these in taste but not a whole variety of different ones. That being said, all the ingredients are available at most of your local supermarkets, so don’t let this put you off, as it just means a little prep is involved!
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How to win yourself a copy of this book?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
* Prize is not exchangeable for cash and not transferable
* Open to residents of the United Kingdom Only
* All entries must be received by Sun, 29 July 2018 .
* The winner will be chosen at random
* The winner will be notified via the email address. They have 48 hours to respond and claim their prize after being notified, after which time the prize will be considered unclaimed and will be re-assigned using a random selection method.
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* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website
* The winner will be published on the original giveaway blog post.
* Prizes are administered separately by the Book Publisher and Yeah Lifestyle cannot be held responsible for problems related to fulfillment of prizes including non-delivery of the item

 

About the book

Title: Annabel Karmel Real Food Kids Will Love
ISBN Number : 978-1-5098-8842-9
Size: 246 x 189 mm
Number of Pages: 235
Retail Price: £16.99

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Review by: Lex Ward

 

* We were given a copy of the cookbook for free in return for a feature. All opinions are our own.

 

47 Comments

  1. July 18, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    This looks like a great book, especially for new parents, grandparents or caregivers. I know a few people who would definitely get great use out of this book!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 6:53 am

      Glad to hear that Shannon, hope you are able to join the competition

  2. July 18, 2018 / 8:58 pm

    Yummy, I love the sound of these recipes. We make pancake often but I had no idea how to make buttermilk before, thanks for the tip!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 6:53 am

      Your welcome, glad you enjoyed reading the review post

  3. Suzanne
    July 19, 2018 / 12:53 am

    This sounds like such a great recipe book! I need to get my hands on it 🙂

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 6:41 am

      Do join the competiton Suzanne, totally fab recipes there

  4. July 19, 2018 / 4:45 am

    This looks like a great idea and sounds like it’s a good way of making food for the kids which is healthy and good for everyone else x

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 6:41 am

      Yes easier to cook one meal for the whole family instead of separate meals

  5. July 19, 2018 / 11:59 am

    This looks like a fantastic recipe book – such a variety of tasty dishes for the whole family to try. I may have to pick it up.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 3:15 pm

      Yes you need to Mellissa or you could win a copy here

  6. July 19, 2018 / 12:29 pm

    I’ve heard so much about this book, it sounds absolutely fabulous. I was toying with the idea of buying it, but I might try my hand at entering your giveaway first. I’d love to win it so I can spend some quality time with my eldest this summer, as I’m due to give birth to his little brother any day now.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 3:06 pm

      Great to hear that Rachael, good luck to you, its a fab book

  7. July 19, 2018 / 4:18 pm

    Pancakes are always a plus for the kids! I mean, who doesn’t love buttermilk pancakes? 🙂 I think it’s important to highlight the need for more veggies in our kids. Anything that helps me do just that is a plus in my book!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 7:15 pm

      Exactly…eating veggies is so important and pancakes! We love a good pancake!

  8. July 19, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    This looks like a great cookbook for the kids to enjoy. When I was a kid there was a kids cookbook and I remember having to have it. It was the best!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 7:16 pm

      Yes nothing like learning to cook with mum and dad ..bring back good memories. This is a fab cookbook

  9. July 19, 2018 / 5:07 pm

    This is a great book for any family. I love recipes for families and not specifically catered to kids, or moms, because we eat as a family so we make food accordingly.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 19, 2018 / 7:15 pm

      Yes we agree, we love to sit and eat together as a family too

  10. July 19, 2018 / 7:50 pm

    I have heard quite a lot about this book. Sounds super nice! I love cooking and baking so i am sure i’d love this book!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 20, 2018 / 8:25 am

      What a fab thins Corinne, yes we are sure you would. Do join the competition!

  11. July 19, 2018 / 11:30 pm

    Kids do enjoy food, they just get scared to try it. This is an awesome approach to that!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 20, 2018 / 8:25 am

      Yes!! Especially one of our son, he gets put off by anything green lol. So we have to think of creative ways of cooking and presenting the food

  12. July 20, 2018 / 5:01 am

    I need some more recipes! I’ll have to check out this cook book!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 20, 2018 / 8:24 am

      Hope you enjoy making these recipes which we have shared

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 20, 2018 / 6:30 pm

      This book would be great for your Becky

  13. July 20, 2018 / 5:55 pm

    This sounds like the perfect book for family eating. I love how clear the sections are and how quick and healthy the meals sound. Holiday cooking section would be perfect for an afternoon activity.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 20, 2018 / 6:29 pm

      Yes we agree its fun to get kids involved and the holiday recipes are just too much fun!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 20, 2018 / 6:28 pm

      Its a fab book Nancy. We enjoyed cooking all the recipes here

  14. July 20, 2018 / 8:34 pm

    I used to have one of her books when I was weaning my Daughter and loved making her food once she went on to solids, this would be great for me to give to my Daughter in law for my Granddaughter.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 21, 2018 / 7:01 am

      What a great present it would be Samantha, good luck to you xx

  15. July 20, 2018 / 8:51 pm

    Who doesn’t love pancakes? I love that Annabel recipes suit all the family

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 21, 2018 / 7:00 am

      Yes we all love pancakes as well, its really tasty!

  16. July 20, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    I love the fact that this has recipes suitable for all the family without having to make different meal options

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 21, 2018 / 7:00 am

      Exactly ….as busy parents, we love that the most

  17. July 20, 2018 / 9:15 pm

    Looks like a really handy book I wish we had a copy when my son was smaller it would of come in handy x

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 21, 2018 / 7:00 am

      Yes definitely, but you can cook the recipes for adults as well, its as good

  18. July 21, 2018 / 11:29 am

    Entered! Looks amazing, fingers crossed for me!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 22, 2018 / 7:26 am

      Good luck to you Eva xx

  19. July 21, 2018 / 6:03 pm

    The book looks excellent and the food looks amazing. I’m sure my girls would love to try making some of these recipes with me.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 22, 2018 / 7:25 am

      How wonderful to hear that Elle, hope you have joined our competition to win the book x

  20. Clare Gillman
    July 29, 2018 / 4:51 am

    This looks like it could be a summer lifesaver! A lovely book! Count me in!

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 29, 2018 / 10:06 am

      Glad to hear that Clare x

  21. July 30, 2018 / 6:16 am

    The book looks excellent and the food looks amazing. . I know I need to get some new recipes my kids will love. Thanks for the sharing this.

    • yeahlifestyle
      Author
      July 30, 2018 / 7:34 am

      Your welcome Lisa, glad to be able to share new reviews with you and our other readers x

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